Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.
Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and autism affect millions of children worldwide, many of which are undiagnosed despite the fact that all of these disorders are detectable in early childhood. Late diagnosis can cause severe problems due to the late treatment and to the misconceptions and lack of awareness as a whole towards these disorders. Moreover, electroencephalography (EEG) has played a vital role in the assessment of neural function in children. Therefore, quantitative EEG measurement will be utilized as a tool for use in the evaluation of patients who may have ADHD, epilepsy, and autism. We propose a screening tool that uses EEG signals and machine learning algorithms to detect these disorders at an early age in an automated manner. The proposed classifiers used with epilepsy as a step taken for the work done so far, provided an accuracy of approximately 97% using SVM, Naïve Bayes and Decision tree, while 98% using KNN, which gives hope for the work yet to be conducted.
Over the last few years, the amount of data available on the globe has been increased rapidly. This came up with the emergence of recent concepts, such as the big data and the Internet of Things, which have furnished a suitable solution for the availability of data all over the world. However, managing this massive amount of data remains a challenge due to their large verity of types and distribution. Therefore, locating the required file particularly from the first trial turned to be a not easy task, due to the large similarities of names for different files distributed on the web. Consequently, the accuracy and speed of search have been negatively affected. This work presents a method using Electroencephalography signals to locate the files based on their contents. Giving the concept of natural mind waves processing, this work analyses the mind wave signals of different people, analyzing them and extracting their most appropriate features using multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm, and then classifying them using artificial neural network to distinguish among files with similar names. The aim of this work is to provide the ability to find the files based on their contents using human thoughts only. Implementing this approach and testing it on real people proved its ability to find the desired files accurately within noticeably shorter time and retrieve them as a first choice for the user.
The fuel consumption of modern, high wing loading, commercial aircraft in the first stage of flight is high because the usable flight level is lower and the weather conditions (jet stream) have great impact on aircraft performance. To reduce the fuel consumption, it is necessary to raise during first stage of flight the L/D ratio value within Cl 0.55-0.65. Different variable geometrical wing trailing edge modifications of SC(2)-410 airfoil were compared at M 0.78 using the CFD software STAR-CCM+ simulation based Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. The numerical results obtained show that by increasing the width of the airfoil by 4% and by modifying the trailing edge airfoil, it is possible to decrease airfoil drag at Cl 0.70 for up to 26.6% and at the same time to increase commercial aircraft L/D ratio for up to 5.0%. Fuel consumption can be reduced in proportion to the increase in L/D ratio.
An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.
Optimal human performance is a key goal in the professional setting of military pilots, which is a highly challenging atmosphere. The aviation environment requires substantial cognitive effort and is rich in potential stressors. Therefore, it is important to analyze variables such as mental workload to ensure safe conditions. Pilot mental workload could be measured using several tools, but most of them are very subjective. This paper details research conducted with military pilots using psychophysiological methods such as electroencephalography (EEG) and heart rate (HR) monitoring. The data were measured in a simulator as well as under real flight conditions. All of the pilots were exposed to highly demanding flight tasks and showed big individual response differences. On that basis, the individual pattern for each pilot was created counting different EEG features and heart rate variations. Later on, it was possible to distinguish the most difficult flight tasks for each pilot that should be more extensively trained. For training purposes, an application was developed for the instructors to decide which of the specific tasks to focus on during follow-up training. This complex system can help instructors detect the mentally demanding parts of the flight and enhance the training of military pilots to achieve optimal performance.
The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of emotional experience induction in the mirror neurons systems (MNS) activity with regard to the spectrum of depressive symptoms. For this purpose, at first stage, 449 students of Kharazmi University of Tehran were selected randomly and completed the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Then, 36 students with standard Z-score equal or above +1.5 and equal or equal or below -1.5 were selected to construct two groups of high and low spectrum of depressive symptoms. In the next stage, the basic activity of MNS was recorded (mu wave) before presenting the positive and negative emotional video clips by Electroencephalography (EEG) technique. The findings related to emotion induction (neutral, negative and positive emotion) demonstrated that the activity of recorded mirror neuron areas had a significant difference between the depressive and non-depressive groups. These findings suggest that probably processing of negative emotions in depressive individuals is due to the idea that the mirror neurons in motor cortex matched up the activity of cognitive regions with the person’s schema. Considering the results of the present study, it could be said that the MNS provides a substrate where emotional disorders can be studied and evaluated.
Recording psychological and physiological correlates of human performance within virtual environments and interpreting their impacts on human engagement, ‘immersion’ and related emotional or ‘effective’ states is both academically and technologically challenging. By exposing participants to an effective, real-time (game-like) virtual environment, designed and evaluated in an earlier study, a psychophysiological database containing the EEG, GSR and Heart Rate of 30 male and female gamers, exposed to 10 games, was constructed. Some 174 features were subsequently identified and extracted from a number of windows, with 28 different timing lengths (e.g. 2, 3, 5, etc. seconds). After reducing the number of features to 30, using a feature selection technique, K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods were subsequently employed for the classification process. The classifiers categorised the psychophysiological database into four effective clusters (defined based on a 3-dimensional space – valence, arousal and dominance) and eight emotion labels (relaxed, content, happy, excited, angry, afraid, sad, and bored). The KNN and SVM classifiers achieved average cross-validation accuracies of 97.01% (±1.3%) and 92.84% (±3.67%), respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the classification process based on effective clusters or emotion labels.
Event-related potential (ERP) is one of the useful tools for investigating cognitive reactions. In this study, the potential of ERP components detected after auditory and visual stimuli was examined. Subjects were asked to respond upon stimuli that were of three categories; Target, Non-Target and Standard stimuli. The ERP after stimulus was measured. In the experiment of visual evoked potentials (VEPs), the subjects were asked to gaze at a center point on the monitor screen where the stimuli were provided by the reversal pattern of the checkerboard. In consequence of the VEP experiments, we observed consistent reactions. Each peak voltage could be measured when the ensemble average was applied. Visual stimuli had smaller amplitude and a longer latency compared to that of auditory stimuli. The amplitude was the highest with Target and the smallest with Standard in both stimuli.
EEG is a very complex signal with noises and other bio-potential interferences. EOG is the most distinct interfering signal when EEG signals are measured and analyzed. It is very important how to process raw EEG signals in order to obtain useful information. In this study, the EEG signal processing techniques such as EOG filtering and outlier removal were examined to minimize unwanted EOG signals and other noises. The two different mental states of resting and focusing were examined through EEG analysis. A focused state was induced by letting subjects to watch a red dot on the white screen. EEG data for 32 healthy subjects were measured. EEG data after 60-Hz notch filtering were processed by a commercially available EOG filtering and our presented algorithm based on the removal of outliers. The ratio of beta wave to theta wave was used as a parameter for determining the degree of focusing. The results show that our algorithm was more appropriate than the existing EOG filtering.
The increasing demand of thermoplastic elastomers is related to the wide range of applications, such as automotive, footwear, wire and cable industries, adhesives and medical devices, cell phones, sporting goods, toys and others. These materials are susceptible to microbial attack. Moisture and organic matter present in some areas (such as shower area and sink), provide favorable conditions for microbial proliferation, which contributes to the spread of diseases and reduces the product life cycle. Compounds based on SEBS copolymers, poly(styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene, are a class of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), fully recyclable and largely used in domestic appliances like bath mats and tooth brushes (soft touch). Zinc oxide and zinc ions loaded in personal and home care products have become common in the last years due to its biocidal effect. In that sense, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zinc as antimicrobial agent in compounds based on SEBS/polypropylene/oil/ calcite for use as refrigerator seals (gaskets), bath mats and sink squeegee. Two zinc oxides from different suppliers (ZnO-Pe and ZnO-WR) and one masterbatch of zinc ions (M-Zn-ion) were used in proportions of 0%, 1%, 3% and 5%. The compounds were prepared using a co-rotating double screw extruder (L/D ratio of 40/1 and 16 mm screw diameter). The extrusion parameters were kept constant for all materials. Tests specimens were prepared using the injection molding machine. A compound with no antimicrobial additive (standard) was also tested. Compounds were characterized by physical (density), mechanical (hardness and tensile properties) and rheological properties (melt flow rate - MFR). The Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) Z 2801:2010 was applied to evaluate antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). The Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) NBR 15275:2014 were used to evaluate antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger (A. niger), Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans), Candida albicans (C. albicans), and Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The microbiological assay showed a reduction over 42% in E. coli and over 49% in S. aureus population. The tests with fungi showed inconclusive results because the sample without zinc also demonstrated an inhibition of fungal development when tested against A. pullulans, C. albicans and P. chrysogenum. In addition, the zinc loaded samples showed worse results than the standard sample when tested against A. niger. The zinc addition did not show significant variation in mechanical properties. However, the density values increased with the rise in ZnO additives concentration, and had a little decrease in M-Zn-ion samples. Also, there were differences in the MFR results in all compounds compared to the standard.
A comprehensive study of object recognition in the human brain requires combining both spatial and temporal analysis of brain activity. Here, we are mainly interested in three issues: the time perception of visual objects, the ability of discrimination between two particular categories (objects vs. animals), and the possibility to identify a particular spatial representation of visual objects. Our experiment consisted of acquiring dense electroencephalographic (EEG) signals during a picture-naming task comprising a set of objects and animals’ images. These EEG responses were recorded from nine participants. In order to determine the time perception of the presented visual stimulus, we analyzed the Event Related Potentials (ERPs) derived from the recorded EEG signals. The analysis of these signals showed that the brain perceives animals and objects with different time instants. Concerning the discrimination of the two categories, the support vector machine (SVM) was applied on the instantaneous EEG (excellent temporal resolution: on the order of millisecond) to categorize the visual stimuli into two different classes. The spatial differences between the evoked responses of the two categories were also investigated. The results showed a variation of the neural activity with the properties of the visual input. Results showed also the existence of a spatial pattern of electrodes over particular regions of the scalp in correspondence to their responses to the visual inputs.
An experiment to verify the relationships between physiological indexes of an e-learner and the presence or absence of an operation during e-learning is described. Electroencephalogram (EEG), hemoencephalography (HEG), skin conductance (SC), and blood volume pulse (BVP) values were measured while participants performed experimental learning tasks. The results show that there are significant differences between the SC values when reading with clicking on learning materials and the SC values when reading without clicking, and between the HEG ratio when reading (with and without clicking) and the HEG ratio when resting for four of five participants. We conclude that the SC signals can be used to estimate whether or not a learner is performing an active task and that the HEG ratios can be used to estimate whether a learner is learning.
Per capita energy usage in any country is exponentially increasing with their development. As a result, the country’s dependence on the fossil fuels for energy generation is also increasing tremendously creating economic and environmental concerns. Tropical countries receive considerable amount of solar radiation throughout the year, use of solar energy with different energy storage and conversion methodologies is a viable solution to minimize the ever increasing demand for the depleting fossil fuels. Salinity gradient solar pond is one such solar energy application. This paper reports the characteristics and performance of a thermally insulated, experimental salinity-gradient solar pond, built at the premises of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Particular stress is given to the behavior of the evolution of the three layer structure exist at the stable state of a salinity gradient solar pond over a long period of time, under different environmental conditions. The operational procedures required to maintain the long term thermal stability are also reported in this article.
This work proposes a data-driven multiscale based quantitative measures to reveal the underlying complexity of electroencephalogram (EEG), applying to a rodent model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and recovery. Motivated by that real EEG recording is nonlinear and non-stationary over different frequencies or scales, there is a need of more suitable approach over the conventional single scale based tools for analyzing the EEG data. Here, we present a new framework of complexity measures considering changing dynamics over multiple oscillatory scales. The proposed multiscale complexity is obtained by calculating entropies of the probability distributions of the intrinsic mode functions extracted by the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) of EEG. To quantify EEG recording of a rat model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury following cardiac arrest, the multiscale version of Tsallis entropy is examined. To validate the proposed complexity measure, actual EEG recordings from rats (n=9) experiencing 7 min cardiac arrest followed by resuscitation were analyzed. Experimental results demonstrate that the use of the multiscale Tsallis entropy leads to better discrimination of the injury levels and improved correlations with the neurological deficit evaluation after 72 hours after cardiac arrest, thus suggesting an effective metric as a prognostic tool.