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THOUGHT STREAM Biofeedback FAQ
THOUGHT STREAM Biofeedback FAQ

Information—FAQs

Light & Sound
BioFeedback

What is a light/sound machine?

Utilizing light and sound pulses at a specified frequency, these machines stimulate the mental activity in various ways, essentially leading perception from the waking state to a variety of altered states of consciousness.

What are some examples of "altered states of consciousness" and how do they differ from normal states?

Waking state: attention directed to surroundings.  Includes agitated, restless/"monkey mind" states which are especially amenable to treatment with light and sound stimulation.

"Alpha" state: Relaxed, tranquil, daydreaming, "inward awareness" state. Light meditation here, too.

Hypnagogic, or "twilight" state: Borderline sleep; deep meditation state; hypnotic state; access to the unconscious mind and enhanced retrieval of memories; creativity, accelerated or "superlearning", inspiration.  Associated with increased theta brainwave activity

Trance state: Deep, dreamless sleep; deep rest.  Often associated with increased delta brainwave activity

Who can benefit from this technology?

Light and sound is an effective tool for anyone who wishes to explore altered states of consciousness, awareness expansion and sensory stimulation, psychedelic-like visual imageray, and those seeking an entertaining path to relaxation.

Is there anyone who should not use this technology?

Nearly everyone who uses light and sound stimulation report enjoying it.  However, if you have a family history of epilepsy, are taking psychoactive medication or have ever had a seizure of any sort, we recommend consulting your physician before using light and sound.  Likewise, if bright light bothers you (i.e., can give you a headache), then light and sound may not be for you.

What happens during a session?

With special light-bearing sunglasses over your closed eyes and headphones over your ears, you are immersed in colorful dancing geometric patterns and entrancing sounds. The light and sound pulse rate shifts from state to state as the session progresses; mental activity will follow the pulse rate of the machine. 

What is achieved by experiencing these states of consciousness?

The following are some of the areas being explored by users of these machines: psychological stress relief, deep relaxation, assistance in falling asleep, memory improvement, increased learning, stabilizing emotions, increased intellectual focus, lucid dreaming, sensory stimulation, and increased physical energy. While some of these benefits have been substantiated by research studies, these machines are experimental and results will vary from person to person.

How important is sound to the overall experience?

Sound and music have been used for centuries in many cultures to alter consciousness. Drums, chants, and environmental sounds like wind and rain all provide strong mental pictures and associations. Pleasant sounds are much more enjoyable and relaxing than one-note beeps or tones, such as those used by other machines. Synetic Systems incorporates the most sophisticated sound generation circuitry of any light/sound device, employing digital wavetable synthesis to generate complex wave forms, rich two- and three-note harmonies, and moving audio sculptures.  Use of special AudioStrobe® CD's can fully synchronize the lights with the audio program.  However, because a much larger portion of the brain is involved in vision as compared to audio processing, we can state that sound is less important than the lights as a means for achieving the desired states.

What are "binaural beats"?

Binaural beats occur when two sine (pure) waves of slightly differing frequency are presented to the left and right sound channels:  the difference between the left and right is synthesized by the brain and  perceived as a slowly modulated frequency. This is known as a binaural beat frequency. This beat frequency is typically modulated at the same frequency as the lights.

Why are LEDs used instead of incandescent lights?

Light emitting diodes–LED's–are state of the art solid state devices that convert small amounts of electrical energy into light. They can be switched on and off much faster than incandescent lights, producing the crisp strobe-like pulses which have been shown to be most effective at inducing desired patterns of activity. They also create very pure colors–again an important factor in the alteration of consciousness, as demonstrated by several published studies.

What is "wavetable crossfading"?

Proteus™ includes four different, user-editable audio waveforms.  The waveform, pitch etc. can change from segment to segment, and to avoid a startling "hop" from one to the next, we smoothly mix them together at the segment boundaries; this is called "crossfading".

What is BioConnect?

BioConnect™ describes our biofeedback/light and sound interlink protocol, which enables the automatic, real-time control of light/sound sessions from certain biofeedback systems, such as ThoughtStream™.

What is BioFeedback?

The patterns of our response to emergencies probably emerged during the time when all humans faced actual physical threats to their survival. Although the "threats" we now live with are seldom physical, the body still reacts as if they were.

Actual and perceived stressful events can produce strong emotions, which arouse certain physical responses from the sympathetic nervous system - the network of nerve tissues that helps prepare the body to meet emergencies by "flight or fight." Some of us are more sensitive to the flight-or-fight response than others.

When we sense danger, our bodies release stress hormones, and our heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension increase. While this response is useful when we really are in danger and need to respond, it can be a problem if we do not learn how to respond to ordinary stresses in a healthy way and can lead to feeling chronically "stressed."

Behavior, thoughts, and feelings influence our whole mind/body system. Individual physical responses to stress can become habitual. When the body is repeatedly aroused, one or more functions may become permanently overactive. Become more aware of your responses, and you can be more comfortable and in control - you can learn to change inappropriate reactions.

What is Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)?

GSR: Fluctuations in the skin's electrical resistance often associated with emotional states. The ThoughtStream™ personal GSR biofeedback system measures tiny, rapid fluctuations in skin moisture associated with the degree of arousal via a compact palm sensor presents these changes to you by both audio and visual means. You learn to lower the pitch of a sound heard through headphones or make the LED's on the display console turn from red to green. For more comprehensive training use the included Mental Games multimedia software to fine-tune your ability to relax and focus at the same time.

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PROCYON Light and Sound Machine

ThoughtStream: Yes (+$70.00)No
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DAVID PAL  36 with CES - NEW Re-Designed!  Package Deal!

Add the DAVID Session Editor: Yes (+$80.00)No
Tru-Vu Omniscreen: Glasses with Full Screen Coverage
Glasses with Viewholes (+$20.00)
AC Adapter: Yes (+$14.00)No
ThoughtStream: Yes (+$70.00)No
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QRS-101 3595: Yes (+$3950.00)No
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These are our current best sellers.

PROTEUS Light and Sound Machine

ThoughtStream: Yes (+$70.00)No
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QRS-101 3595: Yes (+$3950.00)No
List Price: $195.00
Price: $159.95
DAVID PAL  36 with CES - NEW Re-Designed!

AC Adapter: Yes (+$14.00)No
Tru-Vu Omniscreen: Glasses with Full Screen Coverage
Glasses with Viewholes (+$20.00)
Add the DAVID Session Editor: Yes (+$80.00)No
List Price: $495.00
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