Hack the Brain 2017

Human CentipEEG project

Our interdisciplinary team developed and presented ‘Human CentipEEG’ project during the ‘Hack The Brain’ hackathon held in Dublin on 9-11 June 2017. It was selected by the BrainHack consortium to be a “spinal project” (i.e. it showed exceptional potential for further development and was chosen to be eligible to apply for the DART17 programme).

In Human CentipEEG, three individuals — by virtue of their EEG as they relax — effectively become one organism responding to multisensory inputs in real time, with each person acting as one sense modality. Visual input will be perceived by the first person, and their resultant EEG signal was converted into musical output; this music was heard by the second person, whose elicited EEG was converted to tactile vibrations; a third person experienced these tactile sensations, and their recorded EEG was converted into the visual output perceived by the first person. As one participant relaxed, their alpha brain wave will increase, which will influence the input next participant receives and signal them to relax.

This ambitious project created a closed loop of the three participants, whereby the emergent EEG at each stage of the processing chain was converted into a different sensory modality based on the degree of relaxation. This self-perpetuating cycle of relaxation raises new exciting possibilities to create systems to enable EEG altruism/karma where your calm benefits the next person but will eventually come back to you. Human CentipEEG was able to successfully turn the electroencephalogram into both the stimulus and the response, posing the question: where does the signal begin, and where does it end?