What Is a qEEG Test?
What is a qEEG? The term stands for “quantitative electroencephalogram,” and refers to a test that uses metal discs called electrodes to detect electric activity in the brain before comparing them with a database of similar scans performed on healthy, functioning brains. This is a common diagnostic tool that helps physicians diagnose disorders relating to the brain. qEEG brain mapping is the practice of creating physical “maps” of a patient’s brain that allow them to visually see what the activity in their brain looks like.
qEEG Assessment: How it Works
You might already be familiar with EEG scans; these are the tests for which electrodes are placed on the scalp at specific points to read a patient’s “brain waves.” These “waves” are actually electrical activity, recorded by a machine in a way that looks like a bunch of wavy lines – hence “waves.” The quantitative EEG, or qEEG test, takes these recorded brain waves and performs a process we call brain mapping with them, to highlight where certain types of electrical activity are at their strongest and weakest, and then represent them using color on an image of the brain. What this means is that a qEEG assessment builds from a “regular” EEG; you can perform an EEG without a qEEG, but you cannot perform a qEEG without an EEG. The two work together to provide the most information.
You can see above how qEEG brain maps can be a very useful way to visualize data. Here, we've placed two brain maps for the same person side by side to compare their cognitive networks from before and after they've used our Cognitive Boost Technology™. We used blue colors to indicate slower-than-optimal communication (sluggish), red to indicate faster-than-optimal communication (stressed), and grey to indicate efficient, optimal flow (homeostasis).
Another way you can think of the difference between EEG and qEEG is that EEG scans result in wavelength patterns, while qEEGs lead to brain maps. Once the brain map is created, the data, measured through the different frequencies of electrical brain waves, is compared with existing scans to give the reader a baseline for what a “healthy” brain looks like on a brain map, using color to indicate the differences. In this way, a qEEG assessment becomes a great way to monitor and assess our cognitive networks, the different regions of our brain that work together to accomplish complicated tasks. Too much activity or too little activity becomes something we can see for ourselves on qEEG brain mapping after the test is complete.
At eSmartr, we love qEEG brain mapping – it gives us an amazing look into the brains of our customers, and allows us to see, back-to-back, the difference that our Cognitive Boost Technology can make on a person’s focus, attention, and stress levels. These are amazing tools for assessment and diagnosis in neuroscience!