Imagine a person wearing a Brite and playing a demanding video game. This video game is difficult, and the mental workload is increasing drastically. Changes in blood volume, or hemodynamic changes, which are associated with the increase in workload is registered using the Brite. This blog will expand on how a NIRS-based BCI works and what researchers have made possible using NIRS-based BCI.
fNIRS, as a neuroimaging method, was introduced more than two decades ago. Innovation in equipment, tools, and methods based on related-neuroimaging methods is increasing thanks to several companies and academic laboratories. The use of fNIRS in future research practices will aid in advancing modern investigations of human brain function. Connectivity measures will contribute to the field of neuroscience and a multimodal imaging approach is likely required.
We offer the full spectrum of (f)NIRS devices, and all our devices can be mixed and matched to create your optimal setup within the same software. To aid you in finding the right device for your research we have drafted this comparative table below with the most important specifications for each device.
EEG and fNIRS are complementary measuring techniques. EEG measures electrophysiological brain activation, that is the electromagnetic field created when neurons in the brain are firing. fNIRS measures the hemodynamic response, that is the change of oxygen in the blood when a brain region becomes active. By combining EEG and fNIRS, a more complete picture of brain activity is obtained: activation of neurons and energy demand of neurons.
At Artinis we are regularly surprised with the novel and innovative applications of our fNIRS devices. In this blog we would like to share an example of an unique application by one of our customers.
Helen Collard is an interdisciplinary artist working with yogic pranayama (breathing exercises) and technology. Her most recent project has been working with fNIRS to record the changing levels of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin whilst performing a sequence of pranayama exercises. In these exercises the breathing is controlled, whilst the hemodynamic response is sonified in real-time allowing the audience to experience the effects of the pranayama performance on changing hemoglobin levels in an audio form.
Helen has been working in collaboration with by Dr. Philippa Jackson at the Brain Performance and Nutritional Research Center based at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK. Helen and Philippa used a 2-channel continuous-wave Oxymon system and ran two initial pilot studies to see if the pranayama exercises had significant results to justify creating a sonification system. Once it was established there were clear hemodynamic patterns for each pranayama exercise Helen began work on making a system to sonify the data in real-time. The system was created by sharing Oxysoft data with programming language Max. The audio is composed to illustrate a sound experience or translation of the body and mind during the pranayama sequence in the audience.
The work is entitled Finding Prana. The title refers to the yoga concept of prana which is a Sanskrit word taken to mean both breath and life and pranayama is the control or regulation of the prana or breath. Finding Prana was most recently performed at the international electronic arts festival ISEA 2017 – the International Symposium of Electronic Arts. Artinis provided a portable Octamon for Helen to make the trip to Colombia and perform at the Manizales Botanical Gardens Auditorium. This year’s symposium and festival attracted an international roster of artists and academics working with technology under the theme of Bio-creation and peace.
For further information please visit:
Finding Prana: https://helencollardo.com/2016/12/1/fnirs-sonification
Image: Finding Prana ISEA 2017 Photo Credit: Juan Waltero