Let me preface this with I am a Software Engineer, NOT a neuro-scientist. Please forgive me if my terminology isn't spot on.

I am obsessed with using my skills as a computer scientist to help veterans with PTSD and Depression.

Currently I am attempting to do research on the effects that depression takes on brainwaves. From my, all be it limited, understanding, depression causes a drop in Alpha brainwaves. I want to continue doing research on this topic and nail down as many brainwave signals as possible before I go into the development phase but for the life of me, I have no idea where to begin my research.

What I am looking for is someone to provide me with a resource[s] that will teach me about the effects depression has on brainwaves.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You should begin by using the available Internet resources on "electroencephalography." As an aside, Merriam-Webster has a youtube video that expounds upon "electroencephalographically" being the longest word in their dictionary. You could also begin with articles like this one ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20415629. EEG is a pretty specialized discipline within neurosciences. If your goal is to develop a product, you should see if you can find a neuroscientist as a collaborator. $\endgroup$
    – scottb
    Jul 11, 2015 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ I'm working on finding a partner right now. I have an EEG device I am planning on using. Thank you very much for the resources and quite possibly the longest word ever. $\endgroup$
    – Anthony Russell
    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:03
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    $\begingroup$ This is a very interesting question, +1 :-). An aside: if your product development reaches a phase where you would work with people, there are major ethical considerations to be taken into account, so I second scottb's suggestion for working with a neuroscientist (it's good that you are looking for a partner from the field), and if you would work with people a medical doctor from the related field might be a great contribution to your team as well. $\endgroup$
    – Lucky
    Jul 11, 2015 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ I was doing some more research on the EEG device I wanted to use [NeuroSky] and I don't think it's sensitive enough for treating depression. It seems in order to properly detect depression you need to probe multiple points on the brain, including the prefrontal cortex. This device doesn't generate data from that area. Back to the drawing board! $\endgroup$
    – Anthony Russell
    Jul 11, 2015 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ I went ahead and removed the personal references and added some tags. I tried to do so while keeping the intent of the post. Let me know what you think. $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jul 12, 2015 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Some research which may help is as follows:

Fingelkurts, A. A., Fingelkurts, A. A., Rytsälä, H., Suominen, K., Isometsä, E., & Kähkönen, S. (2007). Impaired functional connectivity at EEG alpha and theta frequency bands in major depression. Human brain mapping, 28(3), 247-261. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20275

Peniston, E. G., & Kulkosky, P. J. (1991). Alpha-theta brainwave neurofeedback for Vietnam veterans with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical Psychotherapy, 4(1), 47-60.

Saxby, E., & Peniston, E. G. (1995). Alpha‐theta brainwave neurofeedback training: An effective treatment for male and female alcoholics with depressive symptoms. Journal of clinical psychology, 51(5), 685-693.
DOI: 10.1002/1097-4679(199509)51:5%3C685::AID-JCLP2270510514%3E3.0.CO;2-K


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