In the 1970s and 80s there were alpha brainwave trainers at decent prices, but they were rough around the edges and only worked with one brain wave frequency. In more recent years, ADHD stimulated some development of hardware for concentration improvement and arousal control. With a prescription and about $1,500, Brainmaster made much more powerful and flexible devices available.
Now, for less than $200, broad-spectrum equipment is available that plugs into your PC (not available for Mac, yet).
To get there, you have to buy two things.
The Hardware: Neurosky
About two years ago Neurosky was introduced to the market. It was an attractive, light-weight, and practical headset that plugged into a PC. It provided some interesting feedback through showing a large spectrum of brainwaves on screen. Two protocols were built into the software: “attention” and “meditation.” Color bars and waving lines also appear on screen but, the fine print says, they are for illustrative purposes and have been altered a bit to show better on the monitor.
Developers have come forward and produced some interesting games and, at last, software that pulls useful brainwave info from the application. About a year ago, the Mind Reflector people came forward with what I had been waiting for. But, before I say more about that, here’s more on the Neurosky headset.
NOTE: If you want to with Mind Reflector, don’t get the headset that works with mobile phones. Get the USB version of their headset.
The Software: Mind Reflector
This is what brings the Neurosky headset alive for those who want to do brainwave work.
These Mind Reflector guys are clearly serious. They took their software and protocols to their peers in the neurofeedback field. They put everything out to be poked at and examined. To handle some of the critics, they compared the results of their software tied to Neurosky to clinical-level equipment, the Brainmaster. They found that the two devices returned very much the same results even though there was a $1,100 price difference between the setups.
Why Use it for Imagination Work?
First, the Neurosky/Mind Reflector setup can be used to learn how to relax well to do deeply into imaginal work. That is always an important step.
Secondly, the Mind Reflector guys included an Alpha/Theta training protocol which is tremendously valuable. I will write more about alpha/theta work but let me say here that this brainwave combination has been shown to take people to a deep place where important work can be done. This can include: memory recall, working with beliefs, creative breakthroughs and more.
This equipment and software gets my 5-stars.