Berger, Hans

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 21 May 1873 Neuses bei Coburg, Germany
d. 1 June 1941 Jena, Germany
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German psychiatrist and neurophysiologist, discoverer of the human electroencephalogram (EEG).
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Berger studied medicine at the University of Jena from 1892. In 1897 he became Assistant to the psychiatric clinic, in 1912 he became Chief Doctor and then Director and Professor of Psychiatry, remaining in this post until his retirement in 1938.
The central theme of his research work was the correlation between the objective activity of the brain and subjective psychic phenomena. His early attempts involving the blood flow and temperature of the brain yielded no positive results, and it was not until 1929 that he had developed methods of recording the fluctuations of electric potential arising from brain activity. This electroencephalogram (EEG) proved to be of immediate value in the diagnosis and treatment of brain disease, but it did not prove to be an indicator of a connection between brain and psychic energy.
Although Berger continued to study the EEC intensively, the technique did not gain widespread recognition until its development by Adrian and Matthews from 1934 onwards.
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Bibliography
Various papers, including "Über das Elektrenkephalogramm des Menschens", Archiv für Psychiatrie, 1929–38.
Further Reading
Adrian and Matthews, 1934, "The Berger Rhythm", Brain.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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