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Current Project


Consumer EEG Devices: Attention, Emotion, Privacy and the Brain (2019-2020)



What if you could control the world around you with your thoughts and a simple, portable device? Emotiv, Neurosky and Interaxon are just some of the companies that manufacture portable consumer-based headsets that claim to do just that. These headsets sense the electrical activity inside a person’s brain using a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG.

Consumer-based EEG devices, which are marketed and sold to consumers for tracking and improving their brain activity through neurofeedback, prompt unique privacy and data-sharing concerns because of their unprecedented ability to gather and decode real-time brain activity in everyday contexts such as education, employment, gaming and fitness. These devices are currently being used by the military, sports teams and industry as well as by countries like China and Chile, which are monitoring attention, distraction and cognitive load by professionals in industries such as high-speed train and truck driving.

Additional research is necessary to create a broader understanding of the privacy concerns and attitudes in users and nonusers associated with consumer EEG devices.