Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader. Consumer EEG, Mental and Emotional States, Privacy and the Brain. 2018 - 2019

Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Brain & Society

What if you could control the world around you with your thoughts and a simple, portable device? Companies like Emotiv, Neurosky and Interaxon are just some of the companies that manufacture portable consumer-based headsets that claim to do just that. While this isn’t quite mind control, we are getting closer to that future possibility. These headsets sense the electrical activity inside a person’s brain using a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG. These electrodes can measure the electrical signals produced by the brain¡s neurons through the scalp. EEG can be used to determine an individual’s level of attention, emotional state and even processing of complex questions. While EEG has been used as a diagnostic tool for more than half a century, consumer-based devices that are simple, portable and easy for individual use are just now on the market. These consumer-based EEG devices, which are being used by the military and sports teams to detect fatigue, are marketed and sold to everyday consumers for tracking and improving their own brain activity through neurofeedback. This accessibility makes the process of running EEG experiments more efficient, while also allowing for the expansion of EEG research to non-traditional settings. However, these devices raise a unique concern about collecting and sharing data practices because of their unprecedented ability to gather real-time brain activity in everyday situations (e.g., education, employment, fitness or gaming). This collection of neural activity in the brain—and inferences about what that brain activity means with respect to basic internal emotional and physical states is possible.

Service Performed By


  • Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader


  • 2018 - 2019

Service or Event Name

  • Consumer EEG, Mental and Emotional States, Privacy and the Brain