Event Abstract

Towards effective neurofeedback driven by immersive art environments

  • 1 Victoria University of Wellington, School of Engineering and Computer Science, New Zealand
  • 2 Victoria University of Wellington, School of Psychology, New Zealand

Background
Advances in Brain-Computer Interfaces, particularly those geared towards commercial audiences, have led to increased interest in the creation of immersive neurofeedback environments. The technology expands the potential of neurofeedback to realms in which aesthetic creativity can play a valuable role in reinforcement and in simulating real-world interactions. We created a digitally-modeled bioluminescent organism that responds dynamically to a participant’s alpha power and their physical position. We observed participants interacting with the organism in a gallery installation.

Method
Participatory Life was designed to allow interaction between an artificial organism and a human participant. Gallery visitors formed long lines to experience the exhibit. They were fitted with a Neurosky EEG headset that recorded alpha at Fp1, and with IR sensors that recorded their proximity to the organism. The organism was projected onto a wall, and consisted of a circle of glowing microcells that moved with a constrained Brownian diffusion. The speed of the individual microcells increased with increasing alpha; the diameter of the circle increased as participants approached and decreased as they withdrew. Alpha also drove the presentation of low frequency tones through an array of subwoofer speakers, creating a visceral experience. Neurofeedback was applied implicitly, without instruction.

Results
Data was recorded from 8 participants during interactions ranging from 5 to 8 minutes. Overall, participants showed increased alpha and increased proximity to the organism over the course of the session. There was also a direct correlation between alpha and distance, with alpha increasing as participants moved closer. Participants reported a high level of engagement with the installation.

Discussion
Although the current design does not allow us to make causal inferences about the interaction between the participant and the organism, Participatory Life demonstrates the possibilities for interactive neurofeedback environments based on emerging technologies. Here we have used neurofeedback in an artistic implementation, but see strong potential for the technique to address basic questions in cognitive neuroscience and to enhance the effectiveness of clinical applications.

Keywords: Electroencephalography, EEG, Brain-computer interface, BCI, Neurofeedback

Conference: ACNS-2013 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, 28 Nov - 1 Dec, 2013.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: Emotion and Social

Citation: Christopher KR, Grimshaw GM, Kapur A and Carnegie DA (2013). Towards effective neurofeedback driven by immersive art environments
. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: ACNS-2013 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2013.212.00101

Received: 25 Sep 2013; Published Online: 25 Nov 2013.

* Correspondence: Mr. Kameron R Christopher, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Wellington, New Zealand, kameron.christopher@ecs.vuw.ac.nz

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