Inclusive Brainwaves

There’s a new way to record brain WEAVES!


This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.


Technology is due for some long-needed renovations. Some cameras don’t recognize the darker skin tones of Black people. There’s medical equipment that diagnoses sleep disorders and epileptic seizures. To read brain activity, doctors use scalp electrodes. But those electrodes were designed for hair more thin and straight than thick and curly. 


Enter Arnelle Etienne and team at Carnegie Mellon University. They asked patients to arrange their hair in cornrows for better access to their scalps. Using custom hair clips containing the EEG electrodes, they can keep the device in place. 


Results? Compared to traditional EEG, this innovative set-up was FIFTEEN times better at reducing recording interference. This solution overcame traditional EEG limitations of thick, curly hair into more accurate brain readings!


Addressing these phenotypic human differences is a move in the ROOT direction for medicine!

Hair’s to that!


Etienne, A. et al. Novel Electrodes for Reliable EEG Recordings on Coarse and Curly Hair. EMBC 6151 (2020).