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“Design for NeuroNetwoking: How to Interact over Brain Data?” | 27 – 30 April 2012, Prague

"Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom." - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 6

Presentations, discussions, workshop in Prague based Hackerspace in cooperation with New Media Studies, Charles University,, and Interactive Media Design, National University of Singapore

NeuroNetworking Workshop | 27 – 30 April 2012

    • Mentors**
 * Denisa Kera (CZ/SG)
 * Andrej Boleslavsky (SK/CZ)
 * Peter Boraros (SK/CZ), Petr Navratil (CZ), Tomas Suchan (CZ)
    • Consultations & collaborations**
 *Ryota Kanai (UK)
 *Ivan Zimine (SG)
 *Aleksander Valjamae (AT)
 *Rudiger Trojok (DE)
 *Marc Dusseiller (CH)
 *Thomas Vargoczky (SG)


The workshop will be hold in Brmlab, Prague based Hackerspace

Photos from the Workshop


Brainstorm, prototype, test and evaluate ideas and scenarios of future services and interfaces related to brain data. Critical probes and design fictions into networking over brain data and biodata related to our brain function (fMRI, SNPs, EEG). Prototype, evaluate and document a future service that will use brain data for social networking, neuromarketing, citizen science projects,etc.


How to support open science?

How to interact over brain (fMRI) data? How to connect them with other data (body, society, environment etc.)?

What type of interfaces and tools we can build around these data?

Who are the stakeholders, actors, users?

What type of experiences, relations, exchanges, transactions to support?

What type of social and individual identities we can create?

What is the context of interaction over such future services?

What are the ethical, legal and social challenges these interfaces create?

What is neurocapital? Neurocapitalism? Neuroemancipation?

Open Brain Data project

How to create social networking service on which people would offer brain (fMRI etc) data and combine it with SNPs, real time, sensor and QS data? What are the social, ethical, economic and other aspects, implication, scenarios? How to support open science data project and create citizen science community around this?

We uploaded a dataset of fMRI data by a volunteer, Denisa Kera, who decided to share her brain data with the hacker community as part of a challenge. The dataset contains her 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo sequence (MP-RAGE)image of her brain in the nifti format , which is readable by FSL software ( The challenge is: transform the nifti into some 3D web browser data and image that would support crowdsourcing of brain data, pattern recognition and comparison of brain data.

Denisa Kera would like to link her MOAO SNPs ("warrior" gene) to the fMRI scans (dorsal anterior cingulated cortex - dACC)

"MAOA-L are overly sensitive to threats or challenges that other people would shrug off, and overreact to them... unusually high levels of activity in their dorsal anterior cingulated cortex (dACC) - a part of the brain that has been linked to feelings of distress after social rejection or confrontation."

Some articles on the issue:

I am also interested in NOS1 variant rs6490121 and Parkinson related genes

    • How this can be done in the present**

Connect these services on a web: ImageJ & Volume Viewer (measure & compare volumes in the fMRI data & view it 3D) myPersonality project & 23andMe/Promethease (create questionnaires for the psychological measurements & include SNP data)

Open Source Hardware hacking of brain

Build open source, Arduino etc. based, physical computing for measuring EEG etc. data and creating interfaces for brain to brain, brain to world interaction ;-)

Ongoing Research in the

Start up pitch of MindSpy project Some newspaper article on the competition

    • Inspiration, contacts**

Interview with Sam Neurohack

Tools for open MRI data

 * Open Signal
 * SPM 
 * FSL
 * Open fMRI Project 
 * ImageJ - this is probably the best candidate that can be integrated on the webpage (Java based) so we can finally share our data. Simple to "import sequence" .IMA files   via "KER_DEN.MR.UCL_BBK_MICHI.02.*.IMA" put in one place and then you can see RAW scans (thanks, Peter :-)

Examples of Interfaces

Volume Viewer (volumetric data in Java: ideal for sharing fMRI & size (open source but based on Oracle for the database)

More nice interfaces


myPersonality project over 3 million people taking personality tests using Facebook app

Quantified self-tracking Citizen science crowdsourcing and various forms of data collecting


Open science/Open data approaches "Open-data project aims to ease the way for genomic research: A revamped approach to informed consent will liberate data for science, developers say. Erika Check Hayden, 25 April 2012

Gamification of Research


Sleep, SNPs, brain

Litlle Device (DIY medicine)

Empatica (share emotions via sensors in real time & interact) Interesting blog post on portable electroencephalography (EEG)

Trends, Theory and Text stuff


"Neuronal, plastic man"

    • Amateur Science**

Why We Need to Stop Worrying and Love Amateur Science

Grassroots innovation

Interesting novel "Neuropath", summary & discussion by Shaviro blog "A billionaire businessman’s brain is rewired so that he is no longer capable of recognizing faces. Even in the mirror, and all the more when he looks at people around him, all he can see is the horrifying, characterizable visage of a stranger or an alien. (Prosopagnosia, or facial agnosia, is often discussed in scientific and pop-scientific writing). A porn star’s neural system is tweaked so that sensations of pain activate her brain’s pleasure and reward centers; she is led to compulsively drive herself to orgasm again and again, by slashing and mutilating herself until she dies. A fundamentalist preacher is subjected to neural firings that alternately lead him to feel the damnation of Hell and the joy of salvation. A politician prone to speechify about human dignity and moral responsibility is transformed into a cannibal who avidly devours a still-alive young girl, all the while pathetically protesting that he does not want to want to do this, that he cannot help wanting to do this. Finally, Neil straps Thomas into a machine he calls Marionette (an extrapolation from actually-existing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation technology), that makes it possible to forcibly cycle him through a whole series of mental states, ranging from utter despair to a sense of unvanquishable well-being, from gentle benevolence to misanthropic rage, and from self-disgust to exaltation and feelings of omnipotence."

Brain Research useful for Design

    • Fun Projects**

Edible brain (fMRI to chocolate printing)

    • Behavior & Brain (serious research)**

Testing Predictions From Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five

Neurobiology of the structure of personality: dopamine, facilitation of incentive motivation, and extraversion.


Good or bad driving


Egalitarian behavior, overconfidence, social networks, political preferences

DRD4 novelty-seeking / risk-taking / externalizing / acting out genotype

MAOA "warrior gene" and higher levels of aggression with provocation (Rose McDermott, Princeton)

    • Behavior & Brain (pop psychology stuff)**

Orchid x dandelion personality

Helen Fisher on love

Hidden Talents

    • 101 on Brain, fMRI etc.**

Cognitive Atlas

Brain SNPs

Neuroscience Databases

Brain SNPs map



Critical Design Probes, Evaluation of Prototypes, Documentation


 * use ethnography to understand user needs and new requirement 
 * brainstorming to generate new design ideas and scenarios
 * critical design probes and prototyping to define new problems and questions
 * evaluation of prototypes, documentation of the work