Forward problem solution of electromagnetic source imaging using a new BEM formulation with high-order elements

Gencer N. G. , TANZER I. O.

PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY, vol.44, no.9, pp.2275-2287, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/0031-9155/44/9/314
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2275-2287
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Representations of the active cell populations on the cortical surface via electric and magnetic measurements are known as electromagnetic source images (EMSIs) of the human brain. Numerical solution of the potential and magnetic fields for a given electrical source distribution in the human brain is an essential part of electromagnetic source imaging. In this study, the performance of the boundary element method (BEM) is explored with different surface element types. A new BEM formulation is derived that makes use of isoparametric linear, quadratic or cubic elements. The surface integration is performed with Gauss quadrature. The potential fields are solved assuming a concentric three-shell model of the human head for a tangential dipole at different locations. In order to achieve 2% accuracy in potential solutions, the number of quadratic elements is of the order of hundreds. However, with linear elements, this number is of the order of ten thousand. The relative difference measures (RDMs) are obtained for the numerical models that use different element types. The numerical models that employ quadratic and cubic element types provide superior performance over linear elements in terms of accuracy in solutions. Assuming a homogeneous sphere model of the head, the RDMs are also obtained for the three components (radial and tangential) of the magnetic fields. The RDMs obtained for the tangential fields are, in general, much higher than those obtained for the radial fields. Both quadratic and cubic elements provide superior performance compared with linear elements for a wide range of dipole locations.