The basic principles of the NEWRON and EMOCE.info projects are very simple. They were inspired by modern neuroscience and neuropsychology domains. Let us a short introduction to them…
Human brain and brain tissue is capable of constant adaptability and change. This is true for the whole life and for most of the brain parts.
“Use it or lose it”
The brain is highly effective organ which tries to maximize the function and at the same time minimize the energy spent on this (which is enormous anyway).
So when the brain does not use some function because it is inactive or did not develop at all, the brain does not actively keep this function nor create it spontaneously.
So our aim is to activate the „Use it“ part of the above sentence.
These neurons are based on a theory which was not confirmed nor refuted. But we can use it as a reference because thanks to an activation of a given system or function the corresponding mirror is created. This can sometimes happen also without any direct activation, e.g., just by using imagination or observing the behavior of other persons.
Within the NEWRON project we are using the theory of so called mirrored neurons via the MS Kinect device. In the EMOCE.info project this is mediated via the web application with a large number of stimuli where the increase of difficulty level causes the decrease of readability and unambiguity.
The human body is a base. Without the body there is no human. And without the body there are no emotions either.
When we will master our body, we will master our emotions as well. If the body is active, the emotions are more readable.
Many kids and adolescents which are not in good mental shape or awareness are physically passive. By using tablets or MS Kinect device we are trying to overcome this and activate either some specific parts of the body (e.g., fine motorics or psychomotorics) or the body as a whole.
The readability of human emotions is very complex. The significant role play the culture, age, and gender, but also the speed of expression is important (e.g., mimics of the face).
If the brain is not prepared for the recognition of emotions (e.g., children with PAS/AS), it is very hard to train the brain to recognize these very fast and highly individualized expressions spontaneously (the “Use it” is missing in this case).
Modern technologies can help to simplify the captured expressions (e.g., using 2D images) but still maintain their variability and distinctiveness (e.g., taking pictures from many different individuals in order to balance the emotions).
Thanks to these technologies we have a relatively stable and “hard to harm” type of stimuli. It is always much easier to rip apart a paper photo than its electronic version. J
Mimics and Facial Expressions
The speed of mimic muscles is incredible. Only when capturing them by a high-speed cameras we are able to record them. The human eye is too slow to spot all of them. So when recognizing the emotions, we are relying on our unconsciousness and intuitive and inherent properties and skills.
In the context of the social activisation (the ability to better perceive and experience emotions) we require by the people whose brain is not functioning normally in this way, different tasks, such as to observe the dragonfly and count the number of movements of its wings.
We can reach such tasks by capturing the dragonfly by a camera. But just by using our eyes? Actually this is also somehow possible – by using so called devoted guess. This means, e.g., the ability to evaluate the situation by using our previous experience.
Please don’t expect that our software will solve all the mentioned problems in the social behavior of your child or relative. But there is at least a hope that the level of preciseness of this devoted guess could increase by using our tools… and therefore also the readability of their own emotions or emotions of the other people will be more precise.
If you want to help us with our effort, please upload the photos capturing the emotive situations from your life. We appreciate photos of your face, the whole body, individual person, or a group of persons. All photos will be assessed by a group of other persons (and you can be the member of this group as well). The members of this group will have the task to assess the readability of a given emotion and how hard is to recognize it on a given photo. So probably your photo will be selected as the readable one and will help someone in need to experience the feeling of “mirroring”.