September 9, 2007 1:11 PM   Subscribe

That's pretty neat. Next step: EEG data collected through earbuds so that your iPod will show BrainPaint as a visualizer.
posted by danb at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2007

Best trip toy ever.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2007

on a quick inspection, and correct me if i'm wrong, but it seems more like they're just using (notoriously noisy) eeg data as a random seed for more complex fractal patterns. wold you really be able to correlate whatever images you generate with the actual mind states being 'interpreted' or whatever?
posted by garethspor at 1:46 PM on September 9, 2007

my thoughts exactly gareth
posted by spacediver at 1:49 PM on September 9, 2007

That is very cool. Nice post.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:56 PM on September 9, 2007

garethspor nailed it. If neurofeedback is going to be used as a therapeutic or "brain training" technique, I think making the visual feedback pretty fractal pictures isn't necessarily helpful. For neurofeedback to work, the brain behavior that is supposed to be emphasized needs to correlate visually with an image that the patient can immediately recognize as the goal. You might be able to do this by coloring the fractals, but in the end, the visual feedback here is a totally abstract image, which doesn't make a great goal because the patient has to remember what the target image looks like. Whereas, making the visual feedback something like "put the ball through the hoop" or "balance the scales" or the like is a much more salient representation of an accomplished goal.

This sounds like a cool toy, though, and I'd love to try it.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 1:57 PM on September 9, 2007

Pretty pictures. Crap science. The first claim in the guy's bio is that he did some kind of treatment for Native American alcoholics with a 79% success rate.

There is no such treatment. The only way you get those kinds of "success rates" is by self-selecting your patients. You can get that with doctors, for example-- they're highly motivated to recover and tend not to want to lose their licenses. With poor people, you get that kind of success by only counting people who "graduate" your program and not including the 70-80% who drop out without completing it (most of whom relapse immediately). Anyone who makes such claims is not taken seriously in science because he is basically manipulating data, not helping people.
posted by Maias at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2007

It seems that more than just using the brainwaves as random seeds, it has some crude way of letting the user select certain images, by going into alpha for instance.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:41 PM on September 9, 2007

Quite strange, color patterns and textures look like apophysis renders.
posted by nims at 3:53 PM on September 9, 2007

And i could swear i can produce stuff like that without any brain patterns assistance; could it be a scam?
posted by nims at 4:40 PM on September 9, 2007

Reminds me of the Buddhist mandala practice, in which one envisions a complex architectural model in the mind. Now that's a cognitive workout.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:49 PM on September 9, 2007

Very nice, homunculus. Although I might be afraid to see what might turn up in my biofeedback.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:08 PM on September 9, 2007

I have software that generates images like the ones in that image gallery... ArtMatic Pro.
posted by dbiedny at 7:02 PM on September 9, 2007

I would find the images to be more than just pretty if the captions explained what sort of 'moods' or brain activity they were generated from.

But they sure are pretty.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2007

Wow, now just imagine if these actually meant something.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:56 PM on September 9, 2007

posted by dejah420 at 9:06 PM on September 9, 2007

Color me skeptical.

The images are pretty obviously generated using Spot Draves' Fractal Flame, but this Bill Scott dude doesn't credit Spot, nor does he make any reference to the software at all. Spot's code is open source, but it's generally polite to at least give credit where credit is due. What's more, Bill Scott appears to be charging cash money for this purported service.

Smells like snake oil to me.

Which is too bad, because I'd love to see Spot's creation get used for healing purposes (and for him and the other Flam3 developers to get proper credit for their contributions). I would love for this to be real, but given the patina of sleaze that's all over the site, I'm inclined to think it's a scam.
posted by otherthings_ at 12:22 AM on September 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I would be interested to see how fast these render in "real-time". Fractal flames such as these usually take a while brcause of the iterative method used to create them. I would be more inclined to believe that the images are selected from a video stream such as those created by the "Electric Sheep" screensaver/collaborative renderer.

If you are interested in these graphics, go get the software at Draves site and make your own or

Windows users can run Apophysis and Mac users run Oxidizer. Apophysis reported runs fine under Wine on Linux.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:32 AM on September 10, 2007

Again I say, all this work and technology for what acid's been doing for years.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:23 AM on September 10, 2007

Again I say, all this work and technology is what acid's been fueling for years.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2007

Wow, now just imagine if these actually meant something.
Perhaps they do - who's to say they don't, but we just don't know how to identify the meaning?
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:01 AM on September 10, 2007

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