Imagine a new way to see your own mind.
Professor of Electrical Engineering Elizabeth Thompson is at the forefront of new imaging technologies used to analyze and interpret the electric and magnetic signals our brains produce.
These advances, Thompson hopes, can be used to understand, evaluate, and perhaps even treat disorders and afflictions of the brain—and potentially save countless lives.
Magnetism of the Mind
Thompson worked extensively in functional magnetic resonance before moving into magnetoenceophalography (MEG), a rapidly emerging technology that measures the magnetic field emitted by the brain.
MEG is similar to the more familiar electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a test that detects electrical activity in the brain. Analyzing magnetic brainwaves offers an entirely new perspective on the brain’s activities—and new ways for medical professionals to help their patients.
Of particular interest to Thompson is analyzing the brainwaves of those suffering from epilepsy. Currently, when an individual experiences an epileptic seizure, he or she may have to undergo an invasive surgical procedure so that doctors can pinpoint the source of the trouble.
Thompson hopes that her research into MEG scans can help medical professionals locate the source of the seizures before going through with dangerous medical procedures.
Sharing the Knowledge
Thompson’s research is breaking new ground in medical imaging and analysis, and she’s sharing that knowledge with the next generation of engineers and healthcare professionals—her students.
Thompson works closely with her students to ensure they have access to hands-on research projects and experiences, as well as invaluable connections with regional and national industry leaders.
Thompson is using her extensive background in electrical engineering to outfit medical providers with new ways of helping and treating their patients.
She also encourages her students to find new, innovative applications for their technical, industrial, and design knowledge. She believes in the real impact their discoveries and insights in engineering can make across professions and industries.
PROGRAM SNAPSHOT: Department of Engineering
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