Consumer EEG Devices: Attention, Emotion, Privacy and the Brain (2019-2020)

Consumer-based EEG devices, which are marketed and sold to consumers for tracking and improving their brain activity through neurofeedback, prompt unique privacy and data-sharing concerns because of their unprecedented ability to gather and decode real-time brain activity in everyday contexts such as education, employment, gaming and fitness.

This Bass Connections project team built on the research conducted by the 2018-2019 team to tackle questions relating to privacy and analytic validity of consumer-based EEG devices. One subteam looked at the methodology for EEG analysis and found that the removal of artifacts, such as eyeball movements, blinks, and heartbeats, provides cleaner data. The second subteam examined the efficacy of consumer-based EEG devices to see if they were able to distinguish between varying brain states. The results from the latter study were mixed.


Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Analyzing EEG Data (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Methodology for EEG Data Analysis Using FieldTrip ToolBox (poster by Daniel Sprague, Tolulemi Gbile, Shenyang Huang, Caroline Anderson, Karan Desai, William L. D. Krenzer, Nita Farahany)

Efficacy of Consumer-based EEG Devices for Conducting Future Research (poster by Allison Kunstler, Gabriela McDonald, Shikhar Gupta, Umika Paul, William L. D. Krenzer, Nita Farahany)

Guillermo R. Sapiro, Nancy L. Zucker. SCH: INT: Computational Tools for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder ($253,545 grant awarded from the National Institute of Mental Health, 2019)

This Team in the News

Meet the Members of the 2019-2020 Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

See related teams, Mobile EEG Devices: Group Interactions, Privacy and the Brain (2020-2021) and Consumer EEG, Mental and Emotional States, Privacy and the Brain (2018-2019).


Image: EEG device Brainco, by tomemrich, licensed under CC BY 2.0

EEG device Brainco.

Team Leaders

  • Nita Farahany, Duke Law|Arts & Sciences-Philosophy
  • William Krenzer, Science & Society
  • Guillermo Sapiro, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering

/graduate Team Members

  • Claire Simmons, Bioethics and Sci Policy - AM

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Caroline Anderson, Biology (BS)
  • /undergraduate
  • Tolulemi Gbile, Interdepartmental
  • Shikhar Gupta, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Shenyang Huang, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Allison Kunstler, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Gabriela McDonald, Biology (BS)
  • Umika Paul, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Daniel Sprague, Computer Science (BS)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Emotiv
  • NeuroPlus