News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

(BCI) Brain Computer Interface Mind Controlled Video Game

(BCI) Brain Computer Interface Mind Controlled Video Game

Sep 24, 2013

Chapman University student Leah Sukenik shares her experience as she visits a dynamic and interactive research and development complex Fusionworld at Fusionopolis located at the One-North business park in Singapore. There are Five themed zones that capture some of the most amazing applications of technology in our daily lives and FusionWorld hopes to fuel students’ interest in science and engineering disciplines to cultivate future scientists.

“Currently at Fusionopolis, a brain computer interface (BCI) video game is used to help stroke patients and little kids to focus is being developed and perfected. This innovative prototype could be found a common commodity in the near future. Thanks to the work in EEG scans, this video game controlled by focusing only one’s mind was able to come into existence.

The video game created at Fusionopolis is currently showing positive effects in brain function and neuron connectivity. It has been found that “training in impulse-control and memory minimized distraction and improved concentration and behavior” (DesMarais, 2011). For stroke patients who are struggling with memory and motor functions, this game has shown to help improve these issues by increasing their brain strength. For children of school age who have played the game have also show an improvement in school and their ability to focus. According to Christina DesMarais from PCWorld, mind controlled video games help “children ages 7-13 improve impulse control, memory, attention and relaxation.” Some psychiatrists believe that mind controlled video games such as these could help patients with ADD, ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety as an alternative to medication (Hay, 2012). These mental issues can be under the patient’s own control through them exercising their ability to govern their relaxed state and concentration, and exercising these states in a fun way.

BCI

The game works by placing a devise on the player’s head and ears that calibrates their brain waves. It is using electroencephalograph, or EEG, technology in the headsets to pick up the radio waves and their frequency at which the brain gives these waves off to control the game. At this point, this type of brain control technology is only able to track “the brain’s ability to concentrate and relax but not specific, purposeful actions” (Hay, 2012). The prefrontal cortex, which controls “higher thinking—such as emotions, mental states and concentration” is where the headset is picking up the brain waves from (DesMarais, 2011). The more a person concentrates on something, the higher the frequency of the brain waves emitted and the quicker the character in the game runs and captures fruit. It would be interesting to see if concentrating on different types of things helped to improve this functionality more so than others. For instance if someone were to think about their daily routine versus a dance routine, would there be a significant difference in the benefit to the brain? The video game is an interesting piece of technology that hopefully will find itself a common place in homes in the near future.

This mind controlled video game created in One-North’s Fusionopolis is a healthy way to exercise the brain and a fun way to do it. It has numerous benefits that can help all age groups and has the potential to even help with some mental disorders without the use of medication. Through EEG technology, the headset placed on the head and ears is able to pick up and measure the electrical impulses and radio waves the brain emits while concentrating and relaxing, allowing the game to play. Although no technology currently exists to cause specific actions to occur just by thinking, this game is a gateway technology that may just lead to innovations in virtual telekinesis.” -By Leah Sukenik

To learn more visit:

http://www.a-star.edu.sg/About-A-STAR/Overview.aspx

http://www.fusionworld.sg/index.php/exhibiting-technologies/list-of-technologies

Works Cited:

DesMarais, Christina. “Video Game Uses Brain to Control Action.” PCWorld.N.p., 16 Oct.
2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

Hay, Timothy. “Mind-Controlled Videogames Become Reality.” The Wall Street Journal. N.p.,
29 May 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.


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