Neurofeedback

New Acquisition for the Office
Muse (n) The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, inspirers of poetry, music, etc.
Muse (v.i.) Ponder, reflect (on, upon); gaze meditatively (on scene, etc.).
Muse™: The brain sensing Headband (n) of which I am now the proud (?) owner. I heard about this aid-to-meditation while attending a recent Ontario Psychological Association conference in Toronto, Ontario. Muse is an elegant piece of neurofeedback equipment at a reasonable cost. Billed as “Your personal meditation assistant,” this headband and app combination was developed by InteraXon, a Toronto-based company that has attracted the attention of a host of big name organizations including the University of Toronto, McGill University, McMaster University, Baycrest Rotman Research Institute, and the University of Ontario Institute of technology. While anecdotal endorsements abound – such as this one taken from GQ Magazine: “…an EEG device that teaches us non-Buddhists to attain focused serenity” – what interests me most about it is its potential for more than meditation. For example, it appears that a company named Myndrift (http://www.myndlift.com) has developed an app to help imporove attention – which would obviously be useful in the treatment of ADHD – while BrainMaster Technologies claims to have developed a next-generation EEG-based brain interface known as the e-Avatar MUSE, in which “Recordings can be seen live, and can be saved and played back, with a clock indicator and ‘snapshot’ function. A unique ‘bipolar bilinear’ brain localization projector also serves as a built-in function. This provides meaningful renditions of activity at the level of the brain, not just the surface EEG. This makes e-Avatar Muse useful for therapists, hypnotherapists, or any practitioner. e-Avatar MUSE produces event-related brain images like no other system, for research, clinical practice, or personal brain exploration and optimization.” Of course, marketing materials don’t always live up to their hype, but I am encouraged to see third party companies becoming involved in developing applications for this particular piece of equipment, and I am really looking forward to trying them out (on myself and some of my clients).

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