Remote EEG


#1

Greetings,

I have been reading a lot about EEG and MEG technology as of late. I have learned quite a bit surrounding their use in aiding those with physical disabilities.

In my research, I’ve come across a few articles surrounding the use of biomedical sensors (implants) and how they can be used to aid those requiring monitoring for various physical illnesses, or those requiring mobility assistance (physical disabilities). I recently found an interesting article on the use of wireless sensor technology, which while an improvement, still requires the implanting of a wireless biomedical device.

All of this made me wonder, it seems that nobody is investigating the ability to remotely record (pickup) EEG signals without any physical contact needing required? Something of this nature, I think, would be viewed as a remarkable step forward for those suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which slowly results in total muscle atrophy. Or those needing constant monitoring (seizures, etc.), but not wishing to be physically bound during lengthy investigation / diagnoses.

While I realize someone could wear an EEG monitoring device and use wireless technologies to communicate with a remote EEG system, I believe the thought of someone not having to wear any devices at all and yet have their EEG signals ‘remotely’ detected would be fantastic. It would make longer term diagnostics easier, and allow those with extreme physical conditions to more easily remain mobile in society.

The big question: How would one remotely retrieve EEG signals without the use of implants or having to wear a device sitting close to the skull?

In approaching an answer, I am looking for some ideas as to how one might be able to remotely detect / register biological rf signals (generated by the brain) using externally applied rf / microwave (VHF / UHF / SHF / EHF) signals. To understand possibilities, I need to further my understanding of the following:

  • I need to know if there is any point/part in the body to which the biologically generated rf signals are naturally modulated, or combined (eSum) - perhaps for processing by the brain?
  • Even if not, perhaps there is a way of extracting a biologically generated rf signal from biological matter by remote means? I am thinking that this could be done if the biological rf signals are at different frequencies and could be extracted separately.

Thanks!


#2

The technology for sensing brain activity without physical contact is called Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Electrical currents which are produced naturally by the brain create magnetic fields which are picked up the MEG. Unfortunately an MEG can cost up to millions of dollars. Quantum physicists are looking at reducing the cost of these machines, however these devices are in the very early stages of research. See http://www.sandia.gov/mstc/solutions/magnetoencephalography.html for a prototype sensor.