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Biopsychology – Brain Imaging Techniques

4. Electroencephalography

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about electroencephalography (EEG), focusing in particular on: (i) understanding EEG as a measure of brain function, rather than structure; (ii) the practicalities of using an EEG cap and the conductive gel which is used with it; (iii) EEG as a direct measure of brain activity using electrodes to detect graded potentials released by individual neurons in the brain; (iv) the high temporal resolution of EEG (1ms), meaning that brain activity can be recorded in real time; (v) a review of the four key brain wave frequency categories that occur during a normal day; (vi) recognising that hertz (Hz) as a measure of brain waves is the equivalent of one brain wave per second, which is the sort of frequency that would only be observed in someone in a coma; (vii) uses for EEG, including diagnosing sleep disorders and epilepsy; (viii) event-related potentials (ERPs) which can be detected by an EEG and represent neural activity; (ix) some key strengths of EEG which include its high temporal resolution and easy of use; (x) some key limitations of EEG, including its low spatial resolution and sensitivity to background interference.


In this course, Dr Gaby Pfeifer (University of Southampton) explores some of the brain imaging techniques used in psychological and neuroscientific research. In the first lecture, we think about post-mortem examinations as an early and less technologically advanced method of brain imaging. In the second lecture, we think about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a more technologically advanced method of imaging brain structure. Next, we think about functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as an equivalent measure of brain function. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about electroencephalography as a more temporally accurate measure of brain activity.


Dr Gaby Pfeifer is a lecturer in biological psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Southampton. Dr Pfeifer’s research interests lie in the mind-body interactions which regulate thoughts and feelings, linking biological and cognitive processes. Dr Pfeifer’s recent publications include ‘Reduced visual and frontal cortex activation during visual working memory in grapheme-colour synaesthetes relative to young and older adults’ (2019) and ‘Relationship between interoceptive sensibility, age, and COVID-19 anxiety during the first national lockdown in the United Kingdom’ (2021).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Pfeifer, G. (2022, November 07). Biopsychology – Brain Imaging Techniques - Electroencephalography [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Pfeifer, G. "Biopsychology – Brain Imaging Techniques – Electroencephalography." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Nov 2022,

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