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Brain activity

What does brain activity mean?

To answer this question, we should first establish what the brain actually is. The brain is the part of the central nervous system located in the head - at least this is the case in vertebrates, including humans. According to current knowledge, most of the human body is controlled from the brain. This happens through strongly interconnected neurons or nerve cells. Thinking, perceiving, feeling, acting, moving, reacting etc. are, to put it simply, impulses that take place between these neutrons and information that is passed on.

Since a human brain consists of about 100 billion neurons, there is a lively communication called brain activity (or brain activity). So information is constantly flitting back and forth in the brain. Even when we sleep, there is an amazing amount of brain activity. Scientists can make this activity visible by using an EEG (electroencephalography). This measures and records the voltage fluctuations in the brain.

How do you measure brain activity?

Now, in order to be able to measure brain activity by means of an EEG, a scientist, a researcher or a doctor - depending on the reason for the examination - places electrodes on the subject's head (individually or as a cap). The voltage fluctuations that occur in different states and during different activities in the brain or between the neurons also lead to voltage differences on the scalp and thus between the electrodes. The frequency and intensity of these voltage fluctuations can be displayed with curves on a computer screen.

Why do you measure brain activity?

Brain activity is measured for very different reasons: for general research reasons, for medical reasons such as a suspected disease, but also to understand sleep disorders that can be better investigated with the help of a measurement. Depending on the results of an EEG, it can make sense to carry out further examinations with a so-called functional magnetic resonance imaging. This is a tomography of the brain or parts of the brain.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is more commonly used in repeated stimulus studies. A repeated stimulus means that subjects react to certain conditions or solve certain tasks and have to perform actions on a predefined result (e.g. "Press button A when you see object B"). The recorded data can be compared with the results of another task or even the data of a rest phase in which no tasks have to be solved.

Brain activity also has a lot to do with good blood flow to the brain. If a body or brain is active, this can have a positive effect on the blood flow to the brain. In this way, brain current measurement can be used to determine how the blood flow and mental fitness of a brain is. If the brain is well supplied with blood, this also leads to voltage changes between the neurons, which can be measured with an EEG. Similarly, brain tomography can very clearly show which areas of the brain are better or less well supplied with blood during rest or active phases.

Movement and brain activity

In any case, it is clear that movement positively supports brain activity. Several studies and investigations have found that dynamic or active sitting - such as on a Aeris Swopper - promotes better blood circulation in the brain, resulting in higher brain activity. This results in better concentration and performance.