Blow your mind with the Brainwave Disruptor

rich_decibles_brainwave_disruptor

Whether you believe in it or not, the science behind brainwave entrainment is incredibly intriguing. [Rich Decibels] became interested in the subject, and after doing some research, decided to build an entrainment device of his own.

If you are not familiar with the concept, brainwave entrainment theory suggests that low-frequency light and sound can be used to alter brain states, based on the assumption that the human brain will change its frequency to correspond to dominant external stimulus. [Rich’s] device is very similar to [Mitch Altman’s] “Brain Machine”, and uses both of these methods in an attempt to place the user in an altered state of mind.

[Rich] installed a trio of LEDs into a set of goggles, wiring them along with a set of headphones to his laser-cut enclosure. Inside, the Brainwave Disruptor contains an Arduino, which is tasked with both generating light patterns as well as bit-banged audio streams.

Well, how does it work? [Rich] reports that it performs quite nicely, causing both visual and auditory hallucinations along with the complete loss of a sense of time. Sounds interesting enough to give it a try!

Comments

  1. Miroslav says:

    If you hit about 18 Hz with light frequency, you may suffer epileptic seizure. Many people are susceptible to this, not just known epileptics. So have someone nearby who can turn the machine off if needed.

  2. somun says:

    So does it make you high? :)

  3. tenfingers says:

    nice case, can you put your weed in there ;).

  4. kobilica says:

    Or just eat psychedelic like LSD :D

  5. audiophil says:

    I suddenly recall using supercollider back on one of my old os9 macs to toy with Binaural beats. One of my friends complained that it made him terribly nauseous.

  6. Pun says:

    Does anyone else have any first-hand experience with something like this? Like, can I actually expect to experience something interesting with one of these? :)

  7. Mime says:

    wow… keep this ting far away from me… ;)

  8. Th3_uN1Qu3 says:

    @ Pun: I have experience with mood-altering sounds in the form of binaural and isochronic tones. Yes, they work, and especially isochronics can be remarkably effective, but you need to be in the right state of mind when using them. If you do not relax and disconnect from everything around you when you are listening to them, you’ll get a headache at most.

    He would have been better off using tone sequences that people with experience have already made and tested, and just made an adapter for the light goggles, that takes the sound pulses and outputs them as flashes. I had photosensitive epilepsy as a kid so i am reluctant to use any kind of light stimulation, but sound alone should be safe for everybody.

    • MrX says:

      I made my own track using two high frequency and low frequency carriers for isochronic beats. The objective is to bring the brain waves to Delta (~4Hz)

      What can I say? It works. If I lay on bed and can’t sleep in 1hr, I’ll just fire up my isochronic music
      and I’ll definitely sleep..

      For people willing to experiment:
      http://gnaural.sourceforge.net/

      A compilation of several induced brain frequencies and their effects:
      http://lunarsight.com/freq.htm

      The best experience I had with isochronic and binaural beats was the feeling of body levitation and complete loss of equilibrium.. It was kind of awesome :)

  9. Dave says:

    Yeah, can definitely cause seizures. After reading about this kind of thing back in the really early 80’s (I was ~10-12 at the time) I was playing with strobe lights, gave myself a seizure, freaked out the parents, and took a little trip to the hospital.

    Fun stuff, but be careful.

  10. fallout330 says:

    Sounds interesting. I’ve used binaural beats with a set of headphones, and it had some interesting effects….almost to the point of starting a semi-out of body feeling . I think a TMS system such as Shatki technology (http://www.shaktitechnology.com) may possibly be even more noticeable.

  11. caleb says:

    what happens when you use this when your tripping balls on lsd?

  12. John P says:

    I used some binaural beat software when I was in high school. I made sure to have headphones that (legitimately) went down to 5hz. And I tried it and after about 5 minutes of listening to it, my leg started twitching and then I went in an almost unconscious state for 15 minutes and woke up when it was done.

  13. Paul Potter says:

    Oh man!

  14. Vostok says:

    Does anyone else have a hard time getting to the original blog?

  15. Kudos to the guy for putting a seizure warning on it. It really will. I’ve had a couple of grand mal seizures and it’s not fun- I’d always be careful about this sort of thing even if you have no prior condition or history (I didn’t!)

  16. Morbius says:

    Anyone else thinking of “Dagger Of The Mind” ?

    (just need to mount it in a chair, with flashing lights on the left and right sides – then get a green colored lady to dance with some high explosives in front of a window)……lolol

    oh, and one psychotic former starship captain.

  17. grovenstien says:

    This was fairly popular at Glastonbury Festival for quite a few years. It just gave me a headache! Excellent build.

  18. Silicon_Jesus says:

    Some whiskey and a J seem like enough for me. They have been extensively tested and don’t generally cause seizures. There have even been times where I was stuck on a chunk of code and a little state-of-mind change was all I needed to solve the issue. I don’t know how easy it would be to code with flashing lights in my face and crazy sounds in my ears. Strange that this is acceptable, but a little pot isn’t. Aren’t they both aimed at the same result?

    • ElectricMucus says:

      According to the pirated GPL software (sbagen) i-doser it is. They even sell different sequences supposed to mimic different substances.

      Reminds me of holy hand-grenades, cloud-busters and orgone generators XD

      Bineural Beats and brainwave entrainment are a interesting thing to experiment with, but your experience or state of mind is governed by chemicals not electrical oscillations. At least on the level science understands it.

      So the missing tag for this article is:

      meta-physics

      • benj says:

        “but your experience or state of mind is governed by chemicals not electrical oscillations”

        Not strictly true, as the two are intrinsically related (in that electrical oscillations are mediated largely by chemical synapses). While it’s difficult to map something abstract like ‘state of mind’ onto any neurological feature or system, the current state of EEG research would strongly support the idea that tonic electrical oscillations have cognitive significance (possibly even being fundamental to brain function). /neuropedant

        That being said, I’m still skeptical about how much of the supposed effects of ‘brain machines’ and the like are actually due to properties of the stimulation as they are to the expectation of the user. From having come across some photic driving studies (which use oscillitary stimuli to investigate entrained brain activity) I’m not familiar with any documented, replicable effects. Still, it’s not something I know a huge amount about, just kinda sets off my bs-meter.

  19. bdsmith says:

    I built a similar thing back in the 70’s. Battery powered, generated pulses to headband electrodes. Complete with a meter and intensity control. Could fit in a shirt pocket. Amplitude, pulse shape and frequency affected it. Some settings could occationaly generate a high, sometimes lasting for a time even after the machine was disconected. Naturally, a direct electrical contact is much more dangerous than light or sound stimulation – do not do it – I was young and stupid. Even then, I heard stories about the dangers of induced seizures, even in people that had not shown previous history of them. (Even the movie Andromeda Strain had a scene where someone blacked out due to a flashing alarm light.)

  20. Dormant Labs says:

    Eek, don’t like the leds. Even binaural beats messed me up for a while.

  21. hashish says:

    I had something similar I bought about 10 years ago. It had about 20 different presets (relaxation, motivation, sleep, etc…) and was set to waves crashing. I’m not going to lie, the thing worked, and all my friends (back then) agreed too. It was trippy and relaxing at the same time. Good stuff!

    (My glasses looked like Oakley Blades)

  22. Combine this with video goggles made from a pair of camcorder CRTs, Myvu goggles, etc for a really trippy experience.

    Someone suggested a variant of this with “false colour” imaging that slowly distorts the received images so you start to see shading then colour fringing around objects, followed by all sorts of strange effects.

    Ought to be doable methinks.

  23. Polymath says:

    This is very similar to biofeedback therapy and could be coupled with the “Jedi Force Trainer” for interactive results.

    I had ADD as a teenager but didn’t trust the drugs they use to treat it. So we tried biofeedback instead. Electrodes on specific points of the head measured 4 (of many) brain wave types. We focused on the one associated with concentration. By controlling breathing and focusing I could manipulate a ball on the screen to hover between two points when generating the proper brain wave.

    The feedback part was a pleasant sound and light display. to associate that brain state with positive reinforcement. Towards the end of the therapy I could simply drop into the “concentration state” at will. Sort of like zen meditation where you lose track of time. Another set of sounds and lights were used to “set” this training/therapy in place so it would be easier to recall.

    Personally I think it worked rather well.

  24. TND says:

    Interesting stuff, but there’s no way I’m going to intentionally induce myself into having a seizure :/

  25. Helmut Baumann says:

    How much does it cost, and where can i buy it ?
    =;-))))))))))

  26. According to a book I once read, by feeding back EEG data to the flashing LEDs they managed to induce absence seizures in nearly half the people tested.

    Scary stuff, use with care!

  27. Malikaii says:

    @Helmut Baumann
    You misquoted, sir. It should read:

    “I have 2 questions: How much? and Give it to me.”

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