Now Playing on the Learning Commons' Digital Art Wall...

Now Playing on the Learning Commons' Digital Art Wall...

Brain Vibes
Creators: Bill Ralph and an Unknown Brain
Collaborators: James Desjardins and Sid Segalowitz
Brock University's Laboratory of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

I was asked by James Desjardins from Brock's Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory to create a real time visualization of the data they were collecting from measuring human brain waves. As Sid Segalowitz says "The brain is the most intricately networked system that we know of, involving trillions of discrete connections distributed into millions of interacting networks. When we record its electrical field patterns from the scalp using EEG, we at first think we see randomness, but this really represents nonlinear chaotic patterns. " The nonlinear patterns that Sid is referring to are particularly interesting to me because for a long time now I have been creating and exhibiting images and videos based on chaotic dynamical systems that I design. I was intrigued by the possibility of transforming their data into a visual composition that might allow us to appreciate and maybe even experience some of the patterns hidden within the incredible complexity of the brain. Even with a variety of programming and mathematical tricks, his 23 seconds of real time data consisting of half a million numbers still translated into several minutes of video. With so much data being output so quickly, I had to restrict myself to just drawing rectangles in order to keep up with the immense flow of information. Everything you see in this video such as colour, size and movement is entirely determined by the data. As a starting point for the visualization, I used all of the pairwise correlations between the data streams flowing from the 38 sensors attached to the subject's scalp.