Friday, September 30, 2022

How To Measure Brain Waves At Home

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My Week With The Muse

Measuring Waves | GCSE Science | Physics

The Muse isnt like most wearable tech devices available today. You arent supposed to wear it all day, and its sensitive enough that every time you yawn, turn your head, or make any sudden movements you have to check and make sure that all the sensors are still attached to your scalp. Once you adjust the Muse to fit your head, it stays reasonably put, but it requires a few minutes of adjustment each time its used if you are sharing the device with someone else in your household, like I did .

For now, the Muse has just one smartphone app, called Calm, that teaches users to enter a meditative state. Its an extremely simple game that you can play with your eyes closed. When youre calm and paying attention to your breathing, you hear the sounds of a quiet beach, with waves lapping on the shore. Stay calm long enough, and birds start chirping and landing on the beach. If you start thinking too much, the sound of heavy wind gusts enters the scene. The game can be used for as little as three minutes per day to get results.

You really have no choice but to close your eyes during the session since muscle movementeven a movement as small as blinking an eyeinterrupts the brains electrical signals.

Then, over the course of just a few days, I got better at the gameand also got better at bringing myself into a calm state even without the headset. Heres my readout from day six:

What Happens In A Neurotherapy Session

So what actually goes on during a typical neurotherapy session?

First, a clinician will place electrodes on your head to measure the electrical activity of your brain.

Dont worry, it wont hurt a bit.

Youll be able to see your brain activity presented in the form of a video game on a monitor.

Here is a picture of an actual neurotherapy session.

Youll be instructed on how to interpret what you see on the screen.

With a little practice, youll learn to control your brain activity to produce the brainwave state most helpful for your current needs.

Neurofeedback has been compared to playing a video game with your mind.

But what you are really doing is harnessing your brains ability to change, known as neuroplasticity, by modifying your brainwave patterns for your benefit.

Significant changes in brain plasticity have been observed after just a single neurofeedback session.

Three Electrodes On The Forehead

Another company active in the field of continuous brain monitoring using EEG electrodes is the Neurosteer Corporation. Professor Nathan Intrator, the Neurosteer CEO is a brain researcher from Tel Aviv University who deals with mathematical models of advanced signal processing for reading brain activity. “I understood that using mathematics it is possible to extract much more information from an EEG, and I began reading the brain with electrodes placed on the forehead,” he describes. “I also realized that in the medical field as well as in those areas related to wellness, it is possible to produce a vast amount of data with a small strip on the forehead that contains three only electrodes. And if I can do that, I will receive a small, mobile, continuous and inexpensive brain reader that can become significantly more available and usable.”

Last year, Prof. Intrator spent on sabbatical from the university so he can cultivate the idea he established together with his partner Lenny Ridel, an expert in the field of ‘big-data’. Their objective was to transform the mobile brain reader to a real product capable of solving a variety of problems. Currently, in the phase of feasibility testing, the Israel Innovation Authority has lent its support to Neurosteer.

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Why Might I Need An Eeg

The EEG is used to evaluate several types of brain disorders. When epilepsy is present, seizure activity will appear as rapid spiking waves on the EEG.

People with lesions of their brain, which can result from tumors or stroke, may have unusually slow EEG waves, depending on the size and the location of the lesion.

The test can also be used to diagnose other disorders that influence brain activity, such as Alzheimer’s disease, certain psychoses, and a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

The EEG may also be used to determine the overall electrical activity of the brain . The EEG may also be used to monitor blood flow in the brain during surgical procedures.

There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend an EEG.

Neurofeedback: Take The Next Step

Brain Waves Reveal Deception

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that teaches you how to control your brain waves, so that you can induce a desired brainwave state on demand.

Its a viable option for treating a wide range of physical and mental health conditions.

If your intention is to use neurofeedback to treat a psychiatric disorder like anxiety or depression, its recommended that you use the services of a trained neurofeedback professional.

But for general relaxation or self-improvement, at-home neurofeedback devices can be an effective option.

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What Happens During An Eeg

An EEG may be done on an outpatient basis, or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices. Talk with your healthcare provider about what you will experience during your test.

Generally, an EEG procedure follows this process:

  • You will be asked to relax in a reclining chair or lie on a bed.
  • Between 16 and 25 electrodes will be attached to your scalp with a special paste, or a cap containing the electrodes will be used.
  • You will be asked to close your eyes, relax, and be still.
  • Once the recording begins, you will need to remain still throughout the test. Your healthcare provider may monitor you through a window in an adjoining room to observe any movements that can cause an inaccurate reading, such as swallowing or blinking. The recording may be stopped periodically to let you rest or reposition yourself.
  • After your healthcare provider does the initial recording while you are at rest, he or she may test you with various stimuli to produce brain wave activity that does not show up while you are resting. For example, you may be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly for 3 minutes, or you may be exposed to a bright flashing light.
  • This study is generally done by an EEG technician and may take approximately 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  • If you are being evaluated for a sleep disorder, the EEG may be done while you are asleep.
  • Neurofeedback For Stress And Anxiety

    If there is one specific area where neurofeedback shines, its stress reduction.

    Its useful for literally any condition thats related to stress.

    Learning how to manage stress is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, brain function, and mental well-being.

    The typical stress-induced flight-or-fight response initiates a cascade of physiological changes you normally have no control over.

    Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your breathing becomes fast and shallow, and blood gets directed away from your brain and into your muscles.

    Dr. Pat | Be Brain Fit

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    Measure Your Brainwaves And Modify Your Mind

      Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event.

      Can a sleek headband which reads your brainwaves help you to achieve inner peace? Interaxons CEO, Ariel Garten certainly thinks so. Her companys first product, Muse, is an EEG headband which determines what kind of brain waves you are producing and a Brain Health package which helps you to change them.

      You can listen more carefully to whats going on inside the brain, understand the relationship between brain activity and emotions and gain more control over your emotional state, Garten explains.

      An EEG measures electrical activity in the brain by detecting it via contacts on the scalp. As a medical instrument it has long been used to diagnose conditions like epilepsy and dementia as well as determining whether a patient in a coma is brain dead. Brain electrical activity is cyclic in nature, hence the name brainwave. Waves within particular ranges of frequencies, like alpha or beta waves, have various types of biological significance.

      Meditators can have a higher resting alpha state. When you are meditating there are a number of brain changes which go on and over time those become persistent so people are able to maintain this calm state of mind.

      Muse can be pre-ordered on crowd-sourcing site IndieGogo where the project has already raised $253,293.

      Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging :

      Measuring Brain Waves with an EEG Electroencephalogram copy

      fMRI is a functional neuroimaging procedure measuring brain function by detecting changes in blood flow associated with neural activity. The assumption is that neurons need more oxygen when theyre active. fMRI has a tradeoff between spatial and temporal resolution, yet is a relatively slow neuroimaging method compared to methods such as EEG or MEG. However, the central strength of magnetic resonance imaging is its excellent spatial resolution. With magnetic imaging, you can reconstruct the individual skull shapes and cortical layers of all of your respondents.

      Typically, respondents have to lay motionless in a magnetic core while radio frequency bursts are emitted . fMRI then measures the change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood, showing a relative difference across different brain regions.

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      How Do You Prepare For An Eeg

      The patient will be given instructions when the EEG is scheduled.

      • If the patient routinely takes seizure medication to prevent seizures, antidepressants, or stimulants, he or she may be asked to stop taking these medications 1 to 2 days before the test.
      • The patient may be told not to consume caffeine before the test.
      • The patient should avoid using hair styling products on the day of the exam.
      • It is prudent to have someone take the patient to the EEG location, especially if he or she has been asked to stop taking seizure medications.
      • If the patient is having a sleep EEG, he or she may be asked to stay awake the night before the exam.

      What Happens During The Eeg Procedure

      A standard noninvasive EEG takes about 1 hour. The patient will be positioned on a padded bed or table, or in a comfortable chair. To measure the electrical activity in various parts of the brain, a nurse or EEG technician will attach 16 to 20 electrodes to the scalp. The brain generates electrical impulses that these electrodes will pick up. To improve the conduction of these impulses to the electrodes, a gel will be applied to them. Then a temporary glue will be used to attach them to the skin. No pain will be involved.

      The electrodes only gather the impulses given off by the brain and do not transmit any stimulus to the brain. The technician may tell the patient to breathe slowly or quickly and may use visual stimuli such as flashing lights to see what happens in the brain when the patient sees these things. The brain’s electrical activity is recorded continuously throughout the exam on special EEG paper.

      • Sleep EEG: During a specialized sleep EEG, the patient will be placed in a room that encourages relaxation and asked to fall asleep while the brain’s electrical activity is recorded. The sleep EEG will last about 2 to 3 hours.
      • Ambulatory EEG: During a specialized ambulatory EEG, the electrodes are placed on the patient’s scalp and attached to a portable cassette recorder. The patient will be allowed to go home and resume normal activities while the EEG continuously records. The ambulatory EEG typically lasts 24 hours.

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      What Happens After An Eeg

      Once the test is completed, the electrodes will be removed and the electrode paste will be washed off with warm water, acetone, or witch hazel. In some cases, you may need to wash your hair again at home.

      If you took any sedatives for the test, you may be required to rest until the sedatives have worn off. You will need to have someone drive you home.

      Skin irritation or redness may be present at the locations where the electrodes were placed, but this will wear off in a few hours.

      Your healthcare provider will inform you when you may resume any medicines you stopped taking before the test.

      Your healthcare provider may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

      Personal Neurofeedback Devices As A Meditation Aid

      Magnetic brain waves to detect injury and disease

      Another promising use for your at-home neurofeedback device is to help you meditate.

      A big roadblock with meditation that many people, especially beginners, have is that they dont know when they are doing it right.

      A quality device can help you know for sure.

      Once youve trained your brain to recognize what that brainwave state feels like, you can apply that knowledge to a traditional meditation practice.

      Be aware that some companies selling binaural beats brainwave entrainment audios give the impression that they involve neurofeedback.

      Listening to these audio files can alter your brainwave state, but it is a one-way street since there is no feedback involved.

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      Objectification Of Brain Processes

      ElMindA was established eleven years ago and is considered one of the leading companies in Israel and the world in the field of brain monitoring. In 2014, the company received a regulatory authorization from the FDA , and also possesses parallel authorization from Europe and other countries Canada, Brazil and naturally Israel.

      “The brain is a fascinating area, and our vision is to bring the digital world into the clinic, to make use of the tools that enable us to objectify brain processes and then create value for physicians from them,” explains Dr. Peremen. “The unique BNA system that we have developed performs a multi channel and non-invasive electrophysiological test, with the objective of identifying patterns in the patient’s neural networks’ activity while he is performing different neurological processes. The identification of these patterns enables physicians to map this activity and compare them to that of healthy brains. In practice, the BNA system produces different objective, quantitative and qualitative insights for the physicians regarding the patient’s brain activity to assist diagnosis and enable them to make better treatment decisions.”

      Personal Neurofeedback Devices You Can Use At Home

      While there are many benefits to working with a trained neurofeedback professional, if your goal is general relaxation or performance enhancement, its not always feasible or even necessary.

      For about the cost of one neurotherapy session, you can purchase a neurofeedback device that you can use at home.

      These devices are worn as a headset or headband with small built-in sensors.

      They interface with your computer or smartphone to create real-time data on your brainwave patterns.

      Some popular brands of at-home neurofeedback devices include:

      • Bellabee
      • NeuroSky MindWave
      • Versus

      Theres a lot of turnover in the expanding do-it-yourself neurofeedback market with companies rapidly coming and going, so this list is subject to change.

      Prices for headsets range from just under $100 to over $300 and, generally, you get what you pay for.

      BioZen is a free app developed by the US Department of Defense.

      Provided you buy the appropriate sensors, it can be used to measure brain waves, skin temperature, respiratory rate, and more.

      These products are in their infancy and will NOT deliver the same results you would get by going to a trained neurotherapist with professional grade equipment.

      But if your main interest is relaxation, general personal improvement, or even curiosity, at-home neurofeedback can be a reasonable option.

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      Muse Tracks Your Brain Signals

      Muse is a brain fitness tool that measures brain signals much like a heart rate monitor senses your heartbeat.

      Muses 7 finely calibrated sensors 2 on the forehead, 2 behind the ears plus 3 reference sensors detect and measure the activity of your brain.

      What Does Muse 2 Measure

      The First Multi-Feedback EEG Device Built to Empower Meditation

      With the new Muse 2, you can explore a whole new range of real-time feedback on your practice including body movement, heart rate, breath and mental activity giving you a holistic view of your performance and how to go deeper.

      With the new Muse 2, you can explore a whole new range of real-time feedback on your practice including body movement, heart rate, breath and mental activity giving you a holistic view of your performance and how to go deeper.

      What Does Muse S Measure?

      Experience the Benefits of Meditation – Without the Uncertainty

      With the new Muse S, you can explore responsive Go-to-Sleep content designed to help you shut-off your busy mind and prepare for a restful sleep.

      With the new Muse S, you can explore responsive Go-to-Sleep content designed to help you shut-off your busy mind and prepare for a restful sleep.

      MEASURING BRAIN ACTIVITY

      A Deep Dive Into Brainwaves: Brainwave Frequencies Explained

      Typing with Brain Waves

      Weve all experienced that magical feeling of being hit with a brainwave. That moment of newfound clarity, a shift in perspective, or a novel idea. And typically, it seems to appear out of nowhere. In between sips of coffee, while out for a walk, or simply indulging your dog in a good belly rub. While brainwaves can be a figure of speech to describe our thoughts, scientists and clinicians can use literal brainwaves, measured on the head, to help understand the functioning of the human brain.

      As it turns out, the key to having more of these aha moments lies in understanding the science behind brainwaves. Neuroscientists have been studying brainwaves the popular name for the field of electroencephalography for nearly a century.

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      Machines That Read Your Brain Waves

      How to make sure noninvasive neural interfaces stay that way

      Sometimes a technology that’s been simmering in the laboratory or the clinic for decades makes the leap to mainstream consumption almost overnight.

      Take the cavity magnetron. The precursor to this curious form of vacuum tube was invented at General Electric around 1920. It wasn’t until 1940 that British scientists found a magnetron design that could pump out microwave energy at unprecedented power. That discovery fueled a crash program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to build airborne radar units, an advance that helped the Allies turn back Nazi Germany in Europe. The conflict had barely ended when a Raytheon engineer noticed that microwaves could also melt chocolate. The Radarange debuted in 1947, and today there’s a magnetron in virtually every kitchen.

      The story of Toronto-based InteraXon, a brain-machine interface start-up founded in 2007, shows how fast things are changing. Getting reliable brain-wave measurements via EEG used to mean pasting dozens of electrodes to a subject’s scalp. But InteraXon built a wearable EEG device with just a few electrodes that rest against the forehead and behind the ears, along with software to classify the brain waves they measure. Low-frequency alpha waves indicate a relaxed state higher-frequency beta or gamma waves indicate a busy or concentrating mind.

      doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0419-22

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