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How to Measure Mental Fitness and Emotions
There are numerous herbal preparations containing molecular entities acting on the brain. In many cases traditional use suggests positive effects on cognition and / or emotion. Thus, it is mainly a matter of sensitivity of the methodology used to gather objective information on the changes of physiological brain function. Our approach is based on listening to one of the “languages of the brain” which in this case consists in changes of electrical activity. Using continuous computer aided signal analysis in the presence of mental work, during emotional burden or during sleep allows very sensitive assessment of brain function. Several herbal preparations have now been tested successfully and the results support various clinical health claims.
The approach starts with the non-invasive recording of brain field potentials termed electroencephalogram by his discoverer Hans Berger in 1929. Computer aided continuous analysis of these signals in the presence of mental work or during viewing film excerpts with emotional content provides information with a high time resolution of 4 seconds. Mathematical transformation and illustration of different physiological states is shown in the following figure representing the result of a discriminant analysis based on 102 variables (regional spectral power differences to relaxed state).
The result from the first three discriminant functions are coded into red-green-blue (RGB like in TV) and processed by an additive colour mixture. Similar colours suggest similar physiological states. The result from the next three discriminant functions are projected into the spatial coordinates x, y and z. Same colour and spatial neighbourhood signalize very similar physiological states as seen for example for Disney and animal film excerpts. Please remark the different colours during different cognitive tests as well as the spatial distances between these tests. Examples of brain maps averaged during the time of testing are depicted on page 2
Thus, changes of physiological brain states induced by nutraceuticals or functional food can easily be quantitatively examined.
Colours are mathematically calculated according to the so-called RGB mode (like in TV) representing an additive colour mixture of 140 spectral colours representing the frequency spectrum up to 35.00 Hz with a resolution of 0.25 Hz. Accordingly, different physiological states can be recognized by different colour distribution in various brain areas. See also bar graphs representing single frequency changes in comparison to the relaxed state. Please remark the difference between cognitive testing (left panel) and watching TV film excerpts (right panel).