Have you ever wondered what your brain sounds like? With the number of brain farts I get, there’s really not much mystery to what my cranium would be emitting. However, you might have some profound thoughts that could make equally profound sounds, perhaps even beautiful music. For that you need a new device called the “Experience Helmet.”
Invented by Aiste Noreikaite - an artist, pianist and graduate in sound arts and design - the Experience Helmet is supposed to let you hear your brain, or as Aiste more eloquently puts it, to create an …
… audible reflection of one’s personal experience of the present moment.
Sounds Buddhist, which isn’t surprising since she was inspired by Buddhist meditation to invent a device to tap into self-awareness. She may have also been inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance since she built the device using a motorcycle helmet.
Aiste tore the biker helmet apart and put in an electroencephalography (EEG) wireless headset and headphones. Using pure electronic signals to represent brainwaves, she wrote a programming language that translates the attentive levels of the wearer into electronic sounds that they listen to in the headphones. Aiste programmed it so a clear mind sounds higher while a concentrating brain is faster and more rhythmic.
I programmed sound frequencies a little bit differently in left and right sides so when they are heard together, they produce a third frequency that can be heard just inside of our heads. It’s not like all of a sudden it’s an orchestral piece, or a piano piece … When your brainwaves hear the sounds controlled by them, they’re balanced by it, it’s balancing. The brainwaves recognize themselves in that sound and react to it very positively, then this is looped back to them via sound again and again.
OK, it’s still a long way from actually hearing your thoughts, but it sounds like a cool toy to play with – something you might find in a SkyMall catalog if they were still around. Unfortunately, the Experience Helmet is still in design phase, so you can only listen to your head when it's exhibited at arts festival or the Hotel Elephant gallery in London.
In the meantime, Aiste is working on turning emotions into sound. Hmm ...
What is the sound of one hand flipping the bird?