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Neurally Attuned Meditation

An installation and data collection/visualisation system, based on the principle of neural entrainment..

Entrainment describes how the brain amplifies frequencies within its own electrical activity that it is exposed to through external stimuli. A well-documented example of this is visual flicker, i.e. flashing lights - when someone is exposed to lights flashing at a particular frequency, we see that same frequency peak in a spectrogram of their EEG. Reset leverages this concept to address mental rumination loops (negative, depressive thought patterns). Reset explores whether influencing a person's EEG activity could also positively influence their state of mind.
Participants wear a dry electrode EEG device (Muse, Interaxon) and meditate in an enclosed tent. LED strips surround their field of vision from above. A Fast Fourier Transform is applied to the participant's live EEG data, in 1Hz steps from 1-128Hz. The alpha range (8-12Hz) is of particular interest, as alpha frequencies are associated with relaxed wakefulness. A participant's peak alpha frequency is identified and implemented as the flicker frequency for the LEDs.
Through this system, participants are continuously exposed to their personal alpha rhythms - which theoretically influence their EEG over the course of the session.

Caiseal Beardow, Sambhram Changavi, Ingrid Chang, Emma Wensen
Derek Lomas

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