Does combing the scalp reduce scalp electrode impedances?

Yatin Mahajan*, Genevieve McArthur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical activity from the human brain can be recorded via electrodes on the scalp. It is important to reduce the impedance of each electrode to minimize unwanted noise in the recording. Electrode impedance can be improved by abrading the skin to remove dead skin cells. In this experiment, we tested if abrading the skin by combing the scalp leads to a significant reduction in electrode impedance. We compared the mean electrode impedance values of 20 subjects whose scalps were combed prior to electrode cap placement, with 20 subjects whose scalps were not combed. Combing significantly reduced the impedances at central, right, and left areas of the scalp. This finding supports the use of scalp combing to reduce the time and subject discomfort that can be associated with placing scalp electrodes. This is particularly important for experiments testing children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-289
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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