Larry Minikes is a technological pioneer in the consciousness hacking space having started in the space back in 1989 after seeing LED glasses at CES that flickered light in order to invoke different brainwave frequencies. Minikes went on to star AV Stem to create his own set of MindSpa glasses that leverages the frequency-following response of the brain combined with either binaural beats or polyphonic sounds in order to achieve different states of brainwave entrainment.
I had a chance to talk with Minikes at the Consciousness Hacking’s Awakened Futures Summit in order hear his own journey throughout the modern history of the consciousness hacking movement, how he’s seen the cultural shifts around meditative practices that used to be relegated into the fringes of the New Age movement, but have since had a lot more cultural acceptance stemming from a variety of different scientific studies proving out the efficacy and healing potential of a variety of different mindfulness practices. He also talks about some of the research around light & color from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lighting Research Center as well as a MIT study that used light flickering at 40 hertz (gamma wavelength) that found that it could be potentially used as a noninvasive treatment improves memory and reduces amyloid plaques improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. We also talk about the variety of different brainwave frequencies, and his phenomenal experience of these different states of consciousness.
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[00:00:05.412] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR podcast. So at the Awaken Futures Summit put on by Conscious Attacking, they had a variety of different demos, and one of the ones that I really enjoyed was the AV Stem Mind Spa by Larry Minikus, where you sit down in this chair, you close your eyes, you put on these glasses, and there's these different blinking lights that are correlated to these binaural beats that are trying to entrain you into a variety of different brainwave states of consciousness. And so I had a chance to go through a number of those different experiences, and I felt like it's able to achieve this level of brainwave entrainment. So Larry Menendez has been involved in the consciousness hacking movement as a pioneer since 1989. And he told me in this interview that he was actually at one of the very first consciousness hacking meetups in February of 2014, put on by Mikey Siegel, and gave one of the very first demos of some of his AV-STEM MindSpot glasses. So there's been a lot of different experiments and other studies that are looking at using light as therapy as well as different ways of doing the frequency following response to be able to try to entrain the brain into very specific brainwave states. So they're using different levels of brainwave entrainment to be able to Invoke these variety of different brainwave states and so Larry goes through the main five different brainwave states that we know about from a neuroscience perspective But also a brief survey of some of the research that's happening right now of using light as therapy some of the different therapeutic impacts and and just the evolution and change of what he's seen how this entire consciousness hacking and mindfulness has been transforming into what used to be a big part of the New Age movement is now moving fully into the mainstream and that there's a lot of interest in these different types of technologies of Using light and frequency following responses to be able to entrain your brain into different states of consciousness so that's what we're covering on today's episode of the voices of VR podcast and So, this interview with Larry happened on Sunday, May 19th, 2019, at the Awaken Future Summit in San Francisco, California. So, with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.
[00:02:24.027] Larry Minikes: Well, I'm Larry Minikus, and my company is AVStim, and I produce a product called MindSpa, which uses brainwave entrainment to help put people into states of relaxation or to help stimulate the brain. And it uses frequencies of light and sound set to brainwave frequencies that works under a process known as frequency following response. So in other words, it's very similar to when you look into a nice fire, the way it mesmerizes you. It's the flicker of the fire that the brain locks into and mesmerizes too. Shamans for thousands of years understood the power of light, the power of flickering fire, along with drumbeats to put entire groups into trance. So it's really an electronic form of fire and drums that puts people into these states.
[00:03:18.052] Kent Bye: Yeah, so maybe you could tell me a bit about the actual mechanics of what you have here, because you're wearing glasses and you have a number of different lights that are blinking, and so maybe just kind of describe what you've created here.
[00:03:28.855] Larry Minikes: Sure, so it uses glasses inset with LED lights, and along with headphones. And there's a control unit. The control unit has a series of programs in it. And what the user does is choose a program, depending on length of time, and how deep they want to go into a meditative state. Or there's also programs for stimulation. So depending on what they want to accomplish, focus, attention, they can choose the program that works best for them. And it's really an empowerment tool. So everyone is wired a little bit differently. So there's no one program, say, for sleep or for stress or for anxiety. or for focus. It's really a matter of going through the programs and you'll tend to naturally go toward the programs that you like best. So it's really a tool where you become your own expert.
[00:04:21.608] Kent Bye: Can you tell me a bit about your background and journey into doing these types of technologies? Oh, totally.
[00:04:27.192] Larry Minikes: Yeah. So I was going all the way back to the early 1980s. I was an electronics buyer. And I had a company come to me with a little handheld biofeedback device. It was the first time I was really exposed to this. And I found it very, very interesting, the idea that you could use something to change your brain. And then 1989, I read an article in Time Magazine about these lights and glasses that would change your brainwave frequencies. And then 1990, I'm giving you a timeline here, 1990 I was at the Consumer Electronics Show. And for anyone that's ever done one of these huge events, you get exhausted. You know, there's tens of thousands of people and you're walking miles and miles all day. And late afternoon, I ran into a company that actually had one of these devices. So I signed up and I took a 20 minute session. And after I finished, I felt like I was walking on clouds. I felt completely renewed. So I got on the phone with them and I bugged them for two straight weeks to let me become a sales rep for them in California. Shortly after doing that, I learned that there are actually several companies. There was a magazine back then called East West Magazine, and on the cover was a story, should the Buddha wear a Walkman, or does the Buddha wear a Walkman? And it showed the glasses. I went, oh my God, this is what I'm interested in. And I started reading and found another company, more developed, up in Seattle. I talked to them, we hit it off, and I ended up being there for almost 10 years. Then I decided I saw ways of doing things better. And I went out on my own and got into manufacturing. And I've been manufacturing with the same company for now two decades, actually. We're close friends. Both have become experts in this field. That's how I kind of got into it. It was a personal interest. I've been very fortunate. I have no background in neurotechnology, but I've been very fortunate over the years to work with a lot of scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, professors, you name it, and have just learned a tremendous amount from these people. So I'm very thankful to them. And that's how I came into this. I've always had an interest in the spiritual. You know, I did my fair share of psychedelics when I was young, and I had a very deep experience, free of any drugs, where I actually, you could say, flipped over to the other side. I think some call it enlightenment. I just found it to be an experience where everything is connected to everything else, and everything is perfect, and there is actually no black and white. There's actually no negative and positive. It's all on the same plane. And so that was... pretty much an awakening for me, but I had no guide at the time. And it was very difficult. It's actually taken about 40 years to incorporate that into my life in a way where it's very fulfilling at this point. So I feel very blessed to be in this kind of technology and doing these kind of things and helping people, particularly with stress and anxiety and sleep these days.
[00:07:37.027] Kent Bye: Yeah, I had a chance to try out the six-minute experience that you had yesterday where you're listening to it like almost like a droning drum sound on top of the blinking lights. And, you know, I've in the past done things like Holosync and Hemisync where they have very specific ways of entraining the brain into different, you know, qualities of attention or brain states, maybe in some ways matched by the different types of brainwave frequencies. And so, Maybe talk a bit about the different frequency ranges and how those may be tied to specific brain states.
[00:08:10.834] Larry Minikes: Right, and what you were talking about are called binaural beats. So we use both binaural beats and we use polyphonic sounds, which is the drumming you're talking about, like this. And this is the way to entrain people. However, when you add light to the sound, it becomes that much more powerful. So we live in five brainwave states. Beta is our normal waking state, and this is between roughly 12 hertz, 13 hertz, and about 20, 24 hertz. And then below that is alpha, and alpha goes from approximately 8 to 9 hertz, up to about 13 hertz. And this is the state of relaxed awareness. If we're reading a book, if we're in sports, it's called the zone. where we're completely focused and we're on. And then below that is theta. And theta is the state of hypnagogic imagery. This is between three hertz or three cycles per second for those who don't know what hertz is. Three hertz and about seven hertz. And we enter this state naturally as we're falling asleep and as we're waking up. It's where imagery is coming to us almost automatically, but we're semi-aware of what's going on. Theta is also the state of deep creativity. Deep meditators will enter the theta state, but it's an elusive state. And when we look in an EEG, we see theta more or less in spikes, short spikes of theta rather than going to theta for long periods of time. Then below that, between half a hertz and three hertz is the delta state. And that's the state of dreamless sleep. It's the restorative state. And infants will spend about 80%, at least 80% of their sleep cycle, because it's the growth cycle in that delta state. But as we get older, we can, we'll spend less and less time in the Delta state. And then the last state, and the state that's of great interest, is the Gamma state. And this is above 25 Hz, all the way up to about 150 Hz. There's been experiments going on for quite a while. They've shown that when they've looked at Buddhist monks who are deep meditators, will show a lot of Gamma activity. It's an exciting area. MIT recently published a study showing that 40 hertz, that's a gamma state, will help break up amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's. Extremely exciting study, and they're using light to do it. These are the five major states that we reside in. And the thing is, is we're not in one state at any one time. Part of our brain can be in delta. Part of our brain can be in alpha, in beta. It moves around. It's kind of like looking at a picture of the earth and you see open oceans in some places, then you see storms in others, and the brain is very much the same way. It's in various states in various different parts of the brain simultaneously.
[00:11:15.243] Kent Bye: And so with your technology that you're showing here, are you able to specifically target any one of those five different states in your experiences?
[00:11:24.191] Larry Minikes: Totally, yes. So the idea is the dominant brainwave state, to affect the dominant brainwave state. For most people, we want to move them into the alpha-alpha-theta state. It's just like doing exercise. The effect is cumulative, and it's exactly like meditation. To get to the center, there's a saying that the center is a many-spoked wheel. So, using technology is one way to help move you into that meditative state, and it's the regular use. 22 minutes to 30 minutes is the sweet spot, though even six minutes can move you into a deep alpha state. And using it over four to six weeks is where people find the most benefit. And then from there, the growth continues on.
[00:12:09.491] Kent Bye: Yeah, and so the demo that you're showing here, what specific brainwaves state are you targeting?
[00:12:14.862] Larry Minikes: Right, so I'm focusing, I'm giving people six-minute sessions, and those are in the alpha-theta state. It's in what's known as the Schumann resonance area, which is 7.83. This is the electronic frequency of the Earth. And there's a lot of science that suggests that this is a very grounding frequency for us to experience.
[00:12:38.970] Kent Bye: Can you induce the gamma wave states with your technology? Oh, yeah.
[00:12:42.171] Larry Minikes: Yeah, we have sessions on there at 40 Hertz and others and yes very much so and it's very powerful I use it cautiously because it is so powerful and What we recommend with those is only to do it once every two to three days because what it really is is it's like a stretching exercise for the brain and you're taking it to a place that it usually doesn't go. So think of your body as you're doing exercise and then stretching out. You know, you want to give, if you've done very intense exercise, you need to give your body time to rest and recover from that. And it's very much the same. You want to give it a couple of days to incorporate. In between, you can do alpha or alpha theta sessions.
[00:13:26.440] Kent Bye: Yeah, I'm wondering if you could give me an example of when you go through each of these different entrainment programs and targeting these different brainwave states, like what is your phenomenological experience? Like what are you experiencing in your body? And what does it make you feel like after you get out of and trying to sort of target each of these states?
[00:13:45.342] Larry Minikes: Oh, well that becomes sort of a complex question because everyone's experience will be a little different. Speaking for myself, I'll go into a deep trance and I've seen this in other people where you think you're asleep, but what I've said to people is, and this is true for me, when the session finishes, I come out of it. which shows that I was actually in a trance. I've seen people do sessions and then be completely asleep and they start to snore. Well, that's because they're not getting enough sleep. So, it's knocking them completely out. That's not quite what you want to do. What you want to do is keep them right in that sweet spot between awareness and getting into a sleep state. In other words, the self-hypnotic or the hypnotic state of trance. So, the feelings that you'll feel are, for most people, relaxation, body relaxation. A lot of people sit in fight or flight. We have so much input these days that we don't really give ourselves enough time to self-reflect. So this is really one of those tools for self-reflection.
[00:14:55.142] Kent Bye: Yeah, and it sounds like you've spent a long time in this field through, I guess, maybe the initial waves of some of these technologies. And it feels like that there's a bit of this resurgence and these different intersections and convergences between psychedelics and technology and these different contemplative meditative practices. And so just curious to hear your perspective being here at the Consciousness Hacking Awakened Futures Summit. and how we have this kind of new wave, but someone like yourself has been in previous cycles of this, and what your perspective on all of this is?
[00:15:26.543] Larry Minikes: Well, that's what's so interesting is when I got involved in this, it was new age, okay? It was in the 80s, late 80s and 90s, there was this new age movement, you know, so... I came out of the general consumer electronics field, so my challenge was to take something that was very new-agey, they were selling to, quote-unquote, meditators at the time, because there weren't many meditators around back then, not like today, and bring it into the general consciousness of people. So in those days, I put it in Sharper Image, in Hamaker Schlemmer, in numerous catalogs, SkyMall, and things like this to bring it forward. So I'm one of the pioneers. And what's so exciting is, It's a difficult journey. These products are what you might call orphan products. So you can't really put it on a retail shelf. You're not going to find it in Best Buy because one, it needs an explanation. And two, it doesn't really fit in any category. It doesn't really fit with massagers. So it has always been the big challenge is how do you communicate this to the public? And what's so exciting is that I've been trying to push the river and now the wave, I'm riding the wave, we're riding the wave because now there's a lot of these technologies coming out using different modalities. I use one. And people are coming toward it rather than me trying to push it there. And so, you could say I'm one of the original consciousness hackers in this, me and a few others of us that are still around. And it's just really, really cool to see all of us. In fact, when Mikey Siegel started consciousness hacking, the event we're at today, I went to his very first one in San Francisco in February 2014. And serendipity, I gave the very first demo. at the very first consciousness hacking. So it was really cool stuff, yeah.
[00:17:16.123] Kent Bye: Who are some of the other pioneers in this space, from your perspective?
[00:17:19.405] Larry Minikes: Sure. So there is David Seaver, who has Mind Alive up in Canada, a good colleague. Even though we're competitors, I have tremendous respect for him. There's a couple of others that have dropped out or have passed away that are around. There's Don Estes. He's one of the pioneers. He was working more on somatic, using beds that would move back and forth, rocking motion. to help stimulate the brain. And he's been around for a long time. And there's a few others. I'll think of their names in a while. But there was really three or four of us in the beginning that got into this. And then some of us that got into it for the wrong reasons and disappeared for the right reasons. So there's a few of us that are still here and really trying to help people live better lives and have better quality of life.
[00:18:10.107] Kent Bye: Can you talk about how the perspectives on meditation have changed since you began in this field?
[00:18:15.709] Larry Minikes: Oh, absolutely. It goes back to what I said earlier about meditation was a new agey, weird thing that people went to India for and had long hair and wore beads. And what's happened now is, particularly about 1997, I believe it was, when Harvard published studies on mindfulness. and showed that mindfulness has tremendous benefits. And I would say that that was really the start of meditation coming into the mainstream. Mindfulness is very much the same. It's the idea that you remain aware of, you have a higher state of awareness in your daily life. You're mindful of what's going on around you instead of just going through life. So it's really encouraging. We should all be doing some form of meditative exercise, even if it's only six minutes, every day, it has tremendous benefits to the brain. There are so many studies out now showing the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, and it's particularly for PTSD, for example. An area of tremendous interest in the early 90s. There was really no recognition of what PTSD is or was and so there's been a lot of growth accelerated growth particularly over the last five to ten years and what is exciting now is and I think you might say The legalization of cannabis is, what's pushing this along, is now looking at psychedelics as a medicine, rather than just as a recreational tool to put people into, or a spiritual tool, as you may, to put people into a deep state. And that's extremely exciting. There's tremendous benefit there. There are so many, again, there are so many studies because I keep up on all the studies coming out on psychedelics and their power to transform people that have gone through tremendous trauma and people that are dying. They're using it more and more in cancer institutes and such. And people are finding tremendous relief and are much more accepting after a psychedelic experience. And we've got to remember that most of the world has never had one. So for some it's something completely different, completely new. And there I think we're going to see a renaissance. We're beginning to see that renaissance now. So I think that's where the Institute of Noetic Sciences is going to be very important.
[00:20:47.275] Kent Bye: And have you been able to do any sort of neuroscience research with your product that you've created?
[00:20:52.196] Larry Minikes: We've done, yes, we have. We've done education studies in China, using it with students to see how we could improve their grade point average. And we've done some small studies, but we're a small company, and to do really big double-blind studies, you need someone like MIT. You need someone like Harvard or Stanford. And over the years, I've worked with them in various ways, particularly in using light for chronotherapy, because there's another benefit to this is that you can use blue light for depression. You can use it for sleep. It's the blue light that affects our melanopsin photoreceptor system, and that is our sleep-wake system. And around 98 it was discovered by several groups Harvard was one of the groups that it is actually the blue sky that impacts our sleep-wake cycle. It's not the sun. It's the blue sky. I worked with Professor Craig Heller. He's the head of physiology at Stanford University. And he had patented a pair of blue glasses with lights in them. And obviously it was very close to what we were doing, so I contacted him to collaborate and learn more about what he was doing. I asked him, Craig, why is it blue light that we're sensitive to? Craig explained that when we were primates in the deep dark jungle, there was very little sunlight coming through the canopy. But what you would see are flashes of the sky. And so, in order for primates to survive, they needed to wake up in the morning. It is that blue light, that is how the melanopsin photoreceptor system developed. We've known about the retina for 200 years. We've known about the rods and cones for centuries here. But they did not know about the melanopsin photoreceptor system. What scientists were seeing is that blind people who had their optic nerve cut still had normal sleep-wake cycles. And so there's a mystery, there's a puzzle. Why was that happening? So they were testing light even on the back of the knee. They were testing it on the body in different places. They couldn't figure it out, and finally they discovered these photoreceptors in the retina. And the reason they hadn't seen them before is because we've got hundreds and hundreds of millions of rods and cones, but only a few thousand of these melanopsin photoreceptors. And the wiring is parallel, if I may call it wiring, is parallel to the optic nerve and travels to what's known as the SCN. in the center of the brain, which controls the release of hormones, including melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. Now what happens in depression, particularly winter depression, is when you don't get enough blue light, you're not turning off that melatonin. your body is saying, oh, it's dark, I need to sleep. So it's dripping melatonin during the day and that manifests itself as depression. So that's why they have these light boxes that they want you to sit in front of for 40, 45 minutes. You can do it with glasses because the lights are very close to the eye and accomplish the same thing in a lot less invasive way than looking into something that's basically like looking into the headlights of a car. But for most people, I worked with the Stanford Sleep Clinic and they told me, the head of the clinic said, Larry, the first thing we do is when we get a chronic case in here, six in the morning, we put them out on park bench and have them sit there for 45 minutes and just get natural light. And I can see it myself, where we fail is that we leave the home or leave the office and we immediately put on our sunglasses. And it's in the morning when we need that natural light. So we are basically cave dwellers going from indoors, outdoors with blocking blue light, Or, if you're in your car, the windshields will also block that blue light. So we need that natural blue light to balance our circadian clock during the day. For a lot of people, it's just simply getting the right amount of light. Light is so powerful. Light has the most powerful effect on our physiology. I think, going back to your earlier question, I think what we're going to see in medicine is far more use of light and flickering light in the future here with far greater effect. And this is where MIT came in with their recent study showing that yes, in fact, this stuff really does work.
[00:25:26.047] Kent Bye: So just generally, the flickering light has an impact on depression? What did the MIT study find specifically?
[00:25:32.056] Larry Minikes: The MIT study is using flickering light at 40 hertz. But it's the fact that they're using light for medical purposes. Oh, for that, so the Alzheimer's, too. Yeah, that's so exciting. It's using blue light in the glasses, and so we're doing two things at once, all right? We're putting you into a meditative state, which really energizes you during the day. And we can use blue light in the morning, so you're getting the benefit of both. That's how it's working.
[00:26:03.858] Kent Bye: Have you found that there's a phenomenal experience of different lights? So if you wanted to activate things, you might do red or... I'm just curious if you've experimented with finding different phenomenal experience based upon what color of light you use.
[00:26:15.950] Larry Minikes: Oh yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. I should have touched upon that. For example, I think it was about four years ago, RPI Rensselaer is one of the, up in near Albany, New York, is one of the major universities studying light and its effects on the human physiology. And they found, interestingly enough, they put up panels of specific color of blue and red panels, and they found that it increases attention in the afternoon. Very interesting. Red and blue together, the combination of red and blue. And I believe this may be due to the fact that when you wake up in the morning, when the sun comes up, it's coming up in the red realm. So I believe that that's where the physiology may be coming into this. And then there's been several studies just these past few years on green light, on specific frequencies of green light, which we also use. They're showing that it is reducing migraine pain and that it is improving sleep by, I believe I read, 20%. So, there's a whole study on green light and I believe that has a lot to do with the forest and the calming effect. Everything goes back to nature. So, it's all going back to nature. So, green light can be very helpful for sleep and apparently there's more studies coming out, but apparently for pain as well.
[00:27:39.461] Kent Bye: So I've been into a planetarium, and I see how they're able to use light to have very precise ways of showing stars at different magnitudes. I would imagine within a VR experience, you would have trouble trying to replicate what a physical projector that is projecting light onto a big dome can achieve. And so you told me yesterday that you're starting to experiment a little bit with virtual reality, but curious if you're able to kind of recreate the same feeling that's close enough, or if you feel like there's something special about having those physical LED lights that are those different colors.
[00:28:10.089] Larry Minikes: It's not the LED lights, it's light. And with virtual reality you can replicate that. It's a very nice effect. You can use it with your eyes open or your eyes closed. Oh, and I should say generally you use our glasses with your eyes closed. And you can see the flickering light through your eyelid and it filters through, the light filters right through your eyelid. It can be used for eyes open and we recommend that for kids with ADHD because it's very hard for them to sit still so we can put them in front of a computer or something so that they can keep their mind busy while they're wearing the glasses. With virtual reality it's much easier because it's an open field and you can either just have color therapy You mentioned red. Red will not affect the melanopsin photoreceptor system, nor will green, so it can be used in the evening. Green will be more calming. Red will be a little bit more energizing, but it won't cause sleep loss. A lot of us have read articles recently about not using our screens at night because of the blue light coming off the screens. So everything emits light. Everything has an effect on us. And that's what we're really seeing at this point. And VR is, as VR continues to expand, it's going to be another great way to give people therapy.
[00:29:32.216] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think the ultimate potential of consciousness hacking is and what it might be able to enable?
[00:29:40.528] Larry Minikes: Well, there's a good question. It's limitless, isn't it? The consciousness is limitless. And what we can do here is limitless. And having something like this, where you have a community that interacts with each other, just superpowers everything. So we're still very early. It will be interesting to see where we are in the next, say, five years, 10 years. But it's going to be extremely exciting.
[00:30:05.848] Kent Bye: Great. Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the immersive community?
[00:30:10.109] Larry Minikes: Hey, just go out there and learn. Go out there and read. Find out about the benefits of meditation. If you're suffering from any sort of issues, whether it's depression, whether it's sleep, a lot of us have sleep issues, whether it's anxiety or stress, there are answers out there. There are non-pharmacological answers that will work for you. It's sort of a five-phase approach. You have to have exercise. You have to eat correctly. You have to have your own downtime. This is a little different from meditation. You have to have time for self-reflection, where you're not getting all the input from your devices. Then you have to have a meditative part of all of this. And it's these things that really make a difference to the quality of life. And at the end of the day, I think most of us want quality of life, you know. Some of us are goal-driven, whether it's money, or a particular position, or a particular place we want to be. And we sometimes get lost in the forest when we're not seeing the big picture. And the big picture is, where do I want to be as a person? How do I want to feel? And how do I want my health to be?
[00:31:24.175] Kent Bye: Awesome. Great. Well, thank you so much for joining me. So, thank you. Pleasure. Thank you. So, that was Larry Minikus. He's the founder of AVSTEM and he was showing off the MindSpot glasses at the Awaken Futures Summit. So, I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that, first of all, Well, you hear a lot of different people talk about these variety of different brainwave states. So a lot of the brainwave entrainment has been focused on just the binaural beats, which is essentially like in order to invoke your mind into a certain frequency, you'd have to have a carrier frequency, meaning that your brain can't hear the brainwave frequencies because they're so slow and low. So essentially you have to do the difference. And so if you put in your ear, like. 108 Hertz in the other ear is 100 Hertz, then you kind of hear the difference of 8 Hertz, essentially. That's the idea, is that you can train the brain by getting into these different frequencies because your brain does the math and subtracts the frequencies. Well, with light, you can help amplify the ability of doing this frequency following response by not only doing these binaural beats at these certain frequencies, but also flashlights at those frequencies where you can certainly tell the frequency and hopefully invoke these different frequency following responses. So that's a lot of what the AV-STEM and MindSpot glasses were doing. We're trying to invoke a variety of different experiences with the combination of these binaural beats and polyphonic sounds as well as with these flickering lights that you put these glasses on and you shut your eyes and you get invoked in these different brainwave states. So there's the five major different brainwave states. The beta brainwave states are the ones that are kind of a normal waking consciousness. That's from 13 to 24 hertz. The alpha from the eight to nine up to 13 zone is to start to slow the brain down a little bit and to get into a little bit of that focused meditative state and then getting down to 3 to 7 Hertz is that hypnagogic state where you're about to go to sleep or wake up and you have this Images that come to you and so it's this realm of deep creativity and you typically see spikes within this The Delta state is from 0.5 herbs up to 3 Hertz. That's like this deep sleep and so you hear a lot of Delta wave trying to invoke these different super sleep or deep resting states of consciousness and And then the gamma is kind of above the beta, which is anywhere above 25 Hertz, up to 150 Hertz. But he's saying that the MIT study was looking at 40 Hertz to help break up this amyloid plaques within people who have Alzheimer's. So these different major brainwave states, you hear a lot within the consciousness hacking community in terms of trying to target these specific types of brainwave frequencies. And the way that Larry described it is that your brain is always in one of a variety of these different states. It's not like you have a uniform wave state, but you have different parts of your brain that are operating at different frequencies. I think part of the point of the frequency following response is to perhaps get your brain synchronized by using light and binaural waves to be able to create this brainwave entrainment But doing that, it kind of creates these training wheels to be able to focus your body on either getting rest or sleep or to reduce stress or if you're trying to reduce anxiety or go to sleep, you know, it's a whole other different ways of using these different types of technologies. So I'd say that this is a realm where it's more focused on your phenomenal experience of like, if you have these experiences and if you feel better, then it's something that you should definitely check out. But in terms of the consumer products and proving out through the various different scientific studies, like how effective are some of these things, I still think it's at the stage of not necessarily being well-proved out in terms of the variety of these different types of practices and how effective they are. I think you have to kind of go off with how they make you feel in your own direct phenomenal experience. And so it is coming from this realm of the new age market back from before meditation had really come into the mainstream, but yet due to the lack of funding and resources to be able to do a lot of the proper research and studies, then it's a little bit ambiguous in terms of how effective these things actually are. But I can definitely say from having a wide range of different experiences, both from binaural beats, from him a sink and hollow sink, as well as, anecdotally having a few of these different experiences with the light, I do think it does have the potential to be able to help invoke these different meditative states of consciousness. Now I will say that people who have seizure disorders, there is this issue with blinking lights and so it's not like that you should just start to throw these different types of things into immersive experiences without disclosing to people because you could start to invoke these seizure reactions. But the other thing that was interesting just hearing from Blair is that there's a whole wide variety of different research that's happening, both from psychedelics to see all the different therapeutic impacts of psychedelics, but also looking at trying to modulate these different types of light, whether it's RPI, doing a lot of experimentations with looking at the phenomenal experience of these different lights and light colors of how green lights able to reduce migraine pain and improve sleep and that the red can increase energy and that there's this whole thing about blue lights. If anybody has been looking at trying to put on these blue light filters like flux to be able to turn off the blue lights at night, because it could start to disrupt your melatonin cycle and just kind of kick you up into this state where it's not actually natural to be seeing that much blue light at night, which can disrupt your sleep and invoke all these different states of depression if you don't have enough melatonin that's being released. And so I do think that there's going to be all sorts of different types of light therapies, and it'll be interesting to see the role that virtual reality technologies have that starts to integrate a lot of this different types of research and insights into what are the true nature to these melanopsin photoreceptors that is releasing the release of things like melatonin, but also just the power and potential of using light therapy in general through these augmented and virtual reality technologies. So my final thought is just, it was great to have somebody who's been a part of this consciousness hacking community using specifically technologies, because if you look at meditation as a technology tool, I mean, you could go back for like 5,000 years for all the people that have been involved in trying to hack and modulate consciousness. But in terms of using technology specifically, sounds like Larry meniscus is coming from this. era were this first big wave of using technology to do these different types of very explicitly trying to change and modulate your consciousness and that he's just been in the field for such a long time and still continues to be out there and giving demos at things like this Awaken Futures Summit. So it's something that it could tell that he's really driven by the passion and to give people what the power of some of these alternative and complementary techniques are in order to invoke these variety of different experiences. And I do think that something like binaural beats as well as with these lights and flickering lights, we're going to see a lot more of that in terms of trying to invoke these very specific states of consciousness and I'm looking forward to seeing how you can create a whole architecture of an entire experience that maybe has an element of some of these things that is priming you to go into something that is a much more involved journey that could unfold over a few hours or something like that. But there's all sorts of different ways to train people into specific states of consciousness. So that's all that I have for today. And I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoyed the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listener supported podcast. And so I do rely upon your donations in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.