We all possess a set of brains which we gratefully use every day. But how does our brain actually work? And how does our fattest organ respond to (extreme) incentives like nudity, hard house music and complex mathematical problems? To investigate this, we decided to experiment. With real subjects.
After we put out a call via Facebook, we had a waiting list of people eager to expose their brainwaves to a large audience using an EEG device in no time. Three of the subjects tell us about their experiences.
Why did you participate in this experiment?
Frank: "I'm very curious about the brain - how it works, what it can(not) do and how to optimalize it. In May, I was an organizer of Hack the Brain, an event during which artists, scientists and technologists made new applications for brain-computer interfaces. And now I'm a test subject myself. "
Mieke: "First of all, I really liked to join the event. Additionally, I meditated a lot, so it seemed interesting to investigate whether this experience would help me influence my own state of mind and controlling my brainwaves.."
Juliette: "It just seemed so cool to see my own brain activity in real time!"
What was the most amazing, funny or bizarre part of the experiment?
Frank: "Meditate while you sit on a stage with 100 people standing around you talking, laughing and drinking is a challenge! It was the easiest during the live music, I could totally get into that. The dancer had the same effect!"
Mieke: "I found the presentation of the Burlesque dancer very nice. I also enjoyed the concentration game with the ball. The challenge was to lift the ball to the next level with the right focus. The moment the ball goes up you feel slightly euphoric, which makes your concentration drop immediately and you can start again. You could prevent this with a lot of training. I think."
Juliette: "I find it amazing how active the brain is. Unbelievable."
After this experience, do you know a little more about how the (your) brain works?
Frank: "It's interesting to see that all signals open if something unexpected happens, if you are scared or just look around you quickly. Then a pattern starts to appear. I am most interested in using neuro feedback to enter a specific state of mind; I would love to continue with it. "
Mieke: "I can now say with certainty that I really cannot concentrate in a room with a spinning DJ."
Juliette: "After the experiment, I know I'm not able (yet) to control my own brain waves. It turned out to be quite tricky."
Besides the brain experiment, there was also a special BrainBar; different ingredients were served here with a scientifically demonstrable effect on the brain; from vodka shots to pieces of chocolate and celery sticks.