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  4. Getting Started: BITalino Electroencephalography (EEG) Sensor
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  4. Getting Started: BITalino Electroencephalography (EEG) Sensor

Getting Started: BITalino Electroencephalography (EEG) Sensor

This article provides everything you need to know to start recording data with your BITalino Electroencephalography (EEG) sensor, sold in two different versions: UC-E6 and assembled (Fig.1).

Fig. 1: BITalino EEG sensor, UC-E6 (left) and assembled (right)versions.

You can learn more about the BITalino UC-E6 and assembled sensor in the EEG Sensor Datasheet and EEG Assembled Sensor Datasheet, respectively.

Connecting Your Sensor

If you are getting started with the BITalino EEG UC -E6 sensor version, you need to connect your sensor to one of the analog (An, where n ranges from 1 to 6) channels available in the BITalino Core (MCU+BLE/ BT +Power) unit as shown in Fig.2. You can connect either 2- or 3-lead electrode cables, depending on which sensor arrangement you use. If you want to use multiple EEGs, you should connect a 2-lead electrode cable and then add a ground cable for reference. Otherwise, the 3-lead cable will also provide the reference for your signal.

Fig. 2: How EEG UC-E6 sensor must be connected to the BITalino Core Unit.

Alternatively, you can connect your EEG UC -E6 sensor to an Arduino device. For this suggestion we advise you to read this support article.

When you start with the assembled EEG sensor version, your sensor is already connected to the electrode cable in a 3D printed housing. The EEG sensor is mounted in an electrode holder that takes into account the electrode spacing of 2 cm (see Fig. 3). This sensor version is usually combined with the Assembled BITalino Core BLE/BT or used in the NeuroBIT Application Kit, designed to explore the brain activity.

If this is your use case, you can connect your sensor to one of the available analog (An, where n ranges from 1 to 6) channels highlighted in the back of the device (Fig. 3). The reference cable, i.e. the ground cable, can be connected to any of the BITalino ports. The system automatically subtracts the reference signal from the EEG signal.

Fig. 3: Representation of the BITalino assembled version of the EEG sensor and core unit.

Placing Your Electrodes

To measure brain activity from the scalp, two possible electrode measuring techniques are possible. One is monopolar (one electrode per brain area and a reference electrode) and the other one is the bipolar setup. Our BITalino EEG sensor has a bipolar measuring setup that contains two measuring electrodes (IN + and IN-) as shown in Fig. 3. With this setup an additional reference electrode, i.e. ground cable, has to be connected and placed in a bony area.

To ensure the best conditions for high quality signal acquisitions, we recommend the following steps for your electrode placement:

  • Skin Preparation: Follow our Skin Preparation Tutorial to ensure best skin conditions for EEG acquisitions
  • Electrodes: Ensure that you are using a new pair of electrodes when using disposable electrodes or to properly clean your reusable electrodes before use
  • Measuring Electrodes Placement: Please the electrodes along the muscle fibre and on the muscle hill, with the electrodes being approx. 2 cm apart from each other
  • Reference Electrode: The reference electrode must be placed in a region of low muscular activity, optimally on a bone such as the elbow or the clavicle

The example below show how to place the electrodes to measure brain activity, using the international 10-20 system. You can put your sensor horizontally either on the FP1 or FP2 position, which are both referent to the front lobe (Fig. 4). The reference electrode is placed in a neutral region such as on a bone behind the ear.

Fig. 4: Electrode positioning to measure EEG at position FP1: Measuring pins IN+/- (left) and reference (right).

To learn more about the EEG electrode positioning and the EEG signal acquisition you can consult the following documentation:

Setting Up OpenSignals

This setup is compatible with our OpenSignals software which you can download for free.

To setup your device and sensor, enter the OpenSignals device manager by clicking on the icon highlighted below.

Access the device manager in OpenSignals (r)evolution
Access the device manager in OpenSignals (r)evolution

Click on the device panel of your device (make sure your device is turned on) and click on the READ SENSORS  icon to setup your device. After a few seconds, your sensor should be listed in the device panel with the channel port matching the port to which you connected your sensor to the biosignalsplux hub.

Activate your device for acquisition by ensure that the ENABLED button is blue (click on it if it is in grey).

To learn more visit our page “How to set up my BITalino in OpenSignals device manager?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I do multi-channel EEG acquisition?

With our PLUX devices (BITalino or biosignalsplux) you can build your multichannel electroencephalography (EEG) setup. However, our EEG sensor – developed in bipolar configuration – is designed for single channel measurements or applications and is usually used in Fp1 and Fp2 positions.

Do you know any open-source software for biosignal processing?

Unfortunately, the current version of the OpenSignals software does not have any signal processing Add-On for the EEG. However, we have gathered a list below of open-source solutions by programming language with biosignal processing features that might be a suitable choice to support your work.

How can I extract the Alpha Band from my EEG?

Electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired signals reflect the neuronal activity of specific brain areas. For each signal the magnitude of different frequency bands can be extracted, which vary when performing specific tasks.

This Jupyter Notebook provides a simple example on how to extract the alpha frequency band as well as the alpha band power from an EEG acquisition.

What electrodes can I use the sensor with?

We offer pre-gelled, adhesive, and disposable electrodes and dry and reusable electrodes.

If you are inexperienced with signal acquisitions, we recommend starting off with the disposable electrodes due to their easy-of-use and greater signal quality. You can find more detailed information in the following article:

Updated on 15 de February de 2023

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