Hack Your Brain with an iPod

The BrainWave Generator lets you generate audio files that can induce various physiological effects if l istened to using headphones. Odd, but it works, to some extent, at least.


Yeah, that’s right. Hack your brain. Not quite to the degree Cory Doctorow promised in 0wnz0red, but definitely interesting. And it doesn’t *have* to be an iPod… any music player with headphones will do. The ipod is just the coolest. :-)

How do you do this? It’s called entrainment. It sounds like mumbo jumbo, and the web page makes it look like mumbo jumbo, but there are some real scientific principles behind it, (here’s their theory page) inasmuch as you can generate definite physiological effects using it that cannot be explained with a placebo effect. What is it? Well, basically, the idea is that you can modify the electrical activity in your brain (the stuff that’s picked up by EEG readings) by hearing sounds that mimic those waves. But since the human hearing range doesn’t extend to that level, instead, you listen to two similar but different sounds, one in each ear, and the resonance between them delivers the effect of the frequency. (I think it works in a manner similar to overtone, the musical technique that occurs when an instrument or voice reaches a special degree of resonance and generates another sound, an octave above the original, and possibly even a third an octave above the second. Each individual among the gyuto monks can sing an entire chord on his own, using overtone)

The upshot of it is, you pump the sound into your brain via your ipod, and you sleep deeply or just relax, feel like you’ve had too much coffee, generate lost time, or even like you’re getting a tooth drilled. And yes, there’s also sexual stimulation, sexual simulation, and LSD simulation

If I had to suggest trying just one for a test, try Too Much Coffee. That was the first one I noticed a definite effect on — within less than a minute, my heart was beating much more rapidly. I use in-canal earphones that block out all the external sounds but make it very easy to hear your heartbeat, so it was pretty obvious. :-)

You can get the generator here and download lots of presets for it, including the ones I linked above, here. You might want something that can do a “download all links on page” like Download Accellerator so you can just grab each category in its entirety. The source files are very small. You can use the software to make wav files out of them, which you can then convert into mp3 or aac for use in your ipod or other audio device of choice, or burn to a CD. Enjoy!

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