EEG, is there any value?

 
Jack Burton
 
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Jack Burton
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Joined  02-05-2012
 
 
 
02 May 2012 15:57
 

Is there any value in EEG brain wave readings or is it just technological garbage like a lie detector? There are clinics that use “Neurotherapy” and “Bio Feedback” machines that use EEG brainwave frequencies to show patients how their brain is the cause of their health problems. They then “treat” these people by exposing them to various sound and light frequencies which affects the EEG readings and thus is bringing their brain into “alignment”. This usage of EEG smells like a scam, but it opens a wider question. Given that exposing the patients to varying sound and light frequencies effects EEG read outs doesn’t it seem likely that EEG is at the very least an inaccurate form of measuring brain activity and at the most a complete waste of time? or am I way off in my understanding of what it actually does and how the information could be useful?

[ Edited: 02 May 2012 16:10 by Jack Burton]
 
softwarevisualization
 
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softwarevisualization
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02 May 2012 19:20
 

We did EEG studies at school where I was on both sides as the subject and as a student. (cog sci)  Despite that I am not an expert on the methodological problems and challenges this kind of data collection faces or what the implications for experimental results might be.


Your question is a serious one that only a specialist can really answer / debate / investigate and that answer may not be comprehensible to you or to me either.


That said, it’s clearly a job for Google. Wikipedia always has pretty good and getting all the tie better stuff - they have an EEG entry.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEG#Relative_disadvantages


Here’s a couple I turned up on the methodological challenges faced by this kind of research.


http://ijbem.k.hosei.ac.jp/volume1/number1/pdf/ijbem_a87-95.pdf


http://www.skiltopo.com/papers/applied/articles/dakdiss2.htm


It’s a good question. You could spend a career answering it. Ditto with fMRI

.

 

 
Jack Burton
 
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Jack Burton
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03 May 2012 09:07
 

Thanks for the info, I had read the wikipedia article before but the studies were interesting. The second one goes into detail about how to filter out other variables that would cause interference, but they seem to take for a given that there is real underlying brain activity that can be gained using the EEG methodology.

You are probably right that you could spend a lot of time trying to prove or disprove the usefulness of EEG and never get anywhere, I guess that is why its a breeding ground for pseudoscience.

[ Edited: 03 May 2012 09:09 by Jack Burton]