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Neurofeedback games for the enhancement of cognitive abilities related to multitasking

: Sourina, Olga; Hou, Xiyuan; Wang, Lipo; Lim, Wei Lun; Liu, Yisi


Proceedings of the 17th World Congress of Psychophysiology (IOP2014) of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP) : Hiroshima, Japan, September 23rd to 27th, 2014
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2014 (International journal of psychophysiology 94.2014, Nr.2)
World Congress of Psychophysiology (IOP) <17, 2014, Hiroshima>
Fraunhofer IDM@NTU ()
Electroencephalography (EEG); game based training; Multitasking; Business Field: Virtual engineering; Business Field: Digital society; Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI)

Various approaches and algorithms are proposed and implemented in neurofeedback systems for training of human cognitive abilities. Neurofeedback training can be done in different forms such as games, simple visual feedback such as color changes, or audio feedback such as a beeping sound.
In this work, first, we propose and implement neurofeedback games that can be used with different neurofeedback algorithms to train cognitive abilities related to multitasking such as working memory and attention. Each game consists of a neurofeedback system with implemented neurofeedback algorithms and game flow part. The user has to choose a neurofeedback algorithm (for example, alpha, theta/beta or fractal dimension based training algorithm) through the interface. The user's individual alpha peak frequency and individual alpha band width can be calculated and entered as well to make the training more effective. Second, we propose a novel multitasking game that can be used both as the game for neurofeedback training and as the multitasking test with a score. The score includes the user's performance and reaction time. The player has to drive the car on the road and avoid the walls, react to the sounds in the auditory oddball task, and remember the letters and shoot the target in case the repeated letters appeared.
Thus, the multitasking game includes 3 simultaneous tasks involving the player's coordination such as avoiding the walls during the car driving; player's comprehension of the sounds such as recognition of 2 different sounds, and memorization of the letters such that the player has to remember the letters shown on the screen. A neurofeedback training algorithm is integrated in the game as follows: if the targeted EEG parameter is achieved - the driving environment stays without changes; if it is not - the driving environment is shaken, and the color is changed. The multitasking game is more challenging for the player than traditional neurofeedback games because not only the neurofeedback algorithm is used in the game but the simultaneous tasks are integrated as well. Thus, the multitasking game needs to be tested and compared with the traditional neurofeedback games to assess its effectiveness.