A New Device with State-of-the-Art Capabilities
The foundation of the Vilistus Mind Mirror is its trademarked Cade-Blundell pass band filters: a series of frequency groupings designed to provide the greatest signal accuracy with the least amount of electrical noise.
The Mind Mirror 6 relies on the Cade-Blundell filters and specific placement of five electrodes to generate recognizable brainwave patterns that can be observed and trained.
This new instrument, featuring dual-channel EEG sensors integrated with physiology meters, allows the self-trainer and professional to monitor and record the activities of the mind and body through incomparable features, user controls and summary view screens for data analysis (pictured at right in the above screen capture).
Classic and new views with an optional gamma screen. The classic Mind Mirror pattern, with 14 frequency bars ranging from 0.5-44 Hz, may be viewed as horizontal bands, an outline pattern, or an outline pattern with a fill. The screen display comes in two preset color schemes (dark blue bars on a black background, shown above, and yellow bars on a blue background). The user may also customize the colors of the frequency bars and background with a wide variety of color choices. Shown below is a preset custom screen with a white outline used for training the awakened mind pattern with audio cues.
A keystroke command (or right-click menu) enables the user to see two additional bars of low gamma (44-54 and 54-64 Hz). At the bottom of the Mind Mirror display is a green EMG bar that measures muscle tension to safeguard against EEG artifact.
The screen capture below illustrates several of many other ways to view Mind Mirror data. Note the 2-45 Hz raw trace across the top, the vertical bars at bottom left, and the five yellow bar-graph windows: theta, alpha, SMR, beta and gamma.
EEG combined with physiology meters. The Vilistus DSU features eight channels accessed through four inputs, or ports. A dual-channel EEG sensor is plugged into one of the four inputs, leaving three ports for additional EEG sensors or physiology meters. The use of physiology meters with the Mind Mirror is a highly significant stride in mind research.
* The Mind Mirror's Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) meter is calibrated to the Electrical Skin Response (ESR) meter used by Max Cade to measure muscle tension as a physiological correlate of consciousness. Small electrodes taped to two fingertips measure relative changes in muscle tension and thus relaxation or arousal in two choices of data windows: skin conductance (uSiemens) or skin resistance (Ohms). The operator may also measure muscle tension in absolute values with a Lesh scale window. Because the Lesh scale correlates with EEG states, GSR may be used alone to identify brainwave states--without the use of EEG.
* The Blood Volume Pulse (BVP) meter, a light-sensitive electrode clipped to the fingertip or ear, tracks heart/pulse rate changes in real-time. Post-session summary view windows show pulse rate, heart rate variability, and stress index over the course of the session as a means of measuring the subject's depth of inner peace and calm. Used individually or together, the GSR and BVP provide new insights into brainwave patterns and enable users to regulate the body as well as the mind.
* The Breath/Body Temperature meter measures heat generation and thus relaxation/arousal levels.
Sophisticated user controls. The MM 6 features a number of new and valuable operator controls available during recording and in post-session summary view windows.
* Resizable data windows can fill the screen or be positioned anywhere on the computer monitor. An innovative signal check stoplight for each brain hemisphere continuously monitors signal quality, sEMG artifact, and ambient 60Hz noise.
* In addition to the Mind Mirror display, the user can monitor gamma, beta, alpha, theta and delta (or the more universal dominant frequency and 2-45Hz options) in raw trace time series windows.
* While recording and in summary view, keystroke commands and a right-click menu provide quick access to self-training mode, auto-attenuation, gamma display, screen snapshot, other color schemes, and refresh rate controls. The default refresh rate, or display speed, is markedly slower than the classic Mind Mirror and makes patterns easier to read and interpret. The amplitude, or microvoltage, of the frequency bars can also be attenuated manually via the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.
* Pressing the space bar pauses the screen while the recording continues uninterrupted, so that none of the session is lost. Pressing the space bar or Enter key also places vertical white lines that mark events on a timer bar seen in post-session review.
* In replay, left and right arrow keys enable the operator to study brainwave patterns frame by frame. Changing the refresh rate to a higher speed in replay reveals patterns recorded but not previously seen at slower speeds.
* Summary display options on EEG, GSR and BVP screens include active and changeable data range scales, trend lines, and a black-on-white color display.
* A slider bar enables the user to scroll through a recorded session and moves all screens backward and forward in time simultaneously.
* Clicking on a data line or event marker in a summary view window activates a second timer clock used to pinpoint the timing of notable GSR or BVP measurements and use the slider bar to scroll to and investigate the related Mind Mirror pattern. This innovative feature enables the operator to discover and explore mind-body correlates as never before.
Self-training screens. One of the most attractive and far-reaching features of the Mind Mirror 6 is its self-training screens, which provide direct feedback for training the meditation, awakened mind, and evolved mind brainwave patterns.
Self-trainers simply hook up the electrodes, bring up the Mind Mirror screen, select the pattern to be trained and the challenge level, toggle a key to bring up the white outline around the brainwave pattern, and press Record. With eyes closed, the self-trainer in silent meditation hears audio cues consisting of music for the meditation and awakened mind patterns and a gong sound for the evolved mind pattern. The Run Reward Counter tracks the number of times the pattern was attained, for easy comparisons from session to session. For self-training with guided meditations, the gong sound is selected as the audio cue. The pattern outline provides visual feedback in eyes-open training.
After the session, the self-trainer assesses the session via the digital number displayed in the counter and a large array of post-session summary screens. Using the Galvanic Skin Response and Blood Volume Pulse meters enables the self-trainer to compare physiological changes with EEG for a deeper understanding of the correlates of consciousness. Relating subjective experiences (mind and body) to objective measurements (EEG, GSR and BVP) is the key to awakened mind brainwave training and mastery.
Self-trainers new to meditation may wish to purchase professionally recorded and EEG-tested guided meditations led by Judith Pennington (visit EagleLife.com) and/or the late Anna Wise (visit AnnaWise.com). These meditation tracks help the new meditator reduce beta and generate the alpha-theta meditation and awakened mind patterns. Familiarization with the "felt state" of consciousness via visual or audio feedback facilitates brainwave regulation and the development of higher states of awareness.
New and seasoned meditators may wish to additionally purchase a Manual Trigger Button (or tap the Space Bar or Enter key) to place markers in post-session summary screens; the self-trainer can scroll to the marker in the summary screen (EEG, GSR or BVP) to determine the exact moment a state of consciousness was marked and then use the slider bar to scroll to the related brainwave pattern.
Hemispheric symmetry can be trained with the Mind Mirror or Brain Mirror, a colorful dual-hemisphere display of individual frequency bars shown at top right in the screen capture below. Specific sites in the brain can be trained with neurofeedback electrode positioning, allowing for direct audio feedback consisting of tones that inhibit or reward brainwave production. Note the red pointers in the two alpha-theta neurofeedback screens below, where the vertical white lines indicate upper and lower thresholds.
Data windows used for neurofeedback training include gamma, beta, alpha, theta and delta amplitudes, SMR, alpha-theta (meditation) and theta-beta (peak performance). The Dominant Frequency filter, shown at bottom left, enables the meditator to easily identify in summary view the strongest amplitudes of brainwave frequencies produced during the session.
See the Self-Training Kit page for additional screenshots of data windows used in self-training.
Group brainwave training capability. The Mind Mirror 6 accommodates group brainwave trainings - with a new level of affordability and ease. Four dual-channel sensors can be plugged into the Vilistus DSU for simultaneous monitoring and recording. Each display can be adjusted as explained above. This is another major stride in Mind Mirror development, as only a few awakened mind practitioners with specialized equipment could conduct group trainings until now.
Warranty. The Mind Mirror 6 comes with generous warranties: a two-year fair use warranty on the DSU, one-year fair use warranty on sensors, and free lifetime Mind Mirror updates.
Manual. Judith Pennington, an awakened mind practitioner certified by Anna Wise and co-designer of the Mind Mirror 6, provides purchasers with a professionally written User Manual. This comprehensive, downloadable PDF document covers use and operation of the hardware and software.
Training. Located an hour west of New York City, Judith is currently the only person offering 4.5-day seminars on the use of the Vilistus equipment and how to read and understand the brainwave patterns produced by the Mind Mirror. Visit the Training page for more information and a schedule of seminars designed for self-trainers and EEG awakened mind practitioner trainers.
Support. Customer Service representative Judith Pennington places and tracks orders and works hands-on with customers via email, telephone, Skype and ShowMyPC to ensure satisfaction and ready use of the Vilistus hardware and Mind Mirror software. Software engineer and Vilistus/Durham Systems co-owner Steve Clark provides free lifetime technical support via the same communication avenues. Steve Clark also offers online training in biofeedback and neurofeedback.
Optional Equipment. Purchasing a set of four high-quality (camera grade) 1.2-volt rechargeable batteries and a charger, along with a digital voltmeter, for use with the Vilistus Mind Mirror 6 is strongly recommended. Self-trainers and practitioners may also wish to purchase at an additional cost a hard-shell carry case designed for the Mind Mirror.
The optional Manual Trigger Button places event markers in session recordings without creating movement artifact or beta waves with the externalization of attention. Click here to explore an array of related Vilistus products such as the Mind Cube, a device that provides direct visual EEG feedback in lighted colors.
Previous Versions of the Mind Mirror
Due to its versatility and ease of use, many awakened mind practitioners still use the Mind Mirror III console invented by electronics engineer Neil Hancock. The Mind Mirror III is no longer being manufactured or repaired. However, Mind Mirror III units occasionally become available; contact Judith to inquire about these. Neil Hancock worked closely with Judith Pennington and Steve Clark to develop the Vilistus Mind Mirror 6 and has given its technical specifications his official stamp of approval.
The Mind Mirror 4 and its successor, the Mind Mirror 5, a medical-grade EEG manufactured by Thought Technology and also approved by Neil Hancock, is still available. Judith Pennington provides the Mind Mirror software for this two-, four- or eight-channel device. If you are a medical professional, check with your insurance company to determine whether you need to buy a medical-grade EEG in order to satisfy coverage requirements. For more information on the Mind Mirror 5 or to purchase the Mind Mirror software disk that runs on the ProComp's BioGraph Infiniti software, please email Judith.