Posted by makermom on Tuesday, 20 May 2014
A ragtag group of neuropsychology enthusiasts, electronics geeks, and software developers began meeting six months ago to develop a way of making creative consciousness visible -- and beautiful. Led by Matt Walsh, Barbara Kerr, and Joe Kearnes, the group decided to locate cheap, accurate EEG headsets; to develop software to translate brainwaves into light and sound; and to create protocols for helping people rapidly alter consciousness. We used standard procedures for adaptation, induction of busy, problem-solving consciousness (Beta) and relaxation (Alpha). The Holy Grail, however, was a protocol for visualizing a creative flow state characterized by combinations of Alpha, Beta, and bursts of Gamma -- high frequency, intense waves associated with Aha! experiences. Barb developed the protocols; Joe hacked the first primitive headsets we had; and Matt created the software. The result was the Brainflower: a gorgeous, kaleidoscopic projection of brainwaves in bright colors coded to the frequency and duration of various brain states. Since the beginning, we have created Brainflowers for hundreds of people who donned the headsets (now Neurosky EEG headbands) and gradually experienced a visualization of their most creative activity... and then saw the result in blazing color on the computer screen -- or projected on the walls of a building lining 9th Street. A crowd gathers every Final Friday to see their Brainflowers, and we have had many public presentations for libraries, secondary schools, and the general public. Come to Final Friday and see YOUR brain on Flow!