The EEG at 100: Professor Erika Nyhus on How Electroencephalography Has Transformed Neuroscience

By Bowdoin News
As electroencephalography, more commonly known as EEG, marks its centennial, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Erika Nyhus commemorates the milestone with insight into the incredible impact the device to monitor brain activity has had on how scientists study the human brain.
Erika Nyhus
Erika Nyhus
Since its first use in July 1924, when Hans Berger performed the first EEG recording on a human during neurosurgery on a seventeen-year-old boy, the technology has shaped researchers’ understanding of cognition, from perception to memory, writes Nyhus, adding that it has also been important for diagnosing and guiding treatment of multiple brain disorders, including epilepsy.

Nyhus, a cognitive neuroscientist who uses EEG to study how people remember events from their past, published the article, “From Diagnosing Brain Disorders to Cognitive Enhancement, 100 Years of EEG Have Transformed Neuroscience,” in The Conversation, which was picked up by several media outlets, including Scientific AmericanPopular Science, DiscoverHouston Chronicle, Yahoo News, and others.

“The EEG’s 100-year anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on this discovery’s significance in neuroscience and medicine,” writes Nyhus in the piece, which goes into the history of the EEG, how it’s used today, including in the diagnosing and treatment of brain disorders, and what this technique can do in the future.

“Some researchers, including myself, predict that we’ll use EEG to diagnose and create targeted treatments for brain disorders. Others anticipate that an affordable, wearable EEG will be widely used to enhance cognitive function at home or will be seamlessly integrated into virtual reality applications. The possibilities are vast.”

Read the article in its entirety.