3D Neurofeedback Application

By combining neurofeedbacklab with Unity game engine, I created a 3D neurofeedback application that streams EEG data from a Muse 2 commercial EEG headset and outputs real-time feedback to a 3D application.

The intensity and volume of the fire corresponds to brain oscillations within the theta (3.5-6.5Hz) frequency range at AF7. This frequency range and location was selected based upon findings in the study Closed-Loop Frontal Midlineθ Neurofeedback: A Novel Approach for Training Focused-Attention Meditation – PMC (nih.gov). It is thought that frontal theta oscillations are inversely correlated with default mode network (DMN) activation and that increasing these oscillations may improve focused-attention meditation.

Although a viable proof-of-concept, neurofeedback has a long way to go (in my opinion) before it is ready for widespread adaptation among everyday people. My primary concern about neurofeedback is an overemphasis on select frequencies and less emphasis on the actual task participants engage in during neurofeedback. In the video above, the real-time feedback of the fire may help train frontal theta oscillations and even increase baseline frontal theta activity with practice. However, how this transfers to real-world improvements in cognition and well-being is still a significant point of controversary. The training of focused-attention meditation is promising in that it may improve cognition by orchestrating domain-general cognitive and attentional networks within the brain.

A more practice application of neurofeedback may be facilitating application of emotion regulation strategies. If these strategies can be taught and even improved upon with practice, the use of neurofeedback could help people learn how to better regulate their emotional state, which may have significant real-world consequences in emotional health and well-being.

Special thanks to Arnaud Delorme for development of neurofeedbacklab, and my friend Kevin for helping me develop the Unity application.

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