What is the Targeted Brainwave Frequency for Muse?


In other words, if I was to obtain a perfect 100 in a session what frequency would my brainwaves be “operating” at ?

The article excerpted below stimulated my question, different types of meditation target different frequencies. I assume that Muse is aiming at training the brain to stay in a frequency band and wonder what it is ?

Here is an excerpt from the article:

  1. Focused Attention techniques. The first type, which includes focused attention or concentration techniques, is characterized by EEG in the beta-2 (20-30 Hz) and gamma (30-50 Hz) frequency bands, which are associated with voluntary sustained control of attention to keep it focused on the object of meditation.

  2. Open Monitoring techniques. The second type includes open monitoring or mindfulness-based techniques, which involve dispassionate non-evaluative monitoring of ongoing experience and are characterized by frontal theta (5-8 Hz) EEG, and perhaps occipital gamma (30-50 Hz) EEG (Cahn, Delorme, & Polich, 2010).

  3. Automatic Self-Transcending techniques. The Transcendental Meditation technique falls within the third category, automatic self-transcending meditation, which is associated with alpha-1 (7-9 Hz) EEG, characteristic of reduced mental activity and relaxation. Whereas concentration and open monitoring meditations both require some mental effort (i.e., holding attention on its object or maintaining a stance of open monitoring, respectively), automatic self-transcending meditation is the effortless transcending of the meditation process itself (Travis, Arenander, & DuBois, 2004; Travis et al., 2010). It is said to automatically lead to the experience of “consciousness itself”, the screen of awareness without any objects of awareness, a low-stress state called transcendental or pure consciousness (Travis & Pearson, 2000).


InterAxon specifically do not reveal this, because it is the ‘secret sauce’ in their concept.

Whatever exact brainwave signature is used, it is designed to indicate attention on the meditation object, and to detect when attention is elsewhere - the aim being to alert the user so that, hopefully, the detection becomes second nature even without Muse as an aid. So, that would make it likely that it corresponds more to 1 than it does to 2 or 3 [this is also provided that descriptions 1, 2 and 3 actually make sense and aren’t just very rough and loose attempts to model what actually goes on] - but as I said, we do not know specifically, and Interaxon will not tell us.


I probably should not have pasted the example I used because frankly I have issues with it. It strikes me as arbitrary. I am still looking for someone who has hooked up meditators from different traditions and recorded brainwaves.

I doubt that Transcendental Meditators are going to produce the same “signature” as people that do say Zen Shikantaza (open focusless sitting).

I am following teachers who teach basic anapanasati, watching the breath at a spot below the nostrils.

I am beginning to think that the Muse is measuring and “rewarding” me with good scores that don’t necesarily correlate with strong sessions of anapanasati.

In other words I am trying to learn technique A and I am being taught tecnique B.

I find Muse very useful and I am glad I bought it but I regularly think about stopping my use of it since there are times I think I would progress without it.

I respect Interaxon proprietary technology and their IP but I think that lack of a clear roadmap in terms of what Muse is doing and where it will take you is a limitation.

This may well be part of the companies plan in so far as they want to get beginners and expect that eventually people will stop using Muse and move on.

I don’t know. I am frustrated by their lack of support for their product and only recommend it half-heartedly at present.

I am always on the lookout for alternatives.


I think the best thing to do in order to master specific techniques from any tradition, is to practice the technique as instructed by a teacher from that tradition, and to do retreats with such a teacher as often as is possible given one’s life circumstances. Tech is still in the baby stages for these purposes.

My view is that the biological sensor systems (and the extremely pliable potential of the human mind) we already possess in this very body are far superior to any tech, and we just need to pay very close attention to them in order to learn what info they relay to us, what their limitations are, and to strengthen the neural connections required in order to use them efficiently. But it can be a long path - so we look for shortcuts, and we are programmed to look for results in forms of this or that experience, to think in terms of milestones, goals, etc… but sometimes, the long and sometimes boring road is where we learn what we really need.


well said and i don’t necessarily disagree but i do think the muse has value for lots of people who a) like tech or b) really need some kind of immediate feedback to let them know they are “in the zone”

but yes, nothing compares with a teacher who has experience and skill in the technique
retreats are great too since they remove distractions and help build the will and focus

i think that the muse is probably not aimed at people that want to do serious deep meditation but rather a few minutes a day to reap the significant benefits that even 20 minutes a day of meditation will return

finally, though tech cannot match a skilled teacher at present, i am not sure this will always be the case as we learn more about how the mind and brain work


they have an app on phone that will translate to alpha, delta, theta, waves, etc. so you can actually train for a specific wave now… check out Music Direct and also a 3rd party app, music monitor looks to be even more focused on specific brain wave states…