I’m heading home today after a very informative and inspiring trip to meet with Judson and his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I was able to present my work on re-designing the EEG Mirror for a clinical space, and learn more about their needs for the re-design, for example that alignment is a really important part of getting the cap on properly. Armed with their feedback and improved specifications I can continue to develop this design.
I also got try this exciting technology for myself, using the current ‘old’ EEG Mirror set up. Boy it’s a process, they have to hook up 128 individual sensors, then inject gel into them to get good contact with the scalp. I was then plugged into an amplifier that sat behind me. I sat in a small room which has been cleared of any signal interfering technology, and completed four three minute meditation sessions. We played around with using different feedback mechanisms; continues sounds, sound at intervals, watching the graph, combining both graph and sound.
As I had suspected for me the visual graph was really distracting, and this isn’t just my subjective opinion! There is hard data from the EEG Sensors that I lost my concentration when trying to follow the graph on the screen. For me the best method was the audio cue, the tone went down as my Post Cingular Cortex became quiet and I achieved a deeper state of meditation, I felt very closely linked with the sound, like I was controlling it with my mind, which I was.
It was a surreal but intensely fascinating experience, to be so closely, intimately, ‘joined’ with a machine, and it was certainly a different way of achieving metacognition through meditation. I’d love to meditate with it a few more times, I really felt that it gave me an additional layer of understanding.
Boston is a great looking place, managed to squeeze in a hike in the Blue Mountains too, nature, tech, new friends and meditation, yep a pretty good trip.