Alzheimer's gamma wave 40 Hz light flashing

MIT Massachusetts Institute of technology came out with a study where a flashing light at 40 Hz would improve rats that had been raised for Alzheimer’s. The flashing 40 Hz light would help in removing amyloid plaque which is a marker of Alzheimer’s. The question is will this help humans that have Alzheimer’s? Since Muse measures brain gamma waves this would be a way of testing the 40 Hz flashing light signal and it’s effect on this brainwave. I would like to know if anybody has tested this 40 Hz light signal with their Muse headband. To receive more information on this 40 Hz flashing light and Alzheimer’s google MIT 40 Hz Alzheimer’s.


This is something I’ve been interested in and would want to look into. I made a flashing headset out of an Arduino and have been meaning to do some very rudimentary early experiments. I’ll post results as I get them.

I ran a quick experiment where I measured the value of relative gamma band power. You’ll find the charts I generated below for each electrode. Baseline was with a steady LED no flashing while gamma was with the LED flashing at 40 hertz.

The increase of relative gamma in FP1 and FP2 with the flashing LED is so clear-cut I think it might be signal pollution from the LED’s. I’ll have to run another experiment to make sure. I also think the recording for TP9 might be a bit off due to the sensor not being properly placed.

Anyway that’s a quick little initial experiment. The results surprised me a bit I have to say. I would like to give this experiment another go to make sure the effect is genuine.

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If you use MUSE for the following research, you may need to add external electrodes.

In the case of 40Hz flickering light with goggles by Reykjavik University below, it seems necessary to observe an increase in gamma waves in the back of the head.

Gamma wave inducing effects of 40 Hz flickering light in humans,
BSc. Psychology (May 2018)
Name: Jakob Fannar Stefánsson
ID number: 140995 – 2749

Treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are limited and can cause unwanted sideeffects. The amyloid beta cascade hypothesis claims that AD is caused by accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques, which results in other symptoms of AD. New findings indicate that by inducing gamma waves in the brain of mice with flickering 40 Hz light, Aβ plaques can be reduced. The effects of 40 Hz light on the human brain in not fully understood. This study explored this inducing effect on a healthy human brain. Subject was a 22-year-old white Icelandic male student. An ABA single-subject design was used to evaluate the effects of 40 Hz flickering light inside prototypic goggles on the power spectral density of gamma waves in brain of the subject measured by 64-channel EEG. Two standard deviation band method showed significant increase compared to baseline of gamma waves, especially in the range of 38 - 42Hz, in the occipital lobe both during and after the experiment. Subject reported no discomfort, dizziness, eyestrain or headache from the goggles. The long-term effects of the flickering light on gamma waves were not measured. Future studies must explore the effects of 40 Hz flickering light on humans with AD.

Keywords: EEG, Gamma, brain wave induction, power spectral density, 40 Hz