OpenEEG -- EEG for the rest of us!   For details:

OpenEEG -- EEG for the rest of

OpenEEG is a project to develop a low-cost EEG unit with open-source plans that anyone can build if they wish. There are also plans to put the design into production if that looks viable. (For those unfamiliar with the terminology, an EEG unit is used to record brainwaves using electrodes on the head, allowing brain-control applications (e.g. games), biofeedback / self-training, along with brainwave analysis and many other applications).

The EEG hardware will be accompanied by open-source software, and this is where I hope to make a contribution. I have already developed my BWView tool to view recorded EEG sessions, and a digital filter design app (Fiview). Soon (Sept-2002) I hope to build one of the prototype hardware units to test the design, and then I should be able to make progress with real-time feedback. Others in the project are working on other aspects, such as a C++ framework, biofeedback code, the GUI interface and so on.

Several hardware designs have been developed, but the most advanced at present (Sept-2002) is the ModularEEG, which features 2 to 6 brain-wave channels, plus DRL (driven right leg) circuitry to significantly reduce 50/60Hz hum even in very bad conditions.

Once these units are widely available, either in kit form or as finished units, we hope that development of open-source brainwave-related applications will accelerate, since up 'til now EEGs have mostly been very expensive to get hold of.

The potential is enormous. Brainwaves have already been used to control games and flight simulators. Would it be possible to use them to type, as a keyboard replacement? Early attempts at this have been painfully slow to use, but perhaps some open-source experimenter can find a novel approach to this and bring it up to a usable rate.

Then there are the other aspects, such as biofeedback. Some of the slower brainwaves are associated with intuitive functioning and meditation. By training yourself to get into these brain-wave states, you can improve your performance in various different areas. One person also reports that frequencies at the other end of the spectrum, i.e. high frequencies above beta frequencies, can be associated with lightening-fast reactions and 'slowing down time'. It will also be interesting for me to bring together recorded brainwaves with the generated binaural beats from my utility SBaGen. Maybe it would even be possible to use binaural beats as a form of biofeedback.

Who knows where this may lead ...

Check out the OpenEEG site for more information.

-- Jim