Retooling computational techniques for EEG-based neurocognitive modeling of children's data, validity and prospects for learning and education
This paper describes continuing research on the building of neurocognitive models of the internal mental and brain processes of children using a novel adapted combination of existing computational approaches and tools, and using electro-encephalographic (EEG) data to validate the models. The guiding working model which was pragmatically selected for investigation was the established and widely used Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) modeling architecture from cognitive science. The anatomo-functional circuitry covered by ACT-R is validated by MRI-based neuroscience research. The present experimental data was obtained from a cognitive neuropsychology study involving preschool children (aged 46), which measured their visual selective attention and word comprehension behaviors. The collection and analysis of Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) from the EEG data allowed for the identification of sources of electrical activity known as dipoles within the cortex, using a combination of computational tools (Independent Component Analysis, FASTICA; EEG-Lab DIPFIT). The results were then used to build neurocognitive models based on Python ACT-R such that the patterns and the timings of the measured EEG could be reproduced as simplified symbolic representations of spikes, built through simplified electric-field simulations. The models simulated ultimately accounted for more than three-quarters of variations spatially and temporally in all electrical potential measurements (fit of model to dipole data expressed as R 2 ranged between 0.75 and 0.98; P < 0.0001). Implications for practical uses of the present work are discussed for learning and educational applications in non-clinical and special needs children's populations, and for the possible use of non-experts (teachers and parents).
|Keywords||Educational neurofeedback, EEG, Event-Related Potentials, Inclusive education, Neurocognitive modeling, Personalization, Visual attention, Word comprehension|
|Journal||Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience|
D'Angiulli, A, & Devenyi, P. (Peter). (2019). Retooling computational techniques for EEG-based neurocognitive modeling of children's data, validity and prospects for learning and education. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 13. doi:10.3389/fncom.2019.00004