autism

Brain Shift Radio User Study – BSR in clinical practice

We built brain shift radio to give you control over your brain. Because BSR was created out of our clinical work at the Strong Institute, some of our first and most active members are our Authorized REI Providers. This morning I talked with one of our providers who has integrated Brain Shift Radio into her clinical practice. Lisa, an occupational therapist, works with children with a variety of issues, including autism, add, and sensory processing disorders. A self-described techno-phobe, Lisa was initially a little hesitant to use Brain Shift Radio, concerned that it would be too complicated for her.

I talked with her after she had been using the radio for 2 months; she described that she has been happy to answer the brain shift questions and simply let it play. Each time a client enters her office, she answers the questions with that client’s needs in mind. Most of the time she chooses the focus and brain boost categories, and sometimes it’s the calm category. She also uses BSR to do paperwork and describes that she’s able to get it done much faster.

Each time you answer the Brain Shift questions, three track pairs are loaded. This totals one hour of listening time. For Lisa and her clients this is often sufficient, but sometimes she answers the follow up question to keep the radio playing. She described that the results she’s getting from Brain Shift Radio are superior to our generalized CDs (Calming Rhythms, Focusing Rhythms, and Sleep Rhythms).

In the two months since Lisa began using Brian Shift Radio, she has not played a member mix or created one of her own. She says she is happy to let the system choose the tracks for her. She has also not bothered to adjust the default mix ratio because she is happy with the effects she is seeing.

She says that someday she’ll play around with making mixes and tweaking the balance, but for now she is content letting Brain Shift Radio do the work for her.

Creepy Pandora? We prefer “A Great Way to Take Control of Your Brain.”

Earlier this week, UrbanDaddy published a short piece about Brain Shift Radio: Musical Mind Control: An Investigation.

Though skeptics UrbanDaddy may be; I am grateful for the press. And I love the reference to “Creepy Pandora”. This reference got me thinking about talking a little about the data and algorithms behind Brain Shift Radio and some tips that can help you have the “creepiest” experience possible.

The main thing to keep in mind with BSR is that the rhythm track is the key to the engine that runs the radio. The use of musical rhythm and the various characteristics of a given pattern – the accents, tones, and tempos – are what drives a listener’s brain. And because of our understanding of exactly which rhythmic structures do what, the rhythm tracks will drive your brain to a specific and desired state (this is where the data from 30 years of research comes in).

The ambient track, on the other hand, is simply a modulator of the rhythm track, though there is still a lot of data that drives these track choices. You can read more about the role of the rhythm and ambient tracks on BSR here: Understanding BSR Rhythm and Ambient Music Tracks.

To make BSR as effective as possible, let us choose the tracks for you and then, as you listen, offer us some feedback by rating the tracks and answering the feedback questions that appear periodically. This will help us understand what type of brain you have so we can give you better mixes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if we choose a mix for you, you can swap out one or the other track if you find you don’t like one. Here’s an article describing this simple procedure: Switching Out a Rhythm or Ambient Track in a Mix.

If you want to see where the technology behind Brain Shift Radio developed, check out our parent site Strong Institute. If you’re research-oriented, you may be interested in a new study on Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (REI) that will be published in the next few weeks.

This study focused on adults with autism, a particularly difficult population with which to affect change, and showed significant improvements in aggressive/violent behavior, anxiety, and sleep. Here is a short excerpt from the study (the complete paper will be posted here when we get approval from the publisher to do so):

On a global scale, after sixteen weeks of using the REI recordings for each of these individuals, the staff reported that there had been no violent or aggressive incidents within the facility for a period of three months. The staff reported that the residents were generally more calm and cooperative. They also reported that all residents were getting to sleep within 30 minutes of turning on their recordings and all the subjects seemed to enjoy listening to their recordings and several would turn them on by themselves.

The results of the REI recordings for the subjects were unique to each individual and were in concordance with the issues the REI recordings were designed to address. Similarities existed in several areas. These included:

* Aggression. Aggression was a significant issue for this facility in general. The subjects who displayed aggressive tendencies stopped doing so while using the REI recordings. The facility had no incidents of aggressive incidents after the first week of the study.

* Self-stimulatory behaviors. All Subjects with this issue saw significant improvements in self-stimulation including self-abusive or self-injurious behaviors.

* Anxiety. All subjects saw observable, significant improvements either while the recordings played our long-term beyond when the REI recording was playing.

* Sleep. All subjects with this issue saw significant improvements in their sleep, both with how quickly they fell asleep and being able to stay asleep when this was an issue.

* Bipolar cycle. The subject with bipolar disorder experienced a reduction in the depth of the cycles and in the durations of the depressed cycle.

Also, for those of you interested in the research and science behind Brain Shift Radio, keep an eye on the About section of this site. I’ll be putting up a couple articles shortly that go into a fair amount of detail.

Regardless of your desire to understand the data, my goal is for you to get the most out of your listening here. So, I highly recommend that you keep the rhythm in the mix, rate your tracks, swap out tracks you don’t like, save mixes you do like, and answer the feedback questions as they come up.

The more you engage with BSR, the better your results are going to be. And as you play with the radio, you will begin to see just how “creepy” we can be :-).