Saturday 1 October 2016

Working on hindrances

There is the traditional Buddhist concept of the five hindrances:  sense desire, anger, restlessness and remorse, sloth and torpor and doubt.  Anyone who has meditated has encountered them at some point or another.  Overcoming them is thought to be essential for progress in meditation.

What implications might this have for using neuroshaping devices for improving meditation?

Let's assume that there are EEG signatures for meditation states and that the EEGs of advanced practitioners exhibit those signatures whereas beginners don't. One approach to technologically boosting meditation that might readily come to mind is that we should try and reproduce in the beginner those states of the advanced practitioner through neurofeedback.  However, this ignores the fact that those advanced practitioners got to those states by overcoming hindrances.  If, as many meditation teachers say, we are already enlightened and we have to remove the "dust" that obscures this, then it makes sense to focus on removing these obstacles rather than trying to "force" a state that is already there but obscured.

Saturday 19 March 2016

OpenBCI and the UltraCortex

Perhaps the most ambitious and promising approach to assessing and training the brain is by OpenBCI (  They have developed a 3D printed headgear with dry electrodes that they say can be applied in 30 seconds.  You can make your own headgear if you own a 3D printer or order one from them.  They have 4, 8 and 16 channel systems and software that goes with it.  They plan a 61 ultracortex 3D printed headgear.

It is all open source.  I am getting the headgear printed and have ordered the unprintable parts.  I am going to see if it works with the equipment that I have.  Tune in for progress reports.

Scroll down their home page to check out their Kickstarter video that explains their project.