Wednesday, September 9, 2009
EEG made simple
What interests me is this problem of establishing reliable knowledge about the universe and how easy it is to get the wrong answer. That's what I'm writing about. --Gary Taubes
When I started using the EEG I first looked for books that had information that would be useful for using the device. From Amazon I ordered:
Getting Started With Neurofeedback -John Demos
The High-Performance Mind -Anna Wise
Train Your Mind, Change your Brain -Sharon Begley
Zen and the Brain -James H. Austin, M.D.
But I am not sure they were necessary. For those wanting the 10 minute overview of what they should aim for, I would have to recommend the following paper: EEG full protocol by Valdeane W. Brown, Ph.D., who has some 20 years experience. For my own practice I have been mostly using Browns paper. This paper was originally in the public documents section of one the yahoo EEG groups, but was unformatted, so I formatted & republished it as the above web link. As a quick start, suppress Delta (2-5hz), increase Theta(6-8hz) & high Alpha (14hz), that will keep you amused for weeks.
Another interesting paper by an unknown author discusses EEG 40 Hz Rhythm.
I will discuss the other books more in a later post, but I will mention one thing I found interesting in 'The High-Performance Mind'. This was definitely the least 'scientific' of the books, and a good part of it deals with visualization exercises and how to tell when you are doing it right without having an EEG. But what I did find interesting was the measurement of yoga masters brains were producing high amplitude waves throughout the range, which was considered to be an 'awakened mind'. If you are using the Neurosky this is easy to train for as you simply try to create as large a complete circle as possible in the Brainwave Visualizer.
If I were wealthy I think I would send a bunch of Neurosky units to places where they train for meditation. That brings back the quote that starts this blog about how easy it is to get the wrong answer. If you have feedback, then it is easy to avoid going down false paths.