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Friday, October 07, 2005 - 03:19 AM

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Open IntellectRichard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin has used fMRI and electroencephalography (EEG) to image the brains of six Buddhist monks, during and outside of meditation. When Davidson asked the monks to induce a state of compassion in themselves, they showed a much greater shift toward left frontal brain activity than subjects untrained in meditation. A new project, OpenEEG helps to give resources to create low cost EEG devices and free software (GPL licensed) to go with it.
Meditation and the Brain, MIT Technology Review, By Curt Newton February 2004

"While the collaboration seems an unusual pairing at first, it suits the mandates of both Buddhist practice and scientific openness. The Dalai Lama notes that both traditions encourage challenging dogma based on observation and analysis, and a willingness to revise views based on empirical evidence."

From Wikipedia:

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or fMRI) describes the use of MRI to measure the hemodynamic response related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. It is one of the most recently developed forms of brain imaging.

Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp, or in the special cases on the cortex. The resulting traces are known as an electroencephalogram (EEG) and represent so-called brainwaves.

Neuroscientists and biological psychiatrists use EEGs to study the function of the brain by recording brainwaves during controlled behavior of human volunteers and animals in lab experiments.

Neurophysiology is a part of physiology as a science, which is concerned with the study of the nervous system. It is closely connected with psychology, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, electrophysiology, ethology, higher nervous activity and other sciences.

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes.

It is strongly scientific in its approach and shares an information processing view of the mind with cognitive psychology and cognitive science.

It is one of the most eclectic of the psychological disciplines, overlapping at times with areas such as neuroscience, philosophy (particularly philosophy of mind), neurology, psychiatry and computer science (particularly by making use of artificial neural networks).

Previous Imaginify post on Mind Hacks.

OpenEEG is aimed toward amateurs interested in what is called Neurofeedback (NFB), also called neurotherapy, neurobiofeedback or EEG biofeedback, is a method which attempts to train brainwave activity, as measured by electrodes on the scalp, and is presented to an individual as feedback in the form of a video display, sound or vibration. However, if you are a pro in any of the fields of electronics, neurofeedback, software development etc., you are encouraged to join the mailing-list and share your wisdom.

This method shows great potential for improving many mental capabilities and exploring consciousness.

If you decide to build and use one -- the responsibility is yours.


"IEC601 is a standard that specifies tests and requirements that medical devices must pass before they can be used on humans.

However, none of the devices built from these designs have been tested according to these guidelines because of the costs involved.

Therefore, a device based on any of these designs may not be used for medical purposes as no medical claims are made. Note that CONNECTING A DEVICE VIA ELECTRODES TO HUMANS OR ANIMALS IS POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS AND MAY RESULT IN ELECTRIC SHOCK AND/OR SEIZURE.

Finally, the authors do not guarantee that the information provided in the design files is complete or appropriate for any particular application.
If you choose to use the OpenEEG project hardware and/or software to do neurofeedback training or experimentation on yourself or others, you do so ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

The software and hardware designs are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE..........(continued)"


Open Hardware (OH) is a part of the GNU project in which hardware designers share their work by disclosing the schematics and software (GNU drivers) used in their designs.

Finally the link to : OPEN EEG

The OpenEEG presentation was prepared for the WinterBrain 2004.

To view it, please download and unpack the following ZIP file, and then run 'winterbrain5.swf' through your browser or Flash viewer.

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