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EEG Headset FAQs
Electroencephalography, commonly known as EEG, is a diagnostic method used for monitoring brain activity.
Generally noninvasive, it provides a great way for researchers to study the brain without having to perform any surgical procedure.
EEG electrodes detect brain signals which are processed to provide insights that might help in diagnosing certain medical conditions.
What is an EEG Headset?
Meant for electroencephalography, an EEG headset is a gadget designed for keeping track of electrical brain activity by using strategically placed electrodes along around the head.
With the ability to help in medical diagnostic purposes, these gadgets can play a vital role in understanding brain processes and triggers.
What Benefits do EEG Headbands Offer?
Developers of the EEG headset claim that the device can make meditation easy, improve the brain’s intellectual activity, concentration span, offer emotion detection and also promote better sleep patterns.
The headsets help you relax and have been proved to reduce ‘postoperative pains’ It also gives you the ability to control several computerized actions with your brain and improve the overall stability of your mental state.
Which EEG Headset is the best?
The headsets provide a simple solution for a complex process and hence, come in several variants, that can be used depending on your requirements.
For instance, if you want to test your hypothesis at a basic level, a cheaper model with lower accuracy might do, however, if you’re conducting a clinical trial, going for more expensive, more accurate models would be the optimal choice.
The headsets come packed with a range of features that can make the EEG process extremely simple. Delving into some of the features, the gadget offers:
- Variable number of electrodes in the array for multiple – five or more, channels of EEG sensing
- Easy to set up and operate
- User friendly
- Wireless connectivity with mobile phones and personal computers
- Rechargeable battery
- Amazing battery life of 9+ hours
- Low noise
- Ability to ignore artifacts and background body signals
- High sensitivity
- Reasonable sample frequency
How much do EEG Headsets Cost?
Prices can vary considerably.
At the lower end, the NeuroSky MindWave mobile brainwave and learner kits are available at €139.
The Macrotellect BrainLink and Myndplay Myndband are also affordable entry level options. The Interexon Muse Headbands are a little more costly at around €250 while the Neeuro SenzeBand is about €300.
The cheapest headset from Emotiv is the Emotiv Insight 5 Channel EEG Headset. Close to the €1000 mark, you have the Emotiv EPOC+ 14 Channel Mobile EEG Headset and the Emotiv Epoc X mobile 14-channel EEG Brainwear device and Headset.
The Emotiv EPOC Flex Saline Sensor Set and Flex Gel Sensor kit will cost twice as much while at the very top end you have various headband kits available from biosignalsplux such as the researcher and professional kit with prices sometimes north of €5000.
What are EEG Headphones Used For?
Numerous ADHD training programs use the technology to send neurofeedback to trigger electrical signals in the brain. Subjects wear an EEG VR headset while playing computer games, particularly intended to improve intellectual and cognitive abilities.
EEG headsets can come in handy in clinical research, understanding mental states and identifying underlying causes of conditions like epilepsy or sleep apnea.
The headset is wireless and extremely easy to operate, making it suitable for use even outside the laboratory, potentially increasing the number of subjects for the trial.
How do EEG Headsets Work?
EEG headsets primarily work by detecting brain activity via electrodes placed on the scalp. There are several different models, mostly differing in the type of electrodes, however, all generally share the same purpose.
There are two types of electrodes: Dry and Wet. The former is generally very accurate with the reading it provides and hence, doesn’t require a conductive gel layer unless high-quality data is required.
On the other hand, the wet electrodes feature a conductive layer to improve the quality of the results it produces.
Are EEG Headsets Easy to Use?
Yes. Electroencephalography refers to an “electrophysiological monitoring method” used for recording and keeping track of brain activity.
Attached to the scalp, the electrodes detect electrical activity in the brain, which is then visualized on a computer. This is exactly what an EEG headset does, except with greater portability and ease of use.
There are quite a few models available in the market that vary in accuracy. Sometimes, artifacts – interferences that might seem like signals from the brain but in reality are not, can affect the accuracy of the results.
Cheaper headsets aren’t able to filter these interferences – adding a bias to the results, as compared to the more expensive versions which offer a relatively more accurate approach.
Can EEG Headphones be Used for Gaming?
EEG can be used to improve control in video games. An intelligent gaming software can recognize brain activity patterns and associate them with certain actions that can make the gaming process extremely fun – you would be controlling it with your mind.
Leveraging the innovative and entrepreneurial operating model of the world renowned MIT Media Lab, Media Lab Europe adopts an interdisciplinary approach to developing new ways in which technologies can expand human potential.
Media Lab Europe and Intimate Interfaces: bringing together inter-modal interfaces, biometric sensing, and rich representations to create intimate and personal connections with and through new technologies.
The Lab is forming a consortium of corporate and governmental partners from across Europe to support and benefit from this work.
There is a research section for more information on the Lab’s research activity around this theme and how to become involved as a partner.