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EEG Readings

  1. Nov 9, 2007 #1
    Do humans have different EEG readings than animals?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2007 #2
    Aren't humans animals? Maybe be more specific. Humans vs Reptiles or Humans vs Birds.
  4. Nov 27, 2007 #3
    I suppose a human vs. mammals. They are animals, but I thought perhaps because of higher cognitive thought, they might have different EEG scans.
  5. Nov 27, 2007 #4


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    :uhh: Humans are mammals too.
  6. Nov 27, 2007 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    I can't do a full search right now, so I'll rely on folks I knew from the med school.

    They used EEG's on dogs to gauge the effects of drugs that control epilepsy before the drugs were allowed on human test subjects. This was because if a dog were epilpetic the EEG was distinctive just like it is for humans. And if the meds were helpful it was obvious from the EEG.

    The extent to which alpha waves or whatever are present in dogs and are similar to humans I do not know.
  7. Nov 28, 2007 #6
    I realize that. That would be the relevance -- can we distinguish between humans and other mammals based upon objective scans.
  8. Nov 28, 2007 #7
    Thanks. I couldn't find anything on it, myself, and I was scanning databases of peer reviewed journals. Could be I just didn't put in the right words, I just thought it might help to drop a question here.
  9. Jun 25, 2010 #8
    Hi all

    I find it really hard to find something comparing species EEG.
    I finally got something good:


    Hope it's also useful for you
  10. Jun 29, 2010 #9
    I think that it's important to realize just what an EEG is and how it is used in a clinical setting. There are established baselines and norms for humans and animals used in experimentation, and the point is generally to identify states and abnormalities in reference to that baseline. Unlike an EKG, an EEG doesn't really tell much of a story, compared to say, fMRI or a PETscan.

    The neurological activity of dogs can be compared to other dogs, but to people? Consider using an EEG on a crow: you would see a very different graph from a mammal, but would you be able to tell anything meaningful without establishing a great deal of baseline work, and tests? Of course not. EEG is a crude tool, and best used on humans and other animals for whom the requisite research has been performed.

    I wonder if the core question here isn't about how actual brain functions differ between humans and other animals, in which case the EEG really gets in the way, rather than offering a source of illumination. Again, consider our friend the crow, which uses radically different structures to perform feats we usually consider to be the realm of our prefrontal cortex, and frontal lobe. Only through dissection, observation of behaviors, and modern imaging techniques has this become apparent. An EEG might show increased activity, but what does that mean out of context? Is the crow thinking of how it will retrieve a snack, is it recognizing your face, or is it just ready to take a crap?
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