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"neurohacking"

Keith Messer no-email
Thu Mar 3 07:03:23 EST 1994


Is anyone out there working on EEG interfaces to computers or direct
neural stimulation?  I'm interested in what's happening in the area.
Although my background is computer science I'd be willing to grind through
papers on the subject if anyone knows the appropriate references.

There seems to be a growing underground of "basement researchers" in the
area of active stimulation of the brain with electrical currents and
magnetic waves.  Although this is certainly dangerous for people trying
out experimental devices on themselves the area seems very rich with
possibility.  The recent article in Wired magazine seems to have created
even more interest, and I actually know of someone local who's trying to
build a stimulation device.

My questions are:

	What's a good text on the electrical characteristics of the brain?
	Is it possible to obtain a cheap EEG with a computer interface?
	What are the good features to look for in an EEG?
	Are other non-intrusive brain wave monitoring devices available?
	How much voltage applied to the scalp is considered dangerous?
	What magnetic flux is considered dangerous when applied directly to
	the brain?

The Wired article is available through xmosaic or gopher if you want to
check it out.  I'd like to include the disclaimer that I know nothing about
the safety or reasonableness of neural stimulation, and in fact have read a
lot of warnings about it.  So, uh, don't go out and fry yourself because
you read the Wired article at my suggestion.

On the other hand, if anyone reads this who's tried some of these experiments,
I'm very interested in getting involved in this necessarily amateur research
area, and have some experiments I'd like to run.  The applications I have in
mind are passive rather than active stimulation for the time being, but I
find the active experiments the most interesting.  Please contact me if you
know something about this stuff.

							Keith

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Keith Messer
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