A new exhibit at the Imperial College London's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition uses a mind-controlled version of Pong to test how well participants can concentrate, the college revealed in a post on its website.
The "Networks in the Brain" exhibit — created by a team within the college Department of Medicine's Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory — shows off the group's current research on brain injury and resulting brain patterns and functions, such a attention span and memory retention.
The exhibit includes three parts: the "EEG Pong" game, a series of interactive cognitive tests and 3D videos showing how the brain's white matter is connected. These games measure changes in the brain's electrical activity through an electrode placed on top of the head and measure the alpha brain rhythm, which is linked to concentration and mental exertion. These video games aim to show the main problems resulting from brain trauma and what can be done for rehabilitation.
"Our research looks at the brain as networks of interacting regions, much like the world-wide-web or social networks," explained Clinical Research Fellow in the college's Division of Brain Sciences Dr. Gregory Scott. "Brain networks are formed from multiple brain regions communicating with each other, through 100,000 miles of connections formed by white matter fibers. Different brain networks support different cognitive functions. As a group, we study people suffering damage to these connections caused by brain injury. We hope the exhibit will help visitors appreciate the complexity and delicacy of these connections and provide insight into how damage to the brain disrupts these connections."
The exhibit will run from July 1-6.