Severinghaus Lecture: Role of EEG, future of brain research

  • John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science: Electroencephalography in Anesthesiology: Past, Present and Future (SPE24)
  • 11 a.m.-Noon Tuesday
  • BCEC Ballroom East

The electroencephalogram (EEG) has been foundational for the study of the effects of anesthesia on the brain for 80 years, since the publication of a landmark study of its use. In Tuesday’s John W. Severinghaus Lecture, renowned anesthesiologist and researcher Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., will examine the history of EEG, its impact on science and the future of studying the effects of anesthesia.

Dr. Brown is the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is the principal investigator at the Neuroscience Statistics Research Laboratory, based at MGH and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

He also is known for his work as a statistician and neuroscientist. He developed statistical methods to study the properties of the human circadian system from core temperature data. He also has developed algorithms and statistical methods for neuronal data analysis.

EEG was first used in humans in 1929. In 1937, a seminal paper was published on the use of EEG in the study of altered arousal in patients receiving a range of anesthetic and non-anesthetic drugs. Since then, it has been used to study the effects of drugs on the brain.

In his lecture, Dr. Brown will review the history of EEG and the science behind it, and examine the development of the use of EEG-based indices to monitor the brain states of patients receiving anesthesia. Dr. Brown also will explore the role EEG could play in developing strategies for monitoring the brain states of patients receiving general anesthesia and sedation.

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