A team of researchers from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) faculty bagged the Best Paper Award for a research on recognising emotion-enhancing music.

The UTAR’s researchers who won the Best Paper award in IEEE 2018 2nd International Conference. (from left to right) Dr Yap Vooi Voon, Rab Nawaz and Dr Humaira Nisar. Photo by UTAR.

The team, which comprised of Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) student Rab Nawaz, FEGT Dean Assoc Prof Dr Yap Vooi Voon and FEGT Head of Master of Engineering (Electronic Systems) Programme Assoc Prof Dr Humaira Nisar won the award for their paper titled “Recognition of Useful Music for Emotion Enhancement Based on Dimensional Emotion Model”.

They received the award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 2018 2nd International Conference on BioSignal Analysis, Processing and Systems (ICBAPS 2018) held at Hilton Kuching Hotel, Sarawak recently.

Organised by IEEE Signal Processing Society Malaysia Chapter, the conference aimed to provide a platform for researchers and industrial practitioners to discuss and share their knowledge in various sub topics of bio-signal processing, analysis and systems.

Dr Humaira said the challenges of advanced biomedical signal processing and analysis towards the application of health monitoring have spread across from hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation centres to ergonomic environments, and households.

Researchers, she said, have worked with various forms of biomedical signals such as electroencephalography (EEG), which is a method to record electrical activity of the brain, and electromyography (EMG), the recording of electrical activity of muscle tissue.

She said in their research, the team used the EEG signals of  different human participants and identified the changes in their emotional state when they listened to different music.

“Music has been widely used as a stimulus to induce different emotions in humans. Listening to music does not only involve the auditory part of the brain, but it also affects other parts of brain which results in a significant change in the cognitive abilities.

“The identification of change in one’s emotional state leads us to recognise the music stimulus, which can bring positive changes in human emotions,” she said.

Dr Humaira also attributed the award as the value of their hard work over the years.

“The award also refreshed our motivation for our interdisciplinary research,” she added.