Friday, April 3, 2009

Put brainwaves on your iPhone

Are you a great musician in your own mind? You might be, and we're not talking Rock Band or Guitar Hero fantasies either. You could be a neural artist like Paras Kaul, aka BrainWave Chick, a researcher at George Mason University in Virginia. Wearing an electrode-laden headband, Karas streams brainwaves from her frontal lobe into a laptop to create digital music. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 'BrainWave Chick' Digitally Performs Mind Music, describes the process. BrainWave Chick performs on stage by attaining a meditative state and letting her brainwaves work the magic. The result is a mash up of ambient and underwater sounds: think sea mammals and submarines. Sample it here. Actors' brainwaves were also used to create the score for the upcoming independent horror film, Caller ID (directed by Eric Zimmerman, actors include Donnie Darko's James Duval).

But back to Rock Band, why not combine brainwaves, music, and gaming? Karas is also exploring the field of neurological gaming, interacting with a game environment using brainwaves. Read about
Brainwave Games 4Learning on Gamasutra. Karas says the IBVA4, the Interactive Brain Wave Visual Analyzer, from New York based Psychic Lab Inc. is "a profound bio and psychic feedback system that is easily adapted for the gaming industry."

Curious about brainwave interaction? Check out the iPhone application.

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