“Design for NeuroNetwoking: How to Interact over Brain Data?” | 27 – 30 April 2012, Prague

“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.” - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 6

Presentations, discussions, workshop in Prague based Hackerspace http://www.Brmlab.cz in cooperation with New Media Studies, Charles University, http://www.CIANT.cz, http://www.Hacteria.org and Interactive Media Design, National University of Singapore

NeuroNetworking Workshop | 27 – 30 April 2012


Consultations & collaborations


The workshop will be hold in Brmlab, Prague based Hackerspace

Photos from the Workshop

Brainstorm, prototype, test and evaluate ideas and scenarios of future services and interfaces related to brain data. Critical probes and design fictions into networking over brain data and biodata related to our brain function (fMRI, SNPs, EEG). Prototype, evaluate and document a future service that will use brain data for social networking, neuromarketing, citizen science projects,etc.


How to support open science?

How to interact over brain (fMRI) data? How to connect them with other data (body, society, environment etc.)?

What type of interfaces and tools we can build around these data?

Who are the stakeholders, actors, users?

What type of experiences, relations, exchanges, transactions to support?

What type of social and individual identities we can create?

What is the context of interaction over such future services?

What are the ethical, legal and social challenges these interfaces create?

What is neurocapital? Neurocapitalism? Neuroemancipation?

Open Brain Data project

How to create social networking service on which people would offer brain (fMRI etc) data and combine it with SNPs, real time, sensor and QS data? What are the social, ethical, economic and other aspects, implication, scenarios? How to support open science data project and create citizen science community around this?

We uploaded a dataset of fMRI data by a volunteer, Denisa Kera, who decided to share her brain data with the hacker community as part of a challenge. The dataset http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1526632/120423DK.zip contains her 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo sequence (MP-RAGE)image of her brain in the nifti format http://nifti.nimh.nih.gov/nifti-1 , which is readable by FSL software (http://www.fmrib.ox.ac.uk/fsl/). The challenge is: transform the nifti into some 3D web browser data and image that would support crowdsourcing of brain data, pattern recognition and comparison of brain data.

Denisa Kera would like to link her MOAO SNPs (“warrior” gene) to the fMRI scans (dorsal anterior cingulated cortex - dACC)

“MAOA-L are overly sensitive to threats or challenges that other people would shrug off, and overreact to them… unusually high levels of activity in their dorsal anterior cingulated cortex (dACC) - a part of the brain that has been linked to feelings of distress after social rejection or confrontation.”

Some articles on the issue:




I am also interested in NOS1 variant rs6490121 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22227051?dopt=Abstract and Parkinson related genes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LRRK2

How this can be done in the present

Connect these services on a web: ImageJ & Volume Viewer (measure & compare volumes in the fMRI data & view it 3D) myPersonality project & 23andMe/Promethease (create questionnaires for the psychological measurements & include SNP data)

Open Source Hardware hacking of brain

Build open source, Arduino etc. based, physical computing for measuring EEG etc. data and creating interfaces for brain to brain, brain to world interaction ;-)

Ongoing Research in the Brmlab.cz http://brmlab.cz/project/brain_hacking

Start up pitch of MindSpy project http://www.mindspy.org/ Some newspaper article on the competition http://startup.lupa.cz/clanky/devatero-projektu-z-eclubu-jak-se-vam-libi/

Inspiration, contacts Interview with Sam Neurohack http://www.lapaillasse.org/tag/neurohack/?lang=en

Tools for open MRI data
Examples of Interfaces

Volume Viewer (volumetric data in Java: ideal for sharing fMRI & size (open source but based on Oracle for the database) http://volumeviewer.kenai.com/

More nice interfaces http://www.med.harvard.edu/aanlib/cases/caseNA/pb9.htm http://human.brain-map.org/mri_viewer?probes=1058118&donor=10021&well=7304


My Open Source Cure http://artisopensource.net/cure/ http://www.furtherfield.org/features/interviews/la-cura-open-source-cure-interview-salvatore-iaconesi

myPersonality project http://mypersonality.org/wiki/doku.php?id=available_data over 3 million people taking personality tests using Facebook app

Quantified self-tracking http://quantifiedself.com/ Citizen science crowdsourcing and various forms of data collecting

Promethease http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Promethease

Open science/Open data approaches “Open-data project aims to ease the way for genomic research: A revamped approach to informed consent will liberate data for science, developers say. Erika Check Hayden, 25 April 2012 https://docs.google.com/document/d/19dw9tPKAD0NzUNlIK-AVP73A9rc-iPPmXgm5CbfFmH0/edit?pli=1

Gamification of Research

Sleep, SNPs, brain http://www.diygenomics.org/wordpress/?p=108

Litlle Device (DIY medicine) http://littledevices.org/little-devices-big-ideas/diy-medical-technology-group-overview/

Empatica (share emotions via sensors in real time & interact) https://empatica.com/ Interesting blog post on portable electroencephalography (EEG) http://interconnected.org/home/2012/05/16/fuelband_for_alpha_waves

Datasexual http://bigthink.com/endless-innovation/meet-the-urban-datasexual

Eric Kandel: psychoanalysis, art & neurobiology http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/interview-with-eric-kandel-psychoanalysis-art-and-biology-come-together-a-859702.html

Why Won’t They Listen? ‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/the-righteous-mind-by-jonathan-haidt.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

“Neuronal, plastic man” http://nonsite.org/issues/issue-2/on-catherine-malabous-what-should-we-do-with-our-brain

Amateur Science Why We Need to Stop Worrying and Love Amateur Science http://www.amazingrust.com/Amateur_Science/Amateur_Science.html

Grassroots innovation http://www.scidev.net/en/south-east-asia/opinions/put-grassroots-innovation-on-the-agenda.html

Interesting novel “Neuropath”, summary & discussion by Shaviro blog http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=698 “A billionaire businessman’s brain is rewired so that he is no longer capable of recognizing faces. Even in the mirror, and all the more when he looks at people around him, all he can see is the horrifying, characterizable visage of a stranger or an alien. (Prosopagnosia, or facial agnosia, is often discussed in scientific and pop-scientific writing). A porn star’s neural system is tweaked so that sensations of pain activate her brain’s pleasure and reward centers; she is led to compulsively drive herself to orgasm again and again, by slashing and mutilating herself until she dies. A fundamentalist preacher is subjected to neural firings that alternately lead him to feel the damnation of Hell and the joy of salvation. A politician prone to speechify about human dignity and moral responsibility is transformed into a cannibal who avidly devours a still-alive young girl, all the while pathetically protesting that he does not want to want to do this, that he cannot help wanting to do this. Finally, Neil straps Thomas into a machine he calls Marionette (an extrapolation from actually-existing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation technology), that makes it possible to forcibly cycle him through a whole series of mental states, ranging from utter despair to a sense of unvanquishable well-being, from gentle benevolence to misanthropic rage, and from self-disgust to exaltation and feelings of omnipotence.”

Brain Research useful for Design

Fun Projects

Edible brain (fMRI to chocolate printing) http://www.instructables.com/id/Edible-Chocolate-Brain-from-MRI-Scan/

Behavior & Brain (serious research)

Testing Predictions From Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049165/?tool=pmcentrez

Neurobiology of the structure of personality: dopamine, facilitation of incentive motivation, and extraversion. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11301519

Promiscuity http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0014162

Good or bad driving http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/bhp189

ADHD http://adhd-treatment-options.blogspot.com/2008/09/adhd-gene-6-serotonin-receptor-1b-gene.html

Egalitarian behavior, overconfidence, social networks, political preferences http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu/

DRD4 novelty-seeking / risk-taking / externalizing / acting out genotype

MAOA “warrior gene” and higher levels of aggression with provocation (Rose McDermott, Princeton) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1457224

Behavior & Brain (pop psychology stuff)

Orchid x dandelion personality http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/12/the-science-of-success/7761/

Helen Fisher on love http://bigthink.com/ideas/18574

Hidden Talents http://hiddentalents.org/brain/115-balance.html

101 on Brain, fMRI etc.

Cognitive Atlas http://www.cognitiveatlas.org/

Brain SNPs http://www.snpedia.com/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=brain&go=Go

Neuroscience Databases http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_neuroscience_databases

Brain SNPs map http://human.brain-map.org/

Basics http://www.fmrib.ox.ac.uk/education/fmri/introduction-to-fmri/


Critical Design Probes, Evaluation of Prototypes, Documentation


  • use ethnography to understand user needs and new requirement
  • brainstorming to generate new design ideas and scenarios
  • critical design probes and prototyping to define new problems and questions
  • evaluation of prototypes, documentation of the work
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