Visualise The Brain In Real-Time
Who does not want to watch their own brain in action as they are thinking? Why? I don’t know, but I believe it is because it is insanely cool and it may be very similar to the “Overview Effect" in the sense that it can be a therapeutic application in many ways. Perhaps for Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and depression it can help provide a whole new way for researchers to see activity.
Visualization (to me) is also key for creativity. Not only do I think it could be a vital educational tool for us growing up to see what stimulates us and therefore bond us with an understanding of who we are and what our aspirations are. As a result, what we bring to this world as a whole, can perhaps be based on creativity and enjoyment. The importance of this research is the seed it is planting in giving us the power to understand ourselves.
Neuroscape lab of the University of California San Francisco, run by Adam Gazzaley, have developed the imaging technology, called Glass Brain, showing visualizations of brain activity in real-time.
1. the brain is first scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technique utilizing strong magnetic fields and radio waves to image the body.
2. then generates a high-resolution 3D model of the participant’s brain.
3. Brain activity is then recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG) which measures changes in voltage that occur when currents flow through neurons. Normally, EEG recordings look like a series of squiggly lines, something you might expect to come out of a lie detector.
4. glass brain converts this information into bursts of colorful activity, weaving through the 3D brain in real-time as different parts of the brain display activity.
5. This can then be visualized by the participant on a game pad, allowing them to whiz around different areas of their own brain.