The brain is the most complex part of the human body. Brains only weigh about 3 pounds but determine our intelligence, the functionality of our senses, coordination, and behavior. Neuroscientists have studied the brain for decades to better understand issues including addiction, anxiety, neurodegenerative conditions, and other mental disorders. A test called quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), however, can create a visual map of the brain that tells us even more about our body’s most complex organ.
qEEG, also called “brain mapping,” is a type of test that measures electrical activity in the brain. Basically, the test measures brain waves the same way an EKG measures electrical activity in the heart.
qEEG tests provides 2 main sources of information from brainwave data:
- The quantity, or number, of brainwaves present in our brain
- The type of brainwaves flowing through our brain
The quantitative data (“q” in qEEG) simply means that the test measures the number of brainwaves we have in comparison to normal brainwave activity. The process is similar to what happens when we have our blood drawn.
The electroencephalogram (“EEG” part of qEEG) denotes that the test primarily looks at brain waves. When you add the quantitative data and the electroencephalogram together you get data that displays a “map” of our brain.
Brain Waves & qEEG Tests
qEEG tests may measure the body’s most complex organ but the process is quite simple. Before a qEEG test begins, a lab technician will clean your forehead and ear lobes to remove any oil. The technician will then place a cap with small holes in it on your head. After the technician places a cooling gel into the holes, the cap is connected to the EEG equipment through a set of wires. At this point you and the technician can see your brain waves on a computer monitor.
Brain mapping tests usually consist of 2 different parts: brainwave recording and the creation of a brain map.
Brainwave recording. For this part of a qEEG test a technician will record your brainwaves. Your eyes will be open and closed during this part of the test. All you need to do is relax and sit still. A technician may tell you to imagine doing something relaxing to help you minimize movement and relax your muscles. The time needed to record brain waves is different from test to test but the process usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes.
Brain map creation. After the technician has recorded your brain waves, the results of the qEEG will need to be analyzed. After completing a thorough analysis, the data is converted into a visible brain map that the technician or a doctor will review with you.
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Original article posted by Stoneridge Psych.Tags: brain health, brain mapping, clinical research, EEG Biofeedback, mental health, neurofeedback