Everyone in the Neurodiagnostic field knows that we use EEG to diagnose and monitor Epileptiform brain activity and sleep. There are several applications for EEG outside of END, which range from helping with product marketing strategies to using brain activity to move wheelchairs, and the list is still growing! The following are some of the current utilizations for EEG outside of the END field:
Neuromarketing is a field of commercial marketing that uses neuroscience to reveal subconscious decision-making processes, and more specifically, uses fMRI and EEG to measure a consumer's response to marketing stimuli (branding and advertising).
EEG based hyperscanning is used to study brain activity of different brains at the same time during daily life interactions and when working together toward a goal.
Psychology and Neuroscience ERP's
Event Related Potentials, or time locked EEG activity that is elicited in response to certain stimuli or events can provide insight into the overlap between Psychology and Neuroscience. Event related potentials have specific normal latencies related to attention, learning and memory. These include but are not limited to N170 for processing faces, N400 for words and meaning, P300 for surprise and P600 for memory recall.
Biofeedback that uses brain activity to teach self-regulation of brain function. It can be used therapeutically to correct deficits in cerebral regulatory function related to arousal, sleep, attention, memory and affect by stabilizing the brain and rewarding it through conditioning.
EEG is being used to study the impact different types of meditation have on brain wave frequencies. It is also being used in commercial products such as headbands to provide a form of neurofeedback during meditation and sleep, to help the consumer train their brain and control their focus.
Polygraph lie detector tests use autonomic nervous system bodily functions such as heart rate, respiration and digestion. This test has proven unreliable in circumstances, as people have learned what is being tested and have been able to control the responses. EEG is being researched and tested as a possible replacement, as Event Related Potentials are elicited before the person has a conscious thought around it. The P300 is an ERP involved in decision making and recognition, which could tell whether a person recognizes something or has "guilty knowledge."
Computer Brain Interfaces
"A computer based system that acquires brain signals, analyzes them and translates them into commands that are relayed to an output device to carry out a desired action" (Shih et al., 2012). Computer Brain Interfaces have a wide variety of applications, such as helping a person who is paralyzed move their wheelchair or screen cursor, helping the military move heavy objects, flying a toy helicopter using brain waves rather than a controller, and playing virtual reality video games without a controller.