A Space Odyssey , Johnny Mnemonic , and Lawnmower Man , among others, extrapolate on current abilities of technology to enhance or manipulate cognition. The series also examines visualization technologies, such as PET and CAT Scan machines, in technical terms, failing to interrogate fundamental misperceptions——e. A still image available to viewers as a screensaver see image below , illustrates our cultural fascination with the synapse as the formidable space where data moves across the brain to factually create thought.
Interestingly, this image is colored in sepia tones, suggesting perhaps new knowledges, but in keeping with historic with scientific commitments to empirical methods that produce facts.
As the series suggests, brain data obtained by new technologies is presented to consumers as always-desirable output, and yet, its interpretation is best left to experts. Code, or data, of course, is the ubiquitous output of the upload metaphor. This imaginary grants excessive power to capture or imagine brain data; it is referenced in consumer EEG marketing suggesting that the act of tracking modular brain wave data as patterns , and visualizing it, holds unforetold future applications for enhanced cognition.
Our brain data is alterable and in turn we can alter our brains. In Foucauldian terms, docility and alterability are required assumptions that enable us to envision our bodies and minds in technologically mediated, positivist, transhumanist human evolutionary process. Transhumanism decontextualizes the human and oversimplifies our relationship with technology, mitigating against cyborgian critiques of the biotechnical subject as framed by normative science practice.
Where Hayles worries that transhumanism suggests corporeal limitations are transcended by technological augmentation, Thacker claims that technology positions itself to move us into the transhuman future. For Hayles, this dangerous claim also offers the possibility for critical questioning of the relations between matter, machine, and manipulation. Brain wave sensors, then, reside in a critical terrain where we can either reify or push back against modular, computational theories of the mind that reduce human reasoning, mood, personality and subjectivity to data without context and in turn represent that data as the right stuff for remaking humans.
Historically, the development of consumer grade EEG monitors sits in an ancillary position to technologies that have moved from the lab to the home and to spaces elsewhere. Photographic technology, for example, moved from lab to home use; the impact of adapting this scientific documentation tool for everyday self-documentation is addressed by many including Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag and others.
Scientific devices developed for consumer researchers, however, have distinctively different epistemological and use-value assumptions, and differently impact how consumers learn, and expect to learn, about science. Different are the tools of science that move from lab to institutional and home spaces for the purpose of conducting or learning science. Play with devices in public forums ushered in an epistemological shift in our popular understandings of perception as something subjective temporal and autonomous to the subject, but also largely quantitative——showing a perception as a universal biological process Crary This reified an objectivist understanding of cognitive processes where the user weeded out subjective experience from the objective data offered by the machine.
Charles Acland cites a later twentieth century trend of movement from lab to classroom, employing a psychology testing tool, the Tachistoscope, that measured rapid visual perception by temporarily projecting text on a screen and then removing it. Where nineteenth-century science devices in public spaces worked to reduce our understanding of perception to an objectivist account, the Tachistoscope created new ways to explore the liminal zones of consciousness, or perception.
The Tachistoscope both fragmented perception data and then synthesized it into broader knowledges of perception, teaching users this as a new, critical way to deal with body data capture and processing. This public scientific technology trend—which fragmented the body into data modules—is an essential epistemological precursor to this modular logic era. Differently, however, EEG data is not synthesized in a contextual, complex understanding of cognition.
The relocation of EEG machines from science labs to living rooms and hack labs entails the capture of data from body sections, to read, present, and interpret it as reputable data of the whole. As we will show, EEG data is explained as an electromagnetic frequency EMF output from the modular brain wave system that is represented as the data of cognition. The frequency of the brain wave alpha, beta, gamma, theta, etc. Where the Tachistoscope invited users to do the mental work to link the data to an epistemological outcome, the consumer-grade EEG obscures the work of capture, and processing, and prohibits synthesis beyond the narrow brain wave theory of cognition.
In addition, packaging literature explaining the EEG devices unproblematically correlates brain waves to cognition, which is presented simply as the effect of the brain waves. Any broader understanding of cognition as articulated to a larger system that might include brain chemicals or hormones or environment is abstracted from the textual and visual explanations of the data.
Differently from the Tachistoscope, adopted from science for pedagogical purposes, consumer-grade biometric devices obfuscate the practices by which data is captured, processed, and transformed albeit, not synthesized into knowledge. Where the Tachistoscope synthesized data of perception into a theory, biometric monitors reduce the idea of cognition to one explainable by data drawn from EEG monitors gauging EMF data alone. Where consumer EEG monitors have different levels of ability to extract comprehensive or reliable EMF data, they all present similar epistemological claims that fetishize the practice of capturing from but not peering too closely into the brain: EEGs are used by a range of researchers, including in neuroscience and cognitive science, as agile technologies to monitor brain wave frequencies, to better understand cognitive ailments such as seizures, coma, brain death, and delirium, as well as conditions such as sleep disorders.go here
Is our predominant desire that the machine does it to us, or is there an instruction for doing it to ourselves? This latter activity—the analysis of the data and the purposing of it to other effect——suggests, we argue, a transhumanist type of participation in improving upon the current use of our brain data for other functions, however novel or unimpressive. The textual and visual rhetoric of brain wave sensors relies on but rarely articulates CTM-type reasoning, suggesting that cognitive practices are largely computational.
As we have argued, brainwaves are most sensible in a complex system of interconnected neural activity, but EEG monitor descriptions suggest that the waves are coherent pieces of singular data. Much critical thinking regarding the nature of cognition is possible if users are presented with basic brainwave theory. Brainwaves work in the following manner, according to standard neuroscience research, as explained to us by Neuroscientist Dr. A brain cell neuron receives a signal via a neurotransmitter from a neighboring neuron, and responds by releasing ions into the space on the outside of the cellular membrane.
As such it moves from being a negatively to positively charged neuron. The change in charge causes an electrical rush in these ions, exciting them. When sufficiently excited, the neuron sends the signal forward, and spits out a neurotransmitter to a post-synaptic neuron. The EEG device, which conducts electric charges, picks up excitatory energy—which is, in effect, the communication impact of complex internal interneural processing. The electron activity is measured by the EEG device, which picks up its electric signal on the outside of the skull.
Notably, the processing involves both excited and unexcited neurons, but the EEG registers only the activity of excited neurons. The playground or context of the unexcited electrons offers, says Montgomery, is an interesting unexplored territory that is important to a more complete, deeper understanding of cognition. The EEG device, then, tracks the frequency or patterns of excited neural activity—average peaks, across time, or the relative amplitude of each wave frequency. This modular way of framing frequency is a highly restrained theory of cognition, situated in a paradigm that seeks repetition across only similar space distributions of neurons.
This critical reading of brain wave theory is instructive, because it demonstrates that theoretical factness is often constructed out of data collection situations that make do and that science models and tools especially those measuring cognition are optimally read by what they are unable to track. In short, this framing of brain activity demonstrates a modular and computational way of approaching the complexity of neural processing.
The collectable data are deemed meaningful as stand alone data. Crucially, their authenticity is reified by the visualization of the data, transforming it into information of cognitive state , suggesting it is a scientifically validated illustration of cognitive process. The absent data and that absent story—the activity of all neural activity across synapses—are not made visible. Instead, the visuals on the websites largely demonstrate the design of the EEG, rather than how it functions technically to pick up and translate brain waves see figure below.
The marketing text and visuals roundly fail to provide information regarding how EEG data is transformed into information via brain wave theory. It simply presents EEG data as evidence of cognitive state. The EEG devices offer applications that demonstrate your mind state, and games and applications that issue effects in response to a particular brainwave frequency. Alpha waves, said to reflect states of relaxation, calm, and meditation, register in at Hz; Theta waves, registering Hz, are said to reflect states of deep meditation or problem solving; and finally Beta waves, reflecting alertness and consciousness, register at Hz.
Yogis have been shown to have highly developed Theta; meditation is said to be a mix of Alpha and Theta.
EEG devices invite us to trigger any of these waves to produce a desired effect. As well, using the EEG to activate particular brain states is difficult. Games, for example, call upon users to trigger a certain brain state in order to move a ball over a goal line or to keep a yogi suspended in meditation. Commonly, gamers achieve the desired game effect by hacking the machine—either deep breathing or repeating a mantra to produce an Alpha frequency and counting backwards to alert the Beta frequency. In so doing, users can be seen as hacking their bodies to produce symptoms or feedback e.
They are not generating relaxation by relaxing or thought by thinking, but engaging in practices that produce the desired effect. The founder of Emotive, maker of the Epoch headset, Tan Lee, whose public talks are widely available online, sees the EEG device as sharing key internet ideals of openness, connectivity and democratization. Entreaties to take part in the magic of seeming to peer into our brains, constrained science visualizations, and the fact that EEG data output cognitive state visuals, playing a simple game, turning off the light is rarely fantastic, complete EEG marketing campaigns that rely heavily on our cultural collective science fictions.
The campaigns lazily use logical glossings to suggest that the machines possess novel and extreme abilities to capture and transform potent brain data into powerful results. Marketing pulls on our desires—to believe the science, to peer into and harness our own brains, to engage in expert-like data collection, to submit to the thing doing it to us.
Together, these enticements pull us into a desire to allow the device to use us. Brain wave monitors often collect inexact or faulty data. As we have argued, the visualization of brain waves in games and other exercises with the EEG ask users to simply accept the data, rather than address it critically as an element in cognitive process. EEG games and biofeedback exercises that teach relaxation for health benefits often ask users to trigger Alpha waves, desirable because they signify calm.
Yet Alpha waves, Dr. Sean Montgomery advises, reside more deeply in the back bottom of the skull, while many consumer grade monitors use leads that attach to the forehead. As such, the data coming from these monitors is often unreliable. As well, the monitors output the data in standard linear representations of frequency highs and lows across time, entreating users to understand the data only within the paradigm of the brain wave story of cognition. Instead, the monitor packing information and advertising presses the reductionist framing of waves as cognition at every stage: Beyond the bar graphs that represent the data coming off these devices, the marketing employs textual and visual discourses in the pretense of scientific accuracy—to scientize the brain wave data as useful to consumers.
These assumptions are found in suggestions that the EEGs are useful for an astounding range of everyday tasks—cognitive assessment, cognitive play, gaming, hacking, and utilitarian home tasks. The marketing obscures rather than relays this process; we come to know our cognitive state attention, meditation , and view our brains, newly, as effect generators, promising greater future results. Unique among its competitors, the NIA admits that its data is muddied by forehead response.
With its simple online marketing strategy, the NIA device presents itself as a research tool, presumably banking on creating a community loyal to a tool that merely serves as a cheap gaming input. This modest approach and its weak data pick-up design strongly contrasts this tool to the Neurosky and EPOC Emotive brainwave monitors, which reach for bigger market segments and thus work on more potent imaginaries.
The Neurosky Mindwave and new wireless Mindwave Mobile have only one single sensor lead, which sits on the forehead——not an ideal site to capture desirable relaxation-signifying Alpha waves. With its single lead, the Neurosky is not the favoured device among research scientists.
It seeks to naturalise the device with visual references to common cultural activities—kids using the Neurosky to game and users gazing at screens to operate home entertainment devices. Instead, these tasks and outcomes are persuasively linked by extra-discursive discourses—vague transhumanist texts from industry, science, and media, and potent North American educational policy directives linking assessment to improvement, and labeling inattention as a mental disorder ADHD in need of technological mediation.
Deeply resonant in many EEG marketing images are mainstream science fiction media film and TV particularly that inform our popular imagination, creating formative cultural myths regarding the crucial role of technology in human progress. While space prohibits a full analysis of science fiction narratives resonant in EEG marketing, the strongly stereotypically feminized images employed in ads are key to understanding the monitors as representations of techno-power: Femininity in these ads is not offered exactly as a thing controllable by technology, but instead as a set of fetishized exchanges of power-data referencing femininity as potent, desirable, and available—a willing and interested site.
Biotechnical marketing works successfully when it glosses illogical suggestions and makes invisible the complex context of a problem, replacing it with potent, culturally resonant discourses, including visuals Gardner In Foucauldian terms, this is a discursive rupture—the subtle insertion of a new logic into an old, accepted logic. Like the history of marketing pharmaceutical drugs to consumers, attractive female subjects are deployed as the first line of entry, offered up as a welcoming entry to the curious device.
Below, a beautiful woman conjures a holographic image, beholding it with serene composure, linking a presently unachievable dream—future progress—with technology, via sexual allure. Reflecting a new kind of binding of the gendered body to social body imaginaries Balsamo , this body or face is represented as a subject as opposed to the more traditional female silhouette or body fragment , transgressing the habits of marketing via female bodies.
She is a subject whose mind conjures magic in and through the brain wave monitor; she is not exactly constrained, but rather, she is enjoined in the rapture of technopromise. And yet, this is not a subject in a comprehensible story—she is a subject only as an interface with the EEG device. The female is not mere body, but mere brain.
In that sense, she still serves the social body—as medium for transhumanist fantasies. The image can be seen as conjuring up dominant images of femininity we have learned collectively from the long-running TV and film narratives of Star Trek, often though not always representing the female via essentialist characteristics, and alien female leaders as failed versions of the feminine Roberts In other TV dramas, such as CSI and spin off crime dramas, which are popular across youth and adult age groups, femininity is linked to science work albeit crime scene investigation , via tropes of beauty, geeky music scores and explicit heterosexual content, that fall well within normative framings of femininity.
The device does not promise to open up new opportunities for knowing, but rather for obtaining brain data, with perhaps little understanding. This female subject obtains no new power, but rather harkens to the power of femininity as conduit. She seduces us to desire this new technology, while embracing paradigmatic sameness; in using the EEG we are asked to attribute the power of even poor science practice to progress, and to follow this obfuscated technology to its seemingly preordained logical conclusions.
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Neurosky advertising suggests that the device can accurately measure mental states such as meditation and attention , which it concedes are different than actual thoughts, but can be framed as conscious and unconscious states. It suggests that users can pull off data to demonstrate thinking or feeling, overdetermining its ability to detect cognition. Users are asked to ignore the process of data collection and to be impressed by the graphic output from the monitors.
The enormous glossing made here concerns how measured levels of mental states, like meditation or attention, prove instrumental in discourses of use—how to become a better gamer, learner, teacher, or athlete.
Brainwaves On Late Days | Sichtexot
The Neurosky is smugly certain we will buy its story—that any data, particularly brain data, is good and useful, and can be employed to manipulate consumers via highly overdetermined neoliberal, transhumanist discourses. In this marketing discourse, the realm of neuroscience is both mystified and presented as a coherent field of inquiry producing incontrovertible views of conscious and unconscious processing. The Neurosky marketing pulls directly on transhumanist claims to justify it as a healthcare device.
The dominant brainwave will determine your current state of mind. So if you are awake and relaxed you would be considered to be in an "alpha state of mind" because your Alpha brain waves would be the strongest with the highest amplitude. The frequency ranges listed above are the "normal" ranges these brain waves should operate at; however, they can fall out of these ranges. Each brain wave has an amplitude uV which determines the strength of the brainwave; this, in turn, determines your active state of mind.
All brainwave types can be active at the same time but some will be more active than others having the highest amplitude. In a perfect healthy brain all your brain waves fall within these normal ranges and you have the correct strong dominant brainwave depending on your state of mind. If this is the case, you are feeling FANTASTIC, waking up feeling energetic, in a completely relaxed state, focused, happy, feeling sharp and clear, essentially feeling good all the time, Congratulations! You are a zen monk! This is more or less impossible to achieve.
Our brain waves are probably not falling within the correct range-- some may be a little too high while others are too low.
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Everything in our daily lives—from stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, trauma, pollution, the environment, and more-- causes our brain waves to become unbalanced. Fortunately, we can use brainwave entrainment tools like Itsu Sync to help rebalance our brain waves. Each different brainwave has a certain effect at a specific frequency.
The list below will break down the different brainwave ranges to specific frequencies listing their effects. Improved memory, subconscious learning and problem solving. Less sleep is needed due to the Theta waves replacing the need for extensive dreaming. Chaotic Whurley and Chaotic Moon Labs' Philip Wheat stand behind skateboard, which has been pimped with some serious software and an on-board Samsung tablet.
The headset wirelessly connects to software which drives an watt motor. And away he goes: Whurley demonstrates the board's handling skills, seemingly taking off of its own accord and hitting respectable speeds as it is put through its paces. The tablet can be seen at the front of the board. He likens the process to imagining yourself pulling yourself along with a rope.
If you 'see' the destination in your mind, and how fast you want to get there, the Board Of Imagination's gadgetry will do the rest. The whole concept started with the perhaps hastily named Board Of Awesomeness. That gadget used a Samsung tablet and an adapted XBox Kinect to analyse hand movements and convert it into commands for the motor.
Power of the mind: A read-out on the portable tablet plots the rider's brainwaves and transfers them into commands for the Board Of Imagination's motor.
What is Brainwave Entrainment
Whurley says calibrating the rider's brainwaves and the software is a simple - and painless - process. The new version uses a wireless Emotiv EPOC headset, a high-resolution neuro-signal acquisition and processing device. In an interview with CNet, Whurley explained: From there, software on the board interfaces with the electric motor via a "phidget", which is basically a plug-and-play, low-cost USB sensing and control unit. Apart from being able to balance, the only other form of training is marrying your brainwaves to the computer software.
The Effects of Specific Brain Waves
Specs for the original design, which used an XBox Kinect device to 'read' hand movements. The new Board Of Imagination scans brainwaves. That profile can then be loaded on the board. Since every brain is different, you can't really have one profile to rule them all. The problem with the board is that users really do have to keep their minds on the job at hand.
If you start thinking about lunch, or chores you might have to do when the ride ends, the ride might end a lott sooner and more abruptly than you'd plan. Sounding like a man speaking from painful experience, Whurley said: While we did the best we can to compensate, it will always be an issue for most riders. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Orla Kiely retail empire collapses: Mind where you're going: The skateboard controlled by brainwaves that moves wherever you think it should By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: Chaotic Moon Labs' general manager Whurley just Whurley shows off the Board Of Imagination, which is controlled by the rider merely thinking about travelling The secret is in special software in an onboard Samsung tablet with Windows 8 - and a natty headset that monitors and interprets brainwaves.
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