There are tons of really basic EEG analysis questions, whether requests for toolboxes or questions about how to quantify EEG power. If we could assemble all of the answers to these questions into a single [page,answer,something else?] that included links to analysis toolboxes and tutorials, we could just link to that every time to get people started with some good resources.
I would like to suggest using the following format. We create four threads each with the same main title:
- Introduction to EEG: Physiology behind EEG measurements
- Introduction to EEG: Noise and pre-processing
- Introduction to EEG: Event-related potentials & time spectrum
- Introduction to EEG: brain oscillations & frequency spectrum
Later on, if we feel there is the need, we can add other "chapters" such as source localization.
As noted by honi, there are many many questions about EEG that are rather basic. Often, these are also posted in a rather specific context making it difficult for novel users interpreting the posts as basic, and thereby ask similar new questions. Having clear community posts that describe the basics of EEG (in clearly defined "chapters") will allow us to close duplicates more easily. The basics are then covered, and the real specifics can be asked for in new posts.
I wanted to use the "chapter" style as to make it clear that these posts belong together. This way, a user can find the entire introduction really easily. This is thus mostly a usability issue, if I may use those terms. Moreover, by giving it the feeling of a book, I hoped there would be some atmosphere of trust, like a CogSci stamp of approval.
It was noted that this information was too basic, could be found with an easy google search and should, therefore, not be posted on this website. The fact, however, that many basic questions are asked gives me reason to believe that people have difficulties finding this info. That the people approach this website for the answers clearly shows how valuable CogSci is and could be to them. Why not let the google search lead them to this website as THE source for an introduction to EEG. This will only lead to more users and, potentially, to new interesting more specific questions about EEG. Moreover, we, as a community, can control the quality of the content, as to make EEG as accessible as we would like.
When should we stop making introductions? It is, I believe, better to ask "when should we start?". A couple of weeks ago, someone clearly thought there were just too many basic EEG questions and thought there was a need for some general info (ergo this meta post). Whenever this happens for other topics, it could potentially also get introductory posts. This could, for instance happen for fMRI. Although currently there appears to be no excess of basic fMRI questions, when the site grows it may become a problem. Case by case, we should evaluate the need for this.
After bugging the forerunners of this initiative for a while (and apparently annoying them too :) I have a few considerations to make.
- The EEG tag ranks #25, with less than 100 questions devoted to it. That can hardly be described as '...tons of really basic EEG analysis questions...' The current tally of 2016 being 25, including the new general intro-style question under discussion here included. That is about 3 questions per month. I do not see the need for a big effort in this arena.
- The idea of closing basic questions based on an existing broad set of questions is a bad idea, given the low question-rate of CogSci (Area51), which is actually the metric with the worst rating as of now. Hence, this idea hinders with the community-wide interest to get this site graduated after nearly 5 years in beta.
- I have already pointed out that I don't find the initiative suitable within the confines of the SE philosophy, which was met with critique as being ill-defined. The philosophy I was pointing out is: Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do. Ask about [...] real problems or questions that you’ve encountered. If the idea of this initiative of a textbook-like content can be made more explicit, that would help. The urge to comply with the SE-wide philosophy is, again, born from the hopes of getting graduated.
- Improving the EEG tag wiki may be more effective. Word count is limited, but sources like McGill, or open-source review papers give a concise, practical overview of what EEG is. Linking those sites and urging folks to not ask general questions may be more valuable than generating questions on it. Likely OP will add the tag and look at it first. A more likely scenario than a new user skimming through this site to look for their answer.
- Things like this, i.e., community-based questions with community-based answers should be posted as a community question. That way it's not a single person sharing his views, but the community sharing their view.
- The general Intro question list was described to me as a very good idea. I don't agree. But who am I to stop anyone from pushing it through? :)