Ashley Marie Martin
MIT EECS | Philips Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Deploying a Joy-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) for Regulating Emotional Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex
- Brain and Cognitive Science
We designed Joie, a joy-based EEG brain-computer interface (BCI) where users imagine joyful thoughts that alter their prefrontal asymmetries. Mental health is crucial; 32.3% of U.S. adults (100+ million) reported anxiety or depression symptoms in 2023, peaking at 45.4% for ages 18-29. Prefrontal neurofeedback training has been shown to improve anxious and depressive symptoms. However, these systems are typically confined to the laboratory and fail to prioritize usability and engagement. We have run placebo-controlled studies to demonstrate that joyous thoughts can activate prefrontal symmetries connected to improved depressive symptoms and have created a wearable EEG headband suitable for home environments. In this project, we investigate the usability, engagement, and transfer of Joie.
This year, I am continuing my previous research in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI)s. I have been pursuing a career in BCI for several years, and I hope to learn more about the field and research environment as a whole. I am participating in SuperUROP in order to improve my skillset and get feedback on my research practices. I am excited to continue the project and discover what improvements can be made.