BrainDate

a game show performance

Can you sync your brain activity with someone else’s? Does that mean you’re compatible? Brain Date, a brain computer interface (BCI) game measures the players brain wave activity in order to find matching patterns of another brain.

The Brain Date compares the global mental state of 3 canditates in real time. It calculates the differences between their EEG comparing in this way their ‘matching’ potentilal. Canditates are exposed to audio-visual stimulation like different types of music, stressfull visual stimulation, portrait photos of stars and politicians, and head calculations. Canditates had a visual feedback of their brains synchronization. The two canditates who where more similar in their brain wave acitivity were able to collect more points while a desynchronization lead to a loss of point to the counter couple. After each session the ‘compatibility’ points were calculated to find the best ‘Brain Date’.

In a time where finding Mister or Miss ‘Right’ becomes more and more challanging Brain Date uses the latest technology from neuroscience to ask a very philosophical question: What makes two human beings interact in synchrony? Is it a conscious choice biases by visual appearance or are our subconsciouss mental preferences and response to the surrounding world a better compass?

The performance / gameshow was performed 2010 at Swissnex San Francisco

Scientific Background

The brain’s neurons communicate with each other via electrical discharges called action potentials. These voltage changes can be measured on a humans skull using electrodes. The overall measured activity is called electroencephalography (EEG).

This interface allows scienties to detect the overall mental states like concentration or meditation. I have to make clear that a brain comptuer interface using EEG technology is NOT detecting the thought of a person or their emotional state. Emotional processing is mainly a subcortical process and not detetable with the todays available EEG sensors. Because our muscle control is also based on electrical discharges any muscle activity like head movements or eyeblinks affect the EEG signal. Such artefacts has to be filtered out in order to obtain a useful signal.

credits

Martin Inderbitzin, Sylvain LeGroux and maybites

text and pictures courtesy of Martin Inderbitzin


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