An electroencephalogram is a test that detects your brain’s electrical activity, with the procedure performed by attaching sensors to your scalp. The sensors record the brain wave patterns and the electroencephalogram sends the data to a computer. While the test is called an electroencephalogram, EEG always refers to electroencephalography, the non-invasive method of monitoring the brain.
What is an Electroencephalogram?
An electroencephalogram is a test that evaluates the electrical activity of the brain. During a procedure, an electroencephalogram recording device scans your brain activity using sensors attached to your scalp.
How does Electroencephalography Work?
When the neurons in our brains communicate with each other, they produce electrical activity called brainwaves. Electroencephalography is the method of recording these electrical signals through electrodes — sensors detecting brainwaves — that are mounted to a participant through an EEG headset or EEG cap. During an electroencephalogram (EEG) procedure, electrodes pick up on and record brainwaves. The signals are sent to an amplifier and then to a computer or mobile device that processes the data.
What Can Electroencephalograms Detect?
An electroencephalogram alone cannot diagnose any medical disorders; the test simply collects brain activity. The data collected by an electroencephalogram scan can contain information doctors may use when establishing a diagnosis. Specifically, doctors look for the presence of irregular brain wave patterns. An EEG reading that displays irregular brain patterns is referred to as an abnormal electroencephalogram. Looking at an abnormal electroencephalogram result can help doctors identify what part of the brain is experiencing irregular activity.
For more clues to aid them in diagnosis, doctors may use various recording techniques. They might recommend a video electroencephalogram, in which video is used to capture the patient’s activity during an electroencephalogram procedure. Doctors compare the electroencephalogram recording with the video footage to better understand what the patient is experiencing.
What do Electroencephalograms Show?
Electroencephalograms collect electrical activity displayed by electroencephalogram waves. Applying an algorithm called a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to the raw brainwaves identifies four main frequencies: alpha, delta, beta and theta waves. Ranges in these different frequencies can be associated with different states of mind and cognitive functions.
Beta Waves (frequency range from 14 Hz to about 30 Hz)
Beta waves are most closely associated with attention and alertness. When beta waves display a low-amplitude pattern, this is often associated with active concentration.
Alpha Waves (frequency range from 7 Hz to 13 Hz)
Alpha waves are often associated with a relaxed state of mind. They are not detected during more intense cognitive processes like thinking or problem-solving.
Theta Waves (frequency range from 4 Hz to 7 Hz)
Theta waves are associated with memory formation and navigation. They typically occur during deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep begins in response to signals being sent to the brain’s cerebral cortex, which is responsible for learning, thinking and organizing information.
Delta Waves (frequency range up to 4 Hz)
Delta waves are large, slow brainwaves associated with stages 3 and 4 of non-REM sleep, the deepest and most restorative stages of sleep. Stage 3 is also called “Delta sleep”.
What is an Electroencephalogram Used For?
Common electroencephalogram uses include academic research, consumer and workplace research, and medical diagnosis or research.
Electroencephalograms Uses in Academic Research
Electroencephalograms have been used by researchers to study the brain in different experimental conditions. Cognitive scientists use electroencephalograms to monitor how brain activity changes in response to different stimuli. Wireless electroencephalogram devices open up new areas for study, allowing for participants to venture outside of the laboratory. For example, researchers have used electroencephalogram headsets to discover that language processing activates both the brain’s linguistic and perceptual regions, and to study temporal and spatial brainwave patterns during language processing.
Electroencephalograms Uses in Consumer Research
In consumer research, it is used to detect human emotions in response to a product or content. The term neuromarketing describes the use of electroencephalograms to study consumer reactions.
Electroencephalograms Uses in Medicine
Electroencephalogram Medical Definition
The electroencephalogram medical definition is the same as the general electroencephalogram definition — a test that detects your brain’s electrical activity. The process of conducting an electroencephalogram test is fundamentally the same no matter what electroencephalograms are used for. Naturally, they are a very useful tool for doctors, and therefore have many applications in the healthcare field. When it comes to electroencephalogram medical terminology, there are some terms you should know.
Sleep Electroencephalograms Used to Diagnose Sleep Disorders
An electroencephalogram sleep study or “polysomnography” is used as a diagnostic test for sleep disorders. A sleep electroencephalogram performs a scan in addition to measuring body activity. Your heart rate, breathing and oxygen levels in your blood are monitored during an overnight procedure.
Ambulatory Electroencephalograms Used to Diagnose Seizure Disorders
Patients experiencing seizure activity may be recommended for an ambulatory electroencephalogram. These extend the length of the recording to increase the likelihood of collecting abnormal brain activity — traditional electroencephalograms last one-two hours, while ambulatory electroencephalograms record for up to 72 hours.
Who Performs Electroencephalograms?
An electroencephalogram technician performs the scans. Electroencephalogram technicians are responsible for installing and setting up an electroencephalogram system on a participant’s head.
If the electroencephalogram is being performed in a healthcare setting, a doctor usually walks the patient through the steps needed for proper electroencephalogram preparation. To prepare for it, you should wash your hair the night before the test. Make sure your hair is clean of any products such as hairspray or gels. Avoid consuming caffeine 8 hours leading up to the test. If you’re scheduled for a sleep electroencephalogram, you may be instructed to limit your sleep the night before the test so it’s easier for you to sleep during the procedure.
Does EMOTIV Offer Electroencephalogram Solutions?
EMOTIV offers several electroencephalogram solutions for neuroscience, workplace wellness and safety, cognitive performance, neuromarketing, and brain-controlled technology applications. EMOTIV’s mobile and wireless electroencephalogram headsets, called Brainwear, are considered the most capable and cost-effective brain measuring technology on the market. Electroencephalogram costs are typically higher when purchasing from a medical-grade hardware manufacturer.
EMOTIV’s electroencephalogram hardware products include electroencephalogram headsets and electroencephalogram caps. The EMOTIV EPOC X headset provides professional-grade brain data for academic research and commercial use. The EMOTIV Insight headset boasts minimal set-up time and electronics optimized to produce clean signals from anywhere, making it ideal for performance and wellness tracking. The EMOTIV EPOC FLEX cap offers high-density coverage and movable electroencephalogram sensors optimal for research professionals.
Electroencephalogram headset and electroencephalogram cap technology is a component of Brain-Computer Interface or BCI. EMOTIV also offers electroencephalogram software solutions for BCI (EmotivBCI), data acquisition and analysis (EmotivPro) and brain visualization (BrainViz). EMOTIV uses cloud computing for electroencephalogram related security, analytics and data management.
EMOTIV is a recognized pioneer and market leader in the field of electroencephalography.