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Dry or Gel-Based Electrodes

EEG electrodes can be made of a variety of materials such as gold, silver, stainless steel, tin, and Ag/AgCl. The most widely used electrode material is Ag/AgCl, which provides low dc offset, establishes quickly and maintains stable electrochemical potentials, is free from allergenic compounds, and has long-term electrical stability. The electrodes may be active or passive. The electrode materials are the responsibility of the manufacturer of the EEG machines, to provide electrodes of suitable material such as Ag/ AgCl. However, some manufacturers provide both gel-based (wet) and dry electrode options with EEG machines such as Enobio Starstim. The gel-based electrodes in general take more time to setup and the participants are required to wash their hair after EEG recordings because of the gel. However, once the gel-based EEG cap is set it will allow recording of good quality EEG for longer duration as compared to dry electrodes. The dry electrodes are very easy to setup as there is no need for gel or any electrolyte for good conductivity. However, the dry electrodes sometimes compromise the quality of the EEG and the patients/participants may feel irritation due to itching on the scalp because the dry electrodes need to be tightly attached to the scalp. Further, some dry electrodes have pin-like combs that may penetrate the scalp if used for longer durations of EEG recording. The dry electrodes have potential in brain-computer interface (BCI) applications.

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