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Influence emotions through visual meditation

Image credit: Victor Vergara

Darjan Hren
Darjan Hren Feb 15, 2021
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I've come up with an idea of a "meditation" that's a loop of constantly generating visuals (generative art) based on the EEG brainwaves and adapting the visuals through measuring and A/B testing the data to create new continuous experiments to amplify the selected brainwave (if the brainwaves would be mapped to emotions, this may become like a controller as well).

It requires a lot of experimentation and trial & error to focus on a specific field to find the best results/ applications, but what if this could help with fighting depression without the pills (or any other kind of psychological problem)?
Here's a blueprint of the experience I envisioned:

Creative contributions

The Human-sized Therapeutic "HyperCube" and a problem that comes with it

jnikola May 27, 2021
I recently found this product on Indiegogo. What if we enlarged it and transformed it into a smart therapeutical tool that does what you proposed in the description? It could mimic the brainwaves and at the same time track your brain activity and emotions.

Also, if we manage to get people to feel nothing but good emotions while being in this visual meditation process, would it be a next-generation "drug" or a torture machine?
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General comments

Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello3 years ago
I believe such an idea was already implemented at the time this post was published and, based on the ratings of the app, it seems to have gone past most of the experimentation stage. The "Mesmerize" mobile application (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mesmerize-visual-meditation/id1461517107) uses audiovisual signals to help the users to meditate. The user can also choose the emotions that the meditation session focuses on.
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Martina Pesce
Martina Pesce3 years ago
Brilliant idea! It's at the same time such a great information collector and a great service!
It could be the merging point of focus and loving-kindness meditation.
Whether it could still be called meditation I don't know, but it would surely help you to reach a meditative state even faster than normal meditation would. This would shorten up the time to get benefit from meditation and probably more people would go for it. Really cool way to also expand meditation practice popularity.
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Povilas S
Povilas S3 years ago
Additional consideration and in regards to what others have commented: To perfect the technology it would be useful to implement physiological parameters - pulse, heart rate variability, electrodermal activity, blood pressure, etc. They can be correlated with emotional states since they reflect them pretty well. The more different parameters you have the more accurately you'll be able to monitor and predict one's emotions.

The advantage of monitoring simple physiological parameters vs brainwaves is that all the necessary sensors can be put in one simple device which is convenient and quite elegant to wear, like a smartwatch or even a ring, so the algorithm could gather the data about the changes in person's physiology/emotions throughout the day and correlate it with their digital activity and other factors. This would be a part of "getting to know" the person.

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Povilas S
Povilas S3 years ago
Hi Darjan Hren. It's a great idea. I see this and similar ideas as the next level of technological personalization which is already happening with algorithms learning people's online behavior and reactions and then offering personalized content and ever-improving through a feedback loop. This is a more direct and advanced version of it. I had a similar idea of a program creating personalized music for a person in real-time. Some obstacles associated with this:

Neurochemical homeostasis. If the technology would be effective enough for inducing positive emotions, people would naturally want to go further and further with this, raise and raise their emotions. We would just have a sophisticated novel drug then and (at least some of) the problems already associated with drug use. CNS develops tolerance not only to external but to increased concentrations of endogenous chemicals too. A question then arises - is there a way to bypass this and always feel good or do we have to experience periods of lower mood in order to be able to experience increased mood again?

Triggering positive emotions is a very personal experience, the same colours, sounds, shapes that would work for one person might not work for another, and more importantly - it might not work for the same person at a different time, after a day, an hour or even after few moments, something different will be necessary. It has to be very specific, very personal, and continuously adjusting in real-time to an ever-changing mental state of the person. This is not an easy task to do.

You'd have data of a person's brainwaves, the activity of different brain regions, yes, but to correlate that with generated images, sounds, and other external stimuli to effectively produce desired emotions, a long trial and error period (as you noted yourself) for that particular person would be required. The algorithm would have to get to know the person on a very deep level, better than they know themselves. It's almost like writing an algorithm to predict your next thought, your next inclination towards something.

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Anja M
Anja M3 years ago
A great idea!

I have some questions and comments. :)
1. What medium would be the most suitable for transporting the waves? You mentioned headband, and that sounds indeed the most plausible, and definitely compatible with meditation you put in the center of your work. However, since mind and body are superbly connected, do you plan to span this more to some other, specific body parts.
2. If yes, do think sth like a sticker with RFID chip could be also helpful and made to target specific organs?
3. Do you already have a developed science-based plan for which colours would target which moods/diseases?

Anyhow, I am curious to know more about your idea. In the meantime, I am sharing this article on the history of chromotherapy, I apologize if you already know it, but if not, perhaps you can find it beneficial to develop the idea further, since it covers it from its early conceptions until the modern times. There is also a piece on chakras, and since you are targeting meditation, good to know.
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