Brain structure correlates of urban upbringing, an environmental risk factor for schizophrenia. Haddad Leila,Schäfer Axel,Streit Fabian,Lederbogen Florian,Grimm Oliver,Wüst Stefan,Deuschle Michael,Kirsch Peter,Tost Heike,Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas Schizophrenia bulletin Urban upbringing has consistently been associated with schizophrenia, but which specific environmental exposures are reflected by this epidemiological observation and how they impact the developing brain to increase risk is largely unknown. On the basis of prior observations of abnormal functional brain processing of social stress in urban-born humans and preclinical evidence for enduring structural brain effects of early social stress, we investigated a possible morphological correlate of urban upbringing in human brain. In a sample of 110 healthy subjects studied with voxel-based morphometry, we detected a strong inverse correlation between early-life urbanicity and gray matter (GM) volume in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, Brodmann area 9). Furthermore, we detected a negative correlation of early-life urbanicity and GM volumes in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) in men only. Previous work has linked volume reductions in the DLPFC to the exposure to psychosocial stress, including stressful experiences in early life. Besides, anatomical and functional alterations of this region have been identified in schizophrenic patients and high-risk populations. Previous data linking functional hyperactivation of pACC during social stress to urban upbringing suggest that the present interaction effect in brain structure might contribute to an increased risk for schizophrenia in males brought up in cities. Taken together, our results suggest a neural mechanism by which early-life urbanicity could impact brain architecture to increase the risk for schizophrenia. 10.1093/schbul/sbu072
    A Prototype SSVEP Based Real Time BCI Gaming System. Martišius Ignas,Damaševičius Robertas Computational intelligence and neuroscience Although brain-computer interface technology is mainly designed with disabled people in mind, it can also be beneficial to healthy subjects, for example, in gaming or virtual reality systems. In this paper we discuss the typical architecture, paradigms, requirements, and limitations of electroencephalogram-based gaming systems. We have developed a prototype three-class brain-computer interface system, based on the steady state visually evoked potentials paradigm and the Emotiv EPOC headset. An online target shooting game, implemented in the OpenViBE environment, has been used for user feedback. The system utilizes wave atom transform for feature extraction, achieving an average accuracy of 78.2% using linear discriminant analysis classifier, 79.3% using support vector machine classifier with a linear kernel, and 80.5% using a support vector machine classifier with a radial basis function kernel. 10.1155/2016/3861425
    Evaluating If Children Can Use Simple Brain Computer Interfaces. Zhang Jack,Jadavji Zeanna,Zewdie Ephrem,Kirton Adam Frontiers in human neuroscience The options for severely disabled children with intact cognition to interact with their environment are extremely limited. A brain computer interface (BCI) has the potential to allow such persons to gain meaningful function, communication, and independence. While the pediatric population might benefit most from BCI technology, research to date has been predominantly in adults. In this prospective, cross-over study, we quantified the ability of healthy school-aged children to perform simple tasks using a basic, commercially available, EEG-based BCI. Typically developing children aged 6-18 years were recruited from the community. BCI training consisted of a brief set-up and EEG recording while performing specific tasks using an inexpensive, commercially available BCI system (EMOTIV EPOC). Two tasks were trained (driving a remote-control car and moving a computer cursor) each using two strategies (sensorimotor and visual imagery). Primary outcome was the kappa coefficient between requested and achieved performance. Effects of task, strategy, age, and learning were also explored. Twenty-six of thirty children completed the study (mean age 13.2 ± 3.6 years, 27% female). Tolerability was excellent with >90% reporting the experience as neutral or pleasant. Older children achieved performance comparable to adult studies, but younger age was associated with lesser though still good performance. The car task demonstrated higher performance compared to the cursor task ( = 0.027). Thought strategy was also associated with performance with visual imagery strategies outperforming sensorimotor approaches ( = 0.031). Children can quickly achieve control and execute multiple tasks using simple EEG-based BCI systems. Performance depends on strategy, task and age. Such success in the developing brain mandates exploration of such practical systems in severely disabled children. 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00024
    The portable P300 dialing system based on tablet and Emotiv Epoc headset. Tong Jijun ,Zhang Peng ,Xiao Ran ,Ding Lei Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual International Conference A Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a novel communication system that translates brain signals into a control signal. Now with the appearance of the commercial EEG headsets and mobile smart platforms (tablet, smartphone), it is possible to develop the mobile BCI system, which can greatly improve the life quality of patients suffering from motor disease, such as amyotrophic lateral scleroses (ALS), multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and head trauma. This study adopted a 14-channel Emotiv EPOC headset and Microsoft surface pro 3 to realize a dialing system, which was represented by 4×3 matrices of alphanumeric characters. The performance of the online portable dialing system based on P300 is satisfying. The average classification accuracy reaches 88.75±10.57% in lab and 73.75±16.94% in metro, while the information transfer rate (ITR) reaches 7.17±1.80 and 5.05±2.17 bits/min respectively. This means the commercial EEG headset and tablet has good prospect in developing real time BCI system in realistic environments. 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7318425
    Correction to: The Aging Urban Brain: Analyzing Outdoor Physical Activity Using the Emotiv Affectiv Suite in Older People. Neale Chris,Aspinall Peter,Roe Jenny,Tilley Sara,Mavros Panagiotis,Cinderby Steve,Coyne Richard,Thin Neil,Bennett Gary,Thompson Catharine Ward Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine Please note that the legend to Fig. 1 has been modified since this article was originally published, and also that in Tables 2, 3 and 4, R[2] was corrected to (the now correct) R squared. 10.1007/s11524-017-0209-3
    The Aging Urban Brain: Analyzing Outdoor Physical Activity Using the Emotiv Affectiv Suite in Older People. Neale Chris,Aspinall Peter,Roe Jenny,Tilley Sara,Mavros Panagiotis,Cinderby Steve,Coyne Richard,Thin Neil,Bennett Gary,Thompson Catharine Ward Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine This research directly assesses older people's neural activation in response to a changing urban environment while walking, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG). The study builds on previous research that shows changes in cortical activity while moving through different urban settings. The current study extends this methodology to explore previously unstudied outcomes in older people aged 65 years or more (n = 95). Participants were recruited to walk one of six scenarios pairing urban busy (a commercial street with traffic), urban quiet (a residential street) and urban green (a public park) spaces in a counterbalanced design, wearing a mobile Emotiv EEG headset to record real-time neural responses to place. Each walk lasted around 15 min and was undertaken at the pace of the participant. We report on the outputs for these responses derived from the Emotiv Affectiv Suite software, which creates emotional parameters ('excitement', 'frustration', 'engagement' and 'meditation') with a real-time value assigned to them. The six walking scenarios were compared using a form of high dimensional correlated component regression (CCR) on difference data, capturing the change between one setting and another. The results showed that levels of 'engagement' were higher in the urban green space compared to those of the urban busy and urban quiet spaces, whereas levels of 'excitement' were higher in the urban busy environment compared with those of the urban green space and quiet urban space. In both cases, this effect is shown regardless of the order of exposure to these different environments. These results suggest that there are neural signatures associated with the experience of different urban spaces which may reflect the older age of the sample as well as the condition of the spaces themselves. The urban green space appears to have a restorative effect on this group of older adults. 10.1007/s11524-017-0191-9