The BeMoBIL, headed by Prof. Dr. Klaus Gramann, was founded in 2014 and opened its doors after a reconstruction phase in May 2016. It comprises an interdisciplinary team of researchers from a variety of scientific fields and is hosted within the Department of Biopsychology and Neuroergonomics at the Berlin Institute of Technology.
What is Mobile Brain / Body Imaging?
Mobile Brain / Body Imaging (MoBI) is a new imaging modality, employing mobile brain imaging methods like the electroencephalogram (EEG) or near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) synchronized to motion capture and other data streams to investigate brain activity while participants actively move in and interact with their environment. Mobile Brain / Body Imaging allows to investigate brain dynamics accompanying more natural cognitive and affective processes as it allows the human to interact with the environment without restriction regarding physical movement. Overcoming the movement restrictions of established imaging modalities like functional magnetic resonance tomography (MRI), MoBI can provide new insights into the human brain function in mobile participants. This imaging approach will lead to new insights into the brain functions underlying active behavior and the impact of behavior on brain dynamics and vice versa, it can be used for the development of more robust human-machine interfaces as well as state assessment in mobile humans. At our lab we make use of state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets to mirror realistic task scenarios in a controlled experimental environment. Interested readers can find more information in this extensive introduction to Mobile Brain / Body Imaging (MoBI)!
What is our goal?
Our lab aims at identifying neural and behavioral processes underlying natural cognition to better understand the human brain. This knowledge is used to develop better human-machine interfaces in different domains (HCI, HMI, rehabilitation). To gain new insights into the brain dynamics supporting natural cognition requires overcoming restrictions of traditional brain imaging technologies. Our lab provides the necessary capabilities to tackle these restrictions by employing a novel Mobile Brain / Body Imaging approach. We make use of mobile virtual reality (VR) in combination with whole-body motion capture and high-density EEG recordings.
As a consequence, our knowledge of the neural basis of human cognition is rooted in a dissociation of human cognition from what is arguably its foremost, and certainly its most evolutionarily determinant function—organizing our behavior so as to optimize its consequences in our complex, multi-scale, and ever-changing environment.
The concept of natural cognition, therefore, should not be separated from our fundamental experience and role as an embodied agent acting in a complex, partly unpredictable world.
What ist our motivation?
Decades of brain imaging experiments have revealed important insights into the architecture of the human brain and the detailed anatomical basis for the neural dynamics supporting human cognition. However, technical restrictions of traditional brain imaging approaches including functional magnetic resonance tomography (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) severely limit participants’ movements during experiments.