Simple Brainwave Modulation Prototype App P&L: 0 (≃ 0 USD)
This is an app based on principles of psychophysics and neurobiology.
Creating the app should be very simple and straightforward for a developer. I would do it myself if I had app building skills. Instead, I have a background in psychology, neuroscience and science communication.
This prototype project is Stage 1 of a bigger project.
For this stage, we don't need to worry about aesthetic design or marketing. Those will come later.
We start with building a basic app that does this:
Two 'sliders' to modulate sound frequency ouput as continuous sine waves. E.g. User sets the right-hand frequency slider to 440 Hertz and can then slide the left up and down to find the comfortable difference for them.
A small (less than 30 Hz) frequency difference between two sine wave sound tones creates an illusion of rhythm to the listener when the tones are presented separately to the two ears concurrently. This illusion is the result of the brain stem and other lower brain regions attempting to reconcile a sound difference that on a conscious level is imperceptible to many people.
As the brain attempts to bring the two sounds together, a rhythmic pulsing is perceived by the listener to the beat of the difference in Hz between the two tones (e.g. 440Hz in the right ear and 448Hz in the left results in a perceived rhythm of 8 beats per second and the heard tone will be halfway between the two physical input tones, i.e. 444Hz).
The rhythm rate then starts to affect the functioning of the rest of the brain (the brain's activity is also measured in Hertz e.g. through EEG reading). This can either destabilise or align the functioning of the brain overall. E.g. with high stress levels, some regions in the brain could be overworking at 20Hz and it would benefit from slowing down. This could be achieved through taking a break, going for a walk, meditating etc. The slowing down might also be encouraged/facilitated by a 10Hz differential rhythm introduced by our app.
Why not just get people to listen to videos on Youtube that have these sounds? A few reasons: (i) This app will put the power literally into the users' hands. They can play with the modulation tech to find their own 'sweet spot' instead of being prescribed generic predetermined sounds by strangers who don't know them or their situation/brain. (ii) Ultimately, the finished app (post this prototype project) should have a psychoeducation aspect to it, that will give users understanding and insight into how their brain and health work. Unlike YT videos with these sounds, which often carry misinformation if anything.
The end goal here is to have a prototype to see the modulation mechanism working in reality. We can then move it onto the next phase which would be creating the marketable app that can be provided to consumers. For that, we could for example make a 2-tier system where one is the free version and the other is a paid version that comes with more of the education piece, perhaps. If the published app earns money, this will be distributed among the people who have contributed to making, designing, marketing it etc.
We're getting ahead of ourselves now. For this, we just have to make a prototype to get the basic mechanism working.
Thanks for reading !
(Note: The 'bank rate' may change as it's something that needs to be looked into.)
Welcome back, [Niamh]! I'm quite surprised how good a match is your project to the Infinity community, and I'm practically interested in the cognitive benefits it could create. For example, I find myself really innovative in certain states, perhaps it's Theta waves (?), and I'd be curious about flexibilities in self-modulating one's brain with a tool like you described in the science section.
When you say "I would do it myself if I had app building skills. Instead, I have a background in psychology, neuroscience .." -- it makes an impression that you had already played scientifically with these sound modulations using some tools or environments, where you had found that to work. If so, could you elaborate on that?