The brains of birds synchronize when they sing duets

When a male or female white-browed sparrow-weaver begins its song, its partner joins in at a certain time. They duet with each other by singing in turn and precisely in tune. A team led by researchers from the Max Planck ...

Six paths to the nonsurgical future of brain-machine interfaces

DARPA has awarded funding to six organizations to support the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, first announced in March 2018. Battelle Memorial Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins ...

Peculiar physics at work in the brain

In 1982, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Ken Wilson for his contribution to understanding what goes on in certain materials as they undergo a phase transition—like the transition between liquid water and steam. ...

Can taking breaks improve how well you do on tests?

Might power naps enhance performance? Perhaps. Short breaks sure do. That is the finding of research by Kristina Lerman, principal scientist at the USC Information Sciences Institute and research associate professor in the ...

Magnetoresistance ratio enhancement in Heusler-based alloy

Magnetic field sensors can enhance applications that require efficient electric energy management. Improving magnetic field sensors below the picoTesla range could enable a technique to measure brain activity at room temperature ...

Using water molecules to unlock neurons' secrets

Neurons are brain cells that communicate with each other by sending electrochemical signals along axons. When a neuron is about to release a signal in the form of an electric charge, it allows ions to pass through its membrane ...

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Electroencephalography

Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain. In clinical contexts, EEG refers to the recording of the brain's spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, usually 20–40 minutes, as recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp. In neurology, the main diagnostic application of EEG is in the case of epilepsy, as epileptic activity can create clear abnormalities on a standard EEG study. A secondary clinical use of EEG is in the diagnosis of coma and encephalopathies. EEG used to be a first-line method for the diagnosis of tumors, stroke and other focal brain disorders, but this use has decreased with the advent of anatomical imaging techniques such as MRI and CT.

Derivatives of the EEG technique include evoked potentials (EP), which involves averaging the EEG activity time-locked to the presentation of a stimulus of some sort (visual, somatosensory, or auditory). Event-related potentials refer to averaged EEG responses that are time-locked to more complex processing of stimuli; this technique is used in cognitive science, cognitive psychology, and psychophysiological research.

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