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November 10, 2023.
Taking an Immersive Emotional Stroll Down Memory Lane
In a groundbreaking endeavor led by researchers Francisco Reis, Pedro Reisinho, and Rui Raposo from the University of Aveiro, an innovative approach is being employed to address the challenges posed by dementia. Their ongoing research explores the intersection of interactive narratives, virtual reality, and neuroscience, aiming to enhance the lives of individuals grappling with dementia. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, including the Muse 2 headband and Naxon Labs' Emotions platform, the team seeks to employ immersive experiences to stimulate oral communication competencies and assess the potential for improving psychological well-being among participants. This multidisciplinary initiative not only sheds light on the impact of reminiscence therapy but also pioneers the use of neurofeedback to guide interventions in real-time. The collaborative efforts of this research team underscore the transformative potential of merging technology and compassionate care in the realm of dementia studies.   By Franscisco Reis, Pedro Reisinho and Rui Raposo   The global population is witnessing a significant increase in the prevalence of individuals aged 65 and above, primarily attributable to the rising average life expectancy in recent decades. This demographic transition has brought to the forefront a growing incidence of age-related illnesses, with dementia being of particular concern (Fishman, 2017). Currently, approximately 57 million people are estimated to have their daily lives impacted by dementia, and projections indicate that this number will triple by 2050 (Nichols et al., 2022), considering that nearly ten million new cases are diagnosed each year, with Alzheimer’s disease representing 60-70% of these diagnoses (World Health Organization, 2017). As the number of dementia cases continues to increase, there are worrisome repercussions stemming from the recent pandemic. The constraints imposed by the COVID-19 containment measures were imperative for reducing the number of viral cases and controlling the pandemic, in addition to the undeniable importance of lowering the mortality rate among risk groups. Nevertheless, in these risk groups, particularly in elderly people with dementia, short-term side effects from social isolation, such as increased levels of agitation and apathy, have been observed (Emmerton & Abdelhafiz, 2021; Manca et al., 2020). In addition, internet reliance has become a transversal aspect of various processes in our daily lives. Varying according to the extent of affectation, the inability to use web-based digital platforms to perform something as crucial as communicating with others has pushed people living with dementia into a more fragile situation than the one they face daily (Manca et al., 2020), exacerbating their sense of loneliness (Emmerton & Abdelhafiz, 2021) due abrupt and harsh changes in their social activities with family and friends. Thus, in this scenario, not only does it become impossible to estimate, in the medium and long term, the neurological impact that COVID-19 will have on people currently living with the condition (Ghaffari et al., 2021), but also how it will influence the number of new cases diagnosed. Faced with the inexistence of a pharmacological solution for reversing the gradual evolution of the symptoms associated with the condition, research has also looked upon non-pharmacological methods (Algar et al., 2016), as possible method for mitigating and delaying the progressive loss of quality of life of those affected.   This is the context in which doctoral student and researcher Pedro Reisinho, under the supervision of Professor Rui Raposo and Professor Nelson Zagalo from the Department of Communication and Art, and Professor Oscar Ribeiro from the Department of Education and Psychology, all from the University of Aveiro, has been developing his thesis. Pedro’s PhD research in Information and Communication in Digital Platforms, funded by the National Foundation for Science and Technology, focuses precisely on the potential of merging interactive narratives and virtual reality as reminiscence instrumentsfor people with dementia. By engaging users with memory-related content during reminiscence therapy sessions, the project aims not only to stimulate oral communication competencies but also to assess the potential for improving their psychological well-being, as well as attenuating and delaying behavioural and psychological symptoms associated with dementia. The virtual reminiscence model proposed consists of a structured program comprising a minimum of ten sessions that resort to reminiscence tools and techniques which integrate and explore immersive personal experiences. Eight sessions are dedicated to enabling each participant to explore virtual story worlds tailored to their life story and collect "memories" by taking photographs with a virtual camera. Participants are encouraged to share stories about what is happening or whatever they feel like sharing. During the last two sessions, the participants are asked to share with the research team the stories associated with the memories collected in photographs throughout the previous sessions. After completing the program, participants will have the possibility to keep the collected memories, meanwhile printed out, and share them with family and friends. To aid the data collection, the research conducted will also collect data from a portable electroencephalography device, the Muse 2, with the aid of Naxon Labs' Emotions platform. The emotional monitoring of the participants’ emotional states will enable the research team to access real-time information regarding the participants’ experience and their responses to various stimuli presented throughout the sessions. This will allow the team to intervene and try to mitigate potential adverse effects resulting from the re-experience of memories associated with negative emotions.   Some exploratory studies have already been conducted in this context through the work done by Francisco Reis, a student from the Master Program in Multimedia Communication at the University of Aveiro. Francisco’s work focused on studying the effect that immersive experiences with 360º audiovisual content had on users and their oral communication activities during the experience. Participants in the study were provided with two short 360º clips without previously knowing what they were going to see. The first video had little or no relation with the participants’ personal memories, while the second video included footage of a place well known by the participants and chosen with the help of the participants’ family or friends. When presented with the first video, the participants only talked when they were asked questions about what they were seeing. On the other hand, when presented with footage of a well-known place from their past, the second video, the participants would spontaneously start to talk and share stories about memories connected with it.   Exploratory sessions at University of Aveiro. The participant is using the Muse 2 headband and a Virtual Reality set. The Muse 2 headband is connected to Naxon Emotions platform which displays the data in the laptop.   Naxon Emotions applications as displayed during the sessions.   The virtual reality environment showed to the participants during the sessions.   While all of this was happening, the Muse 2 headband and the Emotions software were providing a glimpse as to what the participant was feeling at the time. It was very interesting to see that while reminiscing about the place and the stories that took place there, the participants would experience peaks of joy that, sometimes, would shift into a state of momentary sadness. The results attained were considered a great proof of concept as to the possibilities presented by this sort of experience as a therapeutic tool worth further exploring in the context of people with dementia. It is relevant to outline that the participants in Francisco Reis’ study did not have dementia. The study did, however, provide evidence that this sort of immersive experience could and should be considered as a possible complementary activity for people with dementia as a means of stimulating their oral communication competencies and, consequently, possibly contributing to the delay of the deterioration of those same competencies.   In the next phase of our research, our plan involves conducting the initial validation of the virtual reminiscence model, specifically focusing on the data collection protocol and the prototype. A comprehensive set of questionnaires and scales has been thoughtfully selected to measure the proposed indicators, including oral communication, psychological well-being, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. These assessments are being conducted by Juliana Silva, a master's student in neuropsychiatry, under the supervision of Professor Oscar Ribeiro. To enhance the depth of this data collection, we will cross-reference the indicators with audiovisual information and data stemming from Muse 2, in conjunction with the Emotions Platform. The participants for our study are being selected with the assistance of the Laboratório de Envelhecimento de Ílhavo. This collaborative effort has been instrumental in facilitating participant engagement and providing the necessary facilities for conducting tests. Thanks to our close collaboration with the Laboratório de Envelhecimento, we were able to conduct tests to assess the technology adoption and potential side effects of virtual reality, having obtained promising results that will be made publicly available shortly.   This ongoing research is being conducted at the University of Aveiro in Portugal, a European Higher Education Institution recognized for its prestige in research and teaching, both at a national and international level in multiple scientific fields. Most of the research team are currently members of DigiMedia, the Digital Media and Interaction Research Centre located at the Department of Communication and Art (DeCA). DigiMedia is an interdisciplinary unit oriented towards innovation in the research of new interaction solutions for human-centred digital media applications, with a highly transdisciplinary approach to Digital Media that combines research done in the fields of e-Health and Wellbeing, Social iTV, Social Media and Learning, Games and Storytelling, and Cyberculture, the ongoing research is constantly challenging current practices and promotes future thinking approaches in its projects. For more information on the activities of DigiMedia please visit the website at   References Algar, K., Woods, R. T., & Windle, G. (2016). Measuring the quality of life and well-being of people with dementia: A review of observational measures. Dementia, 15(4), 832–857. Emmerton, D., & Abdelhafiz, A. H. (2021). Care for Older People with Dementia During COVID19 Pandemic. SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine, 3(2), 437–443. Fishman, E. (2017). Risk of Developing Dementia at Older Ages in the United States. Demography, 54(5), 1897–1919. Ghaffari, M., Ansari, H., Beladimoghadam, N., Aghamiri, S. H., Haghighi, M., Nabavi, M., Mansouri, B., Mehrpour, M., Assarzadegan, F., Hesami, O., Sedaghat, M., Farahbakhsh, M., & Lima, B. S. (2021). Neurological features and outcome in COVID-19: dementia can predict severe disease. Journal of NeuroVirology, 27, 86–93. Manca, R., De Marco, M., & Venneri, A. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 Infection and Enforced Prolonged Social Isolation on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Older Adults With and Without Dementia: A Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 585540. Nichols, E., Steinmetz, J. D., Vollset, S. E., Fukutaki, K., Chalek, J., Abd-Allah, F., Abdoli, A., Abualhasan, A., Abu-Gharbieh, E., Akram, T. T., Hamad, H. Al, Alahdab, F., Alanezi, F. M., Alipour, V., Almustanyir, S., Amu, H., Ansari, I., Arabloo, J., Ashraf, T., … Vos, T. (2022). Estimation of the Global Prevalence of Dementia in 2019 and Forecasted Prevalence in 2050: An Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet Public Health, 7, e105–e125. World Health Organization. (2017). Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017–2025. Geneva: World Health Organization.
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August 20, 2023.
The Reciprocal Brains Project by Walid Breidi: Exploring the Boundaries of Art and Neuroscience
The Reciprocal Brains Project by Walid Breidi: Exploring the Boundaries of Art and Neuroscience   In the space where art and neuroscience converge, innovation knows no bounds. Walid Breidi, a visionary multidisciplinary artist, has embarked on a remarkable journey of blending new technologies with artistic expression. Through his groundbreaking project, Reciprocal Brains, Breidi pushes the boundaries of creativity and human connection by using brainwave data in real-time to create an interactive and participatory musical experience. Powered by the cutting-edge products of Naxon Labs, this project takes art to an unprecedented level, intertwining art, science, and technology in mesmerizing ways.   The Visionary Behind the Project Walid Breidi stands at the forefront of a new wave of artists who are harnessing the power of technology to redefine artistic expression. With a background in composing and interactive installations, Breidi's artistic evolution led him to explore Brain Art, a realm where brainwaves and artistry merge. Over the past decade, he has delved into the world of brainwaves, crafting awe-inspiring artworks that utilize neural data as a core creative element.   Reciprocal Brains: A Symphony of Neurofeedback and Creativity At the heart of Walid Breidi's innovative work lies the Reciprocal Brains project. This groundbreaking initiative aims to create a symphony directly influenced by participants' brainwaves. Imagine a collaborative musical experience where brain activity dictates the notes, rhythms, and emotions of the music produced. With the help of Naxon Labs' advanced EEG technology, this vision is brought to life.   Naxon Labs has been one of the driving forces behind the Reciprocal Brains project. The data captured from Muse EEG devices with Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions, developed with a deep understanding of neuroscience and technology, provide the foundation for Breidi's artistic exploration. By capturing participants' brainwaves in real-time, these devices translate neural oscillations into tangible creative output, bridging the gap between the mind and artistic expression.   About Walid Breidi Walid Breidi A multidisciplinary artist who uses new technologies as a creative tool. This enables Walid to create lively, participatory works that are co-constructed with the public. More specifically, the works he creates are based on the real-time use of the public's cerebral or physical input to create, control or modify the work. Through his work Walid seeks to establish a dialogue with the audience, moving them beyond the passive position they are usually in, and offering them the opportunity to make the work their own through active participation.   Walid started out as a composer for shows by the "Faim-de-Siècle" collective. Computer Assisted Music led him to create interactive sound installations and later interactive video installations. He has been working in the field of Brain Art for around 10 years. In 2017, with sleep artist Virgile Novarina, they presented "La Bull Paradoxale" which is the first work using live sleep brainwaves. Then in 2018, Walid created 'Sleep in the City', which is also a first in the use of brainwaves with the Internet. In fact, he already has three Brain art projects to this date. The Reciprocal Brains project is a continuation of his practice and his approach and it is the most ambitious one. Examples of past work: Installations Videos Generative designs Sound creations This is Walid's Youtube Channel.   Motivation: What goes on in the mind is the most intimate manifestation that we often want to share publicly either through language or through action. What would it be like if a group of 20 or more people shared an aesthetic moment between them, created by them, without saying or doing anything, just listening to their thoughts and emotions? How will the participants react when they put on an EEG headset and start creating in real-time with their brainwaves? How will they emotionally experience this shared moment with others? A shared moment that produces a relational artistic situation and a biofeedback loop. What the participant thinks will create music, and in turn this music will affect what the person feels.   Reciprocal Brains questions the neuro-physical concept of consciousness. How far can we go in relating states of mind to a particular brain wave category, for example Delta, or Alpha wave? How can neuroscientific results help in analyzing and mapping brain waves data to create hyper-instrument? We will try to correlate certain formations of brain waves to certain emotions. The research will explore in particular the space of sharing and creation thus produced between the participants induced by the use of Brain-musical-instrument interfaces.   Approach: Walid experiments with the idea of a brain-orchestra using hyper-instruments. This project adheres to the Brain-Art tradition in so far as it aims to use Brain-computer Interfaces (BCI) in the realization of the artwork. Tools like “biofeedback”, EEG data performance, data analysis, transcoding, and mental performance will be studied as well as techniques such as: brain event related desynchronization (ERD) or event related synchronization (ERS), event related potentials (ERP), and other paradigms. Reciprocal Brains also necessitate the creation of a hyper-instrument in its intention to exploit brainwave data to play sounds and synthesizers. The sum of instrumental idiomaticity and the user’s sense of reciprocity with what the other participants are doing, together will contribute to the conception of a BCMI (brain-computer-musical interface) that can understand the person and that can measure the expression between the participants and measure all the rhythms played in order to synchronize them.   Introducing Chateau Éphémère: Where Innovation Meets Artistic Exploration Nestled within the walls of Chateau Éphémère, a cultural haven committed to digital creation, artistic innovation thrives at the intersection of technology and imagination. This unique space, situated within the historic confines of the reimagined Château Vanderbilt, serves as a vibrant incubator for experimental art, digital creations, and the convergence of sound and technology. Propelled by the mission to foster collaborative artistic ventures, Chateau Éphémère offers an array of workshops, public events, and residencies that bridge the gap between artistic expression and technological advancement.   Walid Breidi's Vision at Chateau Éphémère Amidst this dynamic cultural landscape, artist Walid Breidi embarked on a visionary journey that merged art with neuroscience. His objective was to harness the potential of the Chateau's immersive environment to cultivate a new form of artistic expression. Walid aimed to delve into uncharted territories where artistic creation and the intricate workings of the human brain intersect, a venture that promised to push the boundaries of innovation.   Explorations Walid's project, named "Reciprocal Brains", unfolded as an ambitious endeavor, striving to explore the uncharted realms of brain-machine interfaces and hyper-instruments. Collaborating closely with researchers, Walid intended to delve into cutting-edge techniques that would enable the manipulation of artistic creation using real-time cerebral input. What set this project apart was its intent to tap into the very dynamics of consciousness, elevating mental states into a canvas for aesthetic exploration.   Intriguingly, "Reciprocal Brains" was designed not only to offer a distinctive musical experience but also to serve as an intricate musical interface. Departing from the conventional norm, which typically involves a limited number of brain participants, Walid envisioned a scenario where a collaborative cohort of 20 participants would engage in real-time creative dialogue. This audacious aim sought to redefine the boundaries of multi-agent brain art installations, challenging the status quo through the power of collective creative expression.   As the project unfurled within the nurturing embrace of Chateau Éphémère (June 26th to 30th 2023), the collaboration between Walid Breidi, the artistic visionary, and the realm of neuroscience began to take shape. With a determination to expand artistic horizons and a commitment to fostering collaborative research, the stage was set for a groundbreaking exploration that could reshape the landscape of art and innovation. This journey of merging artistic creativity with the intricacies of the human mind was poised to unravel new dimensions of creative possibility and redefine the boundaries of artistic expression. This is a sound sample simulating 12 participants: . The idea is to have different sound configurations. The following screens are a capture of the patch that created the sound extract.   The Intersection of Science, Art, and Technology The fusion of art and neuroscience in the Reciprocal Brains project exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of modern innovation. With the help of Naxon Labs' EEG technology, Walid captures the intricate dance of brainwaves, translating them into musical elements that compose an ever-evolving symphony. Participants become both creators and performers, as their emotions, thoughts, and neural patterns shape the auditory landscape. This artistic endeavor blurs the lines between audience and artist, forging a unique connection between the creator's mind and the listener's experience.   The Reciprocal Brains project by Walid Breidi, fueled by the pioneering EEG technology of Naxon Labs, underscores the boundless possibilities when art, science, and technology intertwine. This immersive experience challenges traditional notions of artistic creation and audience participation, ushering in a new era of collaborative, neurofeedback-powered art. As the project continues to evolve and captivate audiences, it serves as a testament to the uncharted territories awaiting exploration at the nexus of art and neuroscience.   In the ever-evolving landscape of creativity, Walid Breidi and Naxon Labs illuminate a path towards a harmonious convergence of science and art, inviting us to witness the symphony of the mind.
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June 25, 2023.
Neuphony Revealed: A Comprehensive Guide to Properly Use and Care for Neuphony Devices
Neuphony, a portable EEG device, offers a wide range of applications, from medical research to self-improvement and product development. To ensure accurate data recording and reliable results, it is crucial for users to understand how to properly adjust the electrodes and care for the Neuphony devices. In this article, we will provide specific instructions on improving sensor/signal quality, cleaning the devices, and share valuable resources for maximizing the potential of Neuphony.   Adjusting the Neuphony Device for Optimal Sensor/Signal Quality: To get the most out of your Neuphony device, it is important to adjust the electrodes correctly. The following resources will guide you in achieving optimal sensor/signal quality: User Guide to Use Neuphony for the First Week: This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on using Neuphony during your first week, including electrode adjustment techniques. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to make the most out of your initial week using the Neuphony EEG Headset tool. The guide emphasizes the various ways to engage in meditation, including built-in modules with neurofeedback, meditating in peace, and utilizing YouTube. It suggests starting with specific sessions to improve external focus and reduce stress and anxiety. The guide also emphasizes the importance of finding the right type of meditation and recommends a schedule for the first day and subsequent days. Additionally, it highlights the role of Neuphony in reducing stress levels through consistent engagement with stress-reducing neurofeedback sessions. The guide further explores optimizing lifestyle and diet for better mental health and how Neuphony can help identify the effects of specific food items on focus and relaxation scores. Lastly, it delves into maximizing the benefits of neurofeedback, including maintaining focus levels and the training effect on the brain. The guide concludes by encouraging users to establish a routine, track progress, and remain open to experimentation for an enhanced mental well-being journey with Neuphony.   How to wear the Headband properly: This helpful video tutorial demonstrates the correct way to wear the Neuphony headband, ensuring proper electrode placement and optimal signal quality.   How to connect Neuphony sensors properly: Follow the instructions in this video tutorial to learn how to correctly connect the Neuphony sensors, enhancing the accuracy of your brainwave recordings.   Caring for Your Neuphony Device: Proper care and maintenance of your Neuphony device will ensure its longevity and reliability. Consider the following tips: How to put back the sensors in their slots: After each use, it's important to store the sensors properly. Watch this informative video tutorial to learn the correct method of putting back the sensors in their designated slots.   Cleaning and Maintenance: To maintain the hygiene and performance of your Neuphony device, refer to the manufacturer's instructions provided with your specific model. It is generally recommended to use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the device and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.   Valuable Resources for Maximizing Neuphony's Potential:   Neuphony offers a range of resources to help users harness the full potential of the device. Consider exploring the following guides and articles: How to practice at Home with Neuphony?: This insightful article provides guidance on incorporating Neuphony into your home-based neurofeedback practice, maximizing its benefits for self-improvement. Neurofeedback is a biofeedback technique that harnesses brainwave monitoring technology to assist individuals dealing with various mental and physical health conditions. By utilizing electrical signals from the brain, neurofeedback helps regulate mood, behavior, and physiological functions, offering a safe and drug-free alternative to traditional treatments. It promotes neural plasticity, the brain's ability to reorganize and adapt throughout life, by forming new neural pathways in response to experiences. Neuphony, with its real-time neurofeedback system called "Volume Modulation," provides immediate feedback to users during meditation sessions, adjusting the volume based on their focus and calm levels. This feedback enables individuals to better understand their attention span, distractions, and feelings of anxiety. Neuphony's app features user-friendly graphical representations of focus/calm levels, along with mood tracking. Neurofeedback utilizes various protocols focusing on different brainwaves, such as theta, alpha/theta ratio, and beta, which can be captured through electrodes placed on the scalp. These electrical activity patterns, known as brain waves, are measured in frequency (Hz) and amplitude (μV), reflecting the speed and strength of the waves, respectively. Neurofeedback research has shown its versatility as a brain training tool, and the "volume modulation" approach implemented by Neuphony ensures ease of use, a short learning curve, and instant results.   User Guide to Read Focus-Distraction Graphs: Gain a deeper understanding of your cognitive performance by learning how to interpret focus-distraction graphs with this user guide. The guide explains the concept of how different minds work and how Neuphony can help understand and compare the unique brain activity of individuals. Each person has a distinct brain wiring, resulting in different thinking patterns, emotions, and brain activity. Neuphony utilizes electrical impulses known as brain waves, specifically alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta waves, to create an electroencephalograph (EEG) or brain wave graph. By connecting the device and attaching sensors, Neuphony creates a brain map, calculating the focus for each person. The meditation session, represented by graphs, helps determine the duration of focus throughout the session and provides insights into focus versus distraction, stress versus calm, post-dominant rhythm (PDR), and mood. The guide further decodes focus and distraction graphs through case studies, showcasing different patterns of attention and concentration. It highlights the importance of regular meditation in developing focus, attention span, and resilience. The guide also compares graphs of long-term meditators and non-meditators, emphasizing how meditation can enhance focus, attention span, and resilience over time.   Bio-hack your Mind to Peak Performance with Brain Training: Discover how Neuphony can help you achieve peak performance through brain training techniques by reading this informative article. The article introduces the concept of brain-health biohacking, which aims to enhance mental abilities and protect brain health through practical, science-based solutions. It explains that brain health biohacking involves using real-time displays of brain activity to teach individuals how to control their own brain waves, achieved by tracking brain activity through an EEG headset and providing real-time feedback. Then it is outlined a 7-step process using the Neuphony EEG headset and meditation app, including wearing the headset, starting the app, reviewing results, and understanding insights through various graphs and charts such as focus/distraction, mood analysis, calm/stress levels, and PDR report. It is emphasized the ability to improve brain activity through personalized meditations and forming a better relationship with one's mental health. Neuphony offers a comprehensive approach to brain health and wellness by analyzing brain activity and providing techniques for improvement.   By following the adjustment techniques, caring for your Neuphony device, and utilizing the available resources, you can optimize your experience and unlock the full potential of Neuphony for various applications.   You can analyze brainwaves data with the Neuphony Desktop Application. With the Neuphony Desktop Application you can process brainwaves data from the Neuphony devices. It is an application for all the researchers and wellness centers where they get all the tools required to sumplify their research of to enchance the journey of the customers. Neuphony has launched recently the most awaited "Report Generation" feature in the desktop application where you will get a report after recording every session. You can download, print and share that with the client/customer and even add your notes to it as well. 
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June 24, 2023.
Analyzing Brainwaves Data with Neuphony Desktop Application
With the Neuphony Desktop Application you can process brainwaves data from the Neuphony devices. It is an application for all the researchers and wellness centers where they get all the tools required to sumplify their research of to enchance the journey of the customers. Neuphony has launched recently the most awaited "Report Generation" feature in the desktop application where you will get a report after recording every session. You can download, print and share that with the client/customer and even add your notes to it as well.    Packed with a range of powerful features, this application is designed to provide researchers and enthusiasts with valuable insights into cognitive health and neurological activity. Let's explore some of its standout features: Import/Export .edf files: With Neuphony, you can effortlessly import and export .edf files. This functionality allows you to preview the data from previous sessions, enabling seamless integration with your existing research or analysis. Via Cable/Bluetooth Connectivity: Neuphony offers flexible connectivity options. Whether you prefer a Bluetooth dongle or a type C-USB cable, you can easily connect your devices and begin exploring brainwave data. Multiple Experiments: Researchers can rejoice as Neuphony supports a variety of experiments, including P300, MMN, and AEP. These experiments provide valuable insights into cognitive health and offer a deeper understanding of brain function. Session Playback: Never miss a detail with Neuphony's session playback feature. By recording EEG data during sessions, you can revisit and review the recorded data for further analysis, ensuring accurate and comprehensive results. Band Power Analysis: Neuphony empowers you to unravel neurological insights through band power analysis. This feature allows you to examine the power spectrum of brainwaves across different frequency bands, providing a deeper understanding of brain activity. Real-Time EEG: Harnessing the power of EEG technology, Neuphony provides real-time monitoring of brainwave activity. This invaluable feature allows you to observe and analyze brainwave patterns across diverse brain regions as they happen, providing immediate feedback and insights. Cognitive Insights: Neuphony's advanced algorithms unlock a treasure trove of cognitive insights. By analyzing brainwave data, the application provides valuable information on focus, stress, mood, vigilance, and mental fatigue. This comprehensive understanding of cognitive states opens up new avenues for research and personal development. Task-Based Reports: Neuphony offers task-based reports, enabling you to leverage the power of EEG data for comprehensive analysis. These reports provide detailed information on brainwave activity during specific tasks or stimuli, offering a deeper understanding of cognitive processes.   This application works with both the Headband and the Flex Cap.   Device Fitment: How to Wear the Device Correctly Properly wearing the device is crucial to ensure accurate data collection and reliable results. Follow these steps to correctly fit the device: 1. Start by loosening the strap on the device. Gently slide the device from the front of your head towards the desired position. 2. The reference electrodes are positioned just above and behind both of your ears. As you adjust the device, keep an eye on the sensor color changes. Once you observe a change in sensor color, it indicates that the reference electrodes are correctly placed. 3. The color displayed in the circles represents the quality of contact based on the impedance. It is essential to have a strong signal in most of the required sensor locations. Adjust the headset until you achieve a strong signal in the majority of the required sensor locations. 4. Pay special attention to the Fz and Pz sensors. These sensors are crucial for Neuphony protocols to provide accurate results. Ensure that these sensors are properly connected and have a strong signal. 5. Once the Fz and Pz sensors have been connected for at least 5 seconds, a "Continue" button will appear at the bottom. This indicates that the device is properly fitted, and you can proceed with your session. By following these steps, you can ensure that the Neuphony device is worn correctly, allowing for optimal data collection and accurate analysis. Proper fitment of the device is essential to obtain reliable cognitive insights and make the most of your research or personal cognitive training sessions. Working with data.   Frequency Analysis     Unlocking Cognitive Insights: Exploring Real-Time Analysis Have you ever wondered how our brainwaves can provide insights into our cognitive states? The field of neuroscience has made remarkable strides in understanding the relationship between brain activity and mental states. One fascinating area of study is the analysis of cognitive insights based on real-time analysis. Let's delve into this intriguing concept and explore how specific brainwave patterns can shed light on various aspects of our cognition. Working with insights   Relaxation Levels: When we enter a state of relaxation, our brain exhibits distinct patterns. Increased alpha band power in the occipital region, located at the back of the head, is associated with relaxation. Additionally, a decrease in beta band power in the frontal region suggests a state of relaxation. By monitoring these patterns, real-time analysis can provide valuable insights into our relaxation levels. Focus Levels: Heightened focus is a sought-after mental state for many tasks. Real-time analysis reveals that increased beta band power in the frontal and parietal regions of the brain is indicative of heightened focus. Furthermore, a decrease in theta band activity in the prefrontal cortex suggests improved attention and focus. By measuring these patterns, cognitive insights can be derived regarding our focus levels. Vigilance: Vigilance refers to a state of heightened alertness and attentiveness. Real-time analysis indicates that increased beta band power in the central and parietal regions of the brain suggests heightened vigilance. Moreover, a decrease in alpha band power in the occipital region correlates with improved vigilance. By monitoring these patterns, cognitive insights can be gained regarding our level of vigilance. Mental Fatigue: Mental fatigue can significantly impact cognitive performance. Real-time analysis allows us to identify brainwave patterns associated with mental fatigue. Increased theta band activity in the frontal and central regions indicates fatigue, while a decrease in beta band power in the parietal and occipital regions suggests fatigue-related cognitive impairment. By analyzing these patterns, cognitive insights can be gleaned about our mental fatigue levels. Mood: Our mood plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Real-time analysis can provide valuable information about our mood states. Increased alpha band power in the left prefrontal cortex is correlated with a positive mood. Conversely, decreased beta band power in the frontal region may indicate a negative mood state. By examining these patterns, cognitive insights can be obtained regarding our mood. Posterior Dominant Rhythm (PDR): The posterior dominant rhythm (PDR) is an alpha band rhythm prominently observed in the occipital region during relaxed wakefulness. It reflects the resting-state activity of the visual cortex. By analyzing PDR patterns, researchers and clinicians can gain insights into the baseline activity of the visual cortex, contributing to a better understanding of brain function and cognitive processes. Real-time analysis of brainwave patterns offers a fascinating window into our cognitive states. By monitoring and interpreting specific frequency bands and brain regions, cognitive insights can be derived regarding relaxation levels, focus, vigilance, mental fatigue, mood, and even the baseline activity of the visual cortex. This valuable information opens up new avenues for research, clinical applications, and personal development. As technology continues to advance, real-time analysis of brainwave data holds immense promise for a wide range of fields. From optimizing cognitive performance to understanding mental health conditions, the potential applications are vast. So, the next time you reflect on your mental state, remember that our brainwaves hold hidden treasures, waiting to be unraveled through the captivating world of cognitive insights based on real-time analysis.     Report generation feature of Neuphony Desktop Application Here is a seamless procedure to update and generate reports using the Neuphony Desktop Application: Step 1: Take your cursor to the top bar and click on the "Help" option. This can be easily located in the application's interface.   Step 2: Once the "Help" menu opens, click on the "Download & Install Updates Automatically" option. This ensures that you have the latest version of the application along with all upcoming updates. The application will now begin downloading and installing the latest version.   Step 3: After the installation process is complete, you will be prompted to quit and reopen the application. This ensures that the changes and updates take effect, and you are now ready to use the new features.   Step 4: Record a session using the Neuphony Desktop Application. Once you have finished the session, locate the '⋯' icon within the application's interface.   Step 5: Click on the "Print Report" button to initiate the report generation process. Please be patient as it may take a few seconds for the report to load. Once loaded, you will be presented with a comprehensive report of your session, which can also be downloaded and printed.   Step 6: If desired, you can further enhance the report by adding your own notes, observations, or recommendations using the "Notes" button. After making the necessary additions, click on the "Preview" button to review the changes. Once satisfied, you can proceed to print the report.   With these simple steps, you can effortlessly update the Neuphony Desktop Application, record sessions, and generate detailed reports. The application's user-friendly interface and intuitive features make it a powerful tool for analyzing and documenting brainwave data. Start unlocking valuable insights and enhancing your cognitive research journey with Neuphony.
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June 06, 2023.
NeuroFrance 2023 Lyon: Exploring the Frontiers of Neuroscience
Every two years, neuroscientists from all over France gather to exchange knowledge, present their research findings, and engage in discussions on the latest advancements in the field. This year, the highly anticipated NeuroFrance 2023 conference took place on May 24-26th in Lyon, the capital of the Gauls, offering a vibrant scientific program and exciting opportunities for collaboration.   After the virtual event in 2021, the neuroscience community eagerly embraced the return of an in-person conference, allowing researchers to reconnect face-to-face and establish new connections. NeuroFrance 2023 did not disappoint, offering a diverse range of activities and sessions to cater to the diverse interests of attendees.   The conference kicked off with the opening lecture "Human-specific genetic modifiers of cortical circuit development and function" by Franck Polleux, PhD, from Zuckerman Institute - Columbia University. Then it continued with parallel symposia held in different auditoriums, covering a wide array of neuroscience topics. The symposium "Early experiences and adversity on brain development in human and nonhuman primates: effects from perinatal period to adulthood" held in Auditorium Lumière explored the impact of early-life experiences on brain development. In Auditorium Pasteur, the symposium "Theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience: Emergence and low-dimensional representation in brain network dynamics" delved into the application of computational models to understand complex brain processes.   New perspectives on brain oscillations during sleep One of the highlights of the conference was the symposium proposed by the Société Française de Recherche et de Médecine du Sommeil (French Society for Sleep Research and Medicine) titled "New perspectives on brain oscillations during sleep". Chaired by Laurent Seugnet, the symposium delved into the fascinating realm of sleep neuroscience, shedding light on the role of brain oscillations during sleep and their implications for brain function and health. The symposium featured a diverse range of sessions presented by esteemed speakers from various countries, each offering valuable insights into the field. Here is a summary of the sessions: Session 1: Conscious experiences and high-density EEG patterns predicting subjective sleep depth Speaker: Aurélie M. Stephan (CH) Session 2: Neural dynamics in cerebello-hippocampal circuits during sleep Speaker: Thomas Watson (GB) Session 3: Unusual sleep patterns in wild penguins Speaker: Paul-Antoine Libourel (FR) Session 4: Oscillatory coherence regulating behavioral responsiveness in sleepy brains in Drosophila Speaker: Davide Raccuglia (DE) Session 5: Is Paradoxical Sleep A Paradoxical State Of Sleep? Speaker: Flore Boscher (FR) These sessions provided a platform for researchers to present their latest findings and discuss the intricate mechanisms underlying brain oscillations during sleep. From exploring subjective sleep depth prediction to uncovering neural dynamics in specific brain circuits, the symposium showcased the cutting-edge research being conducted in the field.   Cutting-edge research on neurodegenerative diseases For those interested in cutting-edge research on neurodegenerative diseases, the symposium "Spreading in neurodegenerative diseases: from physiopathological mechanisms to clinical applications" held in Auditorium Lumière presented the latest findings on disease progression and potential therapeutic targets. Chaired by Mounia Chami, the symposium brought together experts in the field to discuss the mechanisms underlying disease spreading and explore potential clinical applications. The symposium featured a series of informative sessions, each focusing on a specific aspect of disease spreading and its implications. Here is a summary of the sessions: Session 1: Alpha-Synuclein aggregation and propagation in synucleinopathies, influence of the structure of aggregates Speaker: Nolwen Rey (FR) Session 2: Complexity of tau spreading among tauopathies: from cell mechanisms to therapeutic strategies Speaker: Morvane Colin (FR) Session 3: APP-CTF oligomerization and exosomal spreading in Alzheimer's disease models Speaker: Inger Lauritzen (FR) Session 4: Role of tunneling nanotubes in the spreading of amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative diseases Speaker: Chiara Zurzolo (FR) Session 5: Unraveling The Cell Specific Function Of P2X4 Receptor In ALS Pathogenesis And Its Potential Use As A Biomarker Speakers: Sara Carracedo (FR), E. Bertin, C. Quilgars, A. Fayoux, C. Riffault, G. Le Masson, S. Bertrand, E. Boué-Grabot This session involved a collaborative effort between researchers from the University of Bordeaux and Stanford University, highlighting the multidisciplinary nature of the symposium. These sessions provided a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms involved in the spreading of pathological proteins in various neurodegenerative diseases. From exploring alpha-synuclein aggregation to investigating the role of tunneling nanotubes, the symposium shed light on the complex processes underlying disease progression.   Exploring EEG Applications: Poster Presentations and Symposia In addition to the parallel symposia, NeuroFrance 2023 featured poster presentations, allowing researchers to showcase their work and engage in discussions with their peers. The poster session "Quantitative EEG as a biomarker of neurodepressant effects of industrial solvents in Long-Evans rats" presented by Estefania Bernal from INRS explored the use of quantitative EEG as a potential biomarker for assessing the impact of industrial solvents on brain function. Another intriguing poster presentation titled "How negative emotions influence cognition: an EEG study in arithmetic" by Paola Melani from the Centre de Recherche de l'Ecole de l'Air examined the influence of negative emotions on cognitive processes. For those interested in the application of EEG technology, NeuroFrance 2023 offered several sessions that explored different aspects of EEG research. The symposium "Cognitive and emotional state monitoring through passive brain-computer interfaces" chaired by Raphaelle N. Roy featured talks on using EEG to monitor cognitive and emotional states and its potential applications in brain-computer interfaces. Another session titled "Sharing an open stimulation system for auditory EEG experiments using Python, Raspberry Pi, and HiFiBerry" presented by Alexandra Corneyllie discussed the development of an open-source EEG stimulation system. The symposium on theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience, specifically focusing on computational modeling of epilepsy, provided valuable insights into the diagnosis and prognosis of epilepsy. Led by Chair Huifang Wang, FR, the session featured a talk by Speaker John R. Terry, GB, who explored the intriguing question: "Is normal EEG really normal?" Another session within the realm of theoretical and computational approaches was dedicated to non-invasive neurostimulation. Chaired by Axel Hutt, FR, this session delved into the topic of EEG origin under transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the context of psychosis. Josephine Riedinger, FR, offered valuable insights into the intricate relationship between tDCS and psychosis.   NeuroFrance 2023 also provided opportunities for young researchers to connect and seek mentorship through mentoring sessions organized by the Young Researchers' office. These sessions aimed to support early-career scientists in navigating the field of neuroscience and establishing fruitful collaborations. In addition to the scientific program, NeuroFrance 2023 featured a trade exhibition where attendees could explore the latest tools, technologies, and services in the field. This exhibition provided a relaxed atmosphere for researchers to continue their conversations and discover new resources. The second day the conference culminated with the General Assembly and Awards Ceremony. As the third day of NeuroFrance 2023 unfolded, participants experienced an array of captivating sessions. From the enlightening presentation on the neuroendocrine key to brain aging, to the intriguing problem-solving insights in slime molds, and the exploration of immune dysfunction in psychotic disorders, the conference continued to captivate and inspire. Throughout the day, parallel symposia delved into diverse topics such as prefrontal cortex research, microbiota's role in socioemotional behavior, theoretical and computational approaches in neuroscience, evolution of motor circuits, state-dependent neural plasticity, mechanisms for local regulation of axonal biology, and the revisiting of cortico-basal ganglia circuits. These symposia provided a platform for in-depth discussions and knowledge exchange among experts in their respective fields. The day also featured enriching poster presentations, where researchers showcased their work and engaged in insightful discussions. The posters covered a wide range of topics, including the use of quantitative EEG as a biomarker for neurodepressant effects of industrial solvents, the influence of negative emotions on cognition through an EEG study in arithmetic, and many more thought-provoking studies.     As the curtains closed on NeuroFrance 2023 in Lyon, participants departed with a renewed sense of inspiration and motivation. The conference served as an invaluable platform for fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and celebrating the remarkable progress and advancements in the field of neuroscience. With new connections formed, ideas exchanged, and perspectives broadened, researchers left Lyon carrying the momentum of NeuroFrance 2023, eagerly anticipating the future of neuroscience. Looking ahead, the next edition of NeuroFrance, NeuroFrance 2025, will take place in Montpellier. This vibrant city will host the gathering of passionate researchers, scientists, and professionals dedicated to pushing the boundaries of neuroscience and driving innovation. NeuroFrance 2025 in Montpellier promises to build upon the successes of its predecessor, providing an exceptional opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities of the brain, forge meaningful collaborations, and shape the future trajectory of neuroscience. 
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May 22, 2023.
Harness the Power of Websockets: Real-Time Data Processing with Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions
In the realm of neurotechnology, real-time data processing plays a crucial role in unlocking valuable insights and enabling groundbreaking applications. Naxon Labs is at the forefront of this innovation with its powerful tools, Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions. One key feature that sets these tools apart is the integration of websockets, which allows users to access and process data from Muse devices in real time. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of utilizing websockets and how they enhance the capabilities of Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions.   Real-Time Data at Your Fingertips Websockets provide a seamless and efficient way to receive data updates instantaneously. By establishing a connection through the websocket link provided by Naxon Labs, users can access a wealth of real-time information directly from their Naxon Explorer or Naxon Emotions interface. Whether you're monitoring brainwave patterns, tracking emotional states, or analyzing cognitive responses, the websocket functionality ensures that you stay in sync with the latest data.   Take a look at the websocket connection in the Naxon Explorer screen:   When you click in WebSocket link you will get this information:   Websocket Connection Link: wss:// Subscribe to Recordings Channel: {"command":"subscribe","identifier":"{\"channel\":\"RecordingsChannel\",\"room\":\"RecordingsRoom\",\"session_id\":\"1624\"}"} Change Recording Status: Play : {"command":"message","identifier":"{\"channel\":\"RecordingsChannel\",\"room\":\"RecordingsRoom\",\"session_id\":\"1624\"}","data":"{\"change_status\":\"start_recording\",\"action\":\"change_recording_status\"}"} Pause : {"command":"message","identifier":"{\"channel\":\"RecordingsChannel\",\"room\":\"RecordingsRoom\",\"session_id\":\"1624\"}","data":"{\"change_status\":\"stop_recording\",\"action\":\"change_recording_status\"}"} End : {"command":"message","identifier":"{\"channel\":\"RecordingsChannel\",\"room\":\"RecordingsRoom\",\"session_id\":\"1624\"}","data":"{\"change_status\":\"end_recording\",\"action\":\"change_recording_status\"}"}   Then, you can use the data you get in your user ID.   Unleashing the Potential With the ability to access real-time data via websockets, the possibilities for applications and use cases become virtually limitless. Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions empower users to tap into this potential by processing the received data externally. By leveraging the websocket connection, you can integrate the data into your own applications, algorithms, or research projects, opening doors to personalized insights, advanced analytics, and novel neurotechnological solutions.   Sample Python Code To help you get started, we can provide a sample Python code snippet that demonstrates how to interface with the websocket and extract data based on your user ID. This code can serve as a valuable starting point for building custom applications or integrating Naxon Labs' tools into existing workflows. Feel free to reach out at and start adapting and expanding upon it to suit your specific needs.   Seize the Opportunities By harnessing the power of websockets, Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions empower users to unlock new frontiers in real-time data processing. This functionality allows for seamless integration with Muse devices, enabling you to delve deeper into the realms of brainwave analysis, emotion classification, and cognitive assessment. Together with Naxon Labs, we can explore and unleash the full potential of websockets, creating innovative applications and pushing the boundaries of neurotechnology.   Real-time streaming of EEG data offers numerous benefits and opens up exciting possibilities in various fields.   One key advantage is the ability to monitor and analyze brain activity as it happens, providing researchers and practitioners with immediate insights into cognitive states and emotional responses. By harnessing websockets and integrating them with Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions, users gain access to a wealth of real-time EEG data that can revolutionize their understanding and applications. Within the domain of cognitive and brain science exploration, real-time EEG data streaming enables researchers to delve into the complexities of the human brain with unprecedented precision. They can capture and analyze brainwave patterns in real time, allowing for more accurate identification and classification of cognitive states, emotional responses, and neurological disorders. Researchers can explore the dynamic nature of brain activity, observe changes in real time, and make timely interventions or adjustments as needed. This capability opens up new avenues for studying brain function, improving mental health treatments, and advancing our understanding of the human mind. Beyond research, streaming EEG data in real time holds significant potential in various practical applications. For example, in the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), real-time data processing allows for seamless interaction between the human brain and external devices or systems. It enables individuals to control devices, such as prosthetics or virtual reality systems, using their brain signals in real time. This technology has transformative implications for individuals with motor impairments, offering them greater independence and improving their quality of life. Moreover, real-time EEG data streaming finds utility in fields like gaming, education, and performance optimization. In gaming, it can enhance immersive experiences by adapting gameplay based on players' cognitive states and emotional responses. In education, it can facilitate personalized learning approaches by providing real-time feedback on students' engagement and cognitive load. In performance optimization, real-time EEG data can help athletes and professionals monitor their mental states during critical tasks, identify patterns of peak performance, and make data-driven adjustments to enhance their performance. Example: Influencing brain activity through virtual reality environments   Websockets have revolutionized the way we interact with real-time data, and Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions embrace this technology to its fullest. The integration of websockets in these tools enables users to access and process data from Muse devices in real time, opening doors to endless possibilities for research, analysis, and application development. Embrace the power of websockets with Naxon Labs and embark on a journey of discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs in the world of neurotechnology.   Discover the true potential of real-time data processing with Naxon Explorer and Naxon Emotions. Unleash the power of websockets today!
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April 23, 2023.
IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation sign collaboration agreement with Naxon Labs
Naxon Labs Signs Collaboration Agreement with IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation Naxon Labs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation. IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation is a technology innovation hub working in the domain of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), located at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. The MOU was signed on 30th January 2023, with the aim of promoting interaction between the two organizations in areas like Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Electroencephalography (EEG) technology for research and development, and skill development activities.   IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation have a multidisciplinary team with skills in Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Industrial Design. The areas for research include Cognitive Enhancement, Mental Health & Wellness; EEG/BCI-based Interactive Technologies and Neurofeedback; Multisensory Applications and Social Robotics. With state-of-the-art Lab facilities, the hub collaborates with many organizations, including Naxon Labs. The MOU will allow for the sharing of information and resources towards creating more impact through collaboration in BCI, AI, and EEG use of case-specific products and solutions for the Indian market. This collaboration is expected to lead to breakthrough innovations in the field of Neurotechnology and will bring about significant benefits for both organizations.   According to Leandro Castelluccio, CEO and Co-Founder of Naxon Labs, "We are excited to be partnering with IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation. The collaboration will bring together the expertise of both organizations to develop innovative solutions for the Indian and global market. We believe that this partnership will create a new benchmark in Neurotechnology research and development." On behalf of the IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation, the iHub CEO, Somjit Amrit said, "We are delighted to collaborate with Naxon Labs, which has a wealth of experience in the field of Neurotechnology. This partnership will help us in advancing our research in the field of BCI, AI, and EEG and will also provide opportunities for our research and development team to work on real-world problems." The MOU is a significant step towards advancing research in the field of Neurotechnology, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. The collaboration between Naxon Labs and IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation is expected to bring about significant advancements in the field of BCI, AI, and EEG technology, which will have far-reaching implications for the Indian market.   The partnership will also provide opportunities for students and researchers to work on cutting-edge technology and contribute towards the development of practical tools and applications. The collaboration will also help in promoting skill development activities in the field of Neurotechnology, which is expected to be the next big thing in the tech world. Naxon Labs and IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation are committed to bringing about positive change through technology. This partnership will go a long way in achieving this goal and will pave the way for more collaborations in the future.   Overall, the collaboration between Naxon Labs and IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation is a significant development in the field of Neurotechnology, and we can expect to see groundbreaking innovations in the near future. This partnership is an excellent example of how collaboration between different organizations can lead to breakthrough advancements in technology, which will have a significant impact on our lives.  
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March 09, 2023.
Neurotechnology in New Zealand: developments and state of the art
Developments and state of the art of neurotechnology in New Zealand. Neurotechnology in New Zealand is a rapidly advancing field, with research being conducted in both academia and industry.   One of the key areas of research in New Zealand is in the development of neural prosthetics. These devices, which interface with the nervous system, have the potential to restore function to those who have lost it due to injury or disease. For example, researchers at the University of Auckland are developing implantable devices that can be used to restore movement to people with spinal cord injuries. The Implantable Devices Group at the University of Auckland has been researching the potential of implantable devices to make a significant impact on people's lives. They have been working on developing a wireless heart pump that can be charged overnight and run all day without the need for cables and connections, potentially eliminating the issue of drive-line infections. Additionally, the group has been developing small, power-efficient, wireless data acquisition systems that can be implanted for long-term monitoring of physiological signals. These devices are now available through the Auckland-based company Kaha Sciences.      A team of researchers in the Implantable Devices Group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) are developing an implantable medical pressure sensor to be placed in the brains of patients with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition where fluid accumulates in the brain, which can be fatal if left untreated. The current treatment is a thin tube or shunt surgically implanted in the brain that drains and diverts excess fluid from the brain, but the shunt often blocks, resulting in increased pressure around the brain and reduced blood supply to key areas. The device would be the first New Zealand-designed fully implanted electronic medical device and would offer early warning of a likely blockage, thus preventing unnecessary hospitalizations. The implantable sensor is part of an intracranial pressure (ICP) measurement system that also includes a handheld wand that is held near the head, which wakes up the device, and a pressure reading is sent back to the wand. The system enables a measurement of ICP to be read by the patient or their caregivers and shared with healthcare professionals electronically on the Cloud and through a mobile phone, through an app designed by the team. Ultimately, they will be seeking approval from the FDA, which recognizes three classes of medical devices. Class III medical devices, such as this implantable sensor, are those of substantial importance in preventing impairment of human health but also pose the highest risk to patients.   Professor Simon Malpas leads the Inplantable Devices Group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Photo: Claire Concannon/RNZ.   Professor Simon Malpas leads the Implantable Devices Group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. He is the CEO of Kitea Health. Kitea is a next generation medical device company headquartered in Auckland New Zealand. Founded from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute with substantial backing for its research platform from the Health Research Council, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and a variety of charitable bodies. The company is in the preclinical stage for its first clinical device for the management of hydrocephalus. Another area of research in New Zealand is in the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). BCIs allow people to control computers and other devices using their thoughts, which has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for people with severe physical disabilities. Researchers at the University of Otago and the Auckland University of Technology are working on developing BCIs that can be used to control prosthetic limbs and other assistive devices. New Zealand is playing a role in developing brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) that enable humans to control machines using their minds. Thought-Wired, a start-up with offices in Auckland and Melbourne, has developed the nousBlink system that interprets brain waves and muscle movements through a headband, allowing people who can't speak or move their limbs to control their home devices or access the internet via their computer. Dmitry Yu Selitskiy is the CEO and he ultimately wants to “let anyone control anything with their mind”.    TransAxon is working with AI-BCIs linking physiological psychology and artificial intelligence to repair and improve brains.  Michael Witbrock, Co-Founder and CEO, with the TransAxon team are developing full, "better than reality", function- and memory-enhancing Autogenous Induced Brain-Computer interfaces (AI-BCI) that don’t injure the brain and don’t require much more “surgery” than Lasik or a tattoo. We’ll do this by harnessing the natural neurogenesis processes that originally built our brains, re-applying it to grow a biological bridge that connects an adult brain safely to an interface outside the skull. And we’ll apply AI-level machine learning to achieve complete functional integration. On the path to the full product, we’ll lead with drug development platforms and then therapeutic implants, initially for vision and speech. Outset Ventures and Icehouse Ventures are supporting this initiative. Getting photons into and out of areas with a high degree of control underpins all aspects of optical approaches to BCIs. Staying aware of the capabilities and developments in this field will ensure TransAxon is ready to implement such systems, when and where we need to. The open question is if these systems could eventually work through skin, muscle and perhaps a skull. Still to find out.   Researchers at the University of Otago are working on BMIs that could help treat mental illness, while the Auckland University of Technology is looking to overcome the challenge of complex brainwave translation by developing an artificial intelligence algorithm that mimics the human brain. Shenghuan Zhang and scientists at the University of Otago have developed machine learning models that use EEG (electroencephalography) data to predict depressivity, a measure of personality traits rather than just sickness. The team designed novel techniques to clean up the EEG data, and then used different combinations of signal processing techniques and machine learning algorithms to generate the models. They found that the models could accurately predict depressivity, particularly for women, and that the gamma band of EEG data made the biggest contribution to these predictions. The research opens up possibilities for using EEG data to measure personality traits and could be extended to other mental health conditions, such as anxiety. In this context they created a device that could, for example, give the person an alert to make them more aware of their mental state as a kind of mindfulness training. It’s a high-tech version of a technique called neuro-feedback, which trains people to regulate their own brains by showing them their brain activity.  These neuro-feedback brain-machine interfaces could help people suffering from a host of mental health issues including ADHD, depression and anxiety. So far, the team has developed a proof-of-concept headset that reads brainwaves and a computer algorithm that can translate those brainwaves into making a drone fly.   Instead of trying to analyze many different types of brainwaves, the Otago-based research team has focused on a single channel. The Associate Professor Zhiyi Huang said “we have external funding from a few Chinese companies who initially wanted video game controllers using EEG [electroencephalographic] technology, reading brainwaves and translating those into commands then sent to the game via Bluetooth”.  One research team based at the Auckland University of Technology is tackling the artificial intelligence side of the challenge. To get around some of the difficulties in translating complex brainwaves into instructions for a machine, they’ve created a computer algorithm that mimics the human brain. The artificial intelligence, called NeuCube, maps the brain’s structures and functions and could be used to control devices in the same way our brains control our real limbs ( “We want to make this system more brain-like, so we can better interpret the signals this system has learned,” said team leader Nikola Kasabov. “We want a better understanding of what the brain is doing.” Brain-Like Artificial Intelligence (BLAI) is pioneered by Prof. Nikola Kasabov and here it is one of its realizations. The NeuCube on Chip is a software system for the creation of large spiking neuron models in real time that run on the SpiNNaker multi-core system developed by the University of Manchester group of Prof. Steve Furber. Each SpiNNaker chip has 18 ARM968 cores; they are connected via an asynchronous packet switcher for faster communication. The system runs in real-time, which means that an interactive application that could propagate and change the synaptic weights on the fly could be implemented, this would not only speed up the model training but could also control the flow of spikes and modifications in the weights. The SpiNNaker natively implements a simplified form of STDP learning rule between its connections this adds advantage over software implementation. NeuCube could take advantage of SpiNNaker machines unsupervised learning and speed up the learning process. Also, we could increase the number of neurons from thousands to millions. Neurotechnology in New Zealand is also being used to develop treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders. For example, researchers at the University of Auckland are using deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. DBS involves the use of implantable electrodes to deliver electrical stimulation to specific areas of the brain. In fact, one of the key players in neurotechnology research in New Zealand is the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at the University of Auckland ). The CBR is a multidisciplinary research institute that focuses on understanding the brain and developing new treatments for neurological disorders. The CBR has a number of research programs focused on areas such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy, and is home to a range of advanced neuroimaging technologies such as MRI, EEG, and PET. Another prominent research institute in New Zealand is the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. The foundation is a non-profit organization that funds research into neurological disorders, and also provides education and support for people affected by these conditions. The foundation has a particular focus on conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to research, there are also several companies in New Zealand that are working to commercialize neurotechnology. For example, Neurotech NZ is a New Zealand-based company that develops and commercializes neurotechnology products such as brain-computer interfaces and neurofeedback systems. Focused on developing neurotechnology products and therapies, there are companies like BrainZ, which develops advanced monitoring systems for neonatal intensive care units to help detect and prevent brain damage in newborns. Another company, AurorA BioMed, is focused on developing new therapies for conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. The state of neurotechnology in New Zealand is robust and growing, with a number of research institutes and companies dedicated to advancing the field. The country has a particular focus on understanding and treating neurological disorders, and has made significant progress in developing new therapies and technologies to help people affected by these conditions.
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March 08, 2023.
The Video Games and Artificial Intelligence Innovation Unit at Universitat de les Illes Balears (UVJIA)
The unit was created on March 9th 2022 to promote transfer and innovation in the field of video games and AI (Artificial Intelligence), and the use of video games and their possible applications in different fields with a social and integrative character. It is managed by Dr. Francisco J. Perales López, University Professor of the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (Director), by Dr. Pere Antoni Borras Rotger, full professor at the Department of Pedagogy and Specific Didactics (Assistant Director) and Dr. Francisca Negre Bennasar, professor of the Department of Pedagogy and Educational Psychology (Secretary). At the beginning of 2023 Naxon Labs joined the unit as an external agent in the group of companies of video games and artificial intelligence, particularly bringing synergies with neurotechnology.   The Specific Objectives of the Unit Be a model or guide to deepen and enhance this digital transformation especially in the fields of video games, e-sports and educational and therapeutic applications. Sensitize the user with all the subjects specific to video games with special emphasis on the positive aspects of self-improvement, discipline, teamwork, knowing how to respect established rules and prevent pathological or additive use. Enhance the aspects closest to the user in the field of AI, combining the most natural user interfaces with the most advanced AI systems (XAI) Analyze the e-sports ecosystem as a potential field of diversification of tourist offer in the Balearic Islands Design innovative didactic strategies in order to integrate video games as resources for the improvement of teaching-learning processes Design services based on the concept of metaverses, initially composed of 3D virtual spaces, where to develop interactive multidimensional experiences of use. Study advanced applications combining web 3.0, AR, VR, AI for video games offering advanced user experiences.   Background The use of video games and their applications in a multitude of areas in today's society is unquestionable evidence, and the rapid process towards the total digitization of leisure in all human areas is irreversible. In the interconnected world we live in, video games are an increasingly popular and universal form of mass entertainment. The new situations that encourage telepresence and online/distributed services justify that these video games are developed by multidisciplinary teams of computer engineers and other recognized qualified specialists. Its plots and narratives are a concept generally used as metaverses, an immersive and multi-sensory experience with the applied use of various immersive technological developments that aid in the experience and socialization of the user. Video games play a prominent role among artistic expressions, because they offer a realistic experience that serves to educate as well as entertain. These facts highlight the need to unite the efforts of all professionals related to this growing industry and with an unknown potential in order to face the challenges of the coming years. With regard to this unknown potential, it is interesting to analyze its possibilities as a didactic resource and to study the impact that video games can have on improving teaching-learning processes. It is also relevant to analyze the therapeutic applications of video games for the rehabilitation of certain pathologies that require working on aspects such as memory, spatial orientation, problem solving, following instructions..., as well as studying their distraction capacity for the treatment of pain and other mood effects resulting from illness and/or disability. The design and development of current video games involve many branches of knowledge, which is why the unit must foster this integrative and multidisciplinary spirit by applying knowledge with a common methodology and a language that is proper and accepted in social environments with professional solutions. Digital competence emerges, more and more, as fundamental in technologically advanced societies. In this sense, the unit, based on the proposal of quality video games, will contribute to enhancing this competition between students and teachers and between society in general.   Activities The activities planned by the Video Games and Artificial Intelligence Innovation Unit (UVJIA) are as follows: •    Regular meetings, conferences and workshops held by specialists. •    Reinforcement of the UIB's collaboration with commercial agents and society in general. •    Study of possible economic sources of R+D+I in key projects in the digital transformation of society (video games, electronic sports, education, etc.). •    Innovation, knowledge transfer and training in the field of video games and AI. •    Analysis of the relationship between these activities (electronic sports) and sustainable and quality tourism. •    Promotion of serious video games for health and advanced biosensors (electronic health or e-health ). •    Study of the generation of local and national eSports competitions/tournaments and a UIB eSports club. •    Study of the legal and sociological aspects of video games. •    Proposed strategies for the prevention of video game addiction.   Members companies in computer graphics, computer vision, video games, AI, e-Health. Mansion Games: Ms. Mar Gallardo Lara. NeuronUp: Mr. Iñigo Fernández de Pierola Santo Tomas. Didimo: Ms. Veronica Costa Orvalho. LADAT Studios S.L.: Mr. Juan Montes de Oca Durán. Remex Experience: Mr. Andreu Florit Moll. Alisys Robotics: Ms. Beatriz Gómez Icon Educational Solutions: Mr. Alex Fernandez Onalabs: Ms. Elizabet del Valle Naxon Labs: Mr. Martin Machin Escapula Comics: Pau Rodriguez   Sources: