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Imagine we want to read impulses within single neurons in the brain. Can we do that now for a single region within the brain? If not, what is the smallest region that can be monitored for an activity in real time? Is there a more advanced method than electroencephalography for scaning brain activity in real time?

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EEG is pretty much useless for seeing a single neuorn's activity. With current technology, only invasive technology can see single unit activities. –  Memming Sep 8 '13 at 2:17
Okay. But then how "precise" is the EEG right now? Can you monitor 1cm^2 or you only get a "faded" image of an activity for a whole brain due to interference? –  Xeos Sep 8 '13 at 18:43

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The smallest area that the EEG can measure is related to the electrode density. Even with research setups with 100s of electrodes, the smallest measurable region is on the order of a square centimeter or so on the skull surface. Brain regions deeper in the brain produce a 'blurred' signal that shows up on several electrodes at once.

fMRI, on the other hand, can measure smaller areas in three dimensions, but not as often.

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