A blog about scientific and medical visualization and all that’s involved.

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UCSD and the EEG Cap

Posted by Janet on June 4, 2009

Last week, in San Diego, I visited the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience where two of my uncles work. This highly productive lab is balanced by a relaxing atmosphere, flexible work hours, and a daily afternoon tea time. I got a tour of the facilities and was introduced via slide shows and video clips on the latest EEG technology being developed by the lab. Years ago when I was a high school intern at the lab, I remember observing a technician scraping the subject’s scalp while setting up for an experiment. Earlier this month, while participating in an experiment at the University of Illinois, this cap is all I had to wear:

EEG1Above and Below: Myself wearing an EEG cap at the University of Illinois. It is apparent based on the picture below that movement is restricted.

Although much of the procedure was simplifed compared to a few years ago, the subject’s movement is still confined by the equipment and there is still a need for putting EEG gel into the electrode holder on the subject’s head to achieve good conductivity. Now, scientists at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience are taking a step forward to facilitate the subject’s ability to move. Additionally, they are experimenting with dry electrodes to measureĀ EEG signals without using conductive gel. I also witnessed the acquired EEG signals being sent wirelessly to a cell phone through Bluetooth (for additional information, see It will be interesting to see where the technology goes in just a few more years.

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