Tripolar concentric ring electrodes for capturing localised electroencephalography signals during sleep

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By design, tripolar concentric ring electrodes (TCRE) provide more focal brain activity signals than conventional electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes placed further apart. This study compared spectral characteristics and rates of data loss to noisy epochs with TCRE versus conventional EEG signals recorded during sleep. A total of 20 healthy sleepers (12 females; mean [standard deviation] age 27.8 [9.6] years) underwent a 9-h sleep study. Participants were set up for polysomnography recording with TCRE to assess brain activity from 18 sites and conventional electrodes for EEG, eyes, and muscle movement. A fast Fourier transform using multitaper-based estimation was applied in 5-s epochs to scored sleep. Odds ratios with Bonferroni-adjusted 95% confidence intervals were calculated to determine the proportional differences in the number of noisy epochs between electrode types. Relative power was compared in frequency bands throughout sleep. Linear mixed models showed significant main effects of signal type (p < 0.001) and sleep stage (p < 0.001) on relative spectral power in each power band, with lower relative spectral power across all stages in TCRE versus EEG in alpha, beta, sigma, and theta activity, and greater delta power in all stages. Scalp topography plots showed distinct beta activation in the right parietal lobe with TCRE versus EEG. EEG showed higher rates of noisy epochs compared to TCRE (1.3% versus 0.8%, p < 0.001). TCRE signals showed marked differences in brain activity compared to EEG, consistent with more focal measurements and region-specific differences during sleep. TCRE may be useful for evaluating regional differences in brain activity with reduced muscle artefact compared to conventional EEG.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14203
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Early online date27 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2024


  • EEG acquisition
  • healthy sleepers
  • quantitative EEG
  • sleep stages
  • TCRE
  • tripolar concentric ring electrodes


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