What Is the Science Behind the Muse Headband? - Digital Health Central (2022)

What Is the Science Behind the Muse Headband? - Digital Health Central (1)

The Muse S has been billed as a brain-sensing headband, and while it might not be able to read your thoughts, it could help you with your meditation and even get a better night’s sleep. But how does it work? And is it as effective as it is advertised to be?

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  • MINDFUL MORNINGS & RESTFUL NIGHTS: Start your day with unwavering focus and end it with blissful,...
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(Video) Does the Muse Headband Actually Work? (No B.S. after 7 years of data)

What Is the Muse Headband?

The Muse S is the latest Muse headband to hit the market. It is designed to measure brain waves using EEG (electroencephalography) technology. Specifically, it aims to capture brain waves related to attention, known as alpha waves. It uses a series of sensors that pick up on electrical activity in the skin produced by the brain underneath. There are two sensors on the forehead (left and right) and an additional two that can be added to the earpods and placed behind the ears.

The Muse S Headband was initially designed only for help with meditation, which is why it is often referred to as the Muse meditation headband. The idea behind it is that you wear the headband while you are meditating (using the guided meditation provided by the associated Muse app).

While you are meditating, the headband will measure your level of attention using alpha waves detected by the EEG sensors and your movements. If your attention starts to wander or you start to fidget, the headband will play louder and louder sounds. As you start to bring your attention back to the guided meditation from the meditation app, the sounds get quieter and quieter.

This is a form of neurofeedback that can help you perfect your meditation and mindfulness techniques, which could help you lower your stress levels and relax.

The Muse S headband now offers sleep tracking features. You wear it to bed, and it will collect data on how long it takes you to fall asleep and your sleep duration and quality. The app will then help you improve your sleep health through guided meditation, relaxation techniques, and focus strategies.

The sleep side of the Muse device is a little less defined than the meditation and neurofeedback features, and some people do report that the headband is uncomfortable to wear to bed.

Either way, the major focus of the Muse S is that it is an EEG headset that measures brain activity related to attention, which can then be used as neurofeedback to improve meditation and mindfulness and, in turn, mental health.

The sensors on the headband record brain wave activity in the form of an electrical signal, which can then be converted into EEG data and interpreted by an algorithm that will identify times when there are high levels of attention as signified by alpha brainwaves.

If you are an avid practicer of meditation and want to improve your technique or reduce your stress and anxiety, or even if you want to lower your fatigue and learn how to get into a deep sleep, this piece of wearable tech could be the perfect solution.

(Video) MUSE S FULL REVIEW // Compared to Oura and Dreem 2! Worth the money?

But what does the research say about the Muse brain-sensing headband? Does it work as well as is claimed? The evidence is mixed so let’s take a closer look.

The Science Behind the Muse Headband

Researchers have been so interested in the Muse headband because it opens up the possibility of an inexpensive and portable EEG device that could make EEG technology more accessible and easy to use for research studies. So there has been a fair amount of work looking at how the Muse headband compares to traditional EEG technology.

What Is the Science Behind the Muse Headband? - Digital Health Central (3)

The Positives

One studywas conducted by researchers who aimed to validate the Muse headband in detecting cognitive fatigue using EEP and ERP (event-related potential) research. At the same time, the participant played a game on an Apple iPad.

The researchers found ERP components and EEP oscillations in the alpha, theta, beta, and gamma ranges. These correlated in such a way that cognitive fatigue could be detected. And this was in line with previous traditional EEP research.

On top of this, the data collection side of the research took much less time than traditional EEP data collection normally would. So the researchers concluded that the Muse EEG headset is a valuable tool that can measure brain activity related to cognitive fatigue.

Other researchhas found similar results, which show the validity of using the Muse headset in ERP research by looking at a reward learning task.

These studies demonstrate that the Muse EEG headset has the potential to be used in a variety of research settings, and not just those explicitly focused on attention.

So what does this mean for Muse users? It seems from this research that the Muse headband measures brain activity in the way it says it does. The EEG sensors pick up on essential brainwaves that are valid and useful. For meditation practice, the Muse headband’s data does seem to be related to the brain activity the company claims that it is.

The Negatives

While those studies show promise for the Muse headband being a helpful tool that can pick up on brain activity related to various cognitive processes, its validity and reliability may not be as clear-cut as it first appears.

(Video) The 7 Ingenious New Features I use for Myndlift/Muse Headband Home Neurofeedback 2022

One studydelved a little deeper into how reliable the EEG data from a Muse headset is and came to quite a different conclusion.

The first thing to remember is that a standard EEG device looks quite different from a Muse headset. If you have ever had an EEG taken, you might be familiar with the swim cap style headpiece that you will need to wear.

It contains many electrodes, some up to 256, to pick up electrical signals across the scalp. These electrodes can be dry or wet, which means that they are either wet or dry. Wet electrodes are often used in medical settings or academic research, and they are coated in an adhesive gel that allows for better contact with the scalp.

The Muse headband uses only 2-4 electrodes, and these are dry, which makes it quicker to use but also means that it will get a less clear signal than dry electrodes.

Traditional EEG studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation practice have noticeable effects on electrical brain activity. Specifically, there are changes in brain wave rhythms in the alpha, gamma, and theta ranges. In addition, there is also activation of brain areas related to attention (prefrontal cortex and the anterior singular cortex.)

The researchers argue that the Muse headband is not as effective at picking up those signals as it is claimed to be. This is first because there are much fewer electrodes than there would be on a clinical EEG device, and these devices are on the forehead and behind the ear only. This means that they are likely to miss much brain activity.

The second (and potentially more damaging) issue is noise, which is incorrect data that can make the information from the device more difficult to interpret. In the case of EEG, the noise that can interfere with brain activity data is related to muscle movements from the eyes (eye movement and blinking).

This noise can be corrected in the data using powerful algorithms in clinical and academic settings, but this isn’t the case for the Muse headband for two reasons. First, all of the sensors are located near the face and eyes, and there are no electrodes on the scalp. This means that its data is more likely to be influenced by eye movements.

Second, the Muse app doesn’t include an algorithm to reduce the noise from eye movements. As a result, the researchers argue that any significant brain activity data generated by the Muse headband could be mainly noise from eye movements.

(Video) Review - Muse S Gen 2: Why I DON'T believe it's reading my BRAIN!

Before the headband can be considered reliable and accurate, it would need to either have more electrodes to make home use more complex, or it would also need to be connected with a better noise-canceling algorithm.

What Does This Mean for Muse Users?

These mixed research results can make it difficult for potential and current Muse users to decide whether or not the headband is doing what it says it will.

With that being said, the negative Muse results are specifically comparing the Muse headband and Muse app to standard academic/clinical EEG devices. But Muse is not claiming that their device is as powerful as a medical EEG.

To improve a meditation session, we as consumers can afford to be a little less stringent with the devices we use compared to clinical and academic researchers. So it is possible that the extra noise and lack of fine-grained brain activity measurements aren’t as crucial for at-home meditation and sleep tracking use.

To Wrap Up

The Muse headband is an EEG headband that measures brain activity related to attention to improving meditation and sleep. While it may not be up to the standard expected for clinical and academic research, the lack of precise and accurate brainwave data may not be as crucial for this kind of home use. So the Muse can still be a valuable tool for everyday consumer use.

Let us know if you liked the post. That’s the only way we can improve.

Last update on 2022-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

How does Muse headband work? ›

Muse is a wearable brain sensing headband. The device measures brain activity via 4 electroencephalography (EEG) sensors. An accompanying mobile app converts the EEG signal into audio feedback that is fed to the user via headphones.

How does a brain sensing headband work? ›

The device has seven sensors – two on the forehead, two SmartSense conductive rubber ear sensors and three reference sensors – designed to detect and measure brain activity through EEG. These sensors detect the spontaneous activity of neurons that generate electrical frequencies.

How does the muse device work? ›

Muse is a wearable device in the form of a headband that senses the electrical rhythms of the brain (EEG). The headband is coupled with a smartphone app (Calm) that monitors the user's brain electrical activity and gives immediate feedback so that a “calm” or meditative pattern can be achieved.

What does Muse headband measure? ›

Muse Tracks Your Brain Signals

Muse is a brain fitness tool that measures brain signals much like a heart rate monitor senses your heartbeat. Muse's 7 finely calibrated sensors – 2 on the forehead, 2 behind the ears plus 3 reference sensors – detect and measure the activity of your brain.

Is Muse headband any good? ›

This is a really impressive use of the biofeedback technology that's built into the Muse S, and it works seamlessly and unobtrusively. One of the great things about the medications is that you can choose your favorite soundscape, as well as the focus or goal of each meditation session.

Is Muse headband FDA approved? ›

(Unlike Resperate, Muse is not an FDA-approved medical device and instead adheres to the FDA General Wellness Guidelines for low-risk devices.) The Muse 2 is a $250 wearable headband that contains seven sensors that measure brain activity, movement, heart rate and breathing rate.

Does Muse work for sleep? ›

Muse S also offers Sleep help: you an take one of the digital sleeping pills to help you fall asleep, and it will also do sleep position tracking, give you a sleep efficiency score, and “deep sleep insights.” You do, of course, need to wear the headband to sleep.

Is Muse headband a neurofeedback? ›

Many people often ask if the Muse headband and Muse app offer traditional neurofeedback. The short answer is no – the algorithm that Muse uses in order to provide real-time feedback while you meditate is more complex than traditional neurofeedback.

What are the advantages of Muse? ›

Muse allows you to discover your mind-body connection in a completely unique way: through powerful, accurate real-time feedback on brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements.

Is the Muse accurate? ›

Based on two studies (here and here), we can conclude that the data collected by Muse is similar to that of medical-grade EEG systems, and that Muse is accurate enough to be used for scientific research.

How do you use Muse brain sensing headband? ›

Muse connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth. Once connected, simply start the Muse Meditation app, put on your headphones, and close your eyes. Once your session is complete, you can review your results and track your progress.

What is the best neurofeedback system? ›

Top Ten Neurofeedback Devices for 2022
  • NeurOptimal.
  • NeuroSky.
  • Focuscalm.
  • Myneurva.
  • FisherWallace.
  • Mightier.
  • Omnipemf.
  • Thync.

What does a brain sensor do? ›

Wireless brain sensors are devices that are capable of detecting the pressure inside the brain, brain temperature, pH and brain activity in the form of 'brain waves' reflecting the electrical transmission within the brain.

How can I measure my brain frequency? ›

We can measure brain waves using a technique known as electroencephalography (EEG), in which small detectors, called electrodes, are placed on a person's head [1].

What do smart headbands do? ›

Growing in popularity among sports people, they measure the wearer's brainwaves. As a stressed brain gives off more waves or signals, due to increased electrical activity, the idea is, that, together with meditation, the headbands can help the user train him or herself to be calmer.

Is Muse A neurofeedback? ›

Originally created with the goal to revolutionize guided meditation, and key component of the home neurofeedback platform we use at Actualise, the Muse headband is a compact 7+1-channel electroencephalography (EEG) system that leverages advances in dry sensor technology, Bluetooth and digital signal processing, with ...

How do you clean a Muse headband? ›

To clean your Muse headband, you can use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, and gently rub the forehead band sensors and rubber earpieces. Make sure to not use too much rubbing alcohol - just dab the cotton swab and lightly rub the entire surface of your Muse headband.

Is Muse good for meditation? ›

"What we enjoyed most about the Muse S was its meditation training, but it's also an excellent sleep tracker and a good option if you want to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine." "A headband that simultaneously helps you nod off with soothing sounds and meditations and monitors your sleep habits too.

Is Muse an FDA approved device? ›

No, Muse is not a certified medical device.

Is neurofeedback approved by the FDA? ›

Neurofeedback is an effective, FDA-approved, safe, non-invasive, and non-pharmacological intervention that should be considered as a type of therapy for mental health struggles, in addition to therapy and medications.

Does Muse headband require subscription? ›

There is no ongoing subscription fee to use the app. You can download and use the Muse app with no headband to access simple guided meditations and nature soundtracks. If you're interested in using the app with the headband you simply make a one-time payment of $249 for the headband.

Does Mendi brain training work? ›

Mendi: Real Brain Training - Anytime, Anywhere. - YouTube

Can I do neurofeedback at home? ›

Yes, you can do neurofeedback at home. Advances in the internet and neurofeedback equipment now allow clients to receive neurofeedback remotely from anywhere in the world. Neurofeedback teaches self-control of brain functions by measuring brain waves and providing a feedback signal.

When was Muse's released? ›

TORONTO, October 20, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Interaxon Inc. (Muse®), a leading consumer neurotechnology and meditation company, today announced the launch of the second generation of its popular EEG meditation & sleep headband, Muse S.

How do you use MUSE 2? ›

Enable Bluetooth on your phone or tablet, then open the Muse app. Press the button on the band one time to begin pairing. The LED lights should move in a cascading motion.
...
  1. Download the Muse App. ...
  2. Power On Your Device. ...
  3. Pair Your Device. ...
  4. Start Your First Session. ...
  5. Fitting Your Muse S Band. ...
  6. Calibration.

What is Muse connect? ›

Muse Connect is a full-service program for professionals to help grow their practice and teach their clients meditation techniques. Muse Connect can be used by any professional who is looking to help their clients reach wellness goals through meditation.

What is a muse account? ›

MUSE provides single log-in access to the majority of the University's online services and provides secure access off campus. To access your online IT services including email, calendar, Blackboard and myJob, open the My services menu in the top-left row of links.

How do I know when my Muse is charged? ›

You will know it is charged when the lights start to very slowly cascade up and down repeatedly. It should take no more than 3 hours to fully charge the Muse. A fully-charged Muse should provide several hours of use.

How do I turn off my Muse headband? ›

You only need to pair Muse once! Once Muse is paired with your device, it will connect automatically. Try it now! Press and hold the power button for 1 second to turn it off.

What are different brain waves? ›

Alpha waves indicate that the brain is in a resting state. Beta waves are the most common pattern in the normal waking state. They occur when one is alert and focused on problem solving. Gamma brain waves are the fastest and are associated with higher levels of consciousness.

How long do the effects of neurofeedback last? ›

Researchers compare methods of treating ADHD in children and find that Neurofeedback, a medication-free technique, has long lasting effects up to 12 months.

What is the success rate of neurofeedback? ›

What is the success rate of neurofeedback? The success rate commonly quoted by clinicians and in published scientific research for neurofeedback for certain conditions is 75%-80%. However, more neurofeedback research needs to be done to accurately state efficacy rates.

How does neurofeedback change the brain? ›

As your brain continues to subconsciously practice efficiency, coordination, and balance, your brainwaves gradually improve and you get better at controlling your thoughts and actions. Like any new skill, neurofeedback therapy works over time, through reinforcement and repetition.

Does the brain work with electricity? ›

Your brain is made up of networks of small cells called neurons that communicate electrochemically to enable you to think, feel, and interact with the world around you. Because electrical charges are responsible for brain activity, electrical stimulation can in turn be used to change the brain's functioning.

Who invented wireless brain sensors? ›

“Zack” Ray, MD (left), and Rory K. J. Murphy, MD, led the Washington University team that helped develop tiny brain sensors that monitor pressure in the skull before dissolving.

Which device is used for monitoring a patient neurological status of brain function? ›

Electroencephalography, or EEG, monitors the brain's electrical activity through the skull.

How can I change my brain frequency? ›

Meditation or Exercise

Regular meditation has been shown to increase alpha waves – your relaxation brain waves – and reduce beta waves – the brain waves of active thought and learning. That's why it's most commonly recommended for reducing stress.

What part of the brain controls blood pressure? ›

The brain stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.

How do you trigger brain waves? ›

Here are five ways to increase your alpha brainwaves:
  1. Meditate. ...
  2. Avoid alcohol. ...
  3. Avoid caffeine. ...
  4. Train your brain. ...
  5. Consider avoiding garlic and onions.
14 Apr 2020

Do headbands work? ›

Headbands are especially useful for keeping back that mane of hair. It's important when running or playing sports to stop your hair from blocking your vision. Tame your hair by preventing it from slowing you down during your workout. Sweat bands and headbands actually keep you cool and make your body more efficient.

Do EEG headbands work? ›

At a minimum, the EEG meditation headbands effectively help increase awareness of internal states. For beginning meditators, this awareness can be a powerful motivator, helping to clarify their meditation practice and allowing them to track brainwave changes over time.

How does Muse biofeedback work? ›

Muse Translates Your Brainwaves Into the Guiding Sounds of Weather. Muse is an EEG device widely used by neuroscience researchers around the world. It uses advanced signal processing to interpret your mental activity to help guide you. When your mind is calm and settled, you hear peaceful weather.

Is the Muse accurate? ›

Based on two studies (here and here), we can conclude that the data collected by Muse is similar to that of medical-grade EEG systems, and that Muse is accurate enough to be used for scientific research.

How does NeuroSky MindWave work? ›

Players focus their thoughts on a single object, and the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile 2 Headset interprets the electrical activity of their brains to pick up and hurl objects at opponents.

How do I charge my Muse headband? ›

We recommend charging your Muse via a USB wall charger, which you would typically use to charge a mobile device. Just plug the micro USB cord provided into the charger and it should take no more than 3 hours to fully charge the Muse.

Is Muse headband a neurofeedback? ›

Many people often ask if the Muse headband and Muse app offer traditional neurofeedback. The short answer is no – the algorithm that Muse uses in order to provide real-time feedback while you meditate is more complex than traditional neurofeedback.

How do you use Muse brain sensing headband? ›

Muse connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth. Once connected, simply start the Muse Meditation app, put on your headphones, and close your eyes. Once your session is complete, you can review your results and track your progress.

What are the advantages of Muse? ›

Muse allows you to discover your mind-body connection in a completely unique way: through powerful, accurate real-time feedback on brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements.

Does Muse S help you sleep? ›

Muse S also offers Sleep help: you an take one of the digital sleeping pills to help you fall asleep, and it will also do sleep position tracking, give you a sleep efficiency score, and “deep sleep insights.” You do, of course, need to wear the headband to sleep.

Is Muse A neurofeedback? ›

Originally created with the goal to revolutionize guided meditation, and key component of the home neurofeedback platform we use at Actualise, the Muse headband is a compact 7+1-channel electroencephalography (EEG) system that leverages advances in dry sensor technology, Bluetooth and digital signal processing, with ...

Do you need a subscription to use Muse? ›

Muse app subscription cost: Free

There is no ongoing subscription fee to use the app.

What are the 4 types of brain waves? ›

Figure 2.1. Brain wave samples with dominant frequencies belonging to beta, alpha, theta, and delta bands and gamma waves. Various regions of the brain do not emit the same brain wave frequency simultaneously. An EEG signal between electrodes placed on the scalp consists of many waves with different characteristics.

Can brain waves be detected? ›

We can measure brain waves using a technique known as electroencephalography (EEG), in which small detectors, called electrodes, are placed on a person's head [1].

Is mindflex real? ›

Mindflex is a toy by Mattel by which a child uses their brain waves to steer a ball through an obstacle course. Brain waves are registered by the enclosed EEG headset, which allows the child to control an air stream by concentrating, thus lifting or lowering a foam ball.

How long does Muse headband last? ›

Muse S can be used for 10 continuous hours or shorter sessions totaling up to 10 hours.

How long does it take for Muse headband to charge? ›

It should take no more than 3 hours to fully charge the Muse. A fully-charged Muse should provide several hours of use. You can check the battery level of your headband by powering Muse on and then quickly tapping the power button of your Muse.

How long does Muse 2 battery last? ›

Battery and charging

On a single charge, it lasts for 5 hours of continuous use. That means that, assuming you would spend a few minutes setting it up per day and then meditate for 15 minutes, you'd expect it to last for around two weeks before you'd need to charge it back up again.

Videos

1. Muse EEG Headband Review - The Medical Futurist
(The Medical Futurist)
2. Muse 2, Muse Softband and More with Dr. Graeme Moffat of Interaxon
(Cody Rall MD with Techforpsych)
3. Muse S vs Dreem 2 For Sleep (Which One to Buy?) The Result Will Surprise You
(Cody Rall MD with Techforpsych)
4. Muse 2 Review - Worth the money? (2020)
(Vince Opra)
5. Conscious Conversations: Innovations in Neurotechnology
(Muse)
6. How to Train Your Brain: Brain Training Basics with Dr. Trish Leigh
(Dr. Trish Leigh, Brain Rewire )

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