How to prepare for an electroencephalography (EEG) visit - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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How to prepare for an electroencephalography (EEG) visit

There are no known risks associated with EEG recordings. It is a silent, non-invasive technique. In our center EEG is often recorded simultaneously with TMS.

On the day of the EEG scan, we ask that you wash your hair before arriving at the laboratory with shampoo only (no conditioner) and do not wear any make-up.

The EEG preparation consists of changing into hospital clothes in the laboratory, filling a safety screening form, and sitting in a chair while an EEG cap with many electrodes is fitted to your head. Additional electrodes may be placed close to your eyes, muscles in different body parts, and over your heart. To record the signals, the skin needs to be cleaned and slightly scratched under each electrode, after which EEG electrode paste is applied. This process may be somewhat bothersome. If you cannot tolerate this, we recommend that you do not participate in an EEG scan.

The EEG procedure consists of sitting in a chair or lying on a bed while your brain activity is recorded with the electrodes attached to your skin. You will be required to keep your head still during EEG. The scan usually takes place in a quiet electrically shielded room (ESR). Because EEG is very sensitive to disturbances, you cannot bring any electrical devices such as cell phones, pagers, cameras, or flashlights into the ESR. You may be asked to remove your shoes before entering the ESR.

You may not be able to wear your own eyeglasses during EEG. If the study requires that you read or view images and you require vision correction, you should inform the investigator when you sign up for the study, and you may be fitted with suitable eye glasses. It is OK (and often preferable) to wear contact lenses during EEG. Note that we ask our EEG subjects to blink as little as possible, because blinking disturbs the EEG recordings.

After the study you need to wash your hair to remove the EEG electrode paste.

We will try to make you feel comfortable during the EEG. If you feel pain or become uncomfortable at any point during the visit, let the investigators know. They will try to make you more comfortable, and if that does not succeed, they will stop the scan. You may ask to stop the session at any time for any reason.

If you have any questions or concerns about participating in an EEG experiment, please do not hesitate to ask the study investigators or staff, or contact the CBS Director Tommi Raij.