The father of brain waves and the EEG

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of German psychiatrist Hans Berger, born on 21 May 1873.

In 1924, Berger succeeded in recording the first human electroencephalogram (EEG). He devised a system of electrodes which he attached to his son’s skull, and connected to an oscillograph. This produced a recording of brain waves – the rhythmic changes in electric potentials.

Doubting the significance of his achievement, it took him five years to publish his first paper.  This 1929 publication demonstrated the technique for “recording the electrical activity of the human brain from the surface of the head”.  Berger also discovered the alpha wave rhythm, known as “Berger’s wave”.

Berger’s EEG experiments involved a system of electrodes attached to his son’s skull, which enabled him to produce a recording of brain waves using an oscillograph.
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