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Jul 29, 2007

Controlled evaluation of a neurofeedback training in ADHD children

Controlled evaluation of a neurofeedback training of slow cortical potentials in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Behav Brain Funct. 2007 Jul 26;3(1):35

Authors: Drechsler R, Straub M, Doehnert M, Heinrich H, Steinhausen HC, Brandeis D

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although several promising studies on neurofeedback training in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have been performed in recent years, the specificity of positive treatment effects continues to be challenged. METHODS: To evaluate the specificity of a neurofeedback training of slow cortical potentials, a twofold strategy was pursued: First, the efficacy of neurofeedback training was compared to a group training program for children with ADHD. Secondly, the extent of improvements observed in the neurofeedback group in relation to successful regulation of cortical activation was examined. Parents and teachers rated children's behaviour and executive functions before and after treatment. In addition, children underwent neuropsychological testing before and after training. RESULTS: According to parents' and teachers' ratings, children of the neurofeedback training group improved more than children who had participated in a group therapy program, particularly in attention and cognition related domains. On neuropsychological measures children of both groups showed similar improvements. However, only about half of the neurofeedback group learned to regulate cortical activation during a transfer condition without direct feedback. Behavioural improvements of this subgroup were moderately related to neurofeedback training performance, whereas effective parental support accounted better for some advantages of neurofeedback training compared to group therapy according to parents' and teachers' ratings. CONCLUSIONS: There is a specific training effect of neurofeedback of slow cortical potentials due to enhanced cortical control. However, non-specific factors, such as parental support, may also contribute to the positive behavioural effects induced by the neurofeedback training.

Lomak (Light Operated Mouse And Keyboard) Gets 2007 IDEA Gold

Via Medgadget

Lomak International Limited was awarded the Gold Prize in the Computer Equipment category in IDSA's 2007 Awards.

Company explains its technology:

Lomak (light operated mouse and keyboard) is designed for people that have difficulty with, or are unable to use, a standard computer keyboard and mouse. A hand or head pointer controls a beam of light that highlights then confirms the key or mouse functions on the keyboard. By confirming each key, only the correct selection is entered, which reduces errors and increases input speed.

In addition to speed and accuracy, Lomak offers a number of advantages over other access methods including;


  • versatility and ease of use and training (people can be up and running with it almost immediately)

  • it requires no calibration and can operate in any ambient conditions

  • it does not require software (i.e. no dedicated computers are required for users with disabilities; converselyusers can log into their own PCs without assistance)

  • it does not require any screen area (no on-screen keyboard or mouse menu is required)

  • it can be used with any application (e.g. proprietary software such as accounting/payroll applications and other business software)
  • Lomak is ideal for a work environment as it is easy to install, use and manage. It requires little or no technical support as from a systems perspective it is recognised as simply a USB keyboard and mouse.



2007 IDEA Winners: Computer Equipment

NanoArt: Call for Entries

Re-blogged from Networked Performance

By jo on calls + opps



NanoArt 2007 INTERNATIONAL ONLINE COMPETITION :: Deadline: December 31, 2007 :: Open to all artists and scientists.

NanoArt is a new art form where micro or nanosculptures created by artists or scientists through chemical or/and physical processes are visualized with powerful research tools like Scanning Electron Microscopes. The monochromatic electron microscope scans are processed further using different artistic techniques to create pieces of art that can be showcased for the general public. Nanoart21.org, founded by artists / scientist Cris Orfescu, will provide 3 high resolution monochromatic electron scans as seed images for artists to choose from. The participating artists will have to alter these images in any artistic way to finish the artistic-scientific process and create a NanoArt work. The artists or / and scientists are encouraged to participate with their own images as long as these visualize micro or nanostructures.

The worldwide competition NanoArt 2007 is open to all artists 18 years and older. Online voting will open January 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008. Judging is via the Internet and decided by our site visitors. Winners will be notified and published online around April 15, 2008.

For more details please visit: http://nanoart21.org/html/nanoart_2007.html


18:37 Posted in Cyberart | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: nanoart

Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation

Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation.

Neurobiol Aging. 2007 Jul 24;

Authors: Pagnoni G, Cekic M

Zen meditation, a Buddhist practice centered on attentional and postural self-regulation, has been speculated to bring about beneficial long-term effects for the individual, ranging from stress reduction to improvement of cognitive function. In this study, we examined how the regular practice of meditation may affect the normal age-related decline of cerebral gray matter volume and attentional performance observed in healthy individuals. Voxel-based morphometry for MRI anatomical brain images and a computerized sustained attention task were employed in 13 regular practitioners of Zen meditation and 13 matched controls. While control subjects displayed the expected negative correlation of both gray matter volume and attentional performance with age, meditators did not show a significant correlation of either measure with age. The effect of meditation on gray matter volume was most prominent in the putamen, a structure strongly implicated in attentional processing. These findings suggest that the regular practice of meditation may have neuroprotective effects and reduce the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.

Cortical activation changes induced by visual biofeedback tracking training in chronic stroke patients

Cortical activation changes induced by visual biofeedback tracking training in chronic stroke patients.

NeuroRehabilitation. 2007;22(2):77-84

Authors: Cho SH, Shin HK, Kwon YH, Lee MY, Lee YH, Lee CH, Yang DS, Jang SH

Objectives: We tried to examine whether visual biofeedback tracking training (VBTT) can improve both the gait performance and cortical activation pattern in chronic stroke patients. Design: We enrolled 10 chronic hemiparetic patients with stroke(mean age 46.3 +/- 5.19 years). The patients were randomly assigned to the training group (5 patients) or the control group (5 patients). VBTT was to follow the PC-generated sine waves with the knee joint electrogoniometer, and the two sine waves should appear as close to overlapping as possible on the PC monitor. The training was performed for 39 minutes/day, 5 days/week, for 4 weeks. Pre-training and post-training accuracy of tracking, functional status of gait, and functional MRI (fMRI) were measured. fMRI was performed at 1.5 T in parallel with timed knee flexion-extension movements at a fixed rate. Results: The accuracy of the tracking performance, walking speed, and motor scale for gait improved in the training group. Primary sensorimotor cortex (SM1) cortical activation shifted significantly from the unaffected to the affected hemisphere in the training group. Conclusions: We demonstrated that cortical activation changes occurred with gait function improvement in chronic stroke patients throughout the 4-week VBTT program. It seems that the cortical reorganization was induced by VBTT.

Jul 26, 2007

Mobile Persuasion: the book

A good reading on mobile persuasion - Edited by BJ Fogg and Dean Eckles



 For more info, see www.mobilepersuasion.com


How to become invisible

 Via PlanetHCI

A man wearing a grey-and-white striped suit blends in with a pedestrian crossing.

A man wearing a suit that looks like slabs blends in with the pavement.

More images like these can be found over at Hem.com.np.

Video Depth Illusion - Neato!

Via Neatorama and the Presurfer

check it out: 


19:32 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cellphone for the Blind

Via Textually.org (Gizmodo)


"a cellphone concept design by Peter Lau enables blind users to easily dial numbers and make calls. It doesn't rely on Braille, but instead has differently angled keys that users can learn to recognize".

Visual relaxation landscapes

Via Information Aesthetics


This website shows beatiful animated landscape loops designed for visual relaxation (Flash plugin required)

Halluc II: 8-legged robot vehicle

Via Pink Tentacle

Halluc II --









Researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology have developed a robotic vehicle with eight wheels and legs designed to drive or walk over rugged terrain. The agile robot, which the developers aim to put into practical use within the next five years, can move sideways, turn around in place and drive or walk over a wide range of obstacles.

The researchers hope the robot’s abilities will help out with rescue operations, and they would like to see Halluc II’s technology put to use in transportation for the mobility-impaired.

Here’s a short video of the model in action.


Motorola signs on with Microvision's PicoP laser projection

Via EdaGeek

Microvision announced that they have signed an agreement with Motorola to put their PicoP projector into future Motorola products. The PicoP is an ultra-miniature laser based display that enables a "big screen" viewing experience from mobile devices.

By projecting content displayed on the device screen onto a wall, object or even a curved surface, mobile users could easily share Websites or multimedia applications such as movies, personal videos, mobile TV, photographs and presentations with friends or business colleagues.

Press Release [Microvision]



Jul 25, 2007

Research Fellow Post in Eyetracking for Virtual Environments

We are advertising a one or two year post at UCL to work on Eyetracking for Immersive Virtual Environments. We are seeking a post-doctoral Research Fellow to work on eye-tracking within immersive virtual environments. This is a post on the EPSRC-funded Eye Catching project. The project has built a unique tele-collaboration system, where each of three users of different CAVE-like environments can see the eye-motion of the other two users. The applicant will require a PhD in virtual environments, computer graphics, CSCW, eye-tracking or other area related to the topic of the project. They must have experience designing and running user experiments, and be confident writers and presenters. Founded in 1973, the Department of Computer Science has internationally leading groups in Networking, Software Engineering, Bioinformatics, Imaging and Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics. It is an innovative department with 40 faculty members and is located in central London - an ideal environment for young researchers. The post is on the UCL Grade 7 scale, the salary for which ranges from £26,666 to £32,796 (excluding London Allowance of £2,572).  The starting salary for the person appointed will be between £26,666 - £30,913 p.a (excluding London Allowance) and will depend on experience and education. The position is funded for one year from October 2007.
There is the potential of an extension of the post to two years. For further details and information on how to apply, please see our website at http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/vacancies
The closing date for applications is Friday August 24th.

Jul 24, 2007

Second Life Running on Nokia n800

From 3Dpoint /Via Metaversed/

Second Life running on the Nokia n800

Second Life resident Wrestling Hulka has a limited version of the virtual world running on the Nokia n800.

another mobile client for Second Life was developed by Comverse earlier in the year

Jul 23, 2007

iPhone progenitor?


An Apple phone from 1983. Link via fudder.de


19:20 Posted in Wearable & mobile | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: i-phone

Simulating hemispatial neglect with virtual reality

Simulating hemispatial neglect with virtual reality.

J Neuroengineering Rehabil. 2007 Jul 19;4(1):27

Authors: Baheux K, Yoshizawa M, Yoshida Y

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hemispatial neglect is a cognitive disorder defined as a lack of attention for stimuli contra-lateral to the brain lesion. The assessment is traditionally done with basic pencil and paper tests and the rehabilitation programs are generally not well adapted. We propose a virtual reality system featuring an eye-tracking device for a better characterization of the neglect that will lead to new rehabilitation techniques. METHODS: This paper presents a comparison of eye-gaze patterns of healthy subjects, patients and healthy simulated patients on a virtual line bisection test. The task was also executed with a reduced visual field condition hoping that fewer stimuli would limit the neglect. RESULTS: We found that patients and healthy simulated patients had similar eye-gaze patterns. However, while the reduced visual field condition had no effect on the healthy simulated patients, it actually had a negative impact on the patients. We discuss the reasons for these differences and how they relate to the limitations of the neglect simulation. CONCLUSIONS: We argue that with some improvements the technique could be used to determine the potential of new rehabilitation techniques and also help the rehabilitation staff or the patient's relatives to better understand the neglect condition.

Share Prize 2008: Call for Entries [Turin]

Via Networked Performance



Piemonte Share Festival announces the second edition of the Share Prize 2008 for digital art. The prize aims to discover, promote and sustain digital arts. The competition jury will award a prize of €2,500.00 to the work (published or unpublished) which best represents experimentation between arts and new technologies. The candidates for the prize (a short list of a maximum of 6 competitors) will be guests at the 4th edition of the Share Festival, taking place in Turin in March 2008 at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, Turin. In order to be declared winner of the prize, every artist has to take part in the 4th edition of Share Festival, by preparing his or her work of art, to be properly evaluated by jury and public.

The organization is available at offering all the costs regarding the preparation of the 6 selected works as well as travel and accommodation expenses for the artists, and, possibly, the prize itself”. Nomination of 6 candidates for the prize by November, 2007. The announcement will be published on the following website. The winner will be announced in March 2008 during the award ceremony at Share Festival.

Entry Conditions: The contest is open to any Italian and foreign artist using digital technology as a language of creative expression, in all its shapes and formats and in combination with analogical technologies and/or any other material (i.e. computer animation / visual effects, digital music, interactive art, net art, software art, live cinema/vj, audiovisual performance, etc.). Each artist or group can enter up to 3 works. Artists who are part of a group participating in the contest may also enter up to 3 individual works. Participating entries must be registered on the site using the registration form. Registration and description of the competition entry forms should be either in English or Italian; English is preferred.


19:00 Posted in Cyberart | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: cyberart

Senior scientist position at Philips Research Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Via Captology Notebook

The candidate should hold a MSc. in psychology and have affinity with industrial research on User – System Interaction. Practical experience with methodologies and data analysis techniques for conducting empirical research as well as strong experience in the area of research into persuasive technologies is required. The candidate should have strong conceptual and analytical skills and is able to form and communicate own views. At the same time the candidate is part of a multi-disciplinary team working for customers, which requires a cooperative and customer-oriented attitude. The offered function includes task such as:

• deliver contributions to projects as required by the project leader and the customer;
• contribute to the development of transferable results within the defined projects;
• contribute to the patent portfolio;
• support related research projects and colleagues in setting up empirical research projects;
• deploy model, assessment methods and tools in research projects into persuasive technologies;
• carry out free research: prescreen own creative ideas on their usefulness for Philips, and find ways to propose new ideas and get them accepted;

The successful candidate will offered a position as senior scientist in the Cognitive & Behavioral Insights capability cluster at Philips Research Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The Cognitive and Behavioral Insights capability cluster delivers user Insights for the conceptualization of technological solutions that bring compelling user experiences. In the context of user – system interaction and system mediated communication, the cluster deploys and extends knowledge on human cognition, emotion and social interaction. With capabilities in the area of human cognition, behavioural models and empirical research methodologies, the cluster's research focuses on the themes of (i) persuasion and motivation, (ii) social presence and awareness and (iii) emotion and experience.

Novel brain-scanning technology invented

Researchers from Siemens have developed a prototype MRI scanner that uses a lattice of small coils positioned around the head rather than large coils you lie inside. As noted in this Technology Review article, the device is likely to have important applications in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a variation of standard MRI that tracks blood flow in the brain as an indirect measure of activity.

The technique is often used to locate the parts of the brain that control specific functions, such as speech and movement. The first clinical application for the device will likely be fMRI for neurosurgery planning, says [Siemens MR vice president] Bundy. "Surgeons want to know where speech and motor areas are when they take a tumor out- the more precise, the better."


18:50 Posted in Research tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: research tools

Neural correlates of dispositional mindfulness during affect labeling

Neural correlates of dispositional mindfulness during affect labeling.

Psychosom Med. 2007 Jul;69(6):560-5

Authors: Creswell JD, Way BM, Eisenberger NI, Lieberman MD

Objective: Mindfulness is a process whereby one is aware and receptive to present moment experiences. Although mindfulness-enhancing interventions reduce pathological mental and physical health symptoms across a wide variety of conditions and diseases, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unknown. Converging evidence from the mindfulness and neuroscience literature suggests that labeling affect may be one mechanism for these effects. Methods: Participants (n = 27) indicated trait levels of mindfulness and then completed an affect labeling task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The labeling task consisted of matching facial expressions to appropriate affect words (affect labeling) or to gender-appropriate names (gender labeling control task). Results: After controlling for multiple individual difference measures, dispositional mindfulness was associated with greater widespread prefrontal cortical activation, and reduced bilateral amygdala activity during affect labeling, compared with the gender labeling control task. Further, strong negative associations were found between areas of prefrontal cortex and right amygdala responses in participants high in mindfulness but not in participants low in mindfulness. Conclusions: The present findings with a dispositional measure of mindfulness suggest one potential neurocognitive mechanism for understanding how mindfulness meditation interventions reduce negative affect and improve health outcomes, showing that mindfulness is associated with enhanced prefrontal cortical regulation of affect through labeling of negative affective stimuli.

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