Open Source Apps in Your Brain

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 12, 2008

Many people think you can tell a lot about a person's subconscious thought by measuring various bodily functions including heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension (think polygraph machines).

Whether you believe that biofeedback technology is cutting edge, interesting to ponder, or just a lot of hooey, there are a few biofeedback apps for Linux users who want to explore the concept.

The OpenEEG Project wants to further the development of free and open source software for biofeedback and EEG (Wikipedia: Electroencephalography (EEG) is the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp) analysis . Its Website tracks existing apps, including a few closed source options that offer support for OpenEEG hardware.

"It is aimed toward amateurs who would like to experiment with EEG," notes the Web site. "However, if you are a pro in any of the fields of electronics, neurofeedback, software development etc., you are of course welcome to join the mailing-list and share your wisdom.

One app that caught my eye is BioEra, "a visual designer for analyzing bio-signals in real time [that] can be used with any bio-feedback device that has ability to send bio data to computer." It works on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and even PocketPC PDAs.

While not everyone believes in bio- and neurofeedback, researchers at NASA think it has merit. They use it to help train pilots, which ultimately led to spinoff technology that's helping children overcome the affects of ADD and ADHD.