Abstract: My proposal is this; to use myself as a test subject to determine whether or not biofeedback can be used to impact some symptoms of depression (and possibly anxiety).
Title: Biofeedback and Depression
Background: I studied a bit of depression last year in my psychology class, and have personally struggled with a bit of depression myself. I don’t really have any background in the area of the study of brainwaves though.
Purpose: During the first semester I’ll be using the online depression cognitive test along with the data that I’ve written down in a spreadsheet to compare and contrast the results of the test with the data of my spreadsheet. The second semester will be using the biofeedback to try and see if we can change those slower brainwaves simply by outside stimulation.
What I will measure: The first semester I will measure the results of the test and of my spreadsheet for the levels of depression. The second semester I will measure the brainwaves and how much I could change them using the outside influences.
How I will measure it: Possibly day by day with the test and spreadsheet for the first semester. Second semester with a headset and whatever program is needed to measure the brainwaves.
Tools/resources needed: The online test for the first semester, and the internet for extra research. I’ll also be using the help and knowledge of Dr. Bill and Ms. Sebastian. For the second semester we’ll use the headset to measure the brainwaves.
Impact: I’m really only hoping for a personal impact, and if it’s a successful project, then maybe it could help other people as well.
Legacy: Hopefully this could be a helpful solution for people with depression, and maybe another student could take this project further or modify it for their own needs or personal interests.
2. Throughout this project I collaborated with many people. One of the people who had the biggest impact on me was Dr. Bill. He really guided me and helped me through the entire process. He would give me ideas when I ran out of inspiration, and he would pretty much help me to stay motivated throughout the entire year. Another person that I collaborated this year was Viet Tung Dao. He helped me out with the headset and how to use emotiv. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to do the actual biofeedback that was necessary for this project. Yet another person, Johnny Yoon. I collaborated with him for parts of the year, mostly for cognifit things and a little towards the end of the year to possibly start a new project. Speaking of cognifit, I also collaborated with a representative from CogniFit named Tommy. These different collaborations have taught me the importance of cooperating with other people in order to achieve your goals. These collabs also helped my project to grow and stem out from what it was originally meant to be. They impacted my project in a big way because without them, I probably wouldn’t have gotten very far.
3. The legacy that my project leaves for others is not only a helpful solution for symptoms of depression, but also a different way to look at these types of projects. I hope that my work throughout the year can show others the importance of the process rather than the result.
4. For someone who might be doing my project next year, they will have a lot of work ahead of them. They’ll most likely have to pick up at learning how to interpret the different brainwaves and how to read an EEG. They’ll also need to continue research on how the different cognitive abilities correlate with depression, and how to interpret that through the cognifit tests. They’ll need the emotiv headset, the app on their computer, the cognifit licenses (there’s actually still a few left over), access to the pacific app, many different collabs with many people, and the grit to stick out a mainly solo project throughout an entire year.
5. If I were to describe my year in ISR to a stranger, I’d say that it was an all around great experience. Again, I learned the importance of process over result. I also learned how to collaborate with others, and how to spend weeks and months just doing hardcore research. I’d tell them that some of my greatest challenges were just being able to stay motivated throughout the year as well as the occasional public speaking that I’d have to do. These were easily overcome with the help of my peers and teacher, Dr. Bill. I’d let them know that I’m the most proud of my growth as a person throughout the year, and how this project helped in that process. It showed me how to slow down, take a look at myself, and evaluate what I needed to do to help myself. The only thing that I would’ve done differently is that I would’ve started sooner.