Brain Entrainment Crowd Science

Let's design and execute some experiments for brain entrainment

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Brain entrainment is the use of audio or light to impress certain EEG patterns on your brain. It is supposed to help with sleep, concentration, etc. See

The idea behind brain entrainment is that you can force your brain into certain EEG states by subjecting it to external oscillations at the desired frequencies. There are two main methods used to get the very low frequencies involved: Either mixing two signals to get the difference (e.g., 100Hz and 102Hz gives 2Hz) or pulsing a higher frequency at the desired frequency.

There is some literature about the effectiveness of this, but for this project I seek to design a crowd experiment and gather data. You can help. Right now we are in the design phase, so I'd like to get your ideas on how we can practically make the experiment the most useful without pushing it out into the weeds (not everyone has an EEG or will commit to 8 hours of experimenting a day for six months).

In Phase II we will execute the experiment and post our data here.

  • Initial Experiment Design

    Al Williams04/06/2019 at 14:41 1 comment

    The basic idea is simple. Solve a Sudoku. To standardize, we'll use Web Sudoku. Pick whatever difficulty level you want. Play at different times of day and using your choice of type and settings. When you win or give up, record some data.

    • Your ID (you can use your name or if you want to stay private, use a UUID)
    • Time of day
    • Level of difficulty
    • Type of entrainment used (isochronic or binaural and at what settings)
    • Number of games played in this session
    • Headphone use (yes or no)
    • Result (time to succeed or time when you gave up)
    • Notes (e.g., was sleepy; kids were noisy; classical music in background, etc.)


    Here’s a generator for isochronic tones and another for binaural. Here's Web Sudoku

    Here's the current data collection form:

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  • 1
    How to Participate

    Note: Right now, the experiment design is not locked down. You are welcome to submit data, but there may be drastic changes later.

    1. Jot down the starting time (to the nearest 1/2 hour; not critical)
    2. Select if you are going to use entrainment or not, what kind you'll use, and if you are using headphones
    3. Set up the entrainment (using one of the two sound generators)
    4. Open WebSudoku
    5. Select a random puzzle at whatever difficulty you like (or use the one presented)
    6. Attempt to solve the puzzle
    7. When done (successfully or not) record your data on the form

    Note: To save the entrainment settings, the sound generator page has a "Save as URL" link. Capture that link and use it to fill in the form.

    Repeat as many times as you like, preferably at different times of day and with different types of entrainment.

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alireza safdari wrote 04/11/2019 at 04:05 point

As someone familiar with EEG, I think there are many challenges are involved 

1) Reliable and Cheap Hardware

2) Correct Placement of Electrode

3) Making sure data is valid

4) Based on my research in the field you would need a lot more data about the subjects. For instance I have found brain signals dependent to certain ethical groups. I have not published my data but a friend of mine who has done similar work has published his paper on a similar topic where ethnicity could play a role

5) Valid Tests and Stimuli 

6) Ethics Approval

These are all before you actually try to mimic the same signal to make people happy!

Having said that, it is best to talk about it to find solutions and I think it is a good start.

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