Since ancient times, philosophical and religious thinkers have made attempts to understand the nature of the mind. Today, new developments in technology enable scientists and researchers to explore the brain’s complex physical activity, revealing a deeper mental reality. Moreover, the emergence of low-cost biometric devices gives nonscientific communities an ability to explore usage of biometric data in variety of ways.
This project explores visualization of human brain activity using electroencephalogram neural interface to create a visually engaging and meaningful user experience. The implementation of the project takes a form of an interactive installation. It projects the visual form, whose visual parameters are changed in real-time based on the participant’s brain wave signal values. The brain activity is monitored by the electroencephalogram (EEG) neural interface, which transmits the brain wave signal data of the participant’s brain activity to the computer program. The program analyzes signal values and manipulates the visual form.
In order to create a meaningful and useful experiences, the research was conducted in areas of cognitive science, philosophy, symbolism and visual design. The visual form was designed based on the Kalachakra Mandala, a circular diagram used in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It was selected as a reference because of its deep philosophical meaning and purpose.
The user experience was evaluated based on qualitative methods that consisted of interviews and written questionnaires. It provided insights into the user’s experience and helped to determine potential applications. The method of recording and analyzing mathematical data of the brain activity was used to determine a credible quantitative evaluation method to be used in the future.
The evaluation showed the majority of participants who tested the installation had a calming and relaxing experience. Many of them indicated the project has a high potential to be used for meditation and therapy purposes.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Brain--Physiology--Data processing; Electroencephalography--Data processing; Installations (Art)
Visual Communication Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CIAS)
Baasanjav, Bilegsaikhan, "visualization of mind: visual exploration of brain activity" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
MandalaElement.pde (2 kB)
PhilipsHue.pde (1 kB)
Prototype.pde (15 kB)
GenMandala.pde (1 kB)
PhilipsHue.pde (1 kB)
Prototype2.pde (7 kB)
RIT – Main Campus
Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RC386.6.E43 B33 2016