Image source: Muse

Muse app now provides raw brainwave data

Muse has introduced a useful new feature in its app: the ability to visualize raw brainwave data. This offers users a unique window into the activity of their own minds.

For centuries, a certain mystique has shrouded the practice of meditation. While researchers have documented the benefits of mindfulness and focused attention, the internal workings of meditation have remained somewhat elusive. What exactly happens in the brain during a successful meditation session? How can we achieve that elusive state of calm or laser focus with greater consistency?

Muse is shedding light on these very questions with the introduction of a new feature in their app: brainwave visualization. This innovative addition allows users to witness their own brainwave activity in real-time and after meditation sessions. By peering into this inner landscape, meditators can gain valuable insights into their mental states, ultimately personalizing and optimizing their practice.

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I’ve had the opportunity to review the two main Muse devices currently offered. 

The Muse S is a comfortable headband designed with a strong focus on sleep tracking and guided sleep meditations. It’s an excellent choice for individuals seeking to improve their sleep quality and incorporate mindfulness practices into their nighttime routine. 

On the other hand, the Muse 2 offers a broader meditation experience, providing guided sessions and biofeedback tools related to posture, breath, and heart rate. This device is more versatile and suits individuals interested in a comprehensive and well-rounded meditation practice.

Witnessing your mind at work

As mentioned, Muse’s brainwave visualization functionality offers two distinct ways to observe your brainwave activity:

Post-session reports: After completing a guided meditation or biofeedback session with the Muse app, you’ll receive a detailed breakdown of your brainwave activity. This report highlights which frequency bands were dominant throughout the session, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of your practice.

Muse app

Real-time visualization: The biofeedback+ feature takes things a step further. When paired with external apps like Spotify or other meditation programs, it allows you to see your brainwaves fluctuate in real-time. Witness your mind calm down as alpha waves rise, or observe your focus sharpen as beta waves take hold. This immediate feedback loop fosters a deeper understanding of how different stimuli and techniques impact your mental state.

Muse app

Demystifying the brainwaves

Our brains are constantly abuzz with electrical activity, generating waves at various frequencies. Scientists categorize these brainwaves into distinct bands, each associated with different cognitive functions. Here’s a breakdown of the five key brainwave bands you’ll encounter in Muse’s visualization tool:

  • Gamma (High-frequency): Gamma waves are associated with heightened perception, peak cognitive performance, and bursts of creative inspiration. Think of them as the brain’s “aha!” moments.
  • Beta (Medium-frequency): When you’re laser-focused and tackling demanding tasks, your brain is likely generating strong beta waves. This frequency band is crucial for problem-solving, analytical thinking, and maintaining alertness.
  • Alpha (Medium-frequency): Stepping into a state of relaxed awareness and creative flow often coincides with an increase in alpha waves. This frequency band is the sweet spot for many meditation practices, promoting feelings of calmness and well-being.
  • Theta (Low-frequency): Theta waves dominate during deep meditation, internal reflection, and even dreaming. This frequency band allows us to access the subconscious mind and tap into our intuition.
  • Delta (Very Low-frequency): When we drift off to sleep and enter a state of deep slumber, delta waves take center stage. This frequency band allows the brain to rest and recharge.

As a longtime meditator, I’ve always been fascinated by the inner workings of my mind during practice. Muse’s brainwave visualization brings a new dimension to this exploration. The feature was previously available under a paid tier, but now it is accessible to all. And while it won’t instantly turn you into a meditation master, it does offers a tangible peek into your mental patterns.

You can find more information about the new feature and the current range of devices on offer on the company’s website.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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