This week at Crane’s monthly research forum, we heard from Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Kevin Passino and PhD candidate, Hugo Gonzalez Villasanti. Crane Center Research Forums are held monthly throughout the university-calendar year, and feature researchers from across the university who share their research and its impact on children. Passino leads the Technology 4 Mental Health group that collaborates across Ohio State to address mental health issues. The latest project that includes Hugo Gonzalez Villasanti and SFC staff Kelly Boone, Anneliese Johnson, Abel Koury, and Oliva Diaz Melgarejo plans to test the impact of adaptive ambiance on stress for children in the preschool classroom. Adaptive ambience is the term that Passino and Gonzalez Villasanti use to describe the adjustment of lights and music in a room to set a calming mood.
Passino and Gonzalez Villasanti have piloted this work with adults. They have studied the effects of adjusting the pitch, tempo and volume of piano music on adult’s stress levels while completing a stressful task. Preliminary results show that this adjustment of music does improve adult’s ability to complete the task: adults had 11% fewer errors and had a quicker response time while completing the task with moderated music, compared to non-moderated music.
The next step is to apply the technology in the preschool classroom to see if adaptive light and sound has an effect on children’s stress levels. To achieve this, Yahmaha speakers and hue lights will be installed in the classroom. Initially, teachers will use blue tooth or WiFi technology to adjust the light and music in a room, based on children’s stress levels measured by wrist-worn devices that measure heart rate variability. Subsequently, the team plans to develop an adaptive ambience algorithm to automatically adjust light and sound in a classroom based on real-time data of children’s stress levels.
Funding for this project is still underway, so stay tuned!
Interested in our next Crane Research Forum? On Wednesday, December 5 from 12-1 p.m., come hear Dr. Noelle Arnold speak on Student Health Disparities and school/community based health clinics. More information here.