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Brainwaves in Psychology

As part of their Biopsychology topic, Year 12 Psychology students are studying various ways of looking at brain activity, and on 10 November, they were treated to an amazing view inside a fellow student’s brain, when they visited the Psychology Department at Sheffield Hallam University.

Learn more about studying A-Level psychology at Sheffield Girls'.

Department leader Jane Morgan and PhD student Steph Acaster demonstrated how an EEG, or Electroencephalograph, involves measuring the natural electrical activity of the brain through the scalp using small electrodes that are integrated into a cap.

Each electrode is gelled with a special gel that improves the conductance of the signal from the brain and the girls helped to apply the gel to the electrodes attached  to volunteer Anoushka Staniforth’s scalp!  The girls could then see Noush’s brain waves recorded when she responded to different words or images on the screen.

Noush said: ‘I found the trip really good and interesting. It was intriguing to look at my brain waves on the screen. I felt that the people running the session were really knowledgeable and it was nice to see different areas of the brain on the scan.’  

The girls found the trip exciting, as it allowed them to see the things they had learned in lessons in real life. They were able to ask questions about things they may not have found out in lessons, such as how much all the equipment costs.

The girls said: ‘It was great to be able to get hands on and have a go at inserting the gel into the skull cap to activate the brain waves. We were also able to get information about what the University offers and their facilities, which will be useful when we are making our university applications.’  

Miss Ayse Jones, Head of Psychology

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