Breathing and Peak Mental Performance
This is part 4 of the explanatory article to complement new biofeedback training from software update 20, to unravel how this cutting edge dynamic breathing technology would give you incredible boost to both emotion regulation and mental performance.
Much of the groundwork of the technologies used by startups like us or fortune 500 juggernauts are laid by academics funded by charitable organizations such as Wellcome trust.
They represent the best of humanity, propelling us into the future.
One such academic, Rosalind Picard from MIT, pioneered affective computing and has been a source of inspiration for one of the most powerful technologies underlying FOCI - dynamic breath pacing.
(Just to have a quick brief for backers who are relatively new to breathing as physiological intervention methodology. When you inhale, your heart rate speeds up, when you exhale, it slows down. This heartbeat changing pace when you inhale and exhale is referred to as respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and is just the tip of the iceberg of how powerful breathing physiological intervention can be.)
- Breathing intervention needs to be able to influence your breathing without your conscious effort in order for it to be useful while you work.
- The complexity of temporal change of breathing interventions to match constantly shifting physiological states for people with different physiological baselines needs to be intelligently managed for you in order for it to be useful at all.
In a Nutshell
- With the machine learning profile of your breathing pattern and real time physiological state, FOCI can intelligently and dynamically generate pacing beats that can subtly influence your breathing pattern to get into your optimal mental performance (or calm, depending on your preference).
- Brief initial acclimatization training would still be required, as machine learning needs to understand your response to intervention to adapt in both ways. This acclimatization process can be sped up with breathing techniques inside the biofeedback training module.
While getting into and staying in an optimal breathing pattern may sound a little Spartan, in fact it is not, especially if you get into flow - which is a well documented pleasurable experience.
Most of us would have experienced the feeling of a tense/fatigue bout after an intense focus session - courtesy of a 'lung compliance reduction' resulting from this sustained attention. Yes ‘sighing’ is documented to help with this tense/fatigue, and bring balance… That’s why we see people working late at night in the college library before an exam sighing incessantly. But why not enjoy flow instead, with just a little training to get used to this tech augment?
There is still a learning curve and we are working on it. But with future software releases it would definitely get easier and better!
Mick and the FOCI Team
P.S. Support FOCI help us spread the word. The more support we get, the better and faster we can improve the product. You have seen how FOCI evolved the last few years, and that is not possible without your support.