A Formalism For The Long-Distance Magnetic Field Generated By Populations Of Neurons
Brain activity can be measured using magnetic fields located at some distance from the brain, a technique called magneto-encephalography (MEG). The origin of such magnetic fields are the ionic currents involved in neuronal activity. While these processes are well known at the microscopic scale, it is less clear how large populations of neurons generate magnetic fields. Here, we attempt to make such a link by deriving a mean-field theory of magnetic field generation by populations of neurons. We use the concept of current dipoles to build a theory that can be applied to populations of neurons. We also evaluate the contributions of neuronal current sources such as the synaptic currents or action potential currents. This theory should be useful to calculate the long-distance magnetic field from neuronal populations, such as in MEG.