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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Books from the Library

It's been an exciting day at work today. A few things conspired yesterday to galvanize me into activity, which is refreshing considering my more languid approach to life that has characterized me for the past few months. Anyway, personal ruminations aside, it boils down to the following: this morning I made my lunch instead of just buying lunch (granted, I got sidetracked partway through the sandwich making process and ended up getting to work about a half hour late, but oh well), I then found a few promising titles of books about electroencephalography, went to the library, started reading them, and took a short little narcoleptic nap after lunch. I am back awake now and armed with some tea, so we'll see how the afternoon's reading goes.

Anyway, the books are:

Electric Fields of the Brain: The Neurophysics of EEG by Paul L. Nunez and Ramesh Srinivasan

EEG Signal Processing by Saeid Sanei and J. A. Chambers

The first one appears to give a good theoretical overview to the basis of EEG and its uses, which I am looking forward to. The second contains a more cursory look at the EEG itself, but I think it might have some useful tips for mathematical analysis that I might not have thought of applying. The reason I wanted to post about these books, though, is because I highly enjoyed a couple lines from the preface of the first:

"Some scientists do not like equations; for example, presenting equations at medical conferences has been compared to showing X-rated movies in church."

"We could have omitted all equations, providing a more democratic presentation in the sense that fewer readers would understand the most subtle points."


Jolly Bloger said...

Hey Mozglubov, those sound pretty cool. You know what I don't understand about electric brain activity, but would love to? Brain waves.

There's a guy at my office who is fascinated with brain waves, and how they relate to all kinds of woo. He tells me how brain waves can be used to read thoughts and emotions, how sounds and images can manipulate brain waves, and how waves emitted into the brain can affect mood, transmit ideas, etc.

Nearly all of it sounds like total bullshit, but I have to concede the existence of some sort of brain wave. I'm not really sure what they are, how they're generated, or what if any information they contain.

Do you know anything about brain waves? Can you recommend a site or book, or perhaps write a summary?


Mozglubov said...

Well, it certainly does sound like your co-worker has some confused ideas about brain waves... in fact, I think the name "brain waves" is a fairly misleading one anyway. After that post a while back in which I posted some of my own EEG recordings I had intended to do another post about EEG and brain waves in general, but then got sidetracked. After further thought, I think I need to get more reading on the subject done before I can make a substantive post, but hopefully within the next few weeks I will have a stronger understanding myself. So, yes, a summary of brain waves is in the works. In the meantime, I would highly recommend the first book I mentioned (although I recognize that it isn't a highly common one). Other than that, I've actually had a hard time finding a good book myself (hence my excitement today about finding that book).