The aim of neonatal intensive therapy is to support the functioning of the immature organs of extremely premature babies in such a way that the development may proceed as if taking place in the mother's womb. The highest objective is to enable the normal development of the brain, in particular, the cerebral cortex. Threats to this development process arise, in particular, when there is acute impairment of the oxygen supply to the brain.
Monitoring systems are available that can detect any restriction in the oxygen supply throughout the entire organism. However, the relevance of a single such event for the cortical oxygen supply is, in many cases, unclear. During the cortical maturation processes, nerve cells networks are formed. This process can be interrupted by a damaging influence on, for example, the oxygen supply. On the other hand, it is conceivable that the normal cortical development can be effected solely by non-physiological conditions outside of the mother's womb. The cortical maturation process can be studied using the electric discharges of the cortical nerve cells, which are recorded via an EEG.