Word of the Day - Wednesday, December 6th

Contact Us



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email



Common clue: Brain reading: Abbr.

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 27467 / 86800

News: EEG Finds Brain Differences in Alcoholics

Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed to the scalp, or in special cases on the cortex. The resulting traces are known as an electroencephalogram (EEG) and represent so-called brainwaves. This device is used to assess brain damage, epilepsy and other problems. In some jurisdictions it is used to assess brain death. EEG can also be used in conjunction with other types of brain imaging.

Neuroscientists and biological psychiatrists use EEGs to study the function of the brain by recording brainwaves during controlled behavior of human volunteers and animals in lab experiments. Theories to explain sleep often rely on EEG patterns recorded during sleep sessions. In addition, the procedure is used clinically to assist in the diagnosis of epilepsy.


Richard Caton (1842–1926), a physician practicing in Liverpool, presented his findings about electrical phenomena of the exposed cerebral hemispheres of rabbits and monkeys in 1875.

In 1913, Russian physiologist, Vladimir Vladimirovich Pravdich-Neminsky published the first EEG and the evoked potential of the mammalian (dog).

German physiologist Hans Berger (1873–1941) began his studies of the human EEG in 1920. He gave the device its name and is sometimes credited with inventing the EEG, though others had performed similar experiments. His work was later expanded by Edgar Douglas Adrian.

In the 1950s, English physician Walter Grey Walter developed an adjunct to EEG called EEG topography which allowed for the mapping of electrical activity across the surface of the brain. This enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the 1980's and seemed especially promising for psychiatry. It was never accepted by neurologists and remains a primarily a research tool up to now.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Electroencephalography".