Let's Play a Game With Your Brain

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

In the Cognitive Adaptive Edu-games (CAdE-games) project, the WISE, COPS and ETRO labs are investigating the cognitive processing involved in edu-games and its impact on learning. We primarily investigate how we can influence these cognitive processes by using adaptive techniques. Typical adaptive techniques that already have been addressed include the adjustment of learning material but we want to go a step further and investigate non-intrusive adaptive techniques enabling implicit learning. A first adaptive technique is to analyse how the emotional status of a tutor avatar enhances the learning effect. In addition, we influence the motivation of our learner by manipulating the task difficulty as well as the attainability of the goals based on the user's performance and other external stimuli.

 

Brain Controller

 

To capture the emotional status of the user, a continuous analysis of low-level brain signals has to be performed. Brain signals or activations can be measured with EEG modules, but these typically very costly and take more than 30 minutes to set up for every candidate. Thus, to remain as non-intrusive as possible, the Emotiv EPOC brain controller will used.
 
However, since the Emotiv EPOC is brand new and there is no real standardisation amongst different providers of EEG modules, existing brain analysis software cannot simple be reused for this project. Part of this thesis will be to search what implementations are available today and which are reusable for the Emotiv EPOC in the context of the Cognitive Adaptive Edu-games project. One open-source effort, namely OpenVibe, seems a very good candidate but needs to be extended with recognisers (i.e. machine learning algorithms) to extract emotional behaviour.
 
Background Knowledge: 
  • C++
Technical challenges: 

The goal of this thesis is two folded:

  1. Extract meaningful emotional states from the Emotiv brain controller by using (or even improving) existing analysis techniques
  2. How can this emotional status be used in the context of educational gaming
 
Contact: 
Beat Signer
Contact: 
Brecht De Rooms
Contact: 
Lode Hoste
Academic Year: 
2012-2013