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Thinking Cap

Thinking Cap

by aabid93 hobinjk jbohar | updated February 03, 2014

This project aims to produce real time dynamic cognitive enhancement by combining functional brain mapping with neural plasticity enhancing transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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This is to establish existing bodies of research on noninvasive techniques to first monitor brain activity through low resolution electromagnetic tomography(EEG, LORETA) as well as  the effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on, learning, neural plasticity, and neural disorders.
 

January 17, 2014 at 12:04 AM
Created by jbohar
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  - Lights coded to brain region and/or type
  - Robots that are attracted to lights of certain color (possible projected simulation)

  - Light visualizations a la Turrell
  - Positive feedback loops

  - Inside your brain
  - See Turrell, but have environment react to changes in stimuli

 

January 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Created by hobinjk
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Although we didn't have the EEG, we decided to build a simple electronic prototype.

January 18, 2014 at 12:23 AM
Created by aabid93
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are you guys planning on buying a commercial EEG headset for the project? if so, which ones are you guys thinking of?
almost 3 years ago

For the purposes of prototyping, I build the arduino proto shield, using the instructions found here: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/7914

January 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM
Created by aabid93
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Here, we show that we are able to process signals, and activate two different responses (two different LEDs) depending on the signal.

January 18, 2014 at 12:27 AM
Created by aabid93 and jbohar
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Less focus on TMS

More focus on visualization

January 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Created by aabid93
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I just type up a sweet paragraph on this aspect of the project only to have it completely erased during an upload.  Damn.  Anyway at this point we've forgone the attempt at making a functioning Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation aspect of the project (we will continue to prototype it out side the exhibit component) and are focusing on the low resolution electromagnetic tomography and coupling it with an interactive aspect for the show.  We intend to model an anatomical correct sized Human brain and imbed a wireless interaction with the EEG cap to have a visually active LED array to give the wearer a real time mapping model of their actual brain wave activity.  To do this we've reached out Brown's Brain Research Institute to borrow an anatomical model for casting purposes as well as spent hours in the RISD Material Library researching the various , Urethane, Silicon and Polysulfide rubbers to reproduce out model with.  Right now we are awaiting supplies to be shipped while initial work is being done of the programing and hardware, progressing as the hardware arrives.  (the pictures above are from RISD Material Library)

January 25, 2014 at 12:02 AM
Created by jbohar
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can you tell what type of rubber / silicone you ended up picking?
almost 3 years ago
We went with Smooth-On Dragon Skin 20, translucent platinum. This was chosen for durability with anticipated frequency of handling though out the show as well as it's close approximation to actual brain tissue . However a slightly better approximation of brain tissue might be the Dragon Skin 10 which is a bit more malleable and softer to the touch. We unfortunately couldn't get a hold of this at the time of initial casting as well we questioned it's durability through out the length of the show.

http://www.smooth-on.com/Silicone-Rubber-an/c2_1115_1129/index.html
almost 3 years ago

January 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Created by aabid93
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January 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Created by jbohar
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January 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Created by aabid93
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In order to place the Arduino inside the model of the brain we need a sealable enclosure in which to put the board. I'm using a convex hull of a brain model and OpenSCAD to create a basic model of a case which could then be placed within the brain mold.

January 29, 2014 at 5:34 PM
Created by hobinjk
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this looks good. how did you estimate the inner dimensions of the shell? what will be the largest component you need to fit inside of it?
almost 3 years ago

For the case to fit into the brain mold, it must be scaled down as much as possible, leaving at least one inch free for the material to provide its unique consistency. However, the case must also contain the Arduino, XBee, and battery, making this a delicate balancing act. On the picture above, the outer grey box is the bounding box of the brain and the inner box is the bounding box of the case.

January 29, 2014 at 5:48 PM
Created by hobinjk
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The other really important aspect was getting the feel of the of the brain right. Two aspects were important: the shape and the size, and the feel.

February 1, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Created by aabid93
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We bought a brain model that we used to cast the brain.

February 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Created by aabid93
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Then, we placed the electronics inside the model, and cast rubber in the form of a brain.

February 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Created by aabid93
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February 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM
Created by aabid93
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With the assistance of Ryan we able to achieve an early functional model of the set up, reading his brain wave activity while displaying it on the model brain in hand.   This is phase one of the projects main goal of coupling the monitoring systems with TMS enhancement and will represent in a refined form the interactive components of the exhibit on the 15th.

February 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM
Created by jbohar
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very nice! this project is getting quite complex. ( :
almost 3 years ago