Humans’ multiple arousal states significantly affect their ability to make judgements, actions, and decisions in real-world dynamic environments. Such complexity makes it impossible to perform certain tasks such as walking across a balance beam and ropes. Furthermore, it hampers one’s performance in handling difficult tasks. Therefore, the state of arousal needs to be at moderate level to keep one in the zone of maximum performance. Such concerns have led biomedical engineers to invent brain computer interface (BCI) for using online neurofeedback. Through this neurofeedback, the engineers can modify an individual’s arousal state to sharpen their performance level.
In an experiment, researchers used a real-time electroencephalography (EEG) integrated brain computer interface to monitor participants’ arousal states. During this experiment, their engagement involved a virtual reality aerial navigation task. However, the outcome was immensely satisfying when the neurofeedback signal helped decrease participants’ arousal in difficult situations. Researchers have also noticed that there was a sudden elevation in their performance levels.
Researchers Using BCI to Regulate Arousal and Emotion for Clinical Conditions
To know further about BCI functionalities, researchers had created a VR scenario, putting participants to operation navigational procedures of a simulated airplane. The participants were supposed to avoid rectangular boundaries during this operation. Researchers had created cognitive stresses on participants by making the boxes narrower every 30 seconds. Such stresses escalated arousal state of the participants, which resulted in task failure. However researchers used neurofeedback in this experiment later on, which showed participants’ ability to fly longer. This was proof enough for bettering their performance in difficult tasks, which required high level of motor and visual coordination.
Furthermore, researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to record participants’ electrical brain activity. In this experiment, the use of BCI based neurofeedback signal mainly reflected the level of stress and arousal. Constant measurements of heart rate variability and pupil dilation helped reduce arousal through the neurofeedback. Such BCI working principle resulted in keeping participants to remain calm and improved their performance.