After more than 85 years of development and use in clinical practice, the electroencephalogram (EEG) remains a dependable, inexpensive, and useful diagnostic tool for the investigation of the electrophysiologic activity of the brain. The advent of digital technology has led to greater sophistication and multiple software applications to extend the utility of EEG beyond the confines of the laboratory. Despite the discovery of new waveforms, basic neurophysiologic principles remain essential to the clinical care of patients. Patterns in the interictal EEG make it possible to clarify the differential diagnosis of paroxysmal neurological events, classify seizure type and epilepsy syndromes, and characterize and quantify seizures when ictal recordings are obtained. EEG can also demonstrate cerebral dysfunction when structural imaging is normal to detect focal or lateralized abnormalities in patients with encephalopathy. High-density EEG with electrical source imaging has improved localization in candidates for epilepsy surgery. Quantitative EEG and broadband EEG are advancing our understanding of the functional processes of the brain itself.