Is there really no affordable + user friendly Neurofeedback hardware/software out there?

muse
openbci
openvibe
brainbay
neurofeedback
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#31

Hey,

I am Jonathan, the developer of OpenNFB. The software is not yet in a usable state for a real public announcement, but i decided that it might be a good idea to mention it, since @curiositry already stumbled upon it. I could use some help from fellow developers and other inspiration from potential users.

OpenNFB will offer features similar to BrainBay/BioExplorer and the likes, but relies on code instead of visual programming to wire up things. The implementation is based on Python, and uses the Lua scripting language for (live-)coding protocols.

One of the nearer goals is to implement the BioExplorer client interface, so it can be used with existing feedback games like InnerTube. Later, some open source games/visualisations could be implemented, based on a similar interface.

On the hardware side, i am working with the OpenBCI, but this can be easily extended.

Best Regards,
Jonathan


#32

Thanks for joining the discussion Jonathan. I’ve been watching OpenNFB on GitHub for a while, and it looks like you’re making good progress. It will be a great addition to the limited collection of open-source EEG, BCI, and neurofeedback software out there.

Let me know when OpenNFB reaches a mostly-stable alpha or beta version. I’d be into writing a tutorial/introduction/shout out on our blog at autodidacts.io once I’ve familiarized myself with it. Great work!


#33

Thanks for the link William — subscribed!


#34

I think I found perhaps the only one that seems to fit the bill so to speak (affordable, user friendly, complete solution) for what I was looking for. Not sure how this flew under the radar until now:

https://getversus.com/

If anyone really wants dig into the full scope of this they have four 1 hour webinars about all the aspects of it, i’m currently half way through: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJNDPP69JGhj71RcxJwa8ow/playlists

Still a ton of questions but I am set to talk to these folks soon. Also would love anyone’s take if they are familiar with this. Looks promising.


#35

Thanks for the update @Jay.

I know nothing about Versus, but It looks interesting for sure. Dry sensors, in a headset that includes the top of the head – a combination I haven’t seen elsewhere.

Versus has been focussed on the sports training market, which may be why it seems relatively unknown in the general NFB arena.

I don’t see any indication of a way to access the raw data, which would make it a non-starter for research or experimental uses, but it looks like they may have hit a sweet spot between price, capability and ease of use for turn-key NFB. (Assuming their hardware and training protocols are good. Being a proprietary system, this may be hard to determine other than by personal experience…)

Be sure to let us know what you find out.


#36

Thanks @Jay for the link to Versus… I have been exploring the site and the set up now and I currently am in agreement with you… it might be the best “off the shelf” entry level system out there. I am also on a Mac and that seems to be an issue in that most platforms are PC based. Do let me know if you buy it and what kind of results you might be getting… Certainly an amazing time to be getting into this field. I too am interested in Lucid Dreaming.
Oh another thing to check out is FiberNavigator… way interesting visual 3d brain imaging software.
thanks
aloha
red


#37

My pleasure @redinhawaii.

To start, i ordered it Wed, it arrived the next morning. There wasn’t even an expedited shipping option, they just ship it same day. Love that. So I already had a chance to do the assessment (their equivalent of the QEEG) and run the first training session.

I also attended a webinar that was geared towards clinicians and trainers. I think they are approaching it that way as there is already an established infrastructure. But audience questions definitely indicate that they are worried this might replace the need for them.

They said that it doesn’t do everything that a full system can do, like treating brain trauma, at least for the simple reasons that it is not a 19 channel, and can’t target specific areas beyond what it has.

It also seems like their approach with athletes is two fold (and might be a little reassuring if true):

  1. They were working with athletes before they even thought of making NFB headset and were helping athletes with the standard clinical eeg. They are saying that the reason they built this thing is to allow the athletes they work with to do the sessions remotely and on their own with an iphone or ipad. (as minimum effective total training time is 450 minutes according to them, and it needs to be spread at a max of 20 min per day). So they wanted to apply regular NFB to athletes, not NFB that’s based on athletes to regular people.

  2. Since they already had all these top athletes they work with, and since those are what most people consider top performers, they could use them for marketing in the hope of making this more accessible and digestible to a wider audience.

At least this is my understanding of it. If they really wanted to allow their clients to have nearly the same level of NFB as they can provide them with in office but without having to bring them in each time, then I can’t imagine they would build something that is less effective for most use cases.

Unfortunately I don’t understand NFB enough to even start comparing. Also I discovered something very sad in this field. Nearly every person i spoke to that is doing something in NFB has been critical or damn right dismissive of all other formats of NFB. I’ve heard clinicians who do NFB dismiss Muse and Emotiv headsets, i’ve heard clinicians who do QEEG dismiss those who don’t and those who don’t saying those who do are just trying to squeeze more money out of you. and i’ve heard researchers who do high end EEG/NFB (32-192 channels, yes you read this correctly) dismiss the clinicians who do 19 channel QEEG and 1-2 channel NFB. So i feel like I can’t trust anyone’s opinion in this arena and I am not sure what is legit and what is not anymore. Very sad.

But i will continue to do my own research and experiments and I think the more interest in this area there is the clearer things will become.

I will report back soon as my training with this continues.


#38

hello, ive been skimming over your posts, you’ve already gotten some of the lecture about NFB is not a toy and you can scramble yourself playing with it, so I won’t go into that

That said, your last post is about various clinicians ego regarding one technique or anouther. I am a product of NFB and have treatment for a good 6 years and am planning on working in the field. The therapist I see has been practicing for at least 7-8 years, and has used all sorts of different protocol and equipment (some of which i was his first paient for), even those not directly related to NFB. As far as I know he still uses the best tools for the job with far greater concern for what’s best for the person then advancing a piticular protocol. He’s really busy, and I’m not sure how he would take to someone without training using NFB but here’s a link to his website. You can try to e-mail him.

http://www.neurotherapynw.com/1157/7406.html


#39

New kid on the block:

http://neurobb.com/t/four-channel-80-openbci-ganglion-on-kickstarter/170


#40

Here’s a recent paper on the Versus dry sensor electronics. And at the end of the post, two blog reviews by a Versus customer. Would be curious to hear @Jay’s experience, since he’s had it about a month.

William


#41

Hey @wjcroft. Thanks for the link. I just finished my set of 23 sessions and did the post sessions re-assessment. I also just came back from the 41st annual bio/neurofeedback conference that was in Costa Mesa.

Regarding the versus, i am not quite sure yet. I can’t quite tell subjectively if i can focus better (focus was the protocol i was assigned for after first assessment) and i have better and worst days still. But i’ve had several nights of far better than usual sleep which is one of the main reasons i was looking into NFB and one of the purported benefits (including with versus). But once again it feels a little unscientific and i can’t account for placebo (although it doesn’t feel like it) but i’ve also been doing all sorts of other things to try to improve sleep and i can’t tell which efforts bared the most fruits and basically what worked. Also the re-assessment through me off a bit as it didn’t result in the type and level of improvement i was expecting, i showed more improvements in other areas (like stress management) more than i did in focus and the system recommended another set of focus protocols. I intend to ask them about this.

After the conference I can see why some of the clinicians are averse to the versus (aversus?), as there is far less human analysis of the assessment (the versus version of QEEG) and it is far more structured and more like a few sizes fits all kind of thing. and if some of what is discussed in the talks about QEEG and pre-training mapping is true (that you need a human eye on it and to talk to the person to figure which protocol to assign), then i can see the need for a more nuanced approach. However i still see a potential for V and if they allow for a clinician to review your assessment data as well as if they allowed for custom protocols.

Having said that, V is not meant to solve health issues, it is for “peak performance” kind of stuff and to improve general qualities and I think it doesn’t necessarily need too much supervision. It is still the most affordable and user friendly NFB system out there PERIOD. There is room for improvement in the design both in terms of comfort as well as in user guidance but making the V was the step needed to move the needle forward to one day have the “ultimate” home consumer NFB system. It is getting close. I intend to keep it.


#42

Hi @Jay,
I missed this Versus post when you wrote it back in November. Thanks for posting your experience to the forum – great to have that kind of first hand reports on what works and what doesn’t.

One additional question: does Versus have a feedback protocol or protocols for meditation? If so, have you tested them? I’d be super curious to hear if you’ve found NFB effective in this area.

Thanks,
Adam


#43

In some email exchanges with @Jay, I mentioned that Versus has one version of the product that provides raw EEG and that is supported by neuromore. So it should be possible to write your own NFB protocols for Versus. But here we go again, Emotiv EPOC had the same kind of secret pricey raw EEG mode (“Research SDK”). Until the protocol was released finally to the public through some efforts of reverse engineering. Here was Jay’s reply on January 11.

I’ve tried connecting my Versus to NM but it doesn’t work. I reached out to sense labs to see if it is a matter of software or is it hardware, we’ll see what they say. I can’t believe what a missed opportunity it is for sense labs not to either allow for custom protocols or create protocols for meditation. But perhaps that’s just my bias.


#44

Hi @AdamM,

Unfortunately the Versus does not have meditation protocols and they don’t seem to care for that much, which I understand as they come from the athlete world and don’t know much about meditation.

There are 2 problems that need to be solved here and they have been solved separately but not together which drives me crazy.

  1. Create meditation protocols. (solved by several folks, including neuroOptimal)
  2. Create an affordable and user friendly EEG headset that has sufficient electrodes for said protocols. (solved so far only by Versus)

Versus does not work with other systems like Neuromore (and btw, @wjcroft, I asked them and they said they never had a version that would have worked with it although they did have an older version of the headset made for development). In any case, they do not plan to open an SDK in 2016, maybe not even 2017, according to their latest investor call (which they released on youtube).

Every other system is too expensive and cumbersome to use. My hopes were hanging on OBCI but that turned out a bit disappointing in this particular regard. (I don’t mean it is not good or doesn’t have potential, but it is for tinkerers, not end users, it turns out. that’s ok).

Let me put this on record, if nobody solves this silly conundrum by the time I solve the Lucid Dreaming device challenge, I will solve this damn thing myself and it will be my next project after the Kensho. (although we need to solve sleep tracking too. there’s too much to do… :slight_smile:


#45

Thanks @jay. Agreed. It’s time the technology and collaborative engagement around neurofeedback caught up with its potential usefulness. That’s part of why NeuroBB is here – to help foster the kind of dialogue and user/tinkerer/developer interaction that will lead to forward motion on this.

Personally I think the OBCI may catch up in user-friendliness before too long. It’s got the capacity and channel count, and the new Ganglion version brings the price point for the amplifier way into the affordable range. Now what it needs is a cheaper, mass-produced version of the Ultracortex headset, and a bit more attention to consumer-friendliness in the software and documentation.

This may not be the job for OpenBCI per se (since they’re doing a fantastic job of providing something for tinkerers, they may prefer to focus on that). Keep in mind, though, that OBCI is open source software and hardware. If you do take this on, I’d think about partnering with @russomanno15 and Joel on a commercial, consumer-friendly “wrapper” for OBCI technology.

PS: @wjcroft My first EEG device was an Emotiv EPOC. We bought it after finding Cody Brocious’s emokit hack, but after days of frustration trying to rewrite in C and hack together a functional OpenVibe driver (and then discovering that the necessary decryption library was apparently obsolete and unattainable) I gave up and didn’t come back to the topic until the OBCI showed up. Hardware that makes you pay double to access your own data? Yuck.


#46

I think you are correct. and I do think the affordability of the new version of OBCI is a fantastic thing. These are all steps in the right direction. I that this field is dragging behind but I am also simply impatient, I can’t always tell which is more the case :smile:

I’ve reached out to Connor and Joel a while back but never heard back. I chalk it off to them being extremely busy just by the look of their twitter feed. I’ve also reached out to the Melon folks but they have been purchased by a larger company, who has replied to me but they can’t collaborate until the end of 2016 it seems.

There are more people and companies getting involved, it is very encouraging, and I suspect it will suddenly speed up in all sorts of ways. Exciting times ahead.


#47

I am a Psychiatrist looking to incorporate NFB into my practice. Has anyone used the Neuroharmony device from Korea. There is also a Brain Quotient report etc.


#49

Actually, there is a very user friendly neurofeedback system that uses the Muse in addition to auxiliary electrodes to give you more flexibility. It’s called Techneuro. Check it out.


#51

Interesting. Looks like a step up from the Muse but not much more than that. But I like that they make it easy to see raw data.


#52

Why do you think it’s not much more than a step up from the Muse? It allows you to choose active and reference electrodes, create different protocols and it has an auxiliary electrode that can be placed anywhere- exactly what you’d want from a neurofeedback system, but in a much better wrap.