Brain to the Cloud – Part III – Examining the Relationship Between Brain Activity and Video Game Performance

I spent approximately 21 hours playing around 150 online multiplayer matches and collected over 12k records of brain data. When I consider my original questions, I feel that I collected enough data to answer most of them. The first question I asked myself was: Can I read my brain data, and if so, is the data valid? And the answer is: YES! Well, to the extent that the Mind Flex provides accurate brain data. That’s still somewhat debatable, but I did do some baseline experiments that seemed to indicate something to the data. The Mind Flex claims to read your actual brain waves – and it provides values for the individual bands (delta, theta, etc). But those values aren’t provided in Hertz as they would be from a medical-grade EEG. Instead, they deliver what they call “ASIC_EEG_POWER_INT” values. Neurosky, the makers of the chip inside the Mind Flex, state these values would typically “typically be reported in units such as Volts-squared per Hz (V^2/Hz), but since our values have undergone a number of complicated transforms and rescale operations from the original voltage measurements, there is no longer a simple linear correlation to units of Volts.” They go on to say that “they are only meaningful compared to each other and to themselves” and that “it would not necessarily be meaningful nor correct to directly compare them to, say, values output by another EEG system. In their currently output form, they are useful as an indication of whether each particular band is increasing or decreasing over time, and how strong each band is relative to the other bands”. They also mention that “for display purposes, if you would like to remove the exponential gaps between the bands to make them appear closer to each other, you could display the logarithm of each value, instead of the exponential values themselves.” And they’re right – it does make the bands appear closer and improves the readability, so that’s how I displayed the values in my reports. 

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