Determining Comfortable Pressure Ranges for Wearable EEG Headsets

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Advances in Human Factors in Wearable Technologies and Game Design, Springer International Publishing, Cham, p.11–19 (2019)




Measuring and interpretation of brain wave signals through electroencephalography (EEG) is an emerging technology. The technique is traditionally applied in a clinical setting with EEG caps and conductive gels to ensure proper contact through a subject's hair, and anticipate inter-subject anthropometric variations. Development of dry electrodes offers the potential to develop wearable EEG headsets. Such devices could induce medical and commercial applications. In this paper, we evaluate a prototype EEG headset that actively places electrodes at standardized positions on the subject's head, where each electrode is applied with equal pressure. The system is designed for use with dry electrodes. Our research delivers a better understanding on the link between general level of comfort and possible useful clear data signals, that can be used in brain computer interfaces (BCI). The present study is confined to the impact of adjustable electrodes pressure on level of user comfort only. Levels of discomfort are assessed in twelve participants, wearing an EEG headset with controllable electrode pressure exerted at 14 locations. Of-the-shelf dry electrodes are used. In a first session, evenly distributed pressure is increased and afterwards decreased in fixed time intervals, going from 10 kPa to 30 kPa and vice versa with steps of 2 kPa. In a second session, a subject specific acceptable pressure level is retrieved from the data of the first session and constantly applied for 30 min. During this intervention, level of discomfort is assessed in a VAS-scale. Additional observation and surveys yields insights on user experience in wearing a pressure exerting EEG headset.

Research area: