Investigations of interictal epileptiform spikes and seizures have played a central role in the study of epilepsy. The background EEG activity, however, has received less attention. In this chapter we discuss the characteristic features of the background activity of the brain when individuals are at rest and awake (resting wake) and during sleep. The characteristic rhythms of the background EEG are presented, and the presence of 1/f β behavior of the EEG power spectral density is discussed and its possible origin and functional significance. The interictal EEG findings of focal epilepsy and the impact of interictal epileptiform spikes on cognition are also discussed.