mentalista

Science that empowers everyone through more instinctive technology

We open our technology to a growing community of researchers, developers and makers, to undertake a joint initiative to improve understanding of the brain.

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Strongly outside the lab, the real world is our playground. No simulation, just a lot of experimentation



The Mentalista adventure began with the study of the functioning of the visual system of the brain. By being passionate about mental images, we have over the years made discoveries about visual thought modeling and how to use it to control objects from brain waves.

Despite years of research, the complexity of the brain continues to fascinate us. There is still a long way to go to understand the workings of this organ that allows us to be such brilliant living beings. We are engaged in sharing our know-how and continuing to fuel through our demonstrations the dreams of a future where technology fades away to reality.

We are committed to deliver the best and easiest to use platform to allow researchers, developers and designers to create projects to help us understand the functioning of the brain. We believe in brain-environment interfaces that can transcend disability, languages, age or gender and aim to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

The brain is actually made up of neurons. They communicate among other signals thanks to electrical impulses called action potentials. Each of our thoughts involves a particular neural activity that is unique to us. Part of this activation is electrical and can be measured using electrodes close to the head.

To measure the brain activity, several techniques exist such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) or near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Each of these techniques has advantages and disadvantages and can be used together to measure the brain. It is mainly the EEG technique that is used because it is inclusive, easy to use and really convenient for the users. This technique describes brain activity as an electrical current expressed in microvolts.

Mental images, the brain's visual command that allows you to control the objects using only your thoughts



Mentalista specializes in the understanding of mental images, mental representations without perception that come from the imagination of a user. For example, it could be imagining a lamp going on or visualizing a wheelchair going left.

A mental image is used to describe the memorized or imagined brain representation of a physical object, a concept, an idea, or a situation. If a person thinks about something already seen or something fully imagined, that’s a mental image.

To create a model of a mental image, we need to collect several hundred samples of brain generated data from a perceived situation on multiple users and then we compare them to samples of this same situation but this time imagined by a new user. The comparison between the perception and the imagination highlights the specific activity of certain neurons allowing us, thanks to machine learning, to synthesize the model of a mental image.

Mental images are very powerful their model can be extended to be universal and adapt to all human beings, they are also comfortable commands for the user who only has to imagine the command he wishes to execute, finally it can be synthesized from a very small number of electrodes it increases the comfort for the user and simplifies the integration on a product for an industrial.

In the end, all the mental images put together can create an alphabet of interaction, the basis of a universal language of thought.

Understanding the brain first involves overcoming the technological limits of existing acquisition devices



To allow us to go beyond the limits of our knowledge of the brain, we rely heavily on breakthrough technologies that can help us to analyze the brain in depth. Our scientific quest is not limited to the brain but to the overall understanding of humans and their environment as well as the interactions between humans.


Hyperscanning

One of the major challenges for improving our knowledge of the brain is understanding social interactions. It has long been impossible to perfectly synchronize the acquisition of brainwaves on several subjects. Thanks to hyperscanning, Mentalista brings a fundamental technological brick to the study of the social brain and opens the way to large-group interactions. All dev kits natively integrate this feature to automatically synchronize brain data whatever the location of the user.


Multimodality

To learn more about the brain we need to better understand the user and his environment. To bring more information to the brain-generated data, we have added the possibility of synchronizing different environmental sensors. Thus by adding a camera, a microphone, a gps, ect. We can better understand what a user sees, hears, ect. which allows us to better label these brainwaves and automatically create a data model according to a given label.


Mobility

To study the brain as close as possible to the daily environment, we have made our technology wearable and plug-and-play. Thus the study of the brain at home, on a construction site, in the middle of the forest or under water is made possible. This feature accelerates the deployment of our technology by allowing industries to integrate it directly into their product: audio headset, construction helmet, motorcycle helmet, VR headset, etc.

Want to start working with brain-environment interfaces?

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