Technologies to Measure Emotion

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we were to gain a heightened awareness of our emotions by tracking our emotional and cognative states?

Affectiva, a company with roots at MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing group has recently announced a National Science Foundation grant “to develop an online version of its technology that enables computers to recognize human expressions and deduce emotional and cognitive states.”

Affdex not only allows more accurate understanding of an important aspect of human communication — emotion — it helps democratize emotion research by making it accessible, user-friendly and affordable for large and small corporations. The goal is a technology service that truly transforms the way customers and businesses communicate aabout product experiences.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Source: Institute For The Future; Feb 01, 2011; by Rachel Hatch in The Future Now Blog

Managing with the Brain in Mind

According to Naomi Eisenberger a leading social neuroscience researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), feeling of being excluded provokes the same sort of reaction in the brain that physical pain might cause.

This study and many others now emerging have made one thing clear: The human brain is a social organ. Most processes operating in the background when your brain is at rest are involved in thinking about other people and yourself.

One critical thread of research on the social brain starts with the “threat and reward” response, a neurological mechanism that governs a great deal of human behavior. Recently, researchers have documented that the threat response is often triggered in social situations, and it tends to be more intense and longer-lasting than the reward response.

The threat response is both mentally taxing and deadly to the productivity of a person — or of an organization. Because this response uses up oxygen and glucose from the blood, they are diverted from other parts of the brain, including the working memory function, which processes new information and ideas. This impairs analytic thinking, creative insight, and problem solving; in other words, just when people most need their sophisticated mental capabilities, the brain’s internal resources are taken away from them.

Research into the social nature of the brain suggests another piece of this puzzle. Five particular qualities enable employees and executives alike to minimize the threat response and instead enable the reward response. These five social qualities are status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness: Because they can be expressed with the acronym scarf, I sometimes think of them as a kind of headgear that an organization can wear to prevent exposure to dysfunction. To understand how the scarf model works, let’s look at each characteristic in turn. For more information CLICK HERE.

Source: Startegy + Business; Author: David Rock; Published: August 27, 2009 / Autumn 2009 / Issue 56