Studying Cognitive Activity with fNIR!
The age-old game of chess is known as a thinking man’s game, where foresight, critical thinking, and strategy are required to become a good chess player, and the terms “genius” or “brilliance” are bestowed upon the chess masters of the world. As such, chess is an excellent cognitive tool to use while studying an active prefrontal cortex (PFC), where most decision making—and the aforementioned intellectual traits—are known to happen. This study used fNIR Imaging Systems to monitor prefrontal cortex activity during chess games. Read the full study: Dynamics of the Prefrontal Cortex during Chess-Based Problem-Solving Tasks in Competition-Experienced Chess Players: An fNIR Study (Telmo Pereira, Maria António Castro, Santos Villafaina, António Carvalho Santos, Juan Pedro Fuentes-García)
Studying Real-time Brain Activity with EEG
EEG (electroencephalograph) measurements are a popular measure of brain function and cognition. With a new set of cognitive tests being released from the National Institutes of Health, this study aims to measure cognition in relation to EEG, with the new test dubbed National Institutes of Health Toolbox Cognitive Battery (NIH-TCB). A Wireless EEG system called the B-Alert X-10 took participant data during this series of exercises. Read the full study: Dynamic Changes in EEG Power Spectral Densities During NIH-Toolbox Flanker, Dimensional Change Card Sort Test and Episodic Memory Tests in Young Adults (Judith G. Foy, Michael R. Foy)
Lowering Brain Activity with Meditation?
Many use meditation as a tool to calm nerves, reduce stress, and bring clarity to one’s mind. What physiological processes are involved in this? This recent study measured EEG signals to determine stress levels before and after a series of guided meditations, to unlock the physiological secrets behind the mental process. A BIOPAC data acquisition unit and Biopac Student Lab software were used to record and collect EEG signals. Read the full study: Detection and Analysis of EEG Signals Before and After Meditation (Mallikarjun A. Hadli, Nikith K. Kottary, Pradyumna S. Acharya, Shwetha Baliga)