New R&D projects in 2015 – BCI, Sleep and EEG-fMRI

by Birgit Trogisch
Research Cooperation Manager (Brain Products)

Following the innovative projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in previous years, Brain Products was successful in gaining funding for three new projects related to Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI), Sleep and EEG-fMRI starting in 2015.

EMOIO –
Brain-Computer-Interface for emotion detection in neuro-adaptive assistance systems

Federal Ministry of Education and ResearchAssistive and adaptive systems offer great potential for supporting users in various conditions. These systems are especially convenient for elderly people because they help them to master technical products that have become more and more complex. In this project we will strive to detect the users’ emotional-affective reactions in human-machine environments and to give this information back to the system in order to adapt its function to the needs and preferences of the specific user. For this purpose we will apply combined electroencephalography (EEG) and Near-InfraRed-Spectroscopy (NIRS). Our objective is to design a new cap with active electrodes and optodes, which is light and easy to use.

This project started on 1st of January 2015 and will end after 3 years. It will be realized in collaboration with Fraunhofer IAO Stuttgart (coordinator), NIRx Medizintechnik Berlin, University of Tuebingen / Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology and Institute of Psychology, University of Stuttgart / Institute for Working Environment and Technology Management. We thank the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for their financial support.

Related website: www.iao.fraunhofer.de

Sleep booster

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and EnergyIn this project we want to develop an innovative system for “learning while sleeping” – a dream many students have. Our research and development tasks are based on study results from the University of Luebeck with whom we collaborate on the basis of a cooperation contract. We will design a miniaturized EEG system (4 channels maximum) for detecting the slow oscillations (around 1 Hz) in the user’s deep sleep phase. In a second step, the user’s memory shall be automatically boosted by acoustic stimulation in the selected moments. Scientists have found out that these slow oscillations are important for the formation of our declarative long-term memory. BUT, it is, of course, still necessary to learn before going to bed.

This project started on 1st of June 2015 and will end after 2 years. We thank the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for their financial support.

Development and scientific evaluation of a new MR-compatible EEG system for the multimodal and multi-parameter analysis of the brain structure and its function

Bavarian Research Foundation (Bayerische Forschungsstiftung)Multimodal and multi-parameter analysis are currently considered the most effective procedures for studying the functional and structural complexity of the human brain and for understanding its potential pathologies. In this field, the simultaneous application of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) proved to be of great value because it allows the direct, non-invasive investigation of the neural activity with a high temporal and spatial resolution. For high channel counts, this method is still characterized by either long preparation times, or often inferior quality of EEG data (multimodal limitation). Also the amplifiers and caps have to keep up with new developments in MR sequences and the ever developing MR scanner technology (multi-parameter limitation). We will strive to overcome these limitations – in strong collaboration with the University Hospital in Großhadern (Munich, Germany) that has various scanners at their dispositon and contributes their highly scientific expertise. Our main objective is to develop a new “MR safe” amplifier offering 128 to 256 channels.

The project will start on 1st of November 2015 and last 30 months. We are grateful for the funding given by the Bavarian Research Foundation.

Of course, we will keep you up to date on the above projects; for details on all national and international R&D projects Brain Products has been involved in, please visit www.brainproducts.com/projects.php.

©Brain Products GmbH 2015
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