Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The effects of alcohol as measured with EEG signals

Using the Emotiv EPOC, I propose to measure the emotions and level of focus of participants as they consume alcohol. The Affectiv Suite will be used to gauge the wearer's level of Engagement/Boredom, Frustration, Meditation, Instantaneous Excitement, and Long Term Excitement. The Cognitiv Suite's suites initial training program will be used for testing levels of focus.

Essentially a variation on the Ballmer Peak. At what BAC do people have the highest/lowest focus? Highest/lowest emotional levels? Are there differences between the different 'types of drunks' for these measures? Can EEG signals be used to measure the effects of alcohol? Finally, and possibly most importantly, will the IRB give me approval to get people drunk in a controlled environment in the name of science?

User Study Format:
  • Get participants who are at least 21 years of age (for this to be official research).
    • Survey to determine exposure to BCIs, drinking tendencies, what kind of 'drunk' they are, gender, age, etc.
  • Perform initial training set on participants. Number of training sets per participant to be determined.
    • Record neutral states for each participant.
    • Have each participant train one of the movements (i.e., lift the cube) in the Emotiv Control Panel training program.
    • Measure peak level of focus behind movement.
    • Using Affectiv Suite, measure emotional levels.
  • Have participants drink. At set consumption intervals, have participants try and perform their trained movement.
    • Set number of tries to perform movement.
    • Measure peak level of focus behind movement.
    • Using Affectiv Suite, measure emotional levels.
    • Bonus: Create secondary, tertiary, etc. profiles for each participant and record new neutral states for later comparison.
  • Repeat until everyone is legally drunk (.08 BAC in Texas). Same measurements taken at each step.
  • Ask participants at which point they felt that were most focused/emotional.
  • Comparisons of neutral states at varying BAC levels.
  • Comparisons of focus levels for task.
  • Comparisons of emotional readings.
  • Correlation between 'type of drunk' and results?
  • Accuracy of a participant's perceived moments of highest focus/emotion with the recorded information.
Note: This proposed study, and any others that I post, are my own ideas unless otherwise stated. Please do not steal them without giving the proper credit!

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