Glass Brain Device Lets You Literally See What You're Thinking
On Monday, SXSWers were treated to the unveiling of a revolutionary device called Glass Brain. The device, which was created by neuroscientist Adam Grazzaley and Second Life creator Philip Rosedale, is an innovative new neuro-video interface which uses an electrode embedded cap to capture your brain waves. These waves are then converted into a beautiful cerebral array, which can be displayed on virtually any interface – from a flat screen TV to a smart phone.
The device is a product of the Glass Brain Project, which has the requisite super-group of Ph.D. doctors, engineers, programmers, and animators on the team. The device produces an “anatomically-realistic” 3-D visualization of the brain, which represents several of the brain’s functions in a startlingly artistic manner. Using electroencephalographic (EEG) signals, Glass Brain produces real time visualizations which respond to your every thought.
The visual display uses different colors to represent source power and connectivity in different frequency bands in the brain – theta, associated with calmness and drowsiness; alpha, associated with relaxation and reflecting; beta, associated with active thinking; and gamma, associated with using two or more senses at once. The interface uses golden lines and white matter to depict anatomical fiber tracts. Probably the coolest parts of the display are the pulses of light, which represent information transfer between brain regions, and flow along the white and gold fiber tracts.
Not only is the display beautiful, as can be seen from the video above, but it is also tremendously functional. Though researchers are already predicting that this kind of technology could one day be used to help people who have suffered brain injuries, we mere mortals may want to see if a Glass Brain like device could help us hack our brains to help us achieve our goals, like increasing creativity and reducing stress.