Today’s Solutions: April 21, 2024

Mandala coloring is a centuries-old tradition. Coloring in these beautiful geometric configurations has been used by many as a technique for mindfulness, focusing your concentration on a certain task to improve overall mental health and wellbeing.

Researchers, from the University of Lancaster, wanted to use this practice to develop brain scanning techniques and dive deeper into how the brain reacts to mindfulness. Their paper, published in Human-Computer Interaction, discusses a study that’s the first of its kind.

The invention of a human-computer interaction system, named “Anima,” allowed the researchers to track users’ brain waves in reaction to carrying out Mandala coloring. The Electroencephalogram (EEG) headset monitored the neural activity and relayed the results to a feedback screen set up in the participant’s periphery. This allowed them to track their levels of mindfulness through an interactive screen in the form of colors. More subtle colors equated to periods with more mindfulness, and brighter colors represented periods of distraction.

“By understanding how Anima provides feedback and reflecting on their coloring session using the data provided by the prototype, people can use these kinds of technologies to help improve their mandala coloring as a focused attention mindfulness practice,” stated co-author Dominic Potts.

The authors hope their research will open a door for new mindfulness technologies that provide the user with feedback, allowing for more successful sessions to be carried out.

Source study: Human-Computer InteractionExploring Anima: a brain–computer interface for peripheral materialization of mindfulness states during mandala coloring

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