Growing up I used to read Omni magazine and would always see all sorts of devices that supposedly could induce lucid dreams or tapes that had subliminal messages recorded along with Bach to create special brain states where you'd be particularly receptive to messages like - "you will be psychic... you can lift objects with your mind...you will be rich and successful... you will quit smoking crack...etc etc etc" Let me tell you - I'm not psychic or rich! Although...I never did take up smoking crack so maybe the tapes did work! I eventually forgot about these tapes and devices for many years until recently. Now they seem to be making a comeback - but in respectable media sources not obsessed with alien abduction. It's even more exciting now though...this time though you can build your own!
In Make magazine this month you can get instructions for building a hallucinating machine!
The brain produces varying proportions of brain wave types, depending on its current levels of relaxation, focus, and other mental states.
Many people's brain waves will synchronize to lights and sounds pulsing at brain wave frequencies, and this makes the brain change its state - a process called "entrainment."
So what does this device end up looking like?
So the question is... Who is going to build one for us here at Omni Brain?!
There is a much scarier incarnation of the use of sound and light to #$%@ with your head... in two articles at the New York Times and Wired devices are highlighted that are used to demonstrate what it is like to have schizophrenia. Here's some details from Wired Magazine:
The training device, created by Janssen L.P., is a rig with earphones and goggles that plunges the wearer into the mind of a serious schizophrenic. The system offers two interactive scenarios. In one, you're riding a bus in which other riders appear and disappear, birds of prey claw at the windows, and voices hiss, "He's taking you back to the FBI!" The other features a trip to the drugstore, where the pharmacist seems to be handing you poison instead of pills, and hostile customers stare at you in disgust.
For more information and links head on over to Mind Hacks!
If using for the first time please operate w/ someone else nearby and/or with a dead-man switch; these devices will cause seizures in susceptible people.