Ellen R. grass lecture: Back to the future: From grass roots to microchips

Joseph F. Drazkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and other clinical neurophysiology (CNP) measurement tools has evolved over the last 70 years. In this evolutionary process, Ellen Grass and many professional technologists along the way have been instrumental in the translation of new developments in CNP technology to clinical utility. Technological developments in long-term EEG/video intensive care unit (ICU) monitoring, intraoperative monitoring, high frequency oscillation (HFO) recordings, automated signal analysis tools, seizure prediction devices, and the study of implanted intracranial recording and stimulation devices will improve our understanding of how the nervous system works. Improved understanding and translation of this evolving technology for improved patient care and outcomes remains the ultimate goal of such endeavors. Professional organizations such as the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET) and the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ASET) must continue to serve the CNP community and society to guide the application of this technology with an emphasis on providing information, guidelines on its use, and setting standards of professionalism. Any prior prediction of the demise of CNP technology has been greatly exaggerated. Quite the opposite has occurred, con sidering that the humble origins of vacuum tube powered Grass EEG machines will eventually yield to intracranial implanted microchip based recording and stimulation devices; the future appears bright for our profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalNeurodiagnostic Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Clinical neurophysiology (CNP)
  • EEG
  • High frequency oscillations (HFO)
  • Implanted neurostimulation devices
  • Long-term EEG/video monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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