This semester my Bioengineering Physiology class has a 50 minute lab component. Every Monday I have a different lab related to what we are learning in class. The labs are supposed to fun and simple, applying the concepts in the textbook. This week our lab was measuring brain waves by making what is called an electroencephalograph or EEG. Basically, we attached three electrodes on to the head of one of the members of my group (luckily it was not me), they just look like circular stickers with little metal knobs sticking out from the middle. By using wires to connect the electrodes to a computer we were able to graph the electrical activity in the brain and break it up into the different types of waves (alpha, beta, delta and theta). We recorded the brain waves in three segments of twenty seconds, the first with eyes closed, the second with eyes open, and the third with eyes closed again. This is what are results look like:
The purple is the EEG, the green is the alpha waves, the blue is beta waves, the pink is delta, and the red is theta. You can see that when the eyes are open, starting at the first black line, the alpha waves decrease, and then increase again when the eyes close.
I’ve really been enjoying actually applying the concepts from biology and engineering first hand. It will be interesting to see the other labs that we will be doing this semester.