Modifying an EEG headset for lucid dreaming


[Michael], [Tom], and a few other people on the Lucid Scribe Database project have been using off-the-shelf EEG equipment to invoke lucid dreaming. Yes, that’s where you take control of your dreams and become a god. This requires wearing an EEG setup while you sleep, and these products aren’t very comfortable sleeping wear. [Tom] decided to take apart a NeuroSky MindWave and turn it into something comfortable to wear all night.

The folks at the Lucid Scribe Database log their dreams with consumer-level EEG equipment, usually something made by NeuroSky. The NeuroSky MindWave is the smallest and cheapest EEG headset available, but it’s still a hard plastic device not conducive to sleeping.

[Tom] removed all the guts and electronic goodies out of his MindWave and attached them to an elastic headband. The MindWave has two sensors – a forehead and ear lobe sensor. For the forehead sensor, [Tom] simply soldered a piece of wire to a penny and attached it to the elastic. The ear lobe sensor in the stock MindWave is a simple clip that was kept in the stock configuration for [Tom]‘s mod.

Now that [Tom] has a much more comfortable EEG setup, he can get on with improving his lucid dreaming skills and even try communicating via Morse from inside a dream.


  1. “… simply soldered a piece of wire to a penny and attached it to the elastic …”

    Wow. That gives a whole new meaning to the expression, “A penny for your thoughts!”

  2. willaim says:

    Thats quite interesting, I would like to see interaction with the outside from within a dream but on the other hand kind of scary thinking about the implications..

  3. echomrg says:

    i don’t get it.
    is this some kind of mod turning a sensor into an emitter of sort?
    otherwise, how would a sensor be able to influence sleeping and dreaming?

  4. Karl Miller says:

    Very nice. I have been looking to make use of this headset for an Android app I wanted to write, and didn’t know it was that uncomforable. Thanks!

  5. Justin says:

    Going to give this a try. I had 3 lucid dreams in the span of 10 days in my early 20′s and I would pay good money to experience it again. Don’t know what triggered them but so far the classic association trick failed for me.

  6. Jeremy says:

    I would really love a closer look/teardown of the mindwave board itself, we can only see the front side from here.

  7. Hitek146 says:

    Hmmm, a little off topic, but have to say…. Never thought it was “lucid dreaming”, but I guess almost all of my dreams every night qualify as this. I almost always remember almost all of my dreams after I wake up, and probably every other night I have a dream where I try to read something. For some reason, I can never read anything in my dreams. From signs to a written letter I may be holding in my hand, no matter how hard I try, any type of cypher appears as blur. When this happens in my dreams, after several frustrating attempts to read and not understanding why only the text is a blur and not everything else, I think to myself inside the dream, “Oh yea! Duh, you idiot, you are dreaming, and you already know that you can’t read stuff when you’re dreaming, so quit trying and move on!”. And I do.

    My dreams are really exciting, but for some reason they are extremely rarely sexual or supernatural(flying, etc.), maybe only 5 or so in my lifetime. They are also not in real time, as it takes me about 5 minutes of real time to dream about one minute of dream “life”. Sometimes I can wake up in the middle of a dream to go to the bathroom, or get a drink, and then I can go back to sleep a few minutes later and pick right back up in the dream where I left off. Every once in a while, a dream from one night is a complete continuation from where the dream from the previous night left off. Even more rarely, I start dreaming a new dream than the night before, but after a few minutes into the dream, I remember(inside my dream, fwiwlol) that I was having a much cooler dream the night before, and decide to switch over to a continuation of the previous dream. I can also remember some of my most exciting dreams in great detail, some of them as far back as 20 years. And, finally, 9 times out of 10, I wake up at exactly the top of the hour, to the minute(I have the luxury of making my own hours, so I don’t use an alarm, and which hour it is can vary depending on when I went to bed, but still always at the top of the hour).

    I should volunteer for some sort of study, lol…

  8. Drew says:

    Lucid dreaming doesn’t *require* a setuo like this…having one just helps a bit.

  9. justice099 says:

    Based on how this is wire up, this is more of an EMG than an EEG. Then again, it’s nothing new to see “consumer level” EEG devices that really aren’t reading brain waves.

    An EMG is of course better suited for the purposes of this hack anyway.

  10. LMStuff says:

    You can get the Nerosky in a headband now. These guys make their own version of the Nerosky, guessing they liscense it or are the manufacturer.

  11. unoscooter says:

    so for the actual sensor that connects to your forehead you just used a penny? what material and design does neurosky use?

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