imotio

Affordable Technologies for Evidence Based Studies and Mind Monitoring

The built environment and mental health of the residents within the city are extremely interconnected. Daily exposures are known to influence psychological processes, having both known and unknown consequences. The study of Gary W. Evans from 2003 points out that personal control, social support and restoration from stress and fatigue in the physical environment directly impacts mental health. He also points out the need for evidence-based studies and methods. “Mind Monitoring” is a method to consider in such studies, as this makes bringing out evidence easier. 

Unfortunately, our knowledge of the relation between mind and physical environment, especially in developing countries, is very little. Technology to conduct cross-sectional scientific studies is one of the biggest impedances. 

A lot of devices are making our day to day lives easier, productive and entertaining in innumerous ways. But these are the tools that have the potential to be used in mind monitoring. They make research on environmental impacts on minds more affordable. 

EEG a Mind Monitoring method

EEG stands for electroencephalogram. It is a test to find out and monitor the electrical activity of the brain using various noninvasive electrodes placed across the scalp. EEG electrodes pick up the electrical activity in the user’s brain. And then the collected signals are amplified and digitized and sent to a computer or mobile device for storage and data processing. Recently, these tests have been made affordable with new designs and exploring ways to use smartphones.

Some recent EEG devices

  • NeuroSky launched quite a number of second-generation products, such as MindWave, MindWave Mobile, MindWave Mobile Plus and MindWave Mobile 2. Mindwave Mobile 2 is the most affordable brainwave reading EEG headset. These devices are used in games, education, wellness, research and development.
  • Emotiv products achieved better performance and wider scalp coverage by using a higher number of channels and wet electrodes. This caused Emotiv products to have a more complicated set-up and higher price tag. Some Emotiv products are Insight, EPOC X, MN8 etc. They can provide easy-to-understand feedback on the level of stress and distraction to improve workplace wellness, safety and productivity.
  • Muse is a meditation facilitating device that comes along with a mobile application. Muse 2, Muse S are available having a lot of features. Provides real-time feedback on user’s brain activity, heart rate, breathing and body movements
  • Some other devices, such as: MyndPlay MyndBand, Aurora Dreamband, FocusBand, Neeuro SenzeBand work with various mind monitoring activities. For example: empowering users to train their brains to improve attention, meditation skills, for better sleep, dream clarity etc.

Price comparison

Company Product Release Year Price (USD)
NeuroSky MindWave Mobile 2  2018 199.00
Emotiv INSIGHT 2015 299.00
EPOC X 2020 849.00
MN8 Still in production 
interaXon Muse 2014 199.00
Muse 2 2016 249.00
Muse S 2019 349.00
OpenBCI OpenBCI 2014 349.00 (Ultracortex Mark IV)

399.00 (Electrode Cap)

MyndPlay  Myndband 2014 299.00
Aurora DreamBand 2015 299.00
FocusBand FocusBand 2016 600.00
Neeuro SenzeBand 2016 299.00

The researchers and practitioners of developing countries like Bangladesh or Colombia are not much aware of these EEG solutions. Most of the time the price range would still be unaffordable. But the products provided by NeuroSky,  interaXon and MyndPlay are comparatively less costly and can be affordable for the research and mental health practitioners in Bangladesh.

Summing up, affordable technologies for mind monitoring are now rising.  And a displayable number of multidisciplinary collaborative research and experiments in this sector will increase their potential to a great extent!

Authors: Muntaka Ibnath, Nazwa Tahsin

@import url(https://neurolandscape.org/wp-content/plugins/siteorigin-panels/css/front-flex.min.css); #pgc-2907-0-0 { width:100%;width:calc(100% – ( 0 * 30px ) ) } #pl-2907 #panel-2907-0-0-0 { } #pl-2907 .so-panel { margin-bottom:30px } #pl-2907 .so-panel:last-child { margin-bottom:0px } #pg-2907-0.panel-no-style, #pg-2907-0.panel-has-style > .panel-row-style { -webkit-align-items:flex-start;align-items:flex-start } @media (max-width:780px){ #pg-2907-0.panel-no-style, #pg-2907-0.panel-has-style > .panel-row-style { -webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column } #pg-2907-0 > .panel-grid-cell , #pg-2907-0 > .panel-row-style > .panel-grid-cell { width:100%;margin-right:0 } #pl-2907 .panel-grid-cell { padding:0 } #pl-2907 .panel-grid .panel-grid-cell-empty { display:none } #pl-2907 .panel-grid .panel-grid-cell-mobile-last { margin-bottom:0px } }

1

Landscape & Brain – neuroscience data collection outdoors (VIDEO)

Brain scans outdoors: how to collect reliable EEG and FNIRS data in-situ?

Rigorous neuroscience research would question collecting the neuroscience data outdoors, due to too many confounding factors occurring and researchers not being able to control them all. In the sensory exposure research, each participant has to be exposed to the same set of stimuli, which is very difficult if not impossible in an outdoor setting.  For example, small environmental nuances such as certain type of cloud covering the sun would change the amount of light reaching the eye of the participant , which can dramatically change the alpha power produced by the brain.

For this sake we should collect the exposure data in a controlled-lab environment, controlling for each factor such as brightness, temperature, etc. Also, we should use the same set of stimuli, that can be recorded in a form of photo, video or more immersive - VR.

However, environmental researchers, landscape architects and ecologists will all agree that the exposure to nature in the lab has nothing to do with the one outdoors in a real setting. Lab-based experiment lacks the so-called "ecological validity" - meaning it cannot be fully compared with the real experience. As it is essential to advance the knowledge in the area of real exposure to nature as opposed to natural images, we took a challenge to collect a reliable data outdoors, while controlling for most important environmental factors (temperature, humidity, brightness and noise), and making sure for each participant the experience is as similar as possible.

We recorded the video of in-situ data collection from the "Effects of Landscapes on the Brain" project in Singapore, where we show how the EEG and fNIRS data can be collected outside. We have published the preliminary findings from that research in a journal.

Let us know if you have comments or questions about that procedure, also share and support pushing this discipline forward!

© SingEx | Photography by Lionel Lin

Window View and the Brain – study results

Most people in Asian biggest metropolitan areas live above the ground in multi-storey buildings. Here in Singapore residential blocks can reach up to 50+ floors! Developers try to fit as many housing units on small plots of lands without the consideration of what will be the view from the window. Well, maybe it is about the time for them to reflect on that.

This newest study from researchers of NeuroLandscape shows that the window views depending of the floor level and the amount of visible green can affect the brain activity in a positive or negative way.  This goes along with the scientists claim that the daily passive exposures to the living environment can have tremendous impact on our mental health.

Check out your window view!

Update! The paper from this study is already published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, click here to read!

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 12.49.33

See what Contemplative Landscapes do to your brain!

Highly Contemplative Landscapes alter the brainwaves pattern of the people exposed to them!

More about the mechanisms of this phenomenon and how we discovered it can be found in this peer-reviewed paper published recently by Frontiers in Psychiatry, Public Mental Health section.

Full text already available for free here!

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00317/full

 

Project Image 3

Neuroscience solutions

One of the main goals of NEUROLANDSCAPE is to grow the body of knowledge and awareness about the healing and restorative effect of being immersed in natural environments, and effects of the built elements on our brain.
We are continuously running laboratory and on-site experiments that bring us closer to understanding just how the human brain responds to different environmental stimuli, especially those, that we can experience in cities.
The state of the art in the area of the evidence-based landscape design is still in its infancy, existing evidence are based on relatively small sample sizes and modest experimental techniques.

Together with our supporters and donors, we want to change this status quo through providing the rigorous experimental design, with reliable number of participants and using the most recent medical equipment.
We are open to adjusting the experimental design for exact needs of the interested parties, for example engaging participants diagnosed with a specific disorder, in a specific age group, or measuring the effect of a specific landscape on human brain.
We are also interested in long-term studies based on application of non-pharmacological treatments.

 

Our equipment:

We are constantly growing our lab inventory with the neuroscience equipment as well as the stimulation display equipment.  We have been working with:

  • Enobio, by Neuroelectrocs
  • eeggo sport, by ANT
  • NIRSport (LLC NIRx Medical Technologies)

 

  • 3D camcorder (TR80 by Sony)
  • 3D Projector, and displaying screen
  • 3D shutter glasses system (by Nvidia)

 

 

What we offer
We offer a complex approach to the research problems. Besides the knowledge about the possible effects of the landscape itself, we offer publishing the outcomes of an experiment in a form of a case-study in a peer-reviewed journal, in a form of a case study. Also, additional publication possibilities may be discussed and considered. All our research attempts are strictly subject to ethical evaluation, and run according to experimental protocols. 

 

The procedure
If you have an idea for a study using the neuroscience solutions, please contact us by filling the form below. As we are a non-profit organization linked with academia, we first need to review the funding and grant possibilities. All ideas and funding opportunities will be greatly appreciated in the process.