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Biofeedback games

The objective of this work is to develop techniques that teach stress-management skills while patients play video games. As a step towards our goal of relaxation training, we combine biofeedback and adaptive games. We use concepts from control theory to model the process of adapting video games in response to player’s physiological signals (e.g. breathing rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance etc) as shown in the figure below; the top figure shows a traditional feedback look, whereas the bottom figure shows how it can be used for biofeedback games.


Our approach combines game adaptation with a proportional positive feedback controller that modulates to reward low states of arousal/slow breathing rate. We have tested our method against a traditional relaxation method (deep breathing.) Preliminary results show that our game biofeedback is more effective than the traditional approach in transferring deep breathing skills to a subsequent stress inducing task (as shown in figure below). Further, it also leads to significantly lower arousal as measured by electrodermal activity and heart rate variability. The advantage of our method over traditional techniques is that  it teaches and allows practice of relaxation techniques while performing a task (i.e. playing a game) that is designed to increase user’s arousal level. And herein lies the main difference with traditional relaxation training, which encourage practice in quiet and peaceful settings that do not reflect the environments we encounter in daily life.

 
Prior to this, in another study we demonstrated an adaptive biofeedback game that aims to maintain the player’s arousal level by monitoring physiological signals. Here we model the player as a dynamical system whose output (varying arousal levels) must follow an external set-point (constant arousal). Specifically, the control law  manipulates the game’s difficulty level  so as  to maintain  a sustained  arousal  level, as  measured by electrodermal activity (EDA). We also proposed quantitative measures to characterize the effectiveness of the game adaptation mechanics in maintaining the arousal level of the user. Our  approach  has several advantages. First, it allows us to simulate the behavior of the system under different parameter settings, which can help guide the game development process. Second, the model provides a compact parameterization of the system, which facilitates the evaluation of different game mechanics. Finally, it provides objective measures of system performance (error, oscillation) that are complementary to subjective and observation-oriented measures often used in game evaluations.

Relevant publications

A. Parnandi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Visual Biofeedback and Game Adaptation in Relaxation Skill Transfer (Article)

IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, in press, 2017.

(BibTeX)

Z. Wang, A. Parnandi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

BioPad: Leveraging off-the-Shelf Video Games for Stress Self-Regulation (Article)

IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, in press, 2017.

(BibTeX)

A. Parnandi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Physiological modalities for relaxation skill transfer in biofeedback games (Article)

Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, in press, 2016.

(Links | BibTeX)

B. Ahmed, H. Ali, J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

ReBreathe: A calibration protocol that improves stress/relax classification by relabeling deep breathing relaxation exercises (Article)

IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, in press, 2015.

(Links | BibTeX)

R. Bhandari, A. Parnandi, E. Shipp, B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Music-based respiratory biofeedback in visually-demanding tasks (Inproceeding)

15th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), 2015.

(Links | BibTeX)

R. Al-Rihawi, B. Ahmed,, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Dodging Stress With A Personalized Biofeedback Game (Inproceeding)

Proc. CHI-PLAY, 2014.

(Links | BibTeX)

J. Harris, S. Vance, O. Fernandes, A. Parnandi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Sonic Respiration: Controlling Respiration Rate Through Auditory Biofeedback (Inproceeding)

Proc. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2014) Works-in-Progress, 2014.

(Links | BibTeX)

Avinash Parnandi, Beena Ahmed, Eva Shipp, Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna

Chill-Out: Relaxation training through respiratory biofeedback in a mobile casual game (Conference)

Fifth International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services (MobiCASE 2013), 2013.

(Links | BibTeX)

A. Parnandi, Y. Son, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

A Control-Theoretic Approach to Adaptive Physiological Games (Conference)

Humaine Association Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 2013.

(Links | BibTeX)

H. Khan, B. Ahmed, J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Using an Ambulatory Stress Monitoring Device to Identify Relaxation Due to Untrained Deep Breathing (Conference)

35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, 2013.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

A. Parnandi , R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Contactless Measurement of Heart Rate Variability from Pupillary Fluctuations (Techreport)

2012.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

Y. Son, A. Parnandi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

A Control-Theoretic Approach to Adaptive Physiological Games (Techreport)

2012.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

K. Masood, J. Choi*, B. Ahmed,, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Consistency and Validity of Self-reporting Scores in Stress Measurement Surveys (Conference)

2012 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2012.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

F. Alamudun, J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna, H. Khan, B. Ahmed

Removal of Subject-Dependent and Activity-Dependent Variation in Physiological Measures of Stress (Conference)

Proceedings of Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-936968-43-5.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Development and Evaluation of an Ambulatory Stress Monitor Based on Wearable Sensors (Article)

IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, 99, Page(s): 279 – 286, 2012.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Removal of respiratory influences from heart rate variability in stress monitoring (Article)

IEEE Sensors Journal, 11, 11, Page(s): 2649-2656, 2011.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

F. Shipman, S.I. Park, R. Gutierrez-Osuna, J. Choi

PerCon: Supporting the Management and Reuse of Wearable Sensor Data (Techreport)

2011.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Ambulatory Stress Monitoring with Minimally-Invasive Wearable Sensors (Techreport)

2010.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Estimating mental stress using a wearable cardio-respiratory sensor (Conference)

Proceedings of IEEE Sensors, 2010.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Using heart rate monitors to detect mental stress (Conference)

Sixth International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks , 2009.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)

J. Choi, R. Gutierrez-Osuna

Estimating the principal dynamic modes of autonomic state with wearable sensors (Techreport)

2008.

(Abstract | Links | BibTeX)