The brain side of Information Technology: an exploration with low cost EEG devices

Day - Time: 05 December 2011, h.14:30
Place: Area della Ricerca CNR di Pisa - Room: C-29
  • Daniele Marini (Dipartimento di Informatica e Comunicazione, Università degli Studi di Milano)

Roberto Scopigno


An emerging problem in IT is how human communication, mediated by computer systems, evolves in new and unexpected ways. Diffusion of social networks, virtual reality, videogames, e-learning, mobile communication are changing the way, in particular, teen and young people interact and exchange experience and emotions. To understand and explore the effects on human beings of the new communication paradigms is a challenge that can be tackled by studying it by multiple viewpoints, from perception to high cognitive and psychological levels and recurring to advanced signal processing methods. The availability of low cost Electroencephalography (EEG) recording devices allows us to perform a large amount of experiments, providing the possibility of sound data interpretation, and setting up simulated and real environmental experiment set up. We are less interested in the study of non-elementary perceptual phenomena, rather focused to study interpersonal or human-computer communication processes, by observing brain behaviour through EEG signal analysis. As a matter of fact, visual and auditory perception, still remain the primary means of such communication processes, but higher level brain phenomena are possibly more appealing. Experiments on EEG already demonstrate that not only a visual, motor or auditory stimulus can be detected, but also the imagination of the stimulus itself can also be detected, so opening the road to brain computer interaction. In this paper we will present some preliminary results from experiments on music, colour perception and mono vs. stereo video viewing.