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One-third of epilepsy patients suffer from medication-resistant seizures. While surgery to remove epileptogenic tissue helps some patients, 30-70% of patients continue to experience seizures following resection. Surgical outcomes may be improved with more accurate localization of epileptogenic tissue. We have previously developed novel thin-film, subdural electrode arrays with hundreds of microelectrodes over a 100-1,000 mm2 area to enable high-resolution mapping of neural activity. Here we used these high-density arrays to study microscale properties of human epileptiform activity. We performed intraoperative micro-electrocorticographic recordings within epileptic cortex (the site of seizure onset and early spread) in nine patients with epilepsy. In two of these patients, we obtained recordings from cortical areas distal to the epileptic cortex. Additionally, we recorded from two non-epileptic patients with movement disorders undergoing deep brain stimulator implantation as non-epileptic tissue controls. A board-certified epileptologist identified microseizures, which resembled electrographic seizures normally observed with clinical macroelectrodes. Epileptic cortex exhibited a significantly higher microseizure rate (2.01 events/min) than non-epileptic cortex (0.01 events/min; permutation test, P=0.0068). Using spatial averaging to simulate recordings from larger electrode contacts, we found that the number of detected microseizures decreased rapidly with increasing contact diameter and decreasing contact density. In cases in which microseizures were spatially distributed across multiple channels, the approximate onset region was identified. Our results suggest that micro-electrocorticographic electrode arrays with a high density of contacts and large coverage are essential for capturing microseizures in epilepsy patients and may be beneficial for localizing epileptogenic tissue to plan surgery or target brain stimulation.

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