Neuroscientists traditionally use information representations on 2D displays to analyze multivariate spatial and temporal datasets for an evaluation stage before neurosurgery. However, it is challenging to mentally integrate the information from these datasets. Our immersive tool aims to help neuroscientists to understand spatiotemporal phenomena inside a brain during the evaluation.

Seizures are abnormal and recurrent brain activities, and sometimes, treatment includes resecting a region where seizures happen and propagate. In specific evaluation before resection surgery, EEG electrodes are implanted in the brain to temporally record a seizure propagation and generating zone(s). A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can help neurologists to spatially locate the electrodes inside the brain for the analysis of the seizure start and spread. According to two experienced neuroscientists, using two different tools for the analysis of the EEG and neuroimage with a 2D representation is the most common and traditional way for specialists to plan surgery in this case (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The traditional approach for the analysis of brain spatial and temporal datasets with two different tools. 

We developed a tool that (a) integrates the medical data sets and (b) creates an immersive visualization in a physical space to aid neurologists in the task. Our tool, EPES (Epilepsy Pre-Evaluation Space), visualizes seizure propagation through the brain while the EEG panel is placed in the 3D space for showing the required information (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Our approach for understanding spatiotemporal phenomena in a brain with the situated context information.
The following video explains the project in detail.

Current  and Past Team Members:

Zahra Aminolroaya, Seher Dawar, Hannah Sloan, Christian Roatis, Patrick Gharib

Supervised by:

Dr. Frank Maurer, Dr. Samuel Wiebe

Other Supervisory Committee Members:

Dr. Wesley Willett, Dr. Colin B. Josephson


  1. Zahra Aminolroaya, Seher Dawar, Colin B. Josephson, Samuel Wiebe, and Frank Maurer. 2020. Virtual Reality for Understanding Multidimensional Spatiotemporal Phenomena in Neuroscience. In Companion Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 85–89. DOI:
  2. Zahra Aminolroaya, Samuel Wiebe, Colin Bruce Josephson, Hannah Sloan, Christian Roatis, Patrick Abou Gharib, Frank Maurer, Kun Feng. EPES: Seizure Propagation Analysis in an Immersive Environment. In: Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS 2019), Daejon, Republic of Korea, 2019.