How did you get into this?
My background comes from neuroscience, psychotherapy, and design.
I started working in a research lab over a decade ago in Toronto with the precursor technology that we could use to make music from our minds, creating concerts based on people’s EEG states. As you focused, relaxed, and changed your brain state, music would happen.
From there, I worked with clients every week, helping them understand their anxiety, inner motivations, limiting beliefs, and teaching them to do what I ultimately came to recognize was something that could be taught in a variety of ways.
Working with InteraXon, we had this amazing technology.
We’re really trying to find the best way to add value to humanity with it.
We recognized the beautiful synergies between our brain-sensing technology and the ability to track states of focused attention and teach people to build meditation practices that are based on neuroscience.
What are the basic functions of Muse? What is someone using the headband going to experience?
It is a clinical grade EEG. There are sensors on the forehead and behind the ears that track your brain wave activity in real time, the electrical activity generated by your brain. You slip on the band, and you can see your own mind on your tablet or phone.
Then you get 60 seconds of calibration so that you know where your own brain is at, and then you go into the experience.
In the experience, the scene is a beach and the sounds are the sounds of being at that beautiful, calm beach. When you’re thinking, worrying, or are distracted, you hear the sound of wind, and the more distracted you are, the stronger the wind.
It’s your job to calm the wind by calming your mind. You do that by counting your breath; having a single pointed focus on your breath. You hear birds when you’re doing well, which people get excited about. But then the birds fly away because the experience isn’t just about the birds, or the goal. It’s a lesson in non-striving.
Is there any reason to be concerned about monitoring our brain waves? Is the technology safe?
It’s completely safe. It’s the same as clinical grade EEG. When you go into a clinic and someone puts an EEG on your head, Muse is the same thing. It doesn’t put anything into your head. It’s not writing in any way; its just reading. It’s a passive device.
Why is Muse preferable to a guided meditation, other than the benefit of getting real-time feedback from your brain?