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, science of recording and analyzing the electrical activity of the brain. Electrodes, placed on or just under the scalp, are linked to an electroencephalograph, which is an amplifier connected to a mechanism that converts electrical impulses into the
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The human body is an electrochemical organism, although the electrical activities of the body are relatively weak in contrast to electrical appliances. Although weak, the electrical activity of the human body, particularly that of the nerves, can be measured. The brain is especially active in this regard, and electrical variations can be measured by means of electrodes taped to the head and face. The machines used for this purpose produce what is referred to as an electroencephalogram, or EEG. When recorded on a roll of paper, EEGs produce what looks like a wave pattern, hence the expression brain wave. Different stages of sleep are characterized by different brain wave patterns, and contemporary laboratory sleep research relies heavily on EEG measurements.