Brainwaves have been mysterious and controversial from the moment a reclusive German doctor discovered electromagnetic energy radiating out of the brains of his patients in a mental hospital in the 1920s. Today, research on brainwaves is transforming how neuroscientists believe the brain works and revolutionizing our future by linking the mind to computers, yet few in the general public understand them. Brainwaves can control machines from prosthetic limbs to fighter drones and transmit information directly between two brains. These bioelectric broadcasts expose our conscious and unconscious mental activity, IQ, emotions, innate cognitive abilities, psychological, and neurological disorders. Cognitive performance, mood, mental and neurological health can be improved by manipulating brainwaves through such methods as neurofeedback or by beaming electrical or magnetic stimulation through the scalp and by electrodes implanted in the brain. Dr. Fields will discuss the history, current research, and future of brainwaves in monitoring and manipulating brain function.
R. Douglas Fields, PhD, is a neuroscientist and author of numerous books and magazine articles about the brain. He is an AAAS fellow, University of Maryland adjunct professor, and Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health. He received advanced degrees at UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, UC San Diego, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford and Yale University. He writes about science for Scientific American, Quanta, Outside Magazine, Huffington Post, Undark Magazine, Psychology Today, and many others. His neuroscience research has been featured on national television, radio, NPR, the National Geographic and others, and he speaks about neuroscience for the general public on NPR, World Science Festival, TEDex, Google Talks, and others.