Emotions: Can Machines Understand Them?

Many People Feeling Emotion

The short answer is that they could understand emotions if equipped with the proper sensors and algorithms.

Physiological Components of Emotions
Emotions always have a physiological component. When we feel excited our heart rate changes, skin conductance increases, facial expressions exaggerate. Many physical and physiological signatures of emotional states have been well studied and classified. For example, the facial action coding system developed by Paul Ekman have been used to detect emotion by computer scientists since the 1970s.

Today the advances in photography and affective computing made possible the development of more accurate automated face analysis. This is how it works. 1) The machine “attends” to the facial signals through automated face detection and registration, and “receives” facial signals with high speed cameras. 2) The next step is extracting key signals. In facial expression recognition, the signal components are called Action Units (AU), or the movement changes of individual facial muscles. The machine does this through a variety of algorithms such as principal component analysis, linear discriminant analysis, and support vector machine classifiers. 3) Based on the specific combination of AU, the machine concludes an emotion experienced by the recorded facial expression.

For example, pain is characterized by brow lowering (AU4), orbital tightening (AU6 and 7), eye closure (AU43), nose wrinkling and lip raise (AU9 and 10). After going through the preceding steps and detecting the changes in these Action Units the machine will conclude that the person experiences pain.

Other Key Factors
Physiological changes such as tone of voice, body movements, heart rate and more can be measured with biometric sensors. Many devices already have these sensors and collect the data. The algorithms to analyze this data and make conclusions about emotions are already developed. It’s just a matter of time before machines will actively read our emotions and use this information in ways we hope will benefit us.

The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Doodle For Your Memory

Doodling Boosts Your Memory

New studies in Neuroscience reveal some promising news that can benefit all of us, and will certainly resonate with the would-be artists among us. Findings show that doodling or sketching while digesting new information, such as listening to a lecture or presentation, can better instill the new information in your working memory.

How Doodling Improves Your Working Memory

We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so it really should come as no surprise that doodling can help improve your memory for associated information. Of course for doodling to help you remember it helps to create sketches that are in some way relevant to the topic at hand. When you look back at your sketchwork it will help trigger a reminder of what you heard while you were creating that particular doodle.

These findings are in contrast to simply writing down word-for-word notes of what you heard, which does not yield the same powerful effect on your brain. This is because there is power in images. Your brain is able to connect the information with the associated image. So, consider doodling the next time you need to learn something new or remember an important piece of information.

Stimulate Your Memory with Fit Brains

Fit Brains Games

Fit Brains also offers a collection of fun and exciting games that are specifically designed to exercise and stimulate your memory.


The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”


Introducing Our Latest Game: Highest Bid!

Man Playing Game

We’re excited to introduce our latest fun game, Highest Bid! And, we’re celebrating our launch by giving you FREE access for a limited time to this exclusive PREMIUM web game. From now through July 31st, you can play for free. It’s part of our Premium collection of speed of thinking games. You’ll love Highest Bid and your results! Play for free now.

Fit Brains Games

1. How to Play
Your challenge: Can you spot the highest bids in the quickest time? Select the numbers greater than the highest bid value. The bid value changes quickly so stay sharp!

2. What You’ll Train
This game stimulates your brain to recognize and process information quickly, challenging you to make quick, informed decisions.

Ready for Your Challenge?


The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Boost Your Focus: Here’s 1 Easy Way!

Fit Brains Pomodoro Focus Technique and Timer

Does your focus wane during tasks sometimes? You aren’t alone!  Some of us, here at Fit Brains, use the Pomodoro Technique, a popular time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. It’s designed to keep your mind fresh and focused so you can finish tasks faster.  And, it’s supposed to help your concentration. Bet we have your attention now, don’t we?

How To Apply The Pomodoro Technique

Fit Brains Person Working with Focus

1. Pick a task or project
2. Get rid of all distractions (eg. Phone, email)
3. Set your timer for 25 minutes
4. Work until you hear the timer
5. Take a break for 5 minutes
6. Mark a check on a piece of paper
7. Repeat steps 3-6 four times
8. Then take a break for 15 – 20 minutes

The Pomodoro Timer

In the 1980s, Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato to complete the drill and maintain concentration, hence the name Pomodoro (Italian for “tomato”). Nowadays, you can use apps like the Pomodoro Keeper (IOS), Marinara Timer (web), Simple Pomodoro (Android) and Focus Booster (Windows, Mac and web) to time your Pomodoros.

Want to Challenge Your Focus Now?

Another great way to stimulate your attention is to play our special suite of concentration games designed by neuroscientists and game experts!


The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Happy Fourth of July: How Socializing Benefits Your Brain!

People socializing which benefits the brain

It turns out that socializing with friends and family on a holiday like the Fourth of July is great for your personal happiness and your brain health. This is because socializing is what humans were made for. In fact, according to neuroscientists, your brain will automatically switch to socialization mode when not otherwise occupied.

The benefits of socializing are impressive. It can make you happier for one, which can have a strong impact on your physical and mental health as well, and it can also contribute to brain reserve. This is true for people of all ages, but especially critical as we get older. According to one study, scientists at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago found that cognitive decline was 70% less among people who engaged in frequent social activities. Another study by researchers at Utah’s Brigham Young University report that loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of premature death by as much as 30%.

All of these findings point to the real implications that socialization has on our physical and mental well-being. Even if you do not live close to family and friends there are still many ways you can keep yourself in the company of others, including volunteering with an organization, joining a club or taking a class. Your brain will benefit purely by being in the company of others, not to mention new tangible skills you may gain along the way.

So while you are flipping burgers and watching a fireworks display with friends and family this Fourth of July, you can also celebrate the fact that you are doing something great for your brain in the process!

Fit Brains Fun

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Looking for other ways to engage your brain when socializing isn’t an option? Play Fit Brains fun and stimulating brain games. Exercise your Memory, Focus, Speed of Thinking, Logic, Language and Visual-Spatial skills.


The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”