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EEG feedback during sessions with a Muse headband


firewire
(@firewire)
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I've been playing around with a Muse S "meditation headband" and the accompanying app during Aneros sessions. It can be bought used for <150$ USD on eBay.

It records 4 EEG electrodes (TP9, AF7, AF8 and TP10 according to the 10-20 standard). Additionally, it includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and photoplethysmogram (PPG) which is used to estimate heart rate.

The accompanying Muse app is designed for meditation, but some of the provided sessions may be used to provide realtime feedback during sessions. Essentially, it estimates physiological (not necessarily sexual) arousal and provides musical cues that help the user focus and relax.

One of the provided sessions in the app has separate musical cues for each of the primary EEG frequency bands (delta, alpha, beta & gamma), and works surprisingly well as an aide for Aneros sessions.

The music swells as your state of arousal increases, and grows calmer as you relax. Again, the app doesn't differentiate between sexual and non-sexual arousal, but practically the distinction isn't really necessary. In a normal waking state, arousal is high. In a relaxed resting state with eyes closed, arousal is middling to low. When I'm in a physically relaxed state with eyes closed, a high state of arousal can be attributed to sexual excitement.

Essentially, I go into an "orgasmic trance" that has all the hallmarks of high arousal, but is different from a normal aroused state.

I've attached a screen capture for one of my recent sessions and will informally describe the results. I waited until I was borderline orgasmic to begin the recording.

The report is divided into 3 sections. The "Mind" section shows a visualization of arousal and is divided into 3 states: "Active", "Neutral" and "Calm". In my experience, an "Active" arousal state is associated with "rough seas" orgasms. By looking at the "Stillness" and "Heart Rate" sections, it's possible to predict the onset an RSO. There are several peaks in "Stillness" which are caused by whole-body muscle contractions, i.e. the "seizure-like" activity associated with RS. I think that there was one instance where I changed position from supine to prone, which partially distorted the results. Understandably, HR was rather erratic during this stage as well.

About 40 minutes into the session, there's a shift into relaxation. At this point I was in a prolonged calm seas orgasmic state. Interestingly, mental arousal dropped noticeably but heart rate remained elevated about the usual resting state (for me, about 65-70 bpm). I should also note that my mental arousal during normal meditation is significantly lower than that during Aneros sessions.

Overall, I'm pleased with these initial results. Obviously this is a very non-scientific way of presenting the data, but it's quite intuitive and shows the various states in a clear way. Ultimately, I plan to add a simple "trigger" channel that can be used to manually mark when I enter or leave an orgasmic state. Additionally I plan to do an in-depth analysis of the various frequency bands and their relation to prostate orgasms.

The main appeal of this device is that it's relatively simple to set up, is comfortable, and measures multiple biometrics associated with arousal. The Muse app is perfectly usable without paying for their premium subscription, the primary benefit of which is that you can listen to your own music during sessions. There's a workaround for this, but it's rather technical.

The possibility of providing realtime feedback is interesting, and I can see it as a tool for helping people get in the right headspace for prostate orgasms. I haven't tried any of the guided meditations yet, but they may be helpful for a beginner in the same way that Mindgasm is.

Ultimately, I hope to use this device as part of a multi-modal study of orgasmic states, which is still in the nascent stages. One interesting possibility is analyzing neural coherence, which isn't something that the Muse app does. If orgasms are characterized by significantly elevated levels of synchrony, this should show up bilaterally in the EEG.


   
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(@cummingrainbows)
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@firewire Glad to see you got around to recording one of your sessions. The results are really interesting, especially the correlation between active and rough seas and such. Even if it is not perfectly accurate as a measurement device, I think it delivers a lot of value. Just seeing how long the sessions are can be valuable. In comparison to the ejaculatory orgasm, which is a psycho-stimulatory threshold-dependent phenomenon, super O can be modelled as more of an emergent phenomenon whose probability of emergence is determined by a complex interplay of factors in the times series. Without putting much time into a session, one does not grant as much opportunity for super O and other things to emerge.

I asked a couple epileptologists about the connection between the Aneros super O phenomena and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. I hope they get back to me.

BTW, still working everyday on the modelling one of my sessions. It's already modelled through several frameworks. I just went on a tangent and read like 1000 things and am now turning it into a bigger project.


   
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The_Bishop
(@the_bishop)
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Very interesting idea! I did some research on the Muse, it gets good reviews from everything I read. Except they can break. 
How did you keep it on your head during a session? 


   
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(@theroman)
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Posted by: @firewire

One of the provided sessions in the app has separate musical cues for each of the primary EEG frequency bands (delta, alpha, beta & gamma), and works surprisingly well as an aide for Aneros sessions.

The music swells as your state of arousal increases, and grows calmer as you relax.

Could you share which session this is?

 


   
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firewire
(@firewire)
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@cummingrainbows

I'm eventually aiming for some kind of multi-modal recording setup. Unfortunately the Muse (EEG, PPG, accel., gyro) is the only one so far that doesn't require lots of wires. I've tried EKG and GSR as well, but currently they require a lot of setup and the leads restrict movement. GSR can probably be fixed, but I'm not sure about EKG. I haven't analyzed the data yet; it'd be nice if all it takes is the Muse and a time tracker app to detect orgasms...

 

@the_bishop

The model I use is the Muse S, which is designed for sleep studies. The active electronics are in a "capsule" that magnetically attaches to the headband, which is a soft fabric/elastic. The electrodes are some kind of flexible silver fabric. It's actually quite comfortable and stays in place unless I'm actively rubbing my forehead into something. Pretty impressive piece of tech, and it's been accepted by the scientific community as adequate for non-medical studies. Only bummer is that the sdk is closed source...

 

@theroman

It's the "Ambient Music" meditation, under the "Mind" sessions in the app.

 


   
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(@clenchy)
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I've been curious along these lines for a while (though apparently not curious enough to invest in the necessary hardware, or any brain-thinking information whatsoever 😄). But I'm glad somebody is doing it. I imagine with the right real-time feedback, it could be very instructive as a training tool.


   
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 Nat
(@nat)
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Really cool...  Too bad they are like $400.

I'm wondering how the mind wandering cues present themselves.  If you are trying to manage staying aroused yet still focusing on your breath, I would assume it would be a bit chaotic with the sounds. 


   
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