SPCN2021 Special Guests
Measuring brain hemodynamic response during the perception of images and sound using fNIRS
Speaker: Dariusz Zapała, Ph.D., Founder/CSO in a neurotech company CortiVision, and an assistant professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is one of the newest and fastest-growing functional neuroimaging techniques. The fNIRS uses infrared light (650–950 nm) to measure the hemodynamic response of the neocortical brain regions and is appreciated for its: non-invasiveness, relatively high resistance to motion artefacts, higher spatial resolution than electroencephalography (EEG), better temporal resolution than functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and easy integration with other measurement devices. For these reasons, fNIRS is gaining popularity as a research tool in studies with children, neurorehabilitation, sport, brain-computer interfaces, and social neuroscience. As a result of these capabilities, fNIRS remains one of the few brain recording methods feasible for use in motion and outside the laboratory. These features are particularly relevant to research approaches such as neuroergonomics, real-life neuroscience, and UX/UI studies. At the same time, the fNIRS developers create more devices that are fully mobile, wireless, and designed to work with head-mounted displays (HMD) or other biosensors. The purpose of this talk is to present how to measure the cerebral cortex's activity using the fNIRS portable system in studies on visual and auditory perception. It will also demonstrate how to create an experimental procedure, set up the device, calibrate sensors, and export signals for analysis. The presentation will primarily focus on measuring brain activity in movement conditions and integrating various biological signals via LSL protocol, e.g., for cognitive experiments in a VR environment.
“It’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for” Video-based Scientific Observation made easy
Speaker: Reinhard Grassl, Head of Sales Department, Mangold International Germany
Observation appears to be a simple skill. It is assumed to be something everyone does every day since early childhood, and thus, it seems to be an easy and well-trained skill. But observation of behavior with intended scientific outcome is far from easy. It requires a well-thought-out method based on scientific knowledge and hypothesis.
As live observation has several limitations, capturing video is essential. But video-based behavioral research requires a professional approach and appropriate technical systems to make the process of data acquisition and observation efficient. This not only increases the efficiency of the observation process but also its effectiveness, because more and better results can be expected.
It further requires appropriate software tools to create reliable data and interesting findings with significant validity in reasonable time.
We need to think about how more data and results can be generated from existing data, in order to discover the things that cannot be discovered by pure observation. Because that is exactly the added value of observational studies.
Now it is clear that even at very early stages, any time-saving by using professional tools will benefit the further evaluation process. Because time is the critical factor in order to present expected reliable and valid results and to discover further things that have not yet been explored.
The major difference between everyday observation and scientific observation, and the enormous chances specific software tools can create in this field, will be shown in this presentation. It provides an insight into how easy data collection and the complex analysis of data interrelations can be.
Mobile EEG: current approach and potential for future research?
Speaker: Ivan, Gligorijevic, Ph.D. - CEO of mBrainTrain
In recent years, an increasing number of researchers have been recording EEG in novel environments and contexts that are outside traditional and static laboratory conditions, i.e. in real life. Although such attempts are becoming more frequent, they encounter various technological and conceptual difficulties. Technological difficulties are connected with the ability to record research-grade EEG in conditions of motion and other interference. Conceptually however, there is the question of recording EEG in the presence of various (and simultaneous) physiological inputs, which makes it harder to isolate the effect of interest. So, what are the benefits and should EEG research go in mobile direction at all, and if yes, what is needed for this? Here we will use examples to try to explain how far the research mobile EEG has progressed, and how this was reflected in novel insights into the functioning of the brain in very dynamic and realistic surroundings