Neuroscience, tCS and EEG blog
While heading to Petronas Technology University where I will give a course on transcranial current stimulation (tCS) basics I summarized the basics of the technology and particularly on Starstim, the device we envisioned and started to develop within the HIVE project. tCS devices allow the controlled injection of low-amplitude electrical currents into the cerebral cortex through the electrodes, which are non-invasively placed on the scalp. In this sense they play the opposite role to EEG, i.e. not for monitoring brain activity but for modifying it. There has been some advancement in the tCS field, but the technology and its effects on the brain are still not fully understood. Well, the effects are showing up more and more as studies and clinical trials increase. As a matter of fact, publications on tCS have multiplied by a factor of 4 in the last 4 years, and the clinical trials involving it, even by a factor of 10. But what is still not really understood is what causes this effect from both an electrophysiological as well as therapeutic point of view. I would like to comment on the electrophysiological effects giving some quick hints on what makes the applied electrical current affect the brain activity at the neuronal level. The state of the art is far from this understanding on its effects at neuronal population level and at a global brain level, i.e. connectivity, which have been much less studied.
How many times would you have liked to know what the person in front of you was feeling? Perhaps, you were criticizing a specific brand in an interview, and the guy just in front of you was a self-devoted user of this brand. Or the other way around: the interviewer was interested on knowing what your feelings were regarding a specific issue during the interview. How useful would an emotion recognition system have been in those situations?
We all know that we are extremely social animals but just how far does this go? Many believe that human intelligence evolved to solve our complex social problems rather than ecological problems as was previously assumed. Robin Dunbar lays this out in his 1998 paper “The Social Brain Hypothesis”. You may have heard of Dunbar’s Number, which refers to the number of people we can reasonably maintain relationships with, and it is directly related to our social processing power. In fact the number of individuals in various primates social groups and how this correlates to the size of their respective neocortex is in part what drove this theory.
Rest is a determining factor in human life, necessary and essential to stay productive the entire day. However, sometimes there are some external noises such as thunderstorms, music or even vehicles that keep us from sleeping. But ... do these noises affect us all equally? Are we all aware of these sounds?
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
Topics: brain computer interface, brain stimulation, emotion detection, emotion elicitation, data fusion, experiment, eeg, eeg techniques, eeg experiments, recordings, neurofeedback, multisensory methodologies, eeg quality