Category: States

An interesting change in the heart rate variance in the top-right corner that might be indicative of REM sleep:

Change in HRV during REM

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2015-01-02 – Kapalabhati

An exercise I picked up while practicing Bujinkan. The first printout shows four deep breaths a minute:

4 normal breaths

The second printout shows the rapid “shining” breaths, 60 inhalations and exhalations in one minute:

Effect of Kapalabhati on EEG

Notice the effect on the EEG channel. It feels exactly as pictured above. Although I have suspicion that a change in skin conductance (GSR) might be causing some artifacts. Perform Kapalabhati thusly:

Sit in the Lotus posture if possible and hold the head erect. Begin with an exhalation brought about by a rapid inward stroke of the abdomen. Inhalation follows immediately by relaxation of the abdominal muscles. Thus, inhalation is passive and automatic. Repeat this exercise at the rate of one exhalation per second. Look up at the end of the exercise, exposing the throat and hold the breath with the diaphragm.

Previously it was specified that the Lotus posture of yoga be employed for this exercise. The reason will now become apparent. When the breathing exercise described herein is properly performed over a long period, certain vibrations begin within the body. The vibrations, coupled with a feeling of exhilaration, lessen motor control of the limbs. In the Lotus, the legs are in a position impossible to undo without the aid of the hands.

This exercise is used to develop concentration.

Do not attempt while driving or operating machinery!

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I dusted off my LightStone and set out on a new quest to detect the dream state from the heartbeat. The heart rate variability (HRV) channel sometimes creates castle-like patterns during deep sleep like in the printout below:

13 Strained Heartbeats at 0005

This pattern is sometimes interrupted – by movements, bad sensor readings and dreams perchance:

Eye Movement Count from EEG at 0017

I woke up at 0308 when the electrode gel dried up and triggered a string of false positives from the OpenEEG channel. I stayed up for 30 minutes for some Choline and Galantamine and was plagued by numerous false awakenings over the next 3 hours. I also tried out a EV-806A tENS unit at 40 Hz on Fp1 and Fp2 for a few minutes before sleep.

The BPM channel (grey) sometimes climbs of its own accord – that might be the first place to start looking:

Eye Movement Count from EEG at 0017

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Effects of Supplements on Eye Movement at 0135
Thanks to neuralswarm from DreamViews I now have some Choline and Galantamine to test with. I took one of each just before sleep and recorded some nice patterns within the hour during which the audio tracks triggered. The dreams were very technical in nature and I was aware of heightened electrical activity in sections of two-dimensional grids in the frontal lobe.

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Sleep and Consciousness Research Graph
Some of my sleep data which potentially shows dream detection with sound activation (according to MPC)

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2014-01-08 – Free Fall 2

EEG of Hypnagogic Jerk at 0101

I caught that feeling you get when you are startled awake by an intense falling sensation on file again, this time with EEG. At 0052 I was still awake and making sure the audio tracks were triggering, then at 0101 I twitched awake and checked the time.

The minute above shows the episode – the first spike was the twitch and seems to have flat-lined the channel for a few seconds. The rest of the movements are from me checking the time and settling again.

Download entry as Lucid Scribe Data (LSD) or Comma Separated Values (CSV). The CSV file doesn’t contain the RAW channel – it was running at 256 Hz and the CSV export doesn’t work for the illuminated plugins yet. I will fix that in one of the next updates.

After explaining the REM-detection algorithm to a friend over the weekend, I was inspired to shed some light on it by plotting each step in the loop on the graph so that it becomes easier to visualize.

The first printout that I recorded last night, 5 minutes past midnight, shows the strained beats picked up by the halograph FM. The fREM channel can be seen counting up each blink or strained beat that peaks over the top line and then triggers the next track in the playlist after the 8th blink.

13 Strained Heartbeats at 0005

And the second printout, recorded at 0017, shows the same thing happening with the OpenREM channel from the OpenEEG electrodes.

Eye Movement Count from EEG at 0017

This will make it a lot easier to perfect the algorithm by highlighting where it was thinking about triggering. The tracks at 0618 made it into the dream and helped me stave off a hoard of zombies, but didn’t trigger lucidity…

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2013-11-22 – Knock, Knock

The four printouts that follow were recorded during the same night with the halograph FM and EEG.

The first minute, 0143, shows a pattern that I have seen many times: a sequence of heartbeats where every third beat is three times as strong as a normal beat, 12 of which can be seen below. I have begun to suspect that this may be a phenomenon that only occurs in male subjects. Note that the EEG channels flatline.

12 Strained Heartbeats at 0143

Moving on, two and a half hours later at 0408 there are two such beats right before the onset of a marathon REM session that lasted half an hour.

2 Strained Heartbeats at 0408

And peaked with eye movements like this at 0412:

EOG from EEG at 0412

Only to end again with some strained beats at 0450. No idea what to make of that spike on channel 2, it seems to pop up quite regularly.

Strained Heartbeats at 0450

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2013-11-21 – Measuring the Brainwaves of a Crowd

Brainwaves of a Crowd Waking Up
I happened upon a group of dreamers, 2600 strong, that had fallen for the LUCI KickStarter campaign. A company called GXP Technologies was selling a headband with a sensor that they claimed could detect REM sleep and trigger a recorded message stating: “You are dreaming, take control” to induce lucid dreams 80% of the time. I could tell that it was a scam the first time I looked at it, since it is pretty close to what I have been working on for the last decade…

As evidenced by the collection of Lucid Scribe plugins that connect to third-party hardware, I would have been among the most excited if it had been a legitimate product. But their EEG didn’t complete a circuit, their induction percentage was unheard of, their amp was orders of magnitude out of the range of brainwaves and – what ultimately exposed it as a scam to the masses: the images of their prototype were created in Photoshop.

I reported it to KickStarter right away, but they didn’t do as much as acknowledge my report. I couldn’t sleep during the last weekend of the campaign as they were about to coin half a million dollars while making a mockery of lucid dreaming research. So as a last resort I backed the campaign in order to post my findings as a comment.

I then witnessed what appeared to be a P300 event-related potential in the attitude of the crowd. On a much slower scale, of course, but similar to what happens in the brain when you recognize something. I have been keeping my eyes out for P300 waves, as I hope to one day find that the onset of lucidity, or the recognition of the dream state, produces such a wave.

Here is some interesting research that was done at the Usenix Security conference:

The researchers designed a program that flashes up pictures of maps, banks, and card PINs, and makes a note every time your brain experiences a P300. Afterwards, it’s easy to pore through the data and work out, with fairly good accuracy – where a person banks, where they live, and so on.

And DARPA used the P300 event to recognize threats. They showed users ten images per second (of desert terrain, for example) and noted which images triggered a P300 – 91% of the time it was because there was a threat in the image that the person might not have consciously recognized.

So I tried my hand at measuring and graphing the “brainwaves” of the crowd. I wrote a script to flip the comments so they appear in order and measured and weighed each comment as either positive (excitatory) or negative (inhibitory). If we pretend that each backer is a brain cell and each comment is a neurotransmitter, then we can plot an electroencephalograph of the crowd.

The printout featured above shows the amount of positive (blue) and negative (red) comments per hour over the last 100 hours of the campaign, with the inhibitory comments peaking at -120. Not as close to what an event-related potential looks like as I expected to find, but interesting nonetheless and entertaining at the least.

The campaign was cancelled after enough people reported it and it was covered on pandodaily, in the Wall Street Journal and in Crowdfund Insider. Shout out to the bodhisattvas Majid, Yeti, Sascha and Mr. Brand for staying behind and waking up the others! And special thanks to Highlander over at the DreamViews forum for sleuthing the name of the amp.

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2013-11-05 – EEG Waves

EEG Graph REM Sleep
I recorded with my halograph FM and EEG in parallel. The electrodes didn’t have the best contact, but they still picked up some interesting readings. I have been embedding the passive electrode in the headband by my temple – a lot more comfortable than the earlobe and it still picks up the eye movements.

The eight waves in the minute featured above seem to have repeated every hour, around the 50 minute mark, starting at 2 am. The relative quite in the accelerometer channel suggest that the waves aren’t artifacts. I might set an alarm for them one day.

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