FRI Seminar:Ms. Yasue Mitsukura(Brain scientist)

On this occasion, our guest was Ms. Yasue Mitsukura, an associate professor in the department of science and engineering of Keio University. Ms. Mitsukura is the leading researcher when it comes to brainwave signal analysis, and she is famous for developing a device called the “Sensitivity Analyzer” which helps visualize different degrees of a person’s sensitivity, such as their “degree of curiosity”, their “degree of attraction”, their “degree of concentration”, their “degree of stress” or their “degree of sleepiness”.

So of course, our discussion with Professor Mitsukura was focused mainly on “brainwaves”. We bring you the most pioneering research regarding the minds and hearts of human beings.

■ What is sensitivity?
In order to talk about people’s “feelings”, we use words such as “sensibility”, “emotion” or “sensitivity”, but in fact the definitions for each one of these concepts are different. The specific difference between these terms is that “sensibility” is passed down through our heredity, whereas “emotion” and “sensitivity” are traits acquired after birth, and so they change depending on a person’s environment and culture.

■ For the first time in History, we can measure our sensitivity online from our brainwaves
Nowadays, most electroencephalographs appearing on the market are not able to correctly process brain waves, don’t take individual differences into account, their conveyance of meaning is unclear, and are generally full of problems. The “Sensitivity Analyzer” which we have developed does take individual differences into account, and offers very precise signal processing. Furthermore, it is a very simply device to use, so you can gather brainwave data with no stress. Thanks to this we now have a tool whose degree of accuracy when analyzing sensitivity is very high.

■ Neuro-marketing
Until recently, people’s interests and concerns were measured by the method of surveys, but in recent times the technique of neuro-marketing is coming into notice. As an example, an electroencephalograph and an eye-tracker can be simultaneously used on a person who is watching a TV commercial, and this way we can measure in real time the exact moments in the video when their interest and concern rose higher. Furthermore, we can send these results back to the studio where the video footage was produced, so that this feedback helps them create a video which will positively stimulate the human brain.

■ Within the hearts and minds of Pachinko gamblers
We are now using the “Sensitivity Analyzer” to collect brainwave data from Pachinko players, and after analyzing it we are discovering many different things. The first discovery is their mid-game “stress”. With this experiment we realized that the initial stages of their game are generally stress-free, but after about 20 minutes their levels of stress increase drastically. The second discovery is how their emotions are transformed. We discovered that even when their stress levels are high, if directly afterwards there comes a stimulus which causes their concentration to increase, then the stress transforms into interest and desire.

■ An earlier conversation
Thoughts and feelings are made of a combination of electrical signals. All these emotions you feel, such as “joy”, “sadness”, “loneliness” or “pain” are actually electrical signals being emitted by the brain. This means that, on the flipside, if we send certain electrical signals to the brain we can make it feel “happy” or “sad”. This poses an ethical problem, since in theory a futuristic technology could be invented which allowed us to control people’s emotions via external signals.

Apart from these topics, we also discussed such fascinating subjects as “the link between the five sense and our emotions”, and “the ability for telekinesis”. Stay tuned for the next study group.

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