21 May 2019

21st May 1873 - Hans Berger Born

Hans Berger, the inventor of the Electroencephalogram, was born on 21st May 1873. He was interested in finding whether physical activity in the brain correlated with the thoughts that go on in our head. He was once nearly run over, and his sister immediately became concerned about his health. So Berger began to wonder whether psychic energy had been transmitted to her in some way.

He trained as a psychiatrist and his investigations led him to try to measure what was going on in the brain by attaching two electrodes to the surface of the head and connecting them with a string galvanometer. He called it an Electroencephalogram. By this means he detected regular fluctuation in current at about 10 cycles a second when the person was resting. The rhythm became more difficult to measure if the person was aroused. Berger called this the alpha rhythm or resting rhythm. According to wikipedia he was a modest man, and fellow doctors and psychiatrists thought him a bit of a crank. But then some years later his measurements were authenticated by scientists in England, and the Electroencephalogram became of great interest in brain research. Now he is known as the inventor of the Electroencephalogram and the person who discovered alpha waves.

Thankyou to today in psychology history for the date.

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