EEG on TV Shows: How Real Is It?

Will Byers from Stranger Things gets an EEG

7 Examples Where you can see EEG on TV

Medical technology in television is not always known for being accurate. EEG on TV definitely falls into this category.

An example of inaccurate medical technology on TV is the famously overused defibrillator paddles bringing someone back after flatlining. This is not only inaccurate, but actually in direct opposition to what should be done. A stopped heart will not be started again using defibrillators. If flatlining, CPR would be much more effective in keeping blood and oxygen flowing…

…But the dramatic countdown to the electric shock and the anticipation of maybe pulling through is exciting!

TV can often suspend our disbelief for the sake of entertainment, but if what occurs on screen becomes too unbelievable, a suspenseful moment can quickly turn the rest of the story into ostentatious shlock.

So how are electroencephalograms portrayed on television? 

EEGs typically make an appearance whenever a character needs their brain studied. We’ve decided to look at different TV shows through the years and see if the portrayals of EEG are actually scientifically accurate or merely a prop. While your typical audience may not notice the little differences, anyone familiar with neurodiagnostics may find their representation entertaining for the wrong reasons.

So let’s explore how EEGs appear on TV shows. This list is by no means exhaustive but demonstrates how EEG has advanced over the years.