On Monday 7th November, Year 12 Psychology students travelled down to the Collegiate Campus of Sheffield Hallam University to see an EEG brain scan demonstration in order to develop their understanding of research methods like brain scans, used in Psychology.

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EEG scans (electroencephalograms) detect electrical activity in the brain using electrodes attached to a cap that the participant wears. They are used particularly to research sleep disorders and epilepsy, and so play a key role in the in the treatment of these conditions.

Doctoral students Gary Dicks and Steph Acaster, whose PhD studies involve using EEGs, did the demonstration with a volunteer from the class, Charlotte.

All the girls had the opportunity to attach the electrodes to the cap that Charlotte wore on her scalp with gel. Various bodily functions like teeth clenching and blinking were monitored so everyone could see the effect of these on her brain’s electrical activity.

Finally, Charlotte underwent the classic ‘Stroop Test’ which allowed the researchers to see her accuracy and response times.

Charlotte commented on the scan, “Though the cap and gIMG_1830el felt incredibly strange, I’m very grateful to have been able to have such an interesting experience. It was interesting to get a look (of sorts) into my brain.”

In addition to seeing a brain scan take place, the girls met Dr Jane Morgan and got the chance to ask questions and find out more about studying for a degree in Psychology at the University.

Mrs Pitfield, who ran the trip with Mrs Jackson, said “It was fascinating to see the wave pattern results and to learn of the postgraduate studies, and great to translate our studies in the classroom into real life practical experiences.”

Charlotte Brown, Year 12 Media Group