Biohacking : What Can the Muse 2 EEG Measure?

Muse 2

The Muse 2 EEG meditation device started shipping in January of 2019. It features a sleek design and is thinner than previous models. The new unit offers body biofeedback in the form of breath, heart and posture. It still makes use of 7 electrodes (2 forehead, 2 behind the ears and 3 reference) as EEG sensors to provide real-time brainwave feedback. This device falls into a strange category of being used as an inexpensive research grade tool. The 2014 Muse had been shown to be 95% as effective as a $77,000 actiCHamp EEG in a 10/10 electrode configuration.

Muse Direct

My favorite meditation to do with the Muse 2 is not through the provided meditation app, but using their Muse Direct App (subscription required / iOS only / $35 annual). Muse Direct allows viewing of each brainwave frequency as well as easy writing to files and can be run on any iOS device. Originally I used Muse Direct to increase my focus. I would listen carefully to all the noises around me and let my mind calm down. You can see in the 2min check-in that the blue alpha line is slowly rising to the top which represents calm focused attention. Recently, I have been experimenting on the effects of yogic breathing on brainwaves. Bee breathing which involved sticking your fingers in your ears and humming has been the most effective for me to reach flow state almost immediately. This is where the alpha and theta waves are both elevated (blue and purple in the graphs below).

PPG Sensors

The Muse Direct App supports reading of the PPG Sensors which are measuring heart rate and heart rate variability via pulse oximetry and photoplethysmography. The default muse meditation app can provide more meaningful data, but to access the sensor data we simply need to select the PPG option from the top menu. It is really nice to see that the latest model “Muse 2” has full support for accessing the new sensors.


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