How to train your brainwaves: Is it possible to change how much we experience these different brainwaves, and the brain states and thought experiences associated with them? In short, yes.
Conditioning and Neurofeedback
For decades, practitioners have engaged in training programs which are intended to reinforce the brain states which produce increases in certain brain oscillations and decreases in others. The most common example of this, called neurofeedback, can utilize EEG or other brain-sensing modalities.
Neurofeedback practitioners and clinicians find that immediate, direct feedback on brain states, whether in the form of sound, light or even a video game, can produce changes in underlying behaviors and brain states that are reflected in brainwaves. This feedback seems to accelerate the learning process, by making brain states more apparent to the recipient.
Another important discovery in the recent history of neuroscience is the significant differences in brainwave characteristics of highly experienced meditators. Expert meditators not only have different resting-state brainwaves from non-meditators – but they also seem able to control their brainwaves through voluntary thought control with greater ease than others.
So how do we start to improve our ability to control our brainwaves? These brainwave-changing skills can be learned. Meditation deepens your ability to focus and control your attention.
What does the data mean?
Wandering attention. This is time spent with a distracted mind where attention was fluctuating.
Your mind in it's natural resting state. Attention isn't fluctuating, but there is also no deep focus present.
Deep restful focus on your breath. These are moments when you've been fully focused on your breath.
FEEDBACK WITH MUSE
Hear the Birds Sing
When you find a deep, restful focus on your breath for an extended period of time, you'll start to hear birds singing. Over time, you'll learn to use the birds as a cue to settle even more deeply into focused attention.
To help keep you motivated and improving, Muse also gives you points, goals, challenges and bonuses to strive for.
With every session, you earn points, and can adjust your goal to fit your needs
As a research-grade EEG device, Muse is used by neuroscientists, researchers, health professionals, and developers all over the world to help them learn more about brain health and brain function.
Muse’s brain-sensing technology has been widely used for brain research projects in hundreds of hospitals and universities worldwide, including NASA, The Mayo Clinic, UCL, MIT and many more
What Does Muse Do?
Muse has been tested and validated against EEG systems that are exponentially more expensive, and it’s used by neuroscientists around the world in real-world neuroscience research inside and outside the lab. Using 7 finely calibrated sensors – 2 on the forehead, 2 behind the ears plus 3 reference sensors – Muse is a next-generation, state of the art EEG system that uses advanced algorithms to train beginner and intermediate meditators at controlling their focus. It teaches users how to manipulate their brain states and how to change the characteristics of their brains.
The Muse algorithm technology is more complex than traditional neurofeedback. In creating the Muse app, we started from these brainwaves and then spent years doing intensive research on higher-order combinations of primary, secondary, and tertiary characteristics of raw EEG data and how they interact with focused-attention meditation.
It’s important to note that a lot of people confuse what the Muse app measures with traditional neurofeedback (which focuses on training individual frequencies), but it doesn’t map individual frequencies – it uses a unique and complex combination of the various brainwaves in order to provide results such as calm, active, and neutral states.
So let's get started on brainwave training!!
Ed Geraty LCSW-C