Feedback Lag


#1

Is there any way to eliminate the lag between what my brain is doing, and the feedback Muse gives me?

On the upside, Muse has helped me be more aware of my brain, what it’s doing, how it’s working, when it’s distracted, and so on. That’s the goal, so far so good.

I’ve even gotten to the point where I can play with my brain and see what sorts of thinking, imagining, and so on, affect the feedback I get from Muse.

But now I’ve hit a wall. There’s roughly a half second delay between what my brain is doing and the feedback Muse gives me. That means that when I’m actually meditating I can notice my brain is getting distracted, correct it, and THEN Muse will sound the alarm saying I’m off track, by which point I’m actually not and the dissonance can throw me off completely.

The experience reminds me of this speech jamming gun. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/427116/how-to-build-a-speech-jamming-gun/

In the past I’ve experienced a similar delay when using Bluetooth headphones that makes them useless for watching movies or playing games. So maybe that’s it? Can Muse be plugged into my phone instead of connecting over Bluetooth? Anything?


Relation between brain waves, summary chart, three sounds
#2

In a podcast interview, Ariel Garten said it takes 500 milliseconds for the app to respond to data from the headband. So you’re right about the half-second delay. I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done about that.


#3

Since the average person’s reaction time is about 250 ms that would explain what I’m experiencing.

What podcast was that? I’d like to listen.


#4

@Darcy,

The podcast is here (it’s not mine):

http://aboutmeditation.com/podcast/ariel-garten-muse/

To hear the discussion about lag, jump to around 42:10 in the podcast.


#5

I noticed the lag almost from the very beginning. I think I was prepared for it because in some of the developer or research documentation there is mention of the app doing calculations on multiple samples of data to make its adjustments and present them as a change in sound.

If you see the raw data output from Muse, you’ll understand. With the 2016 headband, the only way I’ve seen to get that view is with the Muse Monitor app for mobile devices ($15 on the Apple App Store). Muse is capturing alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma waves from each of the sensors touching different parts of your head. On screen, every time you bling your eyes, the alpha wave line shoots up and back down. If you clench your jaw, the gamma line moves. Muse has to take all of that, aggregate it, process it through whatever magic calculation it uses to decide your brain is doing something worth reporting, like having a loud thought, and present it back to you.

For experienced, attentive meditators it seems the brain is faster at recognizing that. I experience the lag and dissonance regularly and also find it distracting at times to the point that I think my meditation is “less productive”. On the other hand, the dips and valleys is sound from the app still happen enough in situation where I do not think I am distracted that I find it interesting and challenging to figure out what Muse is “seeing” that I may be missing.

Thanks for posting your comment. It’s cool to hear similar experiences.

BTW, if it seems I may be affiliated with Interaxon in any capacity, I’m only an enduser

Sean