Monday March 16, 2015

My Brain on a T-shirt

T shirtZazzle235884663154523784

In June, 2014, I had my brain activity mapped as part of Dario Nardi's neuroscience of personality study.

When I heard that Dario would be returning to speak at our March 2015 BAAPT meeting, I knew what I wanted to do. Each month, I try to choose a t-shirt from my collection that best reflects the topic of that month's program. For March, I wanted a shirt that featured my brain map!

First, I asked Dario to send me my "Lab activity map". This hadn't been included with my initial report.

The activities you did for your session produce both a "lab activity" map and a "circuit map". The difference is analysis. The lab activity is just a general measure of amount of brain activity in each region, isolated from the other regions. The circuit map is generated by counting which regions fire in synch, following the principle, "neurons that fire together, are wired together". Since brain wiring takes practice to form, and the brain wiring has better reliability (test-retest) than the lab activity, the conclusion is that it reflects longterm development rather than context. 

Dario sent me two attachments. The first is a simple table of the 16 neocortex regions, with scores that reflect magnitude of brain activity over the entire lab session. Regions with higher scores were more active. The second is a map reflecting those scores along a grayscale, from white (most active) to black (least active). 

FFT scores
FFT map grey small

I converted the grey-scale map to 5-color, using a scheme that follows the color spectrum:

  • most activity (white areas in grey-scale) ==> red
  • next most ==> orange
  • next most ==> yellow
  • next most ==> green
  • least (black on the grey-scale map) ==> blue

Dario recommended no more than five colors, but my map had more than three shades of grey, plus black and white. So, we re-sorted the data from largest to smallest, numerically, and divided it up to get an optimum 5-color scheme.

Then, I used Graphic Converter (my favorite Mac OS image editing software), to swap out gray for color in each region of the image and I had my colored map.

FFTscores with color ranges
FFT map 5color

I set the background to black (for a black t-shirt) and designed the shirt at Zazzle.

T shirtZazzle235884663154523784

The best part about wearing the shirt to the meeting was being able to say "No, this isn't a generic map. This is my map!"

My Brain on a T-shirt ( in category Personality Type , Special Interests ) - posted at Mon, 16 Mar, 13:21 Pacific | «e»

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