Impairment of common mode rejection by mismatched electrode impedances: Quantitative analysis

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Mismatched input electrode impedances can lead to noisy EEG and evoked potential recordings even if the electrode impedances are low. This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the phenomenon and illustrative examples. At each amplifier input, the recording electrode impedance and the amplifier's input impedance form a voltage divider. When input electrode impedances are unequal, a common mode signal that is present equally at the two locations on the patient's body appears at different magnitudes at the two (inverting and noninverting) inputs of the amplifier; thus, part of the common mode signal is amplified as if it were a differential signal. The effective common mode rejection ratio (CMRR) of the amplifier is reduced to a value that can be expressed mathematically as a function of the amplifier's ideal CMRR, its input impedance, and the impedance difference between the two input electrodes. Balanced input electrode impedances are particularly important during intraoperative monitoring, when ambient electrical noise levels are typically high. Recordings between different types of recording electrodes (e.g., between needle and metal cup surface electrodes) are likely to produce impedance mismatches, and thus noisy recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of EEG Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


  • Amplifiers
  • artifacts
  • common mode rejection ratio
  • electrodes
  • impedance
  • intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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