TEST PROGRAMME

TEST PROGRAMME is specifically designed by myself in order to conduct multiple tests with EPOC headset in order to achieve understanding about how this device works and how i can succeed in creating the final installation.

TEST PROGRAMME is a set amount of different tests which will be conducted with each individual using Emotiv headset. Each test will be recorded on specifically designed chart. I will use charts to compare the results and withdraw conclusive elements necessary for developing aesthetics of my end product. It will also help me to understand the specifics of the device and how i can utilise certain body exercises to boost brain activity and get most of the feedback.

Firstly, i will look at the software i will be using with EPOC headset. This free app can be obtained from Emotiv website by clicking here. This application is for Windows operating system only. Here is the screenshot of how it looks and what it does:


As one can see from the picture above it does measure different emotional states and simple gestures. It is slightly different from traditional EEG devices which pick up different waves describing different states of the brain. This application is preprogrammed to pick up specific state of emotion. It seems to me very limited in depicting different emotional states, but maybe it because it is reduced to very basic brain patterns. Other half of the readings are purely based on face muscle movements and can obtain only two vales. It is either ticked or not. Those values can be used like a switch ‘on’ and ‘off’.

This application limits me as a user. I have only bought the headset and therefore my possibilities to use this device is reduced purely by amount of applications designed for it. A developers edition was too costly for me so I knew about the consequences buying just a headset on it’s own. There are other softwares developed for this device and i am intended to use as many as possible in order to get maximum data out of this headset and then interpret this data in visualising softwares.

I will start with this app first and see how it proceeds.

The main ideas for my TEST PROGRAMME I will drawn from medical tests performed with traditional EEG devices and from an OSC application I mentioned above.

When EEG is performed at the hospital the procedure may vary according to the technology used and type of diagnosis doctors are after. But most of the time EEG records brain in different emotional states. There are tests when patients are held in dark room for some time cutting out any unnecessary stimulus and recording brain activity at that state and there are times when patient is subjected to some tests with flashing light to investigate the chances of epilepsy, etc. I also found an interesting experiment where ‘people listen to tapes of spoken Danish played forward and backward. When tape is played forward, the listening and language centers are activated along with other relevant centres in order to understand the message in what is being said. But when the tape is played backward, the entire brain is activated!’ (Nørretranders, p.117)
This particular test shows how brain works to decode the information when it is familiar and unfamiliar. It is very fascinating to see how brain reacts when receiving unknown source of information, it does engage completely to solve the task. I can imagine this happens when a child is learning about this world from scratch, when nothing is stored in his memory and it has to comprehend and create a meaning/understanding to what it faces and pack this information so that it can be accessed later. As we grow older we establish rigid comprehension about this world and how it runs. We keep developing meaning in more deeper levels of consciousness through philosophy and religion but in terms of reason it seems perfectly clear to us. When we listen to something being played backwards it will cause immediate reaction of knowing that it is totally impossible to comprehend, but it doesn’t mean that brain is thinking the same. It will engage to find the meaning to what is being played and when it doesn’t happen it will keep working on it.

For me this moment of ‘learning’ new things is the most important aspect.

TEST PROGRAMME so far:

  1. Stay calm in dark, silent room. No stimuli.
  2. Stay calm in lit room.
  3. Let the subject answer these questions:
    -What is your name and surname?
    -How old are you?
    -What year is it now?
    -Where are we?
    -What colour is sugar?
  4. Let the subject answer these questions:
    -What is the taste of the concrete?
    -How doest it feel like to have a tail?
    -Which song is it? (Play a song backwards)
  5. Let the subject imagine these things being silent with eyes closed:
    -Swimming in the ocean at night. (after describe the feelings in words)
    -Falling from the 100th floor.
    -Sitting in the field of flowers.
  6. Let the subject imagine these things being silent with eyes closed:
    -Being a huge colourful giant with long legs and flying
    -Being in the horror story and fighting real zombies
    -Pure bright light, nothing else
  7. Ask the subject to do mathematical calculations on paper:
    :: 2+2=
    :: 32-12=
    :: 40:7=
    :: (1378:3) + (6382:12)=
  8. Ask the subject to sing a favourite song.
  9. Playback some very popular song.
  10. Playback recorded song which subject just sang.
  11. Ask subject to draw:
    -Apple
    -Death
    -Self-portrait
  12. Stand up, close eyes and fall back. (someone is catching the person from back)
  13. Dance to some catchy tune.
  14. Show the subject:
    -Disturbing image
    -Sexually arousing image of opposite sex or same sex depending on orientation
    -Funny image
* This test will be conducted with people aged 18+. I want to exclude younger children due to the characteristics of these questions as well as the necessity of parental permission. This test is designed by myself and the results will be used for my personal project only. I will ask participating subjects to sign a disclaimer that they are comfortable with questions and none of those questions/exercises cause any personal or sexual offence. I expect my chosen subjects will be open-minded and participate in this project based on interest and self-initiation to be part of it.

————

REFERENCES:

Nørretranders, T., 1999. The User Illusion. London: Penguin Books.

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