Blow Your Mind With The 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!

32 thoughts on “Blow Your Mind With The Brainwave Disruptor

  1. 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. @ 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.

    1. 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:

      A compilation of several induced brain frequencies and their effects:

      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 :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!)

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

    1. 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:


      1. “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.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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