Are there any tutorials or introductions (specifically not slides from talks) on the very basic details of EEG data collection and processing? Things like:

  • Discussions of reference systems (montages)
  • The "usual" sequence of initial processing steps
  • Identification of artifacts by type and usual procedures for dealing with them
  • Precise methods of electrode placement (such as good ways to measure electrodes on the head, etc.)
  • Etc.

Basically I am looking for a sketch of standard or usual procedures used either widely in EEG or, failing that, commonly in EEG studies that make use of longer, continuous recordings (as opposed to ERPs). What is sometimes called "lab lore" or the common things you need to know that are often glossed over in journal articles. (Something akin to the very introductory textbooks available for fMRI.)

The usual response to this is Steven Luck's book: Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique -- but that book is so centered on ERP recordings, that it is very hard to follow for other types of EEG collection, such as long continuous recordings. On the other side, journal articles are generally too brief about their recording and initial data analysis procedures to replicate their work.

Additionally, open-access/open-source information is preferable; we don't have the money for the usually priced textbooks. (I'll accept those if there are no open answers, but open is better!)

Note that this other article "Getting Started with EEG" either recommends Luck's book (which is good, but too ERP focused) or begs the original question of learning how to collect and process EEG by basically saying "just collect it on yourself and do it." So this is strictly not a duplicate question.

  • $\begingroup$ ERPs are often collected as a single continuous recording and then divided into epochs later. Filtering, ICA and artefact rejection are also often applied to the continuous data. $\endgroup$
    – Livius
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ And Luck covers these parts of continuous recording to some extent. $\endgroup$
    – Livius
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Livius Luck does to some extent, but early on spends a lot of time on ERPs which are then presupposed later on. So it is hard for newbies to follow the later sections without having read the earlier ones in some depth. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ Edited the question to emphasis open-access/open-source information. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ Related: cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/3506/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


There are plenty of books and courses about EEG. I personally can recommend the book from Mike Cohen "Analyzing Neural Time Series Data". It´s well written, simple and condense introduction into EEG, electrophysiology, experimental design, data acquisition and, mostly, basic-to-advance analytical techniques. Book comes with the demo data and code for the analysis in Matlab.

Alternatively, you can go directly to the website of any big EEG community that developing an analytical toolbox (like EEGLab, Fieldtrip, or Brainstorm). Each of them provides sufficient amount of the introductory materials and step-by-step tutorials, including video lectures.

  • $\begingroup$ Mike Cohen's book looks to be along the lines I was looking for. I have studied the documents for the software and found that they very much do not give ideas about "normative" or "standard" analyses; at least they do not read that way to me. (For instance there is rarely any explanations as to why you do things, they assume you already know.) But the Cohen book is promising, if there is nothing else added in a bit, I'll come back and accept this. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ The problem with the "standard analysis" in the scientific EEG is that the "standard answer" can work only for the "standard question", which is a non-existing thing. Instead, as it commonly happening in the science, there are different schools that follow different strategies with different balances of pros and cons. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Cool. Is there a book, tutorial, or other source of information that describes these (or a selected subset of these) based on broad usefulness? While there is no single analysis, there are standard methods around which variants cluster. At least there appear to be such in other areas such as MRI. I just can't find them for EEG. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 23:08

There is a new FREE introductory document on the brain and EEG. You can download it over here: http://www.advancedbrainmonitoring.com/free-eeg-pocket-guide-download/

Another popular book is An introduction to event-related potentials, by Steven J. Luck.

  • $\begingroup$ I know your reservations about Luck's book, but I would like to gather a complete list in one place. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 19:54

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