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Human EEG during propofol anaesthesia shows large-scale changes including traveling slow waves1. Slow-wave saturation is a potentially individualised marker of loss of perception2. However, much remains unclear about the dynamics of slow waves. Iterated empirical mode decomposition (itEMD3) is a novel data-driven method for segregating data into physiologically relevant oscillatory modes. We used itEMD to identify spectral modes and their sources / sinks in propofol EEG. Viscosity is a physical quantity expressing the magnitude of resistance to flow. Considering traveling electric potentials in the brain as a flow, we extended the notion of viscosity to traveling brainwaves. Using this, we explored how brainwave viscosity changes in volunteer propofol anaesthesia.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of anaesthesia

Publication Date





e61 - e62