An offshoot of our theoretical neuroscience research, we are using EEG to see if we can tell when doctors are making "gut hunch" (System One) or "analytical" (System Two) decisions. Our hypothesis is that System I decisions will be characterized by increased alpha power over posterior regions of the brain and that System II decisions will be characterized by increased theta power over frontal regions of the brain.
At this stage of the project, we are not looking at actual medical doctors making decisions. Instead, we have participants learn to diagnose clinical cases on a computer and we examine their EEG activity while they make decisions.
One cool result was that we learned that we could teach first year undergraduate students with no medical training to accurately diagnose liver diseases!
In terms of the brain waves, it turns out we were right as well! Here you see a burst of theta activity while one of our participants was making a System Two - or analytical decision.