The human brain is a complex organ, maybe the most complex organ we know of. It’s difficult to glean much information about the inner workings of the brain, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is one of the most versatile tests of brain activity. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s head in various locations, measuring electrical neural impulses from different angles. Now, you might be wondering, “Why do this? What can you do with EEG data?” The answer is, “more than you think.” While EEGs are primarily used for medical testing, it’s a surprisingly versatile test.
Here are a few of lesser-known uses of electroencephalography:
1. Brain Computer Interface (BCI)
EEGs work fast enough that you can use them as an input for computers. EEGs have been used to control music, fly a helicopter, and steer a wheelchair. Researchers are constantly improving the technology and coming up with new uses for it. As companies continue to make more cost-efficient EEGs and increase fidelity, more and more people will have the chance to control computer systems with their brains, with ever greater precision.
2. Detect Boredom
Let’s say your friend is telling you a story and you say it’s interesting, but you really couldn’t care less about a sandwich they ate last week having too much mayo. If they are telling you the story while taking an EEG test, they will see right through your white lie, because EEGs can accurately detect level of engagement or boredom.
3. Help You Train Your Brain
Neurofeedback involves looking at (or hearing, or sensing in some other way) your EEG data while it’s happening and intentionally making changes in your brainwaves based on that real-time feedback. This can be a very useful tool for coping with stress, treating anxiety, sleep disorders, PTSD, and other conditions, as well as improving focus and many other areas of mental activity.
Students in MCC’s Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technologist program learn lots about EEGs, how and why to use them, as well as other topics such as evoked potential. Graduates are eligible for ABRET certification as R. EEG T. Interested in learning more about EEG? Call (312) 236-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a campus visit today.