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I stumbled upon the consumer EEG Melon (at Kickstarter). It has three electrodes and is advertised as measuring how "focused" you are. In the FAQ it says:

The Melon headband has three electrodes. Our primary electrode is on the forehead region known as FP1, where Melon can monitor brainwave activity from the prefrontal cortex.

I wonder: What can I measure with such an EEG? What applications would be unlikely?

  • How can "focus" be quantified?
  • Would it be possible to identify (different) states of sleep?
  • Could it be possible to control a cursor/game (left/right movements)?
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This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from draks ... ending in 3 days.

This question has not received enough attention.

If the hardware like that would not be able to really measure brain waves, where can I get the hardware that is able to do that?

Traditionally, sleep stages (according to Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria) are scored based on C3/C4 and O1/O2. Information from the frontal pole would provide some insight, but, as with any consumer EEG product, you're going to get mainly the muscle activity (EMG)of the forehead anyway. –  Chuck Sherrington Jun 9 '13 at 23:24
I've built a prototype of pong game using another commercial EEG headband, but for the most part the cursor moved in response to facial movements - if I twitch my eyebrows, it will go up. It's very hard to play like that for longer than a minute. I found "attention" metric to be fairly useless and random. –  Alex Stone Jun 10 '13 at 10:05
FP1 is a prime blink electrode. The prefrontal cortex projects a bit of theta, but it's usually very hard to isolate. On the other hand, you're also going to see plenty of your reference (... and potentially, ground) electrode, and based on their layout, that one's most likely going to be somewhere where you get a lot of alpha ... so this thing is necessarily a mess. I'll see if I can come up with a more detailed answer ... –  jona Aug 16 at 19:18

1 Answer 1

According to: http://www.brainm.com/help/Positions_and_brain_function.htm Fp1 controls Logical Attention: -Orchestrate network -interactions planning -Decision making -Task completion -Working memory

Note that sleep is not listed. It doesn't say what type of control can be obtained with this, but I imagine it is similar to the device listed below, so yes, it could theoretically be possible to control left right, however, it doesn't specify latency/processing time, so it may not be as useful as a tactile controller. Again, the documentation is lacking. This type of sensor is hardly revolutionary, it seems that the integration and miniaturization are the key differences between say Melon, or this: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_electronics?ie=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=NeuroSky&node=172282

The most obvious non-listed application for this device, is to train yourself to be a better video gamer. Seriously, the pre-frontal cortex, real time executive function, a "focused state" would have all kinds of useful applications, especially for real-time activities involving executive function: Video Games, Race Car driving, Piloting under extreme weather, 1 on 1 sports such as tennis.

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That first page is an impressive array of pseudoscience. –  jona 1 hour ago
How so? Here is the original source, note that it pertains to EEG related materials, granted that this area of "mind-mapping" is still not entirely explored, however, my time machine is broken, so I imagine this should do: tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J184v11n01_03 Note that the source material is cited from this man: neurotherapydallas.com Also, the author of the articles background: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_F._Collura –  Cbaker510 2 mins ago

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