EDMONTON -- Undergraduate psychology students at the University of Alberta are learning about neuroscience in a whole new way thanks to a Toronto-based company.

InteraXon, which specializes in wearable, brain-sensing technology, donated 50 electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets to the university.

“I have been transforming my normal third-year lecture class to a hands-on class where students learn about the brain and mind through real reproducible experiments and data analysis,” associate professor Kyle Mathewson said in a written release.

The Muse headbands are small and portable and can be used outside of the lab setting. They allow the students to record and analyze their own EEG data, rather than using only textbooks and simulated data.

“This donation is contributing to the creation of a large group of future graduates with a strong background in scientific literacy gained from hands-on experience with new technologies,” Mathewson said.

Muse headsets in the lab

Some students used EEG headsets in a campus lab in 2019. The new donation will give 100 neuroscience students access to them for the semester. (Courtesy: Kyle Mathewson)

He says the department is now considering how the headsets could allow students to learn from home if needed.

U of A announced in May that most of its fall classes would be offered online or remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.