Matching Items (52)

Biofeedback Music: A Junction of Music and Neurosignals

Description

Biofeedback music is the integration of physiological signals with audible sound for aesthetic considerations, which an individual’s mental status corresponds to musical output. This project looks into how sounds can

Biofeedback music is the integration of physiological signals with audible sound for aesthetic considerations, which an individual’s mental status corresponds to musical output. This project looks into how sounds can be drawn from the meditative and attentive states of the brain using the MindWave Mobile EEG biosensor from NeuroSky. With the MindWave and an Arduino microcontroller processor, sonic output is attained by inputting the data collected by the MindWave, and in real time, outputting code that deciphers it into user constructed sound output. The input is scaled from values 0 to 100, measuring the ‘attentive’ state of the mind by observing alpha waves, and distributing this information to the microcontroller. The output of sound comes from sourcing this into the Musical Instrument Shield and varying the musical tonality with different chords and delay of the notes. The manipulation of alpha states highlights the control or lack thereof for the performer and touches on the question of how much control over the output there really is, much like the experimentalist Alvin Lucier displayed with his concepts in brainwave music.

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  • 2014-05

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Characterizing the Role of Arm Configuration on Patterns of Movement Variability in 3D Space

Description

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been examined, the role of limb configuration on endpoint variability has been mostly ignored. Characterizing the influence of arm configuration (i.e. intrinsic factors) would allow greater comprehension of sensorimotor integration and assist in interpreting exaggerated movement variability in patients. In this study, subjects were placed in a 3-D virtual reality environment and were asked to move from a starting position to one of three targets in the frontal plane with and without visual feedback of the moving limb. The alternating of visual feedback during trials increased uncertainty between the planning and execution phases. The starting limb configurations, adducted and abducted, were varied in separate blocks. Arm configurations were setup by rotating along the shoulder-hand axis to maintain endpoint position. The investigation hypothesized: 1) patterns of endpoint variability of movements would be dependent upon the starting arm configuration and 2) any differences observed would be more apparent in conditions that withheld visual feedback. The results indicated that there were differences in endpoint variability between arm configurations in both visual conditions, but differences in variability increased when visual feedback was withheld. Overall this suggests that in the presence of visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space mostly uses coordinates that are arm configuration independent. On the other hand, without visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space relies substantially on intrinsic coordinates.

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  • 2014-05

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Characterizing the Role of Arm Configuration on Patterns of Movement Variability in 3D Space

Description

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the

Motor behavior is prone to variable conditions and deviates further in disorders affecting the nervous system. A combination of environmental and neural factors impacts the amount of uncertainty. Although the influence of these factors on estimating endpoint positions have been examined, the role of limb configuration on endpoint variability has been mostly ignored. Characterizing the influence of arm configuration (i.e. intrinsic factors) would allow greater comprehension of sensorimotor integration and assist in interpreting exaggerated movement variability in patients. In this study, subjects were placed in a 3-D virtual reality environment and were asked to move from a starting position to one of three targets in the frontal plane with and without visual feedback of the moving limb. The alternating of visual feedback during trials increased uncertainty between the planning and execution phases. The starting limb configurations, adducted and abducted, were varied in separate blocks. Arm configurations were setup by rotating along the shoulder-hand axis to maintain endpoint position. The investigation hypothesized: 1) patterns of endpoint variability of movements would be dependent upon the starting arm configuration and 2) any differences observed would be more apparent in conditions that withheld visual feedback. The results indicated that there were differences in endpoint variability between arm configurations in both visual conditions, but differences in variability increased when visual feedback was withheld. Overall this suggests that in the presence of visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space mostly uses coordinates that are arm configuration independent. On the other hand, without visual feedback, planning of movements in 3D space relies substantially on intrinsic coordinates.

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  • 2014-05

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Neurolinguistic Revelations of Logographic Scripts

Description

Language, as an abstract, is one of the most sophisticated inventions even devised by human beings. Reading alone is a multi-faceted problem, and understanding how the brain solves it can

Language, as an abstract, is one of the most sophisticated inventions even devised by human beings. Reading alone is a multi-faceted problem, and understanding how the brain solves it can offer enormous benefits for scientists and language-enthusiasts alike. In order to gain a more complete picture of how language and the brain relate, Chinese, an East Asian logographic language, and English, an alphabetic language, were compared and contrasted using all available scientific literature in both psychology and neuroimaging. Taken together, these findings are used to generalize the processing of written language. It was found that the hypothesis of a neuroplastically adaptable network that recruits brain areas based on the demands of a specific language has stronger support in current research than does the model of a fixed language network that is merely tuned for different languages. These findings reiterate the need for meticulous control of variables in order to reasonably compare language tasks and also demands more precise localization and labeling of brain regions for the purpose of determining function of individual areas.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Role of Retention and Forgetting in Context Dependent Sensorimotor Memory of Dexterous Manipulation

Description

The role of retention and forgetting of context dependent sensorimotor memory of dexterous manipulation was explored. Human subjects manipulated a U-shaped object by switching the handle to be grasped (context)

The role of retention and forgetting of context dependent sensorimotor memory of dexterous manipulation was explored. Human subjects manipulated a U-shaped object by switching the handle to be grasped (context) three times, and then came back two weeks later to lift the same object in the opposite context relative to that experience on the last block. On each context switch, an interference of the previous block of trials was found resulting in manipulation errors (object tilt). However, no significant re-learning was found two weeks later for the first block of trials (p = 0.826), indicating that the previously observed interference among contexts lasted a very short time. Interestingly, upon switching to the other context, sensorimotor memories again interfered with visually-based planning. This means that the memory of lifting in the first context somehow blocked the memory of lifting in the second context. In addition, the performance in the first trial two weeks later and the previous trial of the same context were not significantly different (p = 0.159). This means that subjects are able to retain long-term sensorimotor memories. Lastly, the last four trials in which subjects switched contexts were not significantly different from each other (p = 0.334). This means that the interference from sensorimotor memories of lifting in opposite contexts was weaker, thus eventually leading to the attainment of steady performance.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Ethics of Human Memory Augmentation

Description

Memory augmentation will play a vital role in the development of our future. The predicted introduction of downloadable brains will be the first of many neurocognitive technologies that will alter

Memory augmentation will play a vital role in the development of our future. The predicted introduction of downloadable brains will be the first of many neurocognitive technologies that will alter our lives at both the societal and individual levels. These technologies can affect everything from educational institutions to the judicial system, meanwhile raising issues such as autonomy, human psychology, and selfhood. Because of its tremendous potential, memory augmentation and its implications should thoroughly be examined.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

Role of Proprioceptive and Tactile Feedback in Small Size Discrimination

Description

The human hand relies on information from surrounding environment to distinguish objects based on qualities like size, texture, weight, and compliance. The size of an object can be determined from

The human hand relies on information from surrounding environment to distinguish objects based on qualities like size, texture, weight, and compliance. The size of an object can be determined from tactile feedback, proprioception, and visual feedback. This experiment aims to determine the accuracy of size discrimination in physical and virtual objects using proprioceptive and tactile feedback. Using both senses will help determine how much proprioceptive and tactile feedback plays a part in discriminating small size variations and whether replacing a missing sensation will increase the subject's accuracy. Ultimately, determining the specific contributions of tactile and proprioceptive feedback mechanisms during object manipulation is important in order to give prosthetic hand users the ability of stereognosis among other manipulation tasks. Two different experiments using physical and virtual objects were required to discover the roles of tactile and proprioceptive feedback. Subjects were asked to compare the size of one block to a previous object. The blocks increased in size by two millimeter increments and were randomized in order to determine whether subjects could correctly identify if a box was smaller, larger, or the same size as the previous box. In the proprioceptive experiment subjects had two sub-sets of experiments each with a different non-tactile cue. The experiment demonstrated that subjects performed better with physical objects compared to virtual objects. This suggests that size discrimination is possible in the absence of tactile feedback, but tactile input is necessary for accuracy in small size discrimination.

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  • 2013-05

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Investigation of Multimodal Tactile Cues for Multidigit Rotational Tasks

Description

The goal of this project was to use the sense of touch to investigate tactile cues during multidigit rotational manipulations of objects. A robotic arm and hand equipped with three

The goal of this project was to use the sense of touch to investigate tactile cues during multidigit rotational manipulations of objects. A robotic arm and hand equipped with three multimodal tactile sensors were used to gather data about skin deformation during rotation of a haptic knob. Three different rotation speeds and two levels of rotation resistance were used to investigate tactile cues during knob rotation. In the future, this multidigit task can be generalized to similar rotational tasks, such as opening a bottle or turning a doorknob.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Optimizing Biofeedback and Learning in an EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface

Description

Brain-computer interface technology establishes communication between the brain and a computer, allowing users to control devices, machines, or virtual objects using their thoughts. This study investigates optimal conditions to facilitate

Brain-computer interface technology establishes communication between the brain and a computer, allowing users to control devices, machines, or virtual objects using their thoughts. This study investigates optimal conditions to facilitate learning to operate this interface. It compares two biofeedback methods, which dictate the relationship between brain activity and the movement of a virtual ball in a target-hitting task. Preliminary results indicate that a method in which the position of the virtual object directly relates to the amplitude of brain signals is most conducive to success. In addition, this research explores learning in the context of neural signals during training with a BCI task. Specifically, it investigates whether subjects can adapt to parameters of the interface without guidance. This experiment prompts subjects to modulate brain signals spectrally, spatially, and temporally, as well differentially to discriminate between two different targets. However, subjects are not given knowledge regarding these desired changes, nor are they given instruction on how to move the virtual ball. Preliminary analysis of signal trends suggests that some successful participants are able to adapt brain wave activity in certain pre-specified locations and frequency bands over time in order to achieve control. Future studies will further explore these phenomena, and future BCI projects will be advised by these methods, which will give insight into the creation of more intuitive and reliable BCI technology.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Role of Primary Motor Cortex (M1) in the Context-Dependent Interference

Description

A previous study demonstrated that learning to lift an object is context-based and that in the presence of both the memory and visual cues, the acquired sensorimotor memory to manipulate

A previous study demonstrated that learning to lift an object is context-based and that in the presence of both the memory and visual cues, the acquired sensorimotor memory to manipulate an object in one context interferes with the performance of the same task in presence of visual information about a different context (Fu et al, 2012).
The purpose of this study is to know whether the primary motor cortex (M1) plays a role in the sensorimotor memory. It was hypothesized that temporary disruption of the M1 following the learning to minimize a tilt using a ‘L’ shaped object would negatively affect the retention of sensorimotor memory and thus reduce interference between the memory acquired in one context and the visual cues to perform the same task in a different context.
Significant findings were shown in blocks 1, 2, and 4. In block 3, subjects displayed insignificant amount of learning. However, it cannot be concluded that there is full interference in block 3. Therefore, looked into 3 effects in statistical analysis: the main effects of the blocks, the main effects of the trials, and the effects of the blocks and trials combined. From the block effects, there is a p-value of 0.001, and from the trial effects, the p-value is less than 0.001. Both of these effects indicate that there is learning occurring. However, when looking at the blocks * trials effects, we see a p-value of 0.002 < 0.05 indicating significant interaction between sensorimotor memories. Based on the results that were found, there is a presence of interference in all the blocks but not enough to justify the use of TMS in order to reduce interference because there is a partial reduction of interference from the control experiment. It is evident that the time delay might be the issue between context switches. By reducing the time delay between block 2 and 3 from 10 minutes to 5 minutes, I will hope to see significant learning to occur from the first trial to the second trial.

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  • 2014-05