Epilepsy and BCIs

Epilepsy and BCIs
A Unit for High School Biology and ELL Biology Courses

Grade Levels: 9-10
Subject(s): Biology, ELL Biology
Keywords: Epilepsy, brain-computer interfaces, homeostasis, feedback loops, neurotechnology, neuroethics
Activity Time: Twelve 50 minute class periods

In this 3-week unit, students will explore the problem of what causes epileptic patients to have seizures and/or how neurotechnology works to help epilepsy patients with their seizures. Students will plan and conduct an investigation to show that feedback loops maintain homeostasis using the Muse 2 device that shows a person’s brain wave patterns (https://choosemuse.com/). They will then explore technology that uses feedback control as part of their treatments. Students will then evaluate the different neurotechnology using a Pugh Chart and make a decision for use for a child who has drug-resistant epilepsy. Finally, students will participate in a socratic seminar discussing the ethics about an epileptic patient.

Overview (Start here)

  • Overview: Anchoring Phenomenon, Gapless Explanation, Unit Progression, Learning Standards, and Important Information


Lesson 1: Inquiry Lab for EEG


Lesson 2: Epilepsy and Homeostasis


Lesson 3: Neuroethics Socratic Seminar


Lesson 4: Pugh Chart and BCIs

Equipment: A Muse 2 headset is required for one of the lessons in this unit (https://choosemuse.com/). Potentially, a different EEG device, such as FlowTime, could be used.

Classroom Testing: These materials were designed during the summer session of the 2021 Research Experience for Teachers program and have not yet been tested in a classroom setting with students.

Credit: This curriculum unit was collaboratively developed by Michelle Castillo, a science teacher at Tyee High School (SeaTac, WA) and Rachael Kent, a science teacher at Summit Olympus High School (Tacoma, WA) as part of the 2021 Research Experience for Teachers program at the Center for Neurotechnology.