The Exci-tDCS project seeks to expand scientific horizons on the neural basis of creative thought. The award of an ExCITe seed grant will allow us to expand our laboratory work on creativity and insight to one the most real-world expressions of human creativity: musical improvisation. We are interested in how creative improvisation can be affected - and even enhanced - by a new form of brain stimulation, called transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). In tDCS, a safe and mild amount of electric current is applied to the scalp and travels into the cortex, changing the way neurons fire in that region. Instead of measuring brain activity while people do different tasks, tDCS lets us directly encourage or inhibit activity in different regions of the brain - and study how people's behavior changes as a result. This is an especially useful technique for studying very complex behavior where every run is unique, like musical improvisation.
In the first phase of our study we will use word problems that produce sudden, insightful solutions to test the effects of a new type of tDCS. This tDCS may hypothetically reduce self awareness and the "inner critic", freeing people to find creative solutions. In the second phase we will recruit Jazz pianists to receive the same tDCS while having a wealth of data about their performances recorded - from the strength with which they press each key, to the position of their bodies. This data will help us to peer deeper into the mystery of human creativity, and how it is produced by the brain.
An interdisciplinary team led by composer and director Gene Coleman, will develop a series of audio-visual compositions based on architecture, bringing together music composition, computer animation, cinema, motion sensor technologies and fractal geometry.
The development of a fabric-based, strain sensing system with supporting computational architecture that will be used to prototype a proprioceptive robotic fish fin for research investigations, with broader implications in future technologies for textile-based sensing.
Experience the Opera from the performer's perspective
This project aims to create a virtual experience that immerses the participant in an opera performance from the vantage point of an Opera Company of Philadelphia chorus member. The participant will be able to view a 360 degree perspective of the Academy of Music from onstage during the performance of an opera scene; the captured video will show blocking and choreography, the other performers, the conductor, and more. Surround sound audio will recreate the live aural perspective from the Academy of Music stage. This work simultaneously pushes technical boundaries while bringing the unique thrill of a potentially unfamiliar art form closer to the general public.
- Opera Company of Philadelphia
- The Curtis Institute of Music
Cerebral Palsy Physical Therapy with Kinect
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability of childhood, and children with CP often experience decreased physical activity, motor skills, and functional mobility. Rehabilitation for CP youth is moving more towards activity-based interventions to increase physical activity and fitness. Evidence suggests that virtual reality and gaming may provide opportunities for youth with CP to participate in discrete physical activity tasks and improve motor planning. However, interventions that are fun and provide an opportunity to achieve recommended levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity are not possible in current games. The primary aim of this project is to develop a prototype using the Microsoft Kinect to allow for youth with CP to access games more quickly and to play games for a variable amount of time with no lower or upper limits so that they may improve aerobic capacity, muscular endurance and overall health-related fitness.
- Drexel University Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
- Drexel University School of Biomedical Engineering
- Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions
Check out Kollect in action!
A sonic landscape for Philly
SonicCity is a city-scale sonic landscape designed for the city of Philadelphia. The project engages the bus system and bus shelters as a creative interface for people to interactively engage the sounds of the city: revealing layers of sound, music and spoken words dynamically sourced from a connected network of neighborhoods to create an acoustic public realm. The SonicCity soundscape for Philadelphia is composed of spoken word, sounds contributed by the public, music and field recordings through geo-spatial sensor networks. Diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia are connected through a real time and recorded sonic interface that will be experienced in bus shelter installations around the city, adaptively modified by the movement of the bus system. The purpose is to create geographically distinct sonic immersion that will be included into a musical sound collage. The result of the Sonic City soundscape will reveal an innovative sonic and spatial patterning of the city.
- Drexel University Goodwin School of Education
- Drexel University College of Engineering
- Neighborhood Narratives