Archive for mind machine

Binaural Beats Explained – How They Are Created And How We Perceive Them

We are all aware that an unborn child is capable of hearing. Our sense of hearing begins long before our sense of vision. As such, sound becomes a powerful form of stimulation for achieving desired brainwave states. Sound stimulation can come in many different forms. Some of the most common include: surf or pulsed white noise, pulsed tone, white noise and tone combined, pulsed chord, binaural beats, dual binaural beats and white noise with either binaural beats or dual binaural beats.

Nearly all light and sound instruments are capable of generating white noise. You know that fuzzy sound your television makes when you are between channels? Or the sound rushing water makes as it flows by you? That’s what pulsed white noise sounds like. Pulsed tone is just like white noise except a pitch is utilized. Your light and sound instrument should have the ability to let you adjust the pitch.

Combining pulsed tone to pulsed white noise is often used in “entertainment” sessions for creating special sound effects. A pulsed chord is basically the combination of two pulsed tones that are set apart at musical intervals.

A binaural beat is the combination of two audio frequencies or tones. One tone is directed to the left ear while the other tone is directed to the right ear. Say the left ear is receiving a tone of 180Hz and the right ear is receiving a tone of 190Hz. What the brain actually “hears” is 10Hz, which is the difference between the two and is known as the offset frequency. Dual binaural beats are created simply by combining two totally independent binaural beats. The resulting four channels of audio beats work together to generate several offset frequencies. The resulting frequency variations are very dynamic and complex, and have become the ideal method for maximizing brainwave entrainment. In fact, dual binaural beats are so effective that listeners can utilize stereo speakers rather than headphones and still receive the full effect. White noise is sometimes combined with either binaural beats or dual binaural beats. This method is limited, however, to session designs targeting relaxation and meditative states.

Phase settings for pulsed tone and white noise are connected to the light settings. By combining sound with light, you can utilize eight different phase settings: in phase, out phase, cross phase, sound out phase with lights in phase, sound in phase with
lights out phase, clockwise motion, counterclockwise motion and front/back phase. All phase settings are rather self-explanatory and are described in more detail in the owners manual of your light and sound instrument. Phase settings with dual binaural beats
involves a little math and some experimenting. For information on creating sessions utilizing binaural and dual binaural beats, see “Mind States / An Introduction to Light & Sound Technology” by Michael Landgraf of Mindmachines.com.

Left Channel On / Right Channel On

I I

Standard In-Phase

Left Channel On / Right Channel Off

I O

Standard Out-Phase

Left Light On / Right Light Off Left Light Off / Right Light On

Left Sound Off / Right Sound On Left Sound On / Right Sound Off

I O O I

O I I O

Cross Phase Light and Sound Stimulation

Both Light Channels On Both Light Channels On

Left Sound On / Right Sound Off Left Sound Off / Right Sound On

I I I I

I O O I

Sound Alternating with In-Phase Light Stimulation

Left Light On / Right Light Off Left Light Off / Right Light On

Both Sound Channels On Both Sound Channels On

I O O I

I I I I

Sound In-Phase with Alternating Light Stimulation

I O O I O O O O

O O O O O I I O

Clockwise Light & Sound Stimulation 1=On O=Off

I O O O O O O I

O O I O O I O O

Counterclockwise Light & Sound Stimulation 1=On O=Off

I I O O

O O I I

Front / Back Light & Sound Stimulation

 

About Lightframes ( AKA Light Glasses – LED Glasses ) for Your Mind Machine

What looks to be two identical lightframes have different polarities, the lightframe RCA jack is too big for the light port of the mind machine, how come some lightframes connect with RCA jacks and others have mini-USB connectors? Often happens when you use one manufacturers mindmachine with another manufacturers lightframe. Manufacturers design mind machines, light emitting eye frames and various other accessories that fit their vision of what a light and sound machine should look like and it?s built-in software abilities. Get the type(s) of lightframe made for the mind machine you own. Wasn?t always like this, but as the technology advances so does a manufacturers ability to seek perfection. And that?s a good thing, but what?s so important with lightframes? Color and comfort matters.

Back in the 1980?s, when I was first turned on to a light and sound system, the lightframes were red LEDs. To my mind, the red stimulation produced a black background three dimensionally filled with some of the most radically colored patterns and visuals ever created. Yes, the frequency sessions affected my mental, emotional and physical state of being, but my brain was tuned to the visuals and music I had playing. It was great. Better than a brain tune-up.

Today there are so many lightframe variations and so many choices. If this is going to be your first mind machine and you would prefer starting with one type color stimulation, go for the white lightframes. The visuals they produce can get outrageous, having a profoundly positive effect on your state of mind.

Considering neurotechnology affects the mind and most newcomers to light and sound know very little about how exactly, it is best to have information describing the color aspect of light and sound mindmachine stimulation. The more you personally know about this technology, the better the choice you will make when choosing a mind machine that will best meet your own personal needs.  

Everybody has a favorite color, like wearing khaki pants or a green shirt, perhaps the walls of your home are Navajo white, maybe even a mixture. Then there is that subconscious element to consider, like if you were in an auto accident and you were driving a blue car. Would blue still be your favorite color or would it conjure up negative feelings stemming from that unfortunate event? Lots of variables enter into deciding what color you would be happiest with.

Red may be a ‘warm’ color, often thought to be more appropriate for beta sessions, but not necessarily. Red LED lightframes, when used with your eyes closed, stimulates the cortex of your brain into generating some of the most delightful shades, blends and swirls of colors possible. Red LED stimulation can help you relax.

Yellow, orange and red are viewed as ?warm? colors and are stimulating (excitatory). These LED color lightframes are often utilized when experiencing sessions containing higher frequencies such as beta. ?Cool? colors like green, blue and violet are calming (inhibitory). These colors are most often used with sessions having lower frequency stimulation, all targeting the deeper brainwave states known as alpha, theta and delta.

Although any color of light would deliver the benefits of a light and sound session, specific colors will help get you there faster, even more deeply. When you are considering the various colors, wondering which color would best apply to your situation and what a particular color is normally associated with, here is a generally accepted generic guide: use blue color stimulation for delta (sleep / clearing); use green for theta (meditation / visualization); for alpha (learning / relaxation) use yellow; and for beta (focus / energy) use orange or red.

Here are three different methods for producing pulsed light stimulation. Most manufacturers use LED bulbs, incandescent bulbs and RGB-based LEDchips. The LED style is better than the incandescent variety. Incandescent bulbs tend to have a bleed-over effect at higher frequencies, they just can?t turn on and off (blink) efficiently at high rates. LED bulbs can. The LED-based chips are even better. 

Left and right color independent eye control gives you greater control of the pulsed light stimulation. It allows you to simultaneously activate or relax either your left or right brain hemisphere. With no means of eye control, the pulsed light stimulation being generated affects both hemispheres of the brain equally. For overall calming or energizing, that is fine. But what if you wish to work on your right hemisphere, not your left, and vice versa? That?s when having this control proves advantageous. Simply stated, if you would like to activate the right hemispheric region of your brain, but not the left, select a warm color (yellow, orange or red for instance) for the left eye of the lightframe and for the right, select a cooler color (such as violet, blue or green).

 Even though we all think and are affected differently by pulsed light stimulation, certain colors appear to work best, in a generalized kind of way, for helping to enhance certain abilities or to achieve certain sensations and emotions. Based on what I have read, personally experienced and received as feedback from my customers these past twenty-plus years, here are the most common colors for pulsed light and what they are used for:

 Red – invigoration, extroversion, strength, activity, vitality, energy, action. Red provides a wide range of colorful visuals for most people.

 Orange – subconscious, relationships, interaction, creativity, change, sexual, social. Although soft and subtle, orange can invigorate and energize the light and sound listener. Sometimes referred to as the color Amber, it falls between red and yellow. If you find the color red too intense and green too dim, try this color.

 Yellow - concentration, learning, thinking, idealism, memory, sunny, focus. Yellow is highly recommended for soft , yet subtle light and sound experiences. The color yellow is considered to be excellent for use while studying.

 White – effective for working with imagery, relaxation and visualization. White generates a richness in colors and sense of dimension that no other pulsed color can imitate. White can attain a brightness intensity similar to red while generating color pulsations that appear to float before your eyes. White light is the most popular color used, offering full spectrum stimulation to ensure that the red, green and blue cones of the retina receive full stimulation similar to the natural light spectrum.

 Green – compassion, revitalizing, peaceful, renewal, calming, balance, healing, love. Preferred by those experiencing certain degrees of light sensitivity. The color green is associated with nature and with heightening the emotional qualities of the heart.

 Blue – use for communication, contemplation, contentment, meditation, relaxation, sensitivity, creativity and sleep. Blue will generate a profound sense of calmness and a feeling of deep relaxation and is believed to contribute to the creation of ordered thought and harmonious moods.

 

 

Biofeedback Training to Improve Health

Biofeedback is a method for treating people to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. Therapists and psychologists use biofeedback to help tense and anxious clients learn to relax and to help their patients cope with pain.

There is a good chance you have already used a form of biofeedback. For instance, ever gone outside to walk the dog on a cold and blustery day? Your body told you it was cold, prompting you to wear a jacket. How about when you stand on a scale and it shows you gained weight? Time to consider doing a little cutting back. And at sometime in our life we have had our temperature taken, thinking perhaps we are exhibiting signs of illness. If you were running a temperature higher than 98.6, then would be a good time to rest and drink liquids, and of course, contact your physician. Clinician?s machines can find a person’s internal bodily functions with much greater sensitivity and precision than in the past. The results of each biofeedback session are valuable for both the patient and the therapist, as the information can be applied to gauge and direct the next treatment session.

Biofeedback training can be demanding on patients. Patients need to review their daily routine to learn if they are contributing to their own negative feelings. Patients need also personally commit to practicing biofeedback training awareness or relaxation exercises every day. They must change their routine, their day-to-day lifestyle, and accept much of the responsibility for maintaining their own health.

Brainwaves are the electrical wave patterns generated in every person’s brain. These waves vary according to level of consciousness, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness and are characterized by four distinct types of brainwaves. Each of these electrical wave patterns has distinctly different ways of perceiving, processing, learning and knowing information. All of these brain waves are produced at all times. However, a predominance of a specific desired brainwave state can be created at will, which allows a person to potentialize his or her capabilities towards achieving human excellence. 

For a better understanding of what brain waves are and how those are utilized in biofeedback sessions, brainwave frequencies are described in terms of hertz (Hz), or cycles per second, which are measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The four general categories of brainwave frequencies and their main characteristics are:

Gamma brainwave frequencies are a high frequency pattern beginning at thirty-five hertz. There has been some evidence that gamma frequencies are associated with states of peak performance. Most light and sound instruments have the capability to generate gamma frequencies. While in this brainwave state, sensations are centered on being mentally, emotionally and physically “charged” or extremely energized. These frequencies are the highest known brainwave patterns, but are considered by some researchers to be part of the beta frequency category.

Beta brainwaves are the next highest frequency pattern, ranging from thirteen to thirty-four hertz, and can be separated into three sub-categories. The first is high beta, ranging from nineteen to thirty-four hertz. When high beta is the dominant brainwave state, anxiety and stress are most likely to occur. The second sub-category is mid beta, with frequencies ranging from fifteen to eighteen hertz. Mid beta is characterized by action, with focus on external surroundings. The third is SMR beta (Sensorimotor Rhythm), ranging from thirteen to fifteen hertz. While in this state, focus is also on external surroundings, but the individual is more relaxed than in mid beta. Within SMR is fourteen hertz, which is gaining attention from researchers and clinicians utilizing EEG / neurofeedback instrumentation. The true benefit of creating fourteen hertz in humans has yet to be determined, but a recent study at the University of California at Los Angeles found that felines could produce fourteen hertz at will, while humans cannot.

Generally speaking, beta brainwaves are characterized by logical, analytical and intellectual thinking, verbal communication and awareness of surroundings.

 Alpha brainwaves are a frequency pattern ranging from eight to twelve hertz. They most commonly occur when we are calm and relaxed, yet mentally alert. These brainwaves are also present during daydreaming.

Theta brainwaves range from four to seven hertz, characterized by being deeply relaxed and inwardly focused. This brainwave state is also associated with rapid learning and the assimilation of new information with high retention, heightened motivation to activate goals, bursts of creativity, insight and new behavior patterns.

 Delta brainwaves range from five-tenths to three hertz and are associated with being extremely relaxed, characterized by sleep.

Researchers have proven that brainwave frequencies determine what brainwave state is being experienced at any given time. By measuring the production of brainwaves through the utilization of EEG (electroencephalogram) equipment, the frequencies that produce these various brain states can be tracked on a computer monitor. As mentioned earlier, these frequencies are generated in every person’s brain, and are the result of outside stimulation that has been passed to the brain via electrical signals from our different senses. Light and sound instruments stimulate the neural activity of our vision and hearing, and can safely guide our minds to produce specific frequencies that are associated with the four general brainwave categories.

There is absolutely nothing wrong about going to see your physician or therapist for alleviating anxieties, modifying behavior and a myriad of other symptoms biofeedback has proven effective in treating. The drawbacks are the time it takes to adequately overcome your unwanted symptoms, the amount of practice necessary to progress, the need for scheduling multiple appointments and the cost of each visit.

Choosing biofeed-in mindmachines that can target the same frequencies as a biofeedback monitor, in far less time thereby speeding the progress of the individual, done personally in the comfort of your home rather that scheduling appointments elsewhere, and the obvious savings on money (you can buy a light and sound biofeed-in mindmachine for less than visiting a biofeedback specialist for several sessions), gives you a beneficial and cost-effective alternative.

Remember: Excelling in biofeedback takes time and is dependent upon the patient to access the desired brainwave frequency at will, with no outside help. Biofeed-in is just the opposite. Biofeed-in gently leads you to the targeted brainwave frequency state, without any conscious effort on your part.

? you do not need to schedule an appointment, pay a therapist, or rush to make your appointment on time. So keep it simple, use a biofeed-in mindmachine, when you desire, and you too will realize the advantage of owning your own mind machine far outweighs the hassles of practicing biofeedback sessions with the accompaniment of a well-paid clinician.

EEG Neurofeedback or Mind Machines – Which is Right for You?

EEG Neurofeedback

EEG Neurofeedback is the voluntary regulation of brain wave activity. It is a learned response, with applications including the modulation of arousal levels, regulating your sleep/wake cycles, dealing with cognitive processes, processing sensory information, correcting inappropriate motor responses, controlling moods and emotions and helping deal with memory issues.

EEG Neurofeedback

EEG Neurofeedback

Here are two main applications within the EEG neurofeedback discipline: the first is Alpha and Theta training, which centers on relaxation and improved creativity. New research also indicates these EEG protocols can deal with overcoming the effects of alcoholism. The second application deals with Sensorimotor Rhythm (SMR) and Beta training. These protocols are generally aimed at improving mental functioning and the remediation of manifest deficits, such as for symptoms of epileptic and ADHD behaviors.

Those 2 paragraphs were my initial introduction to what EEG neurofeedback could accomplish. That was back in 1992. Since then a plethora of information has been published that gives credence to the successes of applying EEG neurofeedback in a multitude of ways (refer to issues of the AVS Journal).

But allow me to backtrack a bit.

I must give credit to Drs. Siegfried Othmer and Jerry Cunningham for making me aware of EEG technology and allowing me to learn about utilizing their equipment. Yes that was quite a few years ago, but their generosity sparked my interest in this young, yet exciting new field. Truth be told, I felt like a lab animal for those first 3 ten-hour days of instruction, as I soon realized when they uttered the words ?I wonder if?? meant I was the target of their thoughts. Thankfully, those two pioneers in this field were medical professionals and used protocols that when connected to the EEG neurofeedback system, made me feel more like a little kid at an amusement park, I could feel/sense my mental, emotional and physical states reacting in a different, more positive way.

Given time, I actually felt like I was contributing to their conversations rather than being the one person always hooked up to their EEG system ?to see what happens?. Either way I didn?t really care. On the one hand I was listening to 2 very respected professionals and on the other was able to experience sensations I?d never realized was possible.

One day we were comparing EEG protocols when the topic of adding adjunctive modalities into EEG neurofeedback sessions came up, with the goal of helping their clients achieve more quickly the targeted brainwave frequency of a session, theoretically enabling the client to proceed in their progress faster than normally believed.

This led to incorporating EEG Spectrum?s EEG Neurofeedback System with light and sound mindmachines, sound-only generators, an audio/visual mixer and the Symmetron motion platform (complete with 7-degree front/back pitch, 360-degree orbital movement and two transducers beneath the mattress for binaural beat tactile stimulation.

Once everything was connected, we were ready to do some serious brainwave research, or in my case, observing how we could enhance the effectiveness of EEG Neurofeedback sessions. One element was missing. For Alpha ? Training, closed-eye lightframes worked wonders. But a different type of lightframe was needed for SMR training. The solution was developing an open-eye style lightframe. I credit Jeff Labno for coming up with that idea. The result? EEG Neurofeedback became an all-encompass method for positive brain wave training. The proof was seeing the therapist?s monitor: increased entrainment ability emanating from the readout of the client?s brainwaves.

One hurdle remained, however. For prolonged EEG neurofeedback sessions, a different form of audio stimulus was needed. The mind is capable of foretelling what frequencies are going to be coming, which could lead to a loss of interest and decrease the effects of entrainment. Sine waves: boring. Binaural beats: decent but limited in design. Dual independent binaural beats: perfect. The human mind needs more than a single tone to remain entrained for a prolonged period of time. Binaural beats work, but are limited in designing entraining frequencies. Dual independent binaural beats are quite different. By using 4 distinct frequencies in a variety of ways, the mind maintains prolonged interest, with the effect of remaining entrained by the stimulation and thereby receiving a greater quality session. The result? You progress with your training faster.

EEG Neurofeedback is an excellent modality for treating symptoms sans pharmaceutical medications, and more. And there are highly qualified medical professionals that are making great strides in this field. Drs. Tom Collura and Rayma Ditson-Sommer to name two. Not to be different or aggravate professionals that I have the utmost respect for, but I have found implementing EEG Neurofeedback in a different way better suits my approach.

After performing several hundred hours of EEG Neurofeedback sessions on clients (and here I must add that Dr. Jerry Cunningham was my supervisor), I began to observe certain tendencies during the EEG sessions. For example, if the audio stimulation being used was generated in a synchronized manner, the client?s ability to achieve the targeted brainwave frequency was enhanced, and when given alternating pulsed stimulus, the ability to achieve the target frequency was inhibited. Humm? There were plenty of other tendencies happening, but this one intrigued me the most.

So EEG Neurofeedback sessions show the therapist just what is occurring in particular parts of their client?s mind. That?s a good thing. But the amount of sessions needed before any improvement can be observed with their client(s) can often exceed over twenty appointments. Given the cost of just one session means multiple sessions can be rather expensive. That?s really not a good thing.

As mentioned earlier, many strides have taken place in the field of EEG Neurofeedback. Better instruments, more sensitive readouts, remote use of EEG units, and hopefully you are sitting down for this: some insurance companies actually cover EEG Neurofeedback treatment.

But for me, personally, after years of utilizing EEG Neurofeedback, light and sound mind machines, tactile stimulation and various other modalities, I find EEG treatment to be unnecessarily costly and downright slow in rectifying mental, emotional and physical ailments. I prefer specially designed sessions built into light and sound mindmachines. They are better accepted by my customers and clients as these machines cost far less than EEG equipment, can be used almost everywhere at your own convenience, with goals being met far faster than a multitude of EEG sessions. And consider this: for the price you pay a therapist to conduct your 20 or more EEG sessions, you can purchase your own EEG system, with training! For an effective mind machine that would meet your specific needs, they range in price from $200 to $600. For the correct EEG neurofeedback system, far more. Big difference!

But EEG sessions showed me several idiosyncrasies that assisted in making light and sound mindmachines produce more effective sessions. That ?in sync / alternating stimulus? observation was just one.

Today, I find the best use for my EEG system is to function as a form of real-time documentation of how effective and entraining a mindmachine session actually is. When I test a light/sound session and view it on the EEG monitor, I get an actual idea of how entraining a mindmachine session is, or isn?t. If the EEG readout illustrates the session?s entrainment qualities, that session is a keeper. If the readout shows very little entrainment ability, then the session is deleted. In short, for me, nothing beats an EEG neurofeedback system for documenting the effectiveness of a light and sound mindmachine session.

Copyright Mindmachines.com / Granada Hills, CA / Nov. 18, 2011  All Rights Reserved

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