Archive for 'Company and Software Updates'

Thought Sounds 3: Relax – Now Available!

The latest result of our collaboration with the incredibly talented composer Andrew Foust is here! Thought Sounds 3: Relax is now available from our website. TS3 logo

Thought Sounds 3: Relax is a large volume of royalty-free soundtracks, meticulously crafted by Andrew with the goal of creating perfect audio companions for relaxation, meditation and hypnosis, while ensuring all of the soundtracks are flawlessly compatible with brainwave entrainment and our software.

For this volume, we’ve divided the 140 soundtracks into 3 categories: light relaxation, deep relaxation, and meditation. One way to think of these categories is that the light tracks might be preferred for an alpha session during a midday break, and the deep tracks could pair with a lower theta session for more detached relaxation. The meditative tracks are ideal for a diverse range of meditation sessions and practices, with exotic and inventive instrumentation to draw the listener further into any mental journey without distracting them.

You can start to hear this rich variety for yourself with the sample reel clip below.  If you’re familiar with Andrew’s work from Thought Sounds 2, then you’ll already be expecting to hear more truly remarkable compositions- and Andrew has absolutely delivered that here. In this clip, you’ll hear parts of 13 different tracks from Thought Sounds 3 in a little over 7 minutes, but the entire collection includes over 14 hours of music!

As with all of the music in our Thought Sounds collections, these tracks have been designed from the ground up for use with brainwave stimulation. That means every one of these compositions had to use minimal percussion, provide a consistent bed of sound without any breaks, and had to stay within frequency ranges best suited for the embedding of brainwave stimulating rhythms using our software.

And once again, we’ve worked hard to create over 14 hours of music that never strays from meeting all of the criteria described above. Our hope is that these huge and varied libraries of music will make it easy for anyone to find exactly the right companion piece for their goals, or the goals of their clients.

It’s a massive undertaking, but we’re continuing to develop these collections of music for specific session goals because we believe that the power of just the right soundtrack to significantly enhance a brainwave session is incredible. The innately soothing properties of thoughtfully composed music, combined with precisely configured brainwave stimulation driving one’s mind to a relaxed, meditative, or hypnotic state, is a uniquely powerful therapeutic tool.

We’re thrilled to have another incredible music collection available for everyone. Learn more about Thought Sounds 3 here: http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/ts3/ – Thanks very much for checking it out!

Learn more about our other collaboration with Andrew Foust, called Thought Sounds 2: Focus, at http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/ts2/

Learn more about the original Thought Sounds collection at http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/thoughtsounds/

Thought Sounds 2: Focus – Released Today!

Starting today, after more than a year of intense work and many years of research, the next volume of Thought Sounds is available from Transparent!

Thought Sounds 2: Focus is an incredible new collection of soundtracks from an extraordinarily talented composer, designed to offer optimal audio environments for concentration, focusing, studying and working. And just like with Thought Sounds 1, every single track is rigorously engineered to be perfectly compatible with brainwave entrainment.

The goal with this collection was to create music that is active, engaging and motivating without ever being distracting, to produce the ideal background for focusing and concentrating. Another goal was to offer these carefully constructed soundtracks in huge variety, so that there is something here for everyone’s tastes and to match the exact purpose of any given brainwave session. These tracks are perfect for sessions like cognitive enhancement, focus/attention enhancement, study help- really, anything involving beta!

You’ll find ambient electronic and minimal techno here, along with some beautiful and original guitar and piano arrangements, even classically-inspired orchestral pieces and a dash of world music, plus some “hybrid” tracks featuring a bit of all the above.

You can get a feeling for how much is in this collection, and just how excellent the composition quality is, with the sample reel demo below. Although, only a very small portion of the music is represented here. You’ll hear parts of 12 different tracks, just over 4 and a half minutes in  total, but the entire collection includes nearly 14 hours of music!

Thought Sounds 2 was truly a massive undertaking. We’re thrilled to finally be able to make it available to everyone, and couldn’t be more pleased with the finished product. Adam mentioned to me that he spoke with over a dozen composers before finally being able to find someone who was willing and able to tackle a project this challenging. Fortunately, he did find a musician more than up to the task- we were lucky to have Andrew Foust, who usually works on scores for film and theater, as the composer for this entire collection. He did absolutely incredible work in creating such a huge amount  of music (140 soundtracks!), with tremendous variety, and all while staying within the intensely restrictive criteria for the soundtracks to truly meet the goals of this volume.

Visit the Thought Sounds 2: Focus home page for more details, or to pick up Thought Sounds 2 for yourself!

And check back with Mind Update next Friday, when we’ll be posting an interview with Andrew Foust, all about his background and extensive work on Thought Sounds 2!

Emotiv EPOC, NeuroSky and more now supported by Mind WorkStation and Neuro-Programmer 3!

A number of very exciting connections between top EEG devices and Transparent software are now possible thanks to just-released updates for MindWork Station and Neuro-Programmer 3. Here’s an excerpt from the news story that just went up at TransparentCorp.com:

Today we’re releasing Mind WorkStation Version 1.3 and Neuro-Programmer Version 3.1. Along with bug fixes and general performance improvements, the main attraction in both updates is new compatibility with even more of the most advanced and popular EEG devices available. 4 new devices, representing developers that are true leaders in neuro-technology innovation, can now be utilized in both NP3 and MindWS:

Read the full news article here!

I’d personally suggest checking out the websites of the developers listed there as well. They’re involved in some of the most fascinating developments in the realm of EEG technology, so this certainly won’t be the last time these names come up on this blog.

Neuro-Programmer 3 release!

We are proud to introduce the long-awaited Neuro-Programmer 3!

In the last five years since the release of version 2, we have invested heavily into research to improve the neural stimulation and overall effectiveness of the program. We have also been collecting input from our customers on how to increase usability and enhance the user experience.

This release adds an array of new and exciting features, making Neuro-Programmer more powerful, usable and more effective than ever before.

Here are a few of the new features available in NP3:

– Improved sessions and neural stimulation methods

– Biofeedback-optimized neural stimulation

– Export to MP3 or OGG

– Reverberation / Echo effects

– Pitch / tempo effects

– Volume normalization

– Visual plugins and enhanced screen flashing

– ALL sessions are now editable

– Improved recording and hypnosis scripting tools

– New layout, wizards and overall enhanced user experience

Try it out for yourself today! Explore the website for more information:

What’s new

Purchase

Screenshots

Video Tutorials

Upgrade from version 2

Enjoy!

New study on Brainwave Entrainment (By Dr. Huang)

I’m pleased to announce the publication of “A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment” in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine this month. This paper is the most comprehensive review of peer reviewed research in the subject, and was written in order to inform those within and the beyond the field of brainwave entrainment (BWE), and to provide sufficient background for future research.

Most of the research known to date has been summarized by David Siever in two unpublished manuscripts that he sells and distributes. They contain much valuable information about the history of BWE, both published and unpublished studies and proposed mechanisms of action. However, despite their length, they do not provide a complete listing of the peer reviewed literature, nor have his manuscripts faced the scientific scrutiny that comes with publishing in a peer reviewed journal. In fact, in our comprehensive search, we found articles that have never before been mentioned by those in the brainwave entrainment development and scientific community. Why? Believe it or not, the problem is in the inconsistency in terminology used to describe BWE. The term, BWE, until today, cannot be found in the scientific literature. Instead it is referred to as audiovisual stimulation, photic stimulation, photic driving, auditory entrainment, etc, etc. In all I did a search using 31 different terms to look for articles on brainwave entrainment, which returned 27,830 articles using Ovid (1 out of the 4 databases I used to do the search). Only a very small handful of these turned out to be articles on BWE. Thus much of the credit needs to go to my bosses at Transparent Corporation, who gave me the time to do this exhaustive, time consuming, and yet important work.

I looked for papers with psychological terms that described outcomes that I’d seen associated with BWE on the web, in conferences and in the published and unpublished literature. After combining the two searches, and screening for those that were indeed articles addressing psychological outcomes of BWE, and those that passed some basic scientific criteria, we ended up with just 20 articles.

The psychological effects that had been examined in relation to BWE included cognitive functioning (we divided it into verbal, non-verbal, memory, attention and overall intelligence), stress (long and short-term), pain, headache/migraines, mood, behavior and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). When two or more studies had examined similar outcomes, we placed them into tables for greater comparability. Thus we had five tables divided by cognitive functioning, stress, pain, headaches/migraines and mood. Studies used a variety of different frequency protocols and stimulation methods which are outlined in the tables.

Out of the 20 studies, 17 were actually developed to support or confirm a hypothesis, and of these, all found a positive effect in at least one outcome. And in each outcome mentioned, at least one study had a positive finding. What was remarkable was that for some outcomes, only one of several protocols had a positive effect, while others were improved by a variety of different protocols. The most consistent positive findings were found in attention (4/4 studies), pain (3/3 studies) and headache/migraines (3/3). While positive effects were found in all other outcomes examined except for mood, either fewer studies had been conducted or a smaller percentage of the protocols examined were effective. Mood was examined in the 3 studies where the effects of theta were examined on a variety of outcomes. So we believe that the ability of brainwave entrainment to positively effect mood has not been properly tested in the peer reviewed literature.

Overall, we conclude that brainwave entrainment shows real potential to positively affect psychological outcomes. However, more and bigger studies need to be done, using additional outcomes and outcomes already examined. We hope that we’ve provided the necessary background to inspire future research and collaboration, so that the field of brainwave entrainment can gain recognition and momentum in the scientific literature.

To view a copy of this article, visit:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/research/

Tina L. Huang, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Transparent Corporation

The Mind WorkStation release

A couple months ago I was browsing through some old posts on the forum and I found one from September of 2006 where I talked about an application that was going to be in beta testing in “a couple months”. How’s that for an off estimate?

After two years of research and development, Mind WorkStation was finally released on Monday. We celebrated with a pizza party.

A huge amount of work went into this. This is the seventh software product we’ve released, and by far the most ambitious and complex. All through the development, release and support of the other products I’ve been taking notes about what users want to be able to do, what research needs to be done and what problems are encountered. So, in this application we had a very large to-do list. And all throughout development we were working very closely with other researchers, developers, AVS manufacturers, EEG and biofeedback vendors.

Dr. Huang’s new research played a big part in constructing the sessions that come with it. For example, we have been able to separate sessions into verbal vs non-verbal skills improvement. A session for memory has been developed, based on some very promising studies. There are also more fascinating sessions included, such as a migraine session using alternating-eye photic stimulation at 30 Hz, or a muscle contraction headache session randomly stimulating 1-3 Hz. Another even more successful migraine session uses frequencies chosen by the user based on comfort, instead of using a set protocol!

The idea of self-chosen frequencies is very interesting, especially when dealing with a large frequency range and people who have no experience with brainwave entrainment. Some choose gamma, others choose theta, others choose delta, and so on. Yet, at least with migraines, all appeared to benefit the user tremendously.

Michael Hutchison wrote that people have a subjective feeling of “connectedness” to a frequency when they are being entrained to it successfully. Perhaps this subjective feeling has a part to play in the success of self-chosen frequencies. I’ve written many times about how different everyone’s response is to brainwave entrainment. One person may respond very well to 8 Hz but not to 10. Or to 5 Hz but not to 7. EEG research has yielded some intriguing insights into why this is.

Brainwave entrainment occurs best at one’s natural dominant frequencies. In fact, the more dominant the frequency is (the higher the amplitude), the narrower the range a person can entrain to. Someone with a very high dominant 10 Hz frequency, may not be able to entrain at all to 7 Hz.

This is where EEG-Driven stimulation becomes very useful. It is a simple thing to discover a person’s dominant frequency in any frequency band, and that data can then be transferred in real-time to Mind WorkStation to be converted into audio/visual stimuli. We worked with the fine people at Thought Technology to develop a number of EEG protocols that do this. I also developed similar protocols in BioExplorer as well, so our EEG customers can do the same. The EEG-driven sessions I’ve tried so far have been nothing short of amazing.

The response to Mind WorkStation so far has been very positive. It is already being put to use developing sessions for clinics, nursing homes, ADD kids and more. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with it. We purposefully designed it to be as flexible as possible, so I fully expect to see it used in ways I could never have imagined. In the end, that’s the point; to make research and development in this industry easy.

Before I get back to regular blogging, I thought I would use this space to share some cool Mind WorkStation features.

Waveform Ramping

In Mind WorkStation waveforms can be “morphed” into each other over time. For example, you could start with an isochronic beat, and slowly morph it into a sine wave:

Here is an animation showing what happens to the sound over time:

-

3D Audio Positioning

This allows you to position audio in 3D space. Take a listen to the results with a relaxation script read by Max, along with some other relaxing sounds. Listen with headphones if possible.

 3D sound sample.mp3

Ambience Generator

The ambience feature randomly generates sound, reducing habituation by creating a different experience every time.

Random ThunderStorm.mp3

Random Forest.mp3

Those are three neat features I like to show off, but there is a lot more to the program. Biofeedback integration, playlists, entrainment-safe audio effects, filtering methods, new stimulation techniques, and so on. Visit the below links if you’re interested in learning more:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/overview.php

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/features.php

Better yet, download it and try it out for yourself! http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/download.php

Regular posting will resume soon. A lot has happened in the entrainment and neuroscience world in the past few months, I just haven’t had time to write about it. :)

A year of research and development. Dr. Huang’s work, Mind WorkStation and more.

From an outside perspective, 2007 has been a quiet year. We’ve been focused so much on research and development that we’ve neglected to release any new products.

Behind the scenes, it has been our busiest year to date.

At the beginning of 2007, we were preparing for the Windows Vista launch, making sure our products were compatible. Additionally, we attended a conference where Dr. Huang (Tina) presented her findings for the first time.

Tina has been continuing to work very hard on her study, along with psychology professor Christine Charyton, PhD. We’ve had a lot of emails asking what is taking so long. Research takes a while. If you want a paper to pass peer review, get published in a reputable journal, and have a big impact, it has to be well written and based on solid science. It is a slow, laborious and expensive process.

But this study is worth it. It is packed with useful information. The effects of brainwave entrainment (BWE) on a variety of tests have been analyzed, yielding some very interesting results and answering some important questions. Which protocols affect verbal performance over non-verbal? Which protocols are best for certain types of memory – auditory, visual, sequential, and so on? Which protocols enhance immediate recall, and which reduce it? What types of headaches can be relieved using BWE? (muscle contraction, sinusitis, migraine, etc).  What protocols have the greatest effect on attention, impulsivity, distractibility, and so on? I found one instance particularly fascinating, where there was an improvement in anger control but no effect on aggressiveness!

This is vital information that will advance the effectiveness of all BWE products in the future.

It is important to note that not only were positive results analyzed, but also negative results and studies that you will never find in marketing material or even in most books on this subject. Just as it is essential to know which protocols work for a certain condition, we feel that it is perhaps more crucial to know what protocols don’t work as intended, and could act contrary to the goal of the session.

I’m happy to report that earlier this month Tina’s paper was accepted into a prestigious peer reviewed journal with a great reputation. I will give you the details of it’s publication date as soon as I can. It is up to the journal as to when it is published, and I don’t want to step on any toes by releasing too much information too soon.

Tina and I both believe this study will be a major milestone for this field. There has never been a more comprehensive review than this, and it will draw a lot of attention to this technology. Years from now you will see this study quoted in nearly every book and subsequent study on entrainment that is released.

Along with research, we’ve also been working on development. Mind WorkStation is our latest upcoming project. I admit that I expected to have it out by now, having released the beta version in the summer. What’s the hold up? There is a lot in MWS that is completely new. There are parts of it I have been working many years perfecting. I’ve also had to work very closely with others in the field to implement many of the features, such as linking up with biofeedback and EEG hardware. One of the major goals in the creation of MWS is to inspire research. Up until this, it has simply been too difficult and expensive to experiment in this field. It usually involved building a separate device or programming something from the ground up. In MWS, there’s not a whole lot you can’t do. It is built for flexibility. For what you can’t do with the built in features, we’ve implemented a plugin interface that makes it pretty easy for programmers to interact with the application, without having to worry about signal processing or connecting to the myriad of hardware devices on the market. MWS does all that for you. With the help of our beta testers, I think we’ve nailed down a pretty slick and intuitive interface as well.

We’re just finishing it up now and expect to release it in January ’08.

Finally, throughout the year I’ve been working closely with our partners and others in the industry. They are all as busy as we are, researching, developing. Some truly fantastic hardware advances are expected early next year, and we’ve helped develop some of them.

2008 will be an incredibly exciting year for this industry.

Until then, have a happy new year everyone. Cynthia and I are ringing in the new year with sushi and Karaoke!

Audio-Visual Stimulation (AVS) Journal 2007

A new AVS Journal was released over the weekend and as usual it is an interesting and useful read.

For this edition I was invited to write about computer-based brainwave entrainment technology since I’m pretty well versed in that area. Computerized AVS is relatively new compared to the rest of the industry and many people are wondering what advantages (or disadvantages) it presents.

The article builds what I think is a good case for computerized AVS, and also gives detailed tips and recommendations on how to get the most out of it.

At the end there is a brief history of brainwave entrainment software.

You can find me on page 19: 

http://www.mindmachines.com/FreeJournals/AVSJ%20Fall%202007.pdf

Blogging, and new upcoming software

Mind WorkStation in action!If you haven’t noticed, blog posts have been a bit sparse lately. That is because I have been working fervently to get our latest application, “Mind WorkStation”, into beta testing. The last month has been very busy doing that. And, I expect the next few months will be busy fixing bugs, adding new features, incorporating user feedback, etc. But, I will try to keep up on the blog as often as possible.

Mind WorkStation is turning out better than I could have hoped. I’ve been working on it for nearly 2 years now. Even while Mind Stereo was being developed I was simultaneously developing this application. Needless to say, it is by far the most ambitious project I’ve ever undertaken, and I’m really proud of the results.

If you are current customer and are interested in participating in the beta testing process, sign up here: http://www.transparentcorp.com/betatesting/signup.php

New glasses, and Light/Sound Synergizers are back in stock

Just a brief update on our product accessories:

– Light / Sound Synergizers are back in stock. They are so popular we didn’t order quite enough last time, and sold out for a few months. But they are back up and available here: http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/accessories/index.php

– We’ve also added the latest variation on the fantastic 12-LED glasses I described at the bottom of this post. You can find a full description on this page: http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/accessories/glasses.php

Enjoy!

Adam