A few years ago, I was introduced to this curious little device called the Muse: a brain sensing headband that guides its wearer through meditation by gently informing them when they get distracted.
It looks pretty wonky and futuristic.
At the time, I didn’t have a meditation practice, so I didn’t try it for its intended purpose. But I was curious about how the Muse was able to “measure brain signals much like a heart rate monitor senses your heartbeat.”
That’s when I was introduced to the concept of electroencephalography (EEG) neurofeedback. Our brains are constantly emitting electrical signals due to activity from single or multiple interacting neurons. EEG is a method for measuring the large-scale oscillations in these signals. The measured results are categorized by their wave properties: frequency, amplitude, and phase.
By analyzing the waveforms, we can get fascinating insights about some of our cognitive functions, like memory and motor control. The Muse works by tracking our EEG signals and analyzing them in real time.