Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Issa Prosper - Saint Olaf College
Co-Author(s): Hunter Lin, Saint Olaf College, MN
Electrophysiology is a valuable skill set for the neuroscientist, but the complexity of the devices and software used in undergraduate teaching labs can present barriers to learning. Here we describe a very simple electromyography (EMG) that can be built from scratch by students with no electronics experience in about 30 minutes, making it ideal for incorporating into a laboratory activity. With a low part count and no adjustments needed except the gain, students can begin physiology experiments quickly while having the satisfaction of having built the necessary equipment themselves. Because the output of the circuit goes to a computer sound card, students can listen to electrophysiological activity as they see it on the computer screen, a feature many of our students greatly appreciate. Various applications are discussed, including using streaming media platforms with remote lab partners, and acquiring data in the field on a smart phone. Our students reported that they enjoyed being able to build a working device and using it to record from their own muscles.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by NSF IOS-1146243 to Dr. David Redish and Dr. Mark Masino (University of Minnesota), McNair Scholars Program and Kevin Crisp (St. Olaf College). The authors thank Chris Stewart for technical assistance, execution, and feedback on this lab exercise, as well as for helpful feedback concerning the preparation of the manuscript.
Faculty Advisor: Kevin Crisp,