Read Your Mind. What does that mean to you? Think about it now, because it might be changing soon. We already read minds, right? Whether it is a movie director knowing the shot this audience is will cry over, to that undefinable human intuition to know what someone was thinking – you read their face. Read their mind. Or your bro looked left, you looked right and both leapt the fence. It doesn’t have to be your mate, it could be the bloke from across the bar, it’s human connection – it’s telepathy. T here is also mind reading like Miss Chloe at 3AM after that break up and fifth of Jamison, lost looking for solace or hope and the pits of despair. Chloe cold reads you, and that’s a cool. So reading someone’s mind is an art, but there is also a science to it.

The science of mind reading is not not so crudely called just that, but Neuroscience. Well, alternatively known as neurobiology, this is the study of the nervous system. It dates back as old as Egypt. Neurosciences is a multidisciplinary branch, encompassing anatomy, biochemistry and about eight other fields simple have little insight on being a lowly tech-writer, but I do promise to make clear how we’re implementing it into VR/AR and why.

Through EEG Electroecephagraphy professionals, it is not an easy-bake over for the wannabe scientist, we receive the measurement of waves and activity. One wave of particular interest is the P300. This brain wave is fired with during the decision making process. It has connections with intent. Monitoring with EEG is explored much more thoroughly in Predicting Intended Movement Direction Using EEG for Himan Posterior Parietal Cortex (PPC). They investigate if EEG signals recorded from PPC can be used to decode intended movement direction. The answer is yes but its complex.

 

EMOTIV EEG Headset

EMOTIV EEG Headset

 

What if you were playing a video game against a robot. Let’s say NBA 2k, and it’s in VR. You go the ball. You’re dribbling up court, calling for your Power Forward to get in place, looking down the court and scanning for your opportunity. If the EEG is connected to the computer-opponent and is predicting where you’ll move, then we’d be defeated as fast as the EEG-bot can process. Or, do we evolve to trick our robotic opponents. Is neuroscience breading ground of our greatest opponent and training grounds to defeat them. They say with the creation of every heaven is the creation of a hell.

The current brain machine interfaces (BMI) have lead Neuroscientists from University of California, San Diego and the Institute of Neural Computation to believe that the neuronal activity in the PPC can be used to interface machines with our brains. Yea, I gave it away at the start of the sentence, didn’t I? Well, in the Primary Motor Cortex neurons fire patterns that encode direction information about limb movement. It is already known in the industry that Primary Motor Cortex plays a role in the planning for movement, and this follows that scent.

Using Psychology to enhance VR is an obvious move. We use psych to enhance everything we can, but in VR is gets rather personal. Because both hardware and software have direct, physical access, unfiltered, to your dome. Talking about getting inside your girlfriend’s head! Or, a horror movie getting in our head, or the media, or anyone on the other side of that VR machine, which if you’re connected to the internet is more than 8.5 billion devices that might be watching or recording your brain.

What psychological research will we extrapolate from out of EEG and brain research? Fixing lazy eyes by retraining muscles. There are broken paths of the neurons are meant to transverse to muscles that are physically-able, just without a lifeline. Today, scientists re-wire the brain so the muscle works.

Consumer-grade EEG headsets are available and affordable. Best use cases with the home-gear is monitoring mental state – for whatever that can serve your purpose. Not too much, but anxiety, nervousness, drossiness, and those we innovate.

This article here from Live Science tries to scare you into some Blackmirror thinking, but for all I know is he’s right. They warn of the side effects of VR, the immediate ones, motion sickness, dizziness. Additionally, be in good health – you’re traveling to another universe – even if it is just teleportation, the first time is jarring.

They further go on to worry that because the rats in VR eventually had neurons shutting down in the hippocampus that were connected to learning, memory and perception of space. But those are rats. They didn’t have the brain power to invent virtual reality, of course their little rat brains can’t handle VR. We’re humans who have evolved to rule the world, and our brains made VR, they can handle it. At least for the most part. I bet once we go beyond visual displays and start wiring, maybe even wifiing to neurons for our simulations, then we will have some insane tech drug bug attacks wildness, but for now just shots to the optics, totally survivable.

 

Games can trigger motion sickness

Games can trigger motion sickness

 

Time presence cognitive load and we only have so much attention to give and when we max out we start messing with time perception. Audio tricks like a major key over a minor key in the right spot dilates time perception. This opens the doors for lessening time we would like to avoid such as certain painful medical therapies. Or, simply to pass time. Maybe VR will lull you to sleep.

The human brain is the most amazing and complex matter in the known universe and how lucky we are to all have one! Even the lobotomized, let’s celebrate the crane – a ode to the dome, for man cannot think with out it and never thinks about it.