DALLAS and PORTLAND, Ore. July 22, 2019 — With decades of experience pioneering new fields of research in human cognitive performance and resilience, the Center for BrainHealth® at The University of Texas at Dallas is teaming up with Portland, Oregon-based wellness startup Mindcurrent to conduct a study using new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to chart human emotions.
The 45-day study will follow participants – primarily students at UT Dallas – as they track their emotions in real time on Mindcurrent’s app, while correlating inputs from their behavioral, biometric, environmental, and activity data drawn from wearable technology – specifically the Apple Watch. In addition, the study will track how the participants adjust their emotions by using short personalized videos suggested by the app’s algorithm. User input will be cross-referenced with location and activity data to determine which factors may be contributing to positive as well as negative emotional states in the participants’ daily lives.
“The approach of gathering and analyzing moment-by-moment biometric data has a lot of potential for cognitive neuroscience research and offers an innovative application for AI,” said Daniel Krawczyk, PhD, deputy director at the Center for BrainHealth and Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.
“For more than a decade, psychologists, therapists, and researchers have been trying to collect enough data to determine what triggers emotional changes,” said Dr. Drew Brazier, co-founder and chief psychology officer at Mindcurrent. “We are confident our technology and data science will help advance research to better understand the underlying factors for emotional states and behavioral patterns.”
“Through this partnership, we expect to establish a baseline for university students participating in the study, with tens of thousands of data points collected. Ultimately, we hope to identify factors that contribute to negative levels of stress, while concurrently examining factors that lead to greater happiness and a better learning environment,” said Sourabh Kothari, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mindcurrent.
The Mindcurrent app tracks the user’s self-reported emotions through a smartphone or smartwatch to create an encrypted data stream, where Mindcurrent’s artificial intelligence does the heavy lifting of data analysis to provide recommendations that elevate mood and wellbeing.
Stephen White, executive director of the Center’s translational arm, the Brain Performance Institute, emphasized that university students are ideal participants for this study because student stress is a well-known issue on college campuses. “Given stress predictors like midterms and final exams, studying student emotions and behaviors during these peak-stress times may lead to solutions for more productive and successful learning environments,” he said. “With this study, we also hope to observe the effectiveness of real-time mindfulness and cognitive training exercises such as those delivered by the Brain Performance Institute.”
About the Center for BrainHealth®
The Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a research institute committed to enhancing, protecting and restoring brain health across the lifespan. Scientific exploration at the Center for BrainHealth is leading edge, improving lives today and translating groundbreaking discoveries into practical clinical application. Major research areas include the use of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiology supporting cognition and emotion in health and disease. By delivering science-based innovations that enhance how people think, work, and live, the Center and its Brain Performance Institute™ are empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential.
Created by leading psychologists, data scientists, and behavioral experts, Mindcurrent helps users around the world increase their positive energy. Mindcurrent’s self-awareness app uses artificial intelligence to measure emotional and behavioral patterns, helping users feel better with simple, practical recommendations from leading experts on health, happiness, and stress. Users can share their thoughts and emotions at any time, and gain a better understanding of factors influencing their mental energy. Recommendations are personalized for each user, including short, specific videos on a variety of important topics such as parenting, work, relationships, learning, health, and mindfulness. Mindcurrent integrates with biometric data from smartwatches for increased accuracy. Mindcurrent provides complete user privacy and does not share or sell personal information. Try the free app today on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Mindcurrent Contact Information:
Aaron Sewall for Mindcurrent