New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

3D Simulation to visualize EEG waves while determining maximum attention span

Team: 40

School: Las Cruces YWiC

Area of Science: Social Science

Interim: Team Number: Team 40
School Name: Las Cruces YWiC
Area of Science: Social Sciences
Project Title: 3D Simulation to visualize EEG waves while determining maximum attention span

Problem Definition:
What is maximum attention span? Many people claim they have a high attention span, but is this true? Some people don't really know what their maximum attention span is because attention is not a set value. Whether it is to divide work amongst a team or to simply figure out your mental capacity, people need to be able to analyze their brain activity so they can measure their maximum workload. Using the the Mindwave headset and a simple game that the user has to complete, we can determine maximum attention span which will help make the user complete many tasks in a more efficiently divided manner.
The Mindwave by Neurosky reads attention by reading electroencephalography (EEG) waves. The EEG waves have different set millivolt readings and each corresponds to a certain aspect of the brain. For example, Alpha waves read the state of rest of the brain, Theta reads drowsiness, and Delta reads the sleep or dream waves. The two most important EEG waves are Beta—which reads how active the mind is—and Gamma—the waves that detect problem solving and concentration. The Mindwave uses a safe and a very effective way to measure these waves: the Mindwave is a headset with two sensors, one on the forehead and another clipped to the ear lobe. This creates an electrical circuit through the brain—a harmless procedure. The data is transmitted wirelessly to a computer where the data can be streamed into the program. Then the resulting data will generate a 3D brain from the 3D Brain Atlas Reconstructor (3DBAR).

Problem Solution:
The maximum attention span can be measured by having the user complete a series of tasks—like a challenge in a video game. Our goal in this project is to set and maintain a level of attention span within all users. Once the user is done with the task, 3DBAR will construct an image to let the user visualize where in the brain the EEG waves are emitting from. This will give the user a deeper understanding of how the user’s brain interprets the task and can be used to compare the brains of users with low and high attention spans. Using our program we can determine how many tasks a single user can do at once which can be applied to people who drive and text or try to watch a movie while working on a assignment. Challenges we will encounter will be to set the game to adjust the difficulty depending on the EEG waves and to set boundaries between the difficulties in the game.

Progress to date:
Presently, a simulation has been constructed to test the users maximum attention span with a simple challenge. This program so far can read the EEG waves and determine when the user has low Gamma or Beta values. Soon we will work on the EEG Brain scanner that can take the information of the Mindwave and apply this data to the 3DBAR to look and compare between different users.
A mathematical formula, given by Neurosky, can be used to convert the raw values from the Mindwave to volts. The volts can be used to determine how much electricity the brain is using. This is important because we want to find out if the brain uses more volts to solve tasks or not.

Expected results:
The final results should be a program able to receive data from the Mindwave and effectively change the difficulty level of the task to find the users maximum attention span. The 3DBAR rendering of the brain is to compare different brains and to observe where the EEG waves originate in the brain. The readings of volts will be placed into the results as a comparison to the raw data that comes from the Mindwave headset. This project gives many different opportunities for applications that can help students focus more on tests to be more aware of their surroundings.


Team Members:
Ahmed Muhyi
Hoon Jeong Lee
Andrew Lawendy

Sponsoring teacher:
Sam McGuinn

Team Members:

  Hoon Jeong Lee
  Ahmed Muhyi
  Andrew Lawendy

Sponsoring Teacher: Rebecca Galves

Mail the entire Team

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