Monday, January 24, 2011

Brainwave Based Concentration Enhancing Software : BCES

The lack of concentration is one of the modern life issues and it is shown that it can be overcome by some daily training and basic rehabilitation. Moreover, people can always develop their level of concentration even if that level is not a problem for them.  An increased and manageable concentration skill can be used to enhance the efficiency of human life. The main purpose of the BCES project is to create reliable concentration enhancement software using the neurofeedback technology. The software follows and records the brain activities of the user for a long period and tries to increase the user’s concentration values efficiently. The two main components of the software, small but well designed concentration games and the artificial intelligent system with high planning capabilities that manage the game parameters, will provide an uncomplicated and 
entertaining training experience to the user.

BCES is system which lets the users interact with their brains and see the role of their brains in thinking process and effect of it over acting with these thoughts. The main functionality of the BCES is to keep the user in a concentration state. This functionality will be established by cognitive games that we will design. In these games the user will  be expected to handle with some tasks which require different concentration levels. According to the analyzed brainwave distribution of the user as delta, theta, alpha and beta, the parameters of game levels will be change accordingly to make the user be more focused on these tasks. The reason that we will observe the change in concentration of the user via computer games is the reality that computer games can easily take the attention of the user and with attractive features can easily make the players focused itself for 
long times. So we thought that games can be used to make users concentrated for a period of time to analyze the behaviour of brainwaves during game play. The BCID will help out in this brainwaves extraction process.
In BCES, our goal is to try to maximize the duration of concentration state of the user as indicated above. In the game industry, there are many cognitive games that focus on developing concentration of the players in a specific given time. For example, a Nintendo DS game, Brain Age, is asking mathematic calculations to the player and the time is counted. The littleness of the time is the key to get more score.

Similar to these kinds of games, we will try to take the attention of the user and to make him/her be concentrated. So, in the project the main factor that affects the product and its requirements are the brainwaves of the user and the precisions of the transformation of the brainwaves from the BCID. Because if we can not extract the brainwave information after applying same functions, the raw brainwave information will be useless for the project and the rest of the operations in the software will be meaningless. So, we will plan to get the brainwave information more accurately as possible as we can.

System Overview

In BCES, the whole system is composed of by two main parts. One of them is hardware, the other one is software. At the fist stage, the user log in the system and to get the brainwaves of the user we need to have a Brain Computer Interface Device which has been provided by the company. In the process, after that we extract the brainwaves by the help of this device, by analyzing the features of different brainwaves (delta, alpha, theta, beta), the user will be asked to play the game application that we will develop. While monitoring the brainwaves, through the levels of the game, user will be wanted to concentrate very well to complete the level. In this process we expect to see the changes in the brainwaves of the user in an effective way. As mentioned above, the aim is to increase the Alpha and Beta brainwaves which are observed at the concentration state. Because the concentration of the user can be varied according to his gender, age, 
psychology and the environment, we will take these factors into account and will create a game in a way of getting attention and focusing concentration of the user much more easily and quickly. Moreover, to detect the brainwaves by the device correctly and to treat the user accordingly, there will be a continuous literature survey in the whole process. The running mechanism of the software and so the game will be explained in the following sections.The functionality of BCES is to show the brain activities of the users and changing the features of the applications accordingly during process. So the main benefit of the system is to help the user 
to increase the general concentration, attention and memory level of him. If the user has a lack of concentration then by our system, this situation will be handled. Because we will create the game levels by the help of an AI to decide whether the user is in upper or lower concentration and memory level. The game seems to be more academic but there will be components added to the game to make the game similar to the usual and real “computer games”. So there will be entertainment and amusement in the game to take the attention of the user more easily. Moreover, this project can be applied for other applications rather than only game. For example an music player application that plays music which of genre is decided according to the mood of the user. Because the frequencies of brainwaves are distributed according to mood of the user 
(including concentration), the AI part can be designed for different purposes like this. For example, if the user is unhappy than the player will play funny and cheering musics from the pre-defined database. The examples of these applications are present and used.

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