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NeuroSky MindWave - EEG Brain Wave Activities

Item Number: 3152736

Price: $79.95

This item is available for giftwrap!

-Perfect for developing focus and concentration skills

-Research grade EEG

-Bonus CD includes 10 Mental Excercise Apps

Like To Do Math In Your Head? Try Digitizing Your Brain Waves Via EEG

The Neuro Sky MindWave bio-sensor headset digitizes brainwave signals from the forehead with research grade precision allowing you to perform mental exercises on your computer. Communication between the headset and the PC or Mac is done via a wireless USB plug-in.

The headset is an easy to use, non-invasive single dry sensor that reads brainwave impulses (not thoughts) allowing you to interact with Apps. Bundled in this package is an application disc with 10 mental activities including Speed Math, Number Find, Blink Zone and more. Over 30 additional games and educational applications are available to download for an additional fee.

Perfect for helping children and adults develop better focus and concentration skills. Requires one AAA battery (not included). Computer not included. System requirements: PC-Windows XP or Vista & 7, Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0+ capable, and 1 GB HD space. Mac-Mac OS X 10.5" 'Leopard' or better, any Intel Mac, 1 GB Ram and 1 GB HD space.

How it works:
The last century of neuroscience research greatly increased our understanding about the brain and the complex energy it emits. Brainwave patterns form faint electrical signals detectable on the scalp. Recording this Electroencephalogram (EEG) has historically required elaborate, intimidating and immovable equipment costing thousands of dollars, limiting the benefits to the research communities. NeuroSky has innovated with the world’s leading universities such as Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, University of Washington, University of Wollongong, Trinity College and many others to take neuroscience out of the laboratory and into the home.

Our bio-sensor headsets digitize brainwave signals to power the user-interface of games, computers and investigative medical applications. NeuroSky technology accurately measures mental states such as meditation and attention, which are different than actual thoughts. Sensing that a user is in a state of calm is different from sensing that the user likes the color blue. These mental states have powerful capabilities when integrated into video games, education, sports coaching, meditation, etc.

The human brain is made up of billions of interconnected neurons about the size of a pinhead. As neurons interact, patterns manifest as singular thoughts such as a math calculation, and broad emotional states such as attention. The average human thinks 70,000 thoughts each day. As a by-product, every interaction between neurons creates a miniscule electrical discharge, measurable by EEG (electroencephalogram) machines. By themselves, these charges are impossible to measure from outside the skull. However, a dominant mental state, driven by collective neuron activity created by hundreds of thousands concurrent discharges, can be measured.

Through a century of experimentation, neuroscience experts have determined where specific activity occurs within the brain. Motor control of limbs occurs in the top of the brain, for example. Vision is processed in the back of the brain. From an evolutionary point of view, these basic functions are present in most animals. As humans evolved into more intelligent creatures, the pre-frontal cortex in the front of the brain is where higher thinking occurs. Emotions, mental states, concentration, etc. are all dominant in this area. This is the primary reason for NeuroSky’s main sensor placement on a position known as FP1.

Different brain states are the result of different patterns of neural interaction. These patterns lead to waves characterized by different amplitudes and frequencies. As examples, brainwaves between 12 and 30 hertz, Beta Waves, are associated with concentration, while waves between 8 and 12 hertz, Alpha Waves, are associated with calm relaxation. Often overshadowing brainwaves, the contraction of muscles is also associated with unique wave patterns, called EMG. Isolating these EMG patterns is how some NeuroSky devices detect eye blinks. The single sensor on FP1 provides a high degree of freedom; NeuroSky devices can measure multiple mental states simultaneously. The physics of brainwaves is virtually identical to the physics of sound waves where a single microphone can pick up the complexity of a concert.

All electrical devices, including computers, lightbulbs, wall sockets, etc., leak some level of ambient “noise”. This noise is often loud enough to obfuscate brainwaves. As a result, laboratory EEG devices will pick up random readings when both the reference electrode and the primary electrode are connected to an object that is not emitting brainwaves. Sensing mental activity through electrical noise is like trying to eavesdrop on a conversation at a loud ballgame - from outside the stadium. In the past, traditional EEG devices have circumvented this problem by measuring brainwaves in strictly controlled environments where no lights, devices, etc. interfere with the EEG signal. To increase the EEG brainwave signal, a thick medical gel is used for conductivity. As EEG devices migrate from the laboratory to homes, most people do not have rooms devoid of electronic interference, nor do they want to apply a conductive liquid to their head every time they use an EEG device. NeuroSky’s approaches to gel-free sensors and noisy environments mitigate these challenges.

Part of NeuroSky’s IP involves noise cancellation. Signal amplification makes the raw brainwave signal stronger. Filtering protocols eliminate known noise frequencies such as muscle, pulse and electrical devices. Notch filters eliminate electrical noise from the grid, which varies from 50Hz to 60Hz, depending on worldwide geography. Filter technology remains at the forefront of NeuroSky R&D, and future products will refine this imperfect capability.

Additional IP involves electrical engineering. Extrapolating EEG brainwave signals from noise requires both a reference point and an electrical circuit grounding. The grounding makes the body voltage the same as the headset. The reference is used to subtract the common ambient noise through a process known as common mode rejection. The earlobe is a location that experiences the same ambient noise as the NeuroSky forehead sensor but with minimal neural activity. Hence, it is crucial that the ear connection be securely fit.

Electrical signals in neurons are not transmitted the same way electrical signals that travel along wires are nor do they have a source of electricity being fed into them. Instead each neuron creates its own electrical charge. Every time one of these electrical signals reach the end of a neuron, chemicals are released that tell the surrounding neurons to create their own electrical signals. These signals are called “action potentials” and when a neuron creates one it is said to have “fired”.

It is possible for atoms and molecules to have a positive or negative charge, these charged particles are known as ions; positive and negative ions want to be paired together like the positive and negative poles of two magnets. When no signal is being transmitted a neuron uses pumps to move positive ions outside of the cell. These pumps require a great deal of energy because the positive ions want to go back into the now negatively charged cell. The energy required to power these pumps comes from ATP, the same molecule that carries energy to muscles throughout the body.

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can only change forms but cannot be created or destroyed. The energy used to power the pumps becomes stored as the charge differential between the inside and outside of the cell. When that differential is removed by the flow of positive ions into the cell, the stored energy is released in the form of small waves. Like little waves combining to create big waves in the ocean, as thousands

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