Archive for 'The Subconscious Mind'

Subconscious Security – Storing Passwords in Memory with Implicit Learning

A team of neuroscientists and cryptographers have developed a prototype system which uses the concept of implicit learning to store a 30 character password in subconscious memory.

I wish I was reporting that this technology will soon be widely available, eliminating the annoyance of forgotten passwords for good. But if anything, the methods described here are more likely to be put into use at the highest levels of government/military operations. Even so, the concept, and the research pushing the boundaries of what we can knowingly do with our subconscious memory, is highly intriguing:

The system was designed by Hristo Bojinov and Dan Boneh of Stanford University, in partnership with neuroscientists and cryptographers from Northwestern University and SRI International. Their design for subconscious password storage involves the use of a specially crafted computer game (shown in the screenshot above). Before running, the game creates a random sequence of 30 letters chosen from S, D, F, J, K, and L, with no repeating characters. In the training game, the user has to hit the corresponding key for each of those letters when a circle reaches the bottom of the screen. As others have noted, the training game isn’t so different from “Guitar Hero” at a glance. Results of the research so far suggest that it takes about 45 minutes of playing this game to deeply lodge a 30-character password in your subconscious.

To log back into a machine, the user simply plays a quick round of the game, in which some segments are their actual password, but others are randomly created strings of characters. The research team observed that users were consistently able to perform better on the portions of the game containing their password, as those patterns were stored subconsciously. Reliably performing the password sections better than the random sections is what authenticates the user, and allows them to log in.

Because the system is based on performance and speed, rather that rote memorization, it cannot be written down or given away, even to legal authorities or under threat. It is “thousands/millions of times more secure than your average, memorable password,” reports Extreme Tech.

As mentioned earlier, this system isn’t being developed with everyday security needs in mind. Lead designer Hristo Bojinov believes it’s ideal for monitoring access to “highly secure, sensitive physical areas. We see our scheme as complementary to other authentication methods, not as a replacement for them,” he writes.

In the team’s published paper describing their study, they describe goals for future research that would further illuminate the possibilities for making use of implicit learning/subconscious memory in this way. The team hopes to better analyze the rate at which passwords are forgotten after this training, and to more accurately determine when individual users have reliably learned the password. They also plan to test whether sequences as long as 80 items could be subconsciously stored, and whether even more complex structures can be learned implicitly.

Sources

Extreme Tech

Neuroscience Meets Cryptography: Designing Crypto Primitives Secure Against Rubber Hose Attacks (Original research article)

Altered States

 At each moment of the day your brain is operating in the mode it has been trained to apply to the circumstances.

An altered state is any resulting from an act of will, be it a mental practice, a physical stress or stimulation, or the ingestion of substances, that causes the brain to operate in a mode other than that which it would “choose” of its own accord.

Altered states can be used to accentuate any value system. They are also the places to find inspiration, novel connections and recollections that make new ideas possible.

Delta is associated with sleep-related processes – deep integration of recent experience. Meditative delta maintains a constant level of consciousness to direct the integration. Gamma seen during delta meditation is effectively only the minimum flicker of real time consciousness required to ensure that the place of meditation is not on fire, that it is just the gardener burning leaves. There’s no need to add it, but doing so does no harm.

Add low alpha/high theta to a sleep-style delta session and you’ll have the basic formula for lucid dreaming. You can run two parallel tracks or use bursts of theta in the delta track, or any combination that allows the two to be perceived separately. Delta needs to dominate in time and emphasis.

Lucid dreaming contains experiences corresponding to descriptions of out of body experiences, remote viewing and communication with entities. Irrespective of interpretation, delta/theta is the gateway. Likelihood of success is affected dramatically by sleep, nutrition, other practices, beliefs and so on. AVS/entrainment is supportive – it will not cause the thing to happen without you co-operating. This includes the understanding that you truly desire the thing to happen, and don’t just want to prove it doesn’t.

Once an altered state has been experienced, by whatever means, it becomes easier for the functional equivalent to be created in the non-altered states. An altered state is a perspective. If it doesn’t ultimately reconcile with the perspectives of the individual’s other states, then we have all the pre-requisites for mental illness.

AVS/entrainment uses techniques with names like “dissociative” and “hypnotic”, terms used to describe mental disorder and a doorway to the sleep-world. Working with altered states is an exercise in inducing various experiences that, if not under will, would be symptomatic of mental illness. Herein lies the integrative potential of psychoactive techniques in the treatment of mood, personality and dissociative disorders. Psychoactive substances and practices have been used for “healing” in most tribal cultures.

Once it is realised that some alternate realities are induced fabrications, it becomes easy to accept that all are, and to then be selective in which you choose to place value.

Theta/gamma with random beta is a good place to start for religious experiences and deep insights. It works best if recently exposed to inspiring information. A podcast on a relevant subject can be a good intro to a session.

Other altered states can be achieved by manipulating serotonin with 10Hz alpha, and stimulating anxiety/excitement sensations with beta.

Any session that attempts a complex interaction between states is improved by an unobtrusive but constant 40Hz gamma or random 30-50Hz gamma, or a delta track on a gamma pitch.

The most important thing to consider in designing altered states sessions is that some type of continuous consciousness has to be maintained in order for the content of the altered state to be recalled. Getting into a deep theta or delta state isn’t difficult. Most do it every night. The trick is to let all the autonomic functions free-fall into deep sleep while leaving sparks of consciousness intact in all the vital places to see what happens, and very frequently, influence the sequences of perceptions.

Whatever state you seek, the session is only part of the setting. Whatever symbols you identify with, they can be correctly used to support the objective of the session. Candle colours, incense, fabrics and furnishings, tools and rituals, mantra/prayer, posture, and so on. A Roman Catholic or Anglican Mass is an excellent example of the effectiveness of identifying mental states with full sets of sensual inputs, ritualised actions and recitation/repetition – the same techniques can be used to reinforce any perspective/belief.

Altered states techniques become more powerful as more people report them effective. It is very hard to write a session that is compellingly effective unless you know you are using techniques that have a better than average reputation. AVS/entrainment is absolutely excellent as a supporting technology for altered states exploration – right from the fundamental emulation of primitive drumbeats. Contemplate what the delta, theta and alpha states mean to you – design an altered states session to encourage the dominant activity you believe will be most useful at the times during the session that would correspond to your typical rate of progression through a complex thought.

Don’t expect the technology to prove itself to you. Let go of preconceptions and prejudices and engage or disengage with the session as appropriate to the design, and focus your thoughts on your conception of the desired outcome. Then be surprised. Engaging with a session is appropriate for interactive lucid dreaming or OOBE, disengaging for viewing applications. Engagement refers to degree of conscious awareness of the sound or structure of the session. Degree of engagement provides a real time control over beta activity – every time you engage in critique of the session, you use beta-rate processes.

Unless you’re using biofeedback or EEG to optimise a particular rhythm, the beat within a range isn’t all that important – more important is that the chosen beat has meaning, literal or symbolic, to you.

Audiostrobe, any visual stimulus that induces hallucination-like imagery, provides a model for non-real perception. The visuals provide an excellent opportunity to witness how the projection of the outside world on our retina gets turned into our recollection of what we saw. Being able to distinguish non-real from real perceptions is a useful indicator of mental well-being.

If you want to create a particular inner experience, then be prepared to use everything at your disposal to engage every aspect of your thought with related sensations, recollections and associations.

It is very easy to apply more meaning than can be justified to an altered-state experience. As all the states, altered and otherwise, align on a common perspective the individual begins to experience the unity implicit in most “higher” understandings.

Quality of this information… mostly optimistic extrapolation of absolutely reliable techniques and verifiable history supported by personal experience.

Cheers,
Craig

40 Hz and Consciousness

A new study looks at the significance of gamma waves in consciousness. Gamma has for some time been suspected as being an important band for self-awareness and other aspects of consciousness – 40 hz in particular. This study refines that thought.

Here’s the abstract: http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/8/1896

What makes us become aware? A popular hypothesis is that if cortical neurons fire in synchrony at a certain frequency band (gamma), we become aware of what they are representing.

…we also observed increases in gamma band ERS within the amygdala, visual, prefrontal, parietal, and posterior cingulate cortices to emotional relative to neutral stimuli, irrespective of their availability to conscious access. This suggests that increased gamma band ERS is related to, but not sufficient for, consciousness.

The effect of belief on intelligence

A unique and fascinating new study was released this year by Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, researching the effects of belief on cognitive performance.

The results: children who believed that intelligence was malleable and could be improved were much more likely to perform well in school. Children who believed intelligence was something set in stone – a genetic gift from birth that never changes – did not perform as well.

To test this, Dweck separated one hundred 7th grade students into 2 equal groups. All students had suffering math scores. One group was taught good studying habits, the other was taught about the plasticity of the brain, and how the brain can change; new neural connections can be formed and intelligence can actually be increased.

At the end of the semester, the children who had the crash course in neuroscience ended up performing better than those who were taught study skills! This is because their beliefs about intelligence had changed.

Here’s some excerpts from an article on this:

“Some students start thinking of their intelligence as something fixed, as carved in stone,” Dweck says. “They worry about, ‘Do I have enough? Don’t I have enough?’”

Dweck calls this a “fixed mindset” of intelligence.

“Other children think intelligence is something you can develop your whole life,” she says. “You can learn. You can stretch. You can keep mastering new things.”

She calls this a “growth mindset” of intelligence.  

“When they studied, they thought about those neurons forming new connections,” Dweck says. “When they worked hard in school, they actually visualized how their brain was growing.”

“We saw among those with the growth mindset steadily increasing math grades over the two years,” she says. But that wasn’t the case for those with the so-called “fixed mindset.” They showed a decrease in their math grades.

“If you think about a child who’s coping with an especially challenging task, I don’t think there’s anything better in the world than that child hearing from a parent or from a teacher the words, ‘You’ll get there.’ And that, I think, is the spirit of what this is about.”

In the articles on our website, we’ve been talking for years about how beliefs can work for or against your cognitive performance. Many people who approach us with cognitive issues want to focus only on the neurological or physiological aspect of that. Often, after a few months of work, it becomes apparent that a psychological approach is needed – the physiology is right for peak performance, but the belief system keeps the brain stuck in first gear. Negative beliefs about one’s intelligence can often be very hard to counteract. This study is useful in that it shows that merely learning more about the brain can help give your brain the boost it needs to make real progress.

NPR has a nice broadcast of this new research online: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7406521

Subconscious perception

It is daunting to realize how much the subconscious knows without telling us.

One of the most telling examples of this can be found in a fascinating condition known as “blindsight“.

As a result of certain types of brain lesions, people can lose conscious awareness of their vision. That is, they become blind. But, only consciously blind. Their eyes work and their brain still receives visual input. It is only their conscious awareness that has become disconnected from the visual input.

In people who suffer from blindsight, the subconscious can still see perfectly fine. This can be demonstrated by placing an object in front of them and asking them to make a guess about it on instinct. Is it a triangle or a square? Is it red or green? Although they cannot “see” the object, their guesses will be remarkably accurate. Much more so than random guesses from those who truly are blind. Now, if you simply asked them where the object is, they would not be able to tell you. Only if you force them to hazard a wild guess will their answers become accurate!

In many cases, your instinct is also much faster than your conscious awareness. Daniel Smilek, a neuroscience professor at the University of Waterloo, studied the speed that people were able to find a specific object among a bunch of similar objects. Kind of a like a visual search for a needle in a haystack. He found that relaxing and going on gut instinct is much more efficient than consciously searching for the target. Here is a quote from the abstract:

In Experiment 1 participants were instructed to search while either actively directing their attention to the target or by passively allowing the target to just “pop” into their minds. Results showed that passive instructions led to more efficient search on a hard task but not on an easy task.

These findings suggest that the efficiency of some difficult searches can be improved by instructing participants to relax and adopt a passive cognitive strategy

His study is entitled “Relax! Cognitive strategy influences visual search”. Cognitive Daily has an online recreation of this here (and I personally experienced very similar results on this).

Another shining example of subconscious perception is our ability to “pick up” on the mental states of other people. Maureen O’Sullivan, a psychology professor at the University of San Francisco, has spent many years studying people who have the uncanny ability to detect lies. Despite what Hollywood would have us believe, lies are often extremely hard to detect. Many people make more eye contact and fidget LESS while lying. Yet, there are a talented few among us who are incredibly accurate at distinguishing truth from a fib. Much like the blindsight phenomenon, O’Sullivan says that human lie detectors are usually completely unaware of how they do it. Due to extensive social experience, and perhaps some built-in talent, their subconscious is able to interpret a huge range of nonverbal cues to reach an accurate conclusion.

A few years ago, I met someone with a similarly impressive ability to read nonverbal signals, and spent several months working with her. Looking back, it really was an interesting encounter. But at the time it was quite nerve wracking. Similar, I imagine, to hanging around this guy:

(yes, that’s the mind-reading cop from Heroes) 

Of course, there is a time and a place for gut instinct. Certain decisions should be carefully considered and weighed. Financial decisions. Career choices. Stock picks. Buying a house. The name of your first born.

The best advice we can derive from research on intuition and the subconscious is this:

Relax! And always make a mental note of your instinct and first guess. Use that as a guide for a conscious decision.

Using gamma waves to distinguish false memories from real ones

New research from the University of Pennsylvania has unveiled distinct gamma brainwave patterns associated with memory formation and recall:

Patients volunteered to study lists of words which they were then asked to recall at a later time.  When asked to recall the studied words, participants recalled some number of correct items and also made a small number of errors, recalling words that had not appeared on the target list.  

While patients performed the memory game, scientists observed electrical activity in their brains to determine whether specific brain waves were associated with successfully storing and retrieving memories. Researchers found that a fast brain wave, known as the gamma rhythm, increased when participants studied a word that they would later recall. The same gamma waves, whose voltage rises and fall between 50 and 100 times per second, also increased in the half-second prior to participants correctly recalling an item.  

These analyses revealed that the same pattern of gamma band oscillatory activity in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and left temporal lobe that predicts successful memory formation also re-emerged at retrieval, distinguishing correct from incorrect responses, said Per B. Sederberg, lead author and former Penn neuroscientist now performing post-doctoral research at Princeton University.  The timing of these oscillatory effects suggests that self-cued memory retrieval initiates in the hippocampus and then spreads to the cortex.  Thus, retrieval of true as compared with false memories induces a distinct pattern of gamma oscillations, possibly reflecting recollection of contextual information associated with past experience.

Full article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071023163853.htm 

These kinds of advancements in our understanding of memory will be incredibly useful in diagnosing and alleviating neurological problems from epilepsy to schizophrenia.

Here is the full paper: http://memory.psych.upenn.edu/publications/files/SedeEtal07b.pdf

For more on recent work on gamma waves, check out this lecture by Robert Knight: http://www.mindupdate.com/?p=63 

Thanks to Tyler on the forums for finding this.

External influences on the subconscious mind

Judging from the title of this post, you probably think I’m going to be talking about indirect hypnotic suggestions, or covert mind control experiments. It is the opposite. In fact, the most interesting part about some of this new research is how incredibly banal and ordinary these external triggers can be. It can certainly make you consider how your own environment is subtly influencing your thought patterns and behavior.

In a 2004 study at Yale, students were asked to compete in an investment game while sitting alone in a room with one of two objects: either a backpack or a briefcase. Comparing the results, students in the room with a briefcase were significantly more greedy and aggressive than those sharing it with a backpack.

A recent article in the New York Times shed light on some of this new research, and offered up some theories as to why such ordinary objects can hold such sway on our subconscious:

… New studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known. Goals, whether to eat, mate or devour an iced latte, are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses.

…The mere presence of the briefcase, noticed but not consciously registered, generated business-related associations and expectations, the authors argue, leading the brain to run the most appropriate goal program: compete.

In another study outlined in the NYT article, a lab assistent with his hands full asked participants to hold a cup a coffee on the way to the laboratory. It was a set up. Half of the participants held iced coffee and the other half held coffee that was piping hot. Later at the lab, they were asked to read a story and make judgements  about a fictional character’s personality.  The participants that had held the cold beverage for the lab assistent turned out to be more likely to rate the fictional character’s personality as cold, less social and selfish, and it was the opposite for participants who had held the hot cup! That was all it took to influence the judgement of a stranger.

In a Dutch experiment in 2005, participants were exposed to the smell of a citrus cleaning fluid while filling out a questionnaire. Later, as a supposed reward for their time, they were given a crumbly biscuit which they ate and cleaned up while still under observation. Participants exposed to the citrus smell cleaned 3 times as many crumbs from the table as those who had not.

External stimuli can also affect cognitive performance:

In 2007, a 2 year extensive study was concluded  at the University of Minnesota, examining how ceiling height affected individual performance. Higher ceilings, it was found, stimulated more “out of the box”, creative thought patterns, while lower ceilings encouraged attention and focus.

In a study conducted at Dartmouth College, it was found that showing the name of a lover or a passionate hobby increased cognitive performance results on subsequent tasks.

A briefcase, a cup of coffee, the height of the ceiling - these are not hypnotic, or technologically advanced. These are stimuli we are exposed to every day. Yet, they can have a tremendous impact on our subconscious and our behavior.

Weekly Brain Video: Carl Jung

Perhaps second only to Sigmund Freud as the most famous name in psychology, Carl Jung’s influences on modern thought are far and wide. He is responsible for many well known concepts such as the archetype, and the collective unconscious. He popularized the terms “extroversion” and “introversion”, and many personality tests are based on his work.

In these videos he talks on a range of topics, from the subconscious to individuality to life and death. Interesting stuff, from a great thinker.

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Talking about a variety of topics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei-m-kpPtyQ

Talking about life and death: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eenmBDU_k3o

Brainwaves and nonverbal communication, subconscious free will, and devices that “read” your mind

Many of my philosopher friends are convinced there is no such thing as free will – that everything we do is predetermined – by our subconscious, by god, or even by the nature of reality itself. Recent research sheds some interesting light on how much control we have over our own behavior and our own perceptions of reality. My own view is that like many things brain-related, free will is a feedback mechanism – dualistic in that we are capable of being both free and enslaved at the same time.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the subconscious is the way it covertly changes our behavior. A single event can change your mood from bad to good, or make you more social or antisocial. There was a much talked about article in the November edition of Science called “The Psychological Consequences Of Money”, which discussed how the mere mentioning of “money” causes dramatic changes in social behavior.  Subjects in the study who were reminded of money (subtly – no subject knew what the test was about), became more socially isolated – more dependent on themselves, less willing to help others or ask for help. They even put more physical distance between themselves and other subjects.

'Mmmm Money' - Homer SimpsonIf a single offhanded mention of money is able to so drastically change our behavior, think of all the other emotion-provoking topics we are exposed to on a daily basis:

Love - Family - Religion

War - Hate - Power

Attractiveness – Body weight – Race

..the list goes on and on – each one having its own unique impact on our subconscious, and therefore our behavior.

This reminded me of a Scientific America Frontier show, where subjects were bargaining (monopoly-style) electronically, while an MRI tracked their brain patterns. The interesting twist was that half the time the subjects thought they were bartering with another subject, and the other half with a computer. One would hope that, given the exact same deal, it wouldn’t matter how it was presented to you, or by whom – but the data says differently. For example, if a subject perceived a fellow human as giving them a raw deal, they became emotionally charged, but bargaining with a computer for the same deal was easily accepted.

I saw the show a while ago, but I believe this was it: http://www.pbs.org/saf/1507/

Another intriguing concept is the way the subconscious expresses itself. A series of recent articles in Scientific American Mind discussed how the subconscious has its own modes of communication, and that these modes perhaps even dwarf verbal or written language in a number of ways.

Neuroscientist Spencer Kelly of Colgate University analyzed the brainwaves of subjects while they watched a video of people talking and using various physical gestures. His study suggests that the mind responds to the gestures in much the same way it responds to words. In fact nonverbal, and largely subconscious, communication may even be more significant from a neurological standpoint. Gestures often precede verbal communication because it is easier for the brain to process a thought as a gesture, while verbal communication has to go through another series of filters to construct a grammatically correct sentence. And gestures are more base – primates and animals communicate nonverbally, and actually have an enormous range of motions to choose from (just watch “The Dog Whisperer” Cesar Milan for an example of that) – so it is no surprise that there is a deep, very efficient part of our brain devoted to decoding nonverbal communication.

Monkeys!

All of this is in line with various NLP concepts, one of which is:

“You cannot not communicate”

..even if you decide not to verbally express what you are feeling, the information is always available in some other form. The subconscious nearly always finds a way to rear its head.

Lie detectors analyzing variations in voice, gestures, facial movements and eye position and dilation are becoming disturbingly accurate. Over 10,000 combinations of facial gestures have been identified. Psychology professor Paul Ekman discovered what he called “Microexpressions”, which last for only a 5th of a second, and seem to express what we are truly thinking or feeling – the expression our subconscious imprints on our face before our conscious mind has a chance to adjust.

There is a wearable device under development at MIT, that is able to analyze nonverbal gestures. It is intended to help people who have severe problems in social situations (such as those with Autism). It is called the “Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthesis”, or by its more appropriate abbreviation: ESP.

Quantum physics aside, we “emit” our subconscious, just by standing around and being human. It is not surprising that people often report self-fulfilling prophecies, or visualizations that come true exactly as imagined, when so much of our behavior is based on what our subconscious wants. The trick is to make sure your subconscious is in line with what you actually want out of life.

 

What we are up to here at Transparent:

The holiday season is keeping us busy, which is interesting since, as my father noted, “Why would anyone want to give a self-improvement program out as a gift. Wouldn’t that kind of be an insult?” Gee, thanks dad :) But despite this many people seem to be doing just that. I just had a call from a long time customer who is buying it for his son as a christmas present to help him with his college studies.

Our research director Dr. Huang (Tina) is working on a number of studies and projects, that I hope to ellaborate a bit on either in my next post or at the beginning of the year.

The new project is coming along. Programming is like anything else in life – it’s the little things that get you. Most of the major functionality is done, now I’m just going through and fixing this and that, this bug and that bug, this piece of the application I was too lazy to program a month ago, etc. I will release a teaser as soon as I can (I have been getting a lot of requests), I just want to put some final touches on it and make it presentable.

I would say happy holidays to you all, but I expect I will be making another post or 2 before the end of the year. Still, if I don’t see you by then, have a great holiday and new year!

Adam

The body acting as the subconscious mind, the “control over emotion” debate, and love potion #9

Emotion centers in the brainWhat will Neuro-Programmer version 10 or 20 look like? Will it even incorporate the same technology? Perhaps by then we’ll all be jacked in like Neo, or swimming with dolphins like John C. Lilly. Or by that time, will something so radically different have taken hold of the industry. There has been some buzz lately in the neuroscience community regarding emotions and motivation, and how to obtain conscious control over them. Humans have thus far exercised extreme control over the physical environment – air conditioners, light bulbs, molecularly engineered fabric for every season  – why not move this scientific energy to controlling our emotional environment? The debate promises to be very interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out. People who already have significant control over their emotions regard them more as conscious choices than experiences, while anyone who has experienced chronic depression or anxiety would vehemently disagree. The interesting part is that research on the brain seems to agree with both, though advances in this field in the short term are more likely to focus on neurochemicals such as serotonin and oxytocin (implicated in love and human bonding). A recent study used an oxytocin spray to reduce the fear response in subjects. Maybe one day love potion #9 will truly become a reality, and in an easy to use spray bottle!

Mind Body CommunicationA few weeks ago, I listened to a speech and question/answer segment given by Candace Pert, as I was making the 3 hour trek to visit with relatives. Pert is best known to scientists as a discoverer of the opiate receptor, and known to everyone else as the author of the book “Molecules of Emotion” and a contributor in the controversial movie “What the Bleep?!”. She presented a radical idea based on evidence that many neurochemicals are not exclusive to the brain, and that neuropeptides and their receptors can be found all over the body. Conversely, body chemicals like insulin can also be found in the brain (interestingly, in the emotional centers). She calls neuropeptides “information gatherers” and suggests that communication is not one sided, but is a constant flow, back and forth between the body and the mind – using many chemicals most people think are exclusive to the brain. Based on this, Pert presents the fascinating idea that the body IS the subconscious mind, or at least a significant part of it – challenging the idea that the mind is the one and only seat of thought.

Here is a small excerpt from the speech, appropriately entitled “Your body is your subconscious mind”:

Candace Pert Excerpt

I imagine many in the neuroscience community would be skeptical of some of the more radical ideas expressed in the speech. There are lots of intriguing ideas floating around right now, and at this point I approach them more as “brain candy” than facts. I have always enjoyed discussing science fiction concepts such as the idea of transporting the brain to a new body. Could you become immortal simply by downloading the data in your brain to a computer? It is interesting to wonder how much of a person would change in a new body, or by abandoning the body altogether.

What we’ve been up to lately:

A new brainwave entrainment clinic is opening up near Santa Cruz today, and I’m happy to say they have chosen to use our software. I had a great chat with the owner and clinician, after a few weeks of phone tag, and I’m wishing them great success. If anyone in the Santa Cruz/Soquel area is interested I can probably find out where it is.

We’re still plugging away on the new project I mentioned in the last post. Nothing interesting to report. Let me just say that there is a reason we’re the only ones in the industry to implement Undo and Copy/Paste functionality.

I’m looking forward to testing some new equipment we received from AVStim, and we may have a new product in the accessories area soon if our tests prove successful. Over the last 6 months we’ve also been testing cordless headphones, but unfortunately we have yet to find a set that is adequate for use with entrainment or hypnosis – for music it is great, but for entrainment, not so much. There are too many cut outs, bursts of static, random reductions in volume, and other problems that can easily jolt you out of an otherwise relaxing session. Hopefully we will find one that works well and be able to offer it (or at least recommend it) on our site. I know the feeling of emerging from a session in a spider’s web of headphone cords – kind of ruins the euphoria. :)

 

By the way, I talked a bit about MRI in the last entry, here’s an interesting article featuring footage of the first MRI and the latest advances: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5371748.stm

Till next time, all the best!

Adam