You definitely know that today is Valentine’s Day, and to celebrate the most romantic day of the year we would like to share with you the excellent idea of ‘EEG Dating’, an exciting, modern way of matching couples. To spice up the story we must tell you that this article is sort of a ‘blind date’ for us, too. The text below has been submitted by one of our readers to our BCI Project section, although for some reason we cannot see the author’s name or contact details, all we know is they are from Nashville, Tennessee. If it’s you, secret submitter, don’t hesitate to contact us so we can update this post with more information. UPDATE: The author has contacted us, his name is Dal Ellington and he kindly shared some additional information on this project, like the type of the headset they are using (NeuroSky MindWave Mobile) and the URL of the project page: biometricdating.com

EEG Dating: The theory and experiment

When a couple meets, they each have their own set of perceptions based on memories and experiences. Over time, more and more of their memories and experiences are shared. After several years of marriage, a couple will have a more similar perception of stimuli than strangers or a couple in a new relationship. We have prepared a 5 minute stimuli video containing relatively common images and words and are recruiting married couples to watch the video while their EEG data is recorded.

We compare the data using a new type of color spectrum analysis we have come up with. We are finding the theory to hold weight and will build the algorithm around the data from these married couples in long term marriage. We plan to field test the method by having singles watch the stimuli video and then match them based on their EEG data. Of course singles will still be able to describe the basic demographics of the type of person they wish to date – sex, age, height, weight, income, and other surface qualities. The EEG matching will then find people that fit those surface qualities but have the most similarities of general perception. Many dating services ask countless questions. With EEG matching, there should be no need for the questions that most people shade the truth with. The end business model will be to have people watch the stimuli video/s at home and to use the results to match themselves for romantic matches or even friendships.

We have been able to set up in the back of a local art gallery, (Robins Gallery – Nashville, TN) and have our own little brain lab. In exchange for participation, we are asking couples to describe meeting their spouse while recording their EEG data. We are printing out this data and giving it to the couples as a ‘thank you’.

As you may imagine, if the theory and analytic tools prove worthy, the implications could be far reaching. We have hobbled together a few different pieces of free and open source software programs in order to collect and analyze the data for proof of concept. As far as we know, EEG data has never been analyzed in this way. Currently, we are only trying to find the similarities within the EEG data of couples in long term marriages. But going forward, this method should be able to give more complete insight into opinion, likes, dislikes, and general emotion.

In the end, we hope to build this system into a real time feed back application to enhance BCI programs and the overall social network experience.

Author: Dal Ellington

Project page: http://www.biometricdating.com/