NeuroVizr®️

Science and the NeuroVizr™

The NeuroVizr™ is a personal Wellness device and not a medical device. It is a wearable headset that integrates both light and sound signal stimulation. The light signaling is provided by uniquely configured LEDs and experienced with eyes closed. The sound signaling is integrated into the light signaling and is delivered by headphones/earbuds. The NeuroVizr Experience is controlled by an original app loaded into a smartphone.  

SCIENCE-BASED DESIGNS:

The NeuroVizr™ and its specific light/sound compositions have not been assessed in formal clinical studies. Such studies are under consideration for review. The NeuroVizr™ design and light/sound composition formats are based on several previously verified principles and, as such, weigh a range of well-accepted scientific applications.  

LIST OF ITEM SUMMARIES:

1) NEUROVIZR™ HARDWARE: Summary: The physical design of the LEDs maximizes the optometric requirements for a unique type of MACRO pattern stimulation of the central and autonomic nervous systems. 2) NEUROVIZR™ TRIPLE SIGNAL DYNAMICS: Summary: The NeuroVizr™ utilizes three integrated types of light signaling simultaneously, resulting in unusually rich and meaningful brain information messaging. 3) BRAIN ENGAGEMENT & NEUROPLASTICITY: Summary: The NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling processes are built upon the core factors that are known to engage and enhance positive neuroplasticity. 4) SENSORY ENRICHMENT: Summary: The cardinal sensory enrichment factors that stimulate generalized neuroplastic processes are fundamentally incorporated into the NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling designs. 5) BRAIN PRIMING: Summary: The NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience is an effective Brain Priming stimulation, improving the outcomes of various associated techniques and therapies. 6) EMDR & NEUROVIZR™: Summary: The EMDR psychological process is enhanced by applying alternating bilateral photic stimulation, also found throughout the NeuroVizr™ light/sound sessions. 7) Entropic Brain/Psychedelic Information Theory: Summary: Advanced brain research utilizing psychedelic compounds creates a roadmap for NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling designs that have integrated periods of de-stabilization and re-stabilization for optimum information processing. 8) REBUS & ANARCHIC BRAIN: Summary: The combination of Certainty and Uncertainty of signaling in the NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience promotes a softening or relaxing of rigid neurological patterns, which enhances the acquisition of new adaptive behaviors.  

NEUROVIZR™ HARDWARE:

Summary: The physical design of the LEDs maximizes the optometric requirements for a unique type of MACRO pattern stimulation of the central and autonomic nervous systems. When inspecting the NeuroVizr™ hardware headset, it is immediately apparent that the LEDs have a unique configuration and placement away from the eyes. The design is very much unlike conventional “Mind Machine” Brain Entrainment devices, both current and historically, that use goggles/eyeglass frames. This distinct design expresses particular optometric parameters required to successfully apply so-called MACRO stimulation patterns and movements of the LED light signaling. In simplicity, the horizontal and vertical (H/V) limits must match the H/V of the average human visual field and present a normative binocular vision spectrum. This same H/V parameter set is well-known in Virtual Reality devices and applications. These MACRO LED signal positions and movements are known to affect the autonomic nervous system through either sympathetic excitation or parasympathetic sedation, as well as various cognitive functions such as memory and visual/auditory imagination. Advanced neuro-psychological studies also illustrate such factors as applied to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitizing & Reprocessing – see EMDR section below).  

NEUROVIZR™ TRIPLE SIGNAL DYNAMICS:

Summary: The NeuroVizr™ utilizes three integrated types of light signaling simultaneously, resulting in unusually rich and meaningful brain information messaging. In the section above (NEUROVIZR™ HARDWARE), the concept of MACRO signaling is introduced. Here we shall expand the signaling dynamics to include all three approaches in the NeuroVizr™. The three are:
  1. MACRO
  2. MESO
  3. MICRO

MACRO:

As described above, MACRO signals involve specific LED activity regarding various static positions on the LED template and different moving patterns. Such static/moving patterns generalize the nervous system and create a foundational disposition in the neurological responses to the overall signaling.

MESO:

The MESO signaling refers to an exceptional range of LED “pulsing” rates (to be distinguished from the MICRO “flickering” rates). Advancing neurological research increasingly recognizes that physiological oscillatory rates throughout the human body express themselves in rhythms that ideally constitute an overall “resonance.” Therefore, brain wave oscillations will exist in harmonic relationship to many more somatic changes throughout the soma or body. Heart rate, breathing rates, cerebral-spinal pulsations, peristaltic contractions, and so on seek resonance with the ideal goal of coherence. Think of MESO pulses as music rhythms you can dance to. Let’s face it; no one can dance to the “flicker” brain wave rates.

MICRO:

The LEDs also turn off and on (flicker) at rates within a second. These MICRO signals have fine-tuning effects on brain messaging. Microcontrollers can easily manage such rates, constituting the MICRO level of the NeuroVizr™ TRIPLE SIGNAL DYNAMICS. Such MICRO signaling has a compositional set point that enables different “strengths” in the flicker by adjusting the “duty cycle” of each touch. Furthermore, series sequencing and rates of change play a critical role in the effects of the MICRO flicker signals. The results can be reasonably compared to the core significance of sound compositional structures common to all musical styles and genres.

COMBINING MACRO-MESO-MICRO:

The ability to compose and adjust three distinct yet integrated levels of light signaling simultaneously yields a unique and vibrant visual messaging experience. Each level of light signaling is effective in its own right, so when combining them, the information output is drastically enhanced, much like combining three musical instruments into a jazz ensemble.  

BRAIN ENGAGEMENT & NEUROPLASTICITY:

Summary: The NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling processes are built upon the core factors that are known to engage and enhance positive neuroplasticity. It is impossible to avoid the term neuroplasticity when considering our brain wellness. The NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience incorporates, at a fundamental level, proven elements of successful neuroplastic stimulation techniques. As such, the new term Brain Engagement is applied to the NeuroVizr™ methodology. Four factors are required to successfully “ENGAGE” our brain in directed neuroplastic growth and adaptation:
  1. Sustained focus attention;
  2. Marginal demand;
  3. Open-minded belief or willingness;
  4. Enjoyment of the process (the “secret sauce”).
  The NeuroVizr™ checks off all four of these factors.   One can note that conventional Brain Entrainment (Frequency Following Response) fails in several of the four outlined above. In Brain Entrainment, because the signals are superimposed upon the brain, the brain will surrender to the periodicity of the signals and follow along automatically. This is the very nature of “entrainment.” The neuroplastic phrase “The brain changes what matters” indicates that “sustained focus attention” is the primary trigger to engage the neuroplastic adaption process, which is absent in conventional Brain Entrainment. The “just a little bit challenging” quality of “marginal demand” is also absent in conventional Brain Entrainment. For the brain to grow and change, there must be an appropriate amount of “demand” or challenge. In current “flow” processes (adapted from the pioneering work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), there is also the recognition of states of “friction” that can help catapult the mind into “flow.” Lastly, basic Brain Entrainment signaling is famously boring, if not irritating hence all of the attempts at masking the signals with ambient sounds and music to make the experience more enjoyable and tolerable. This is primarily a challenge when the sessions require 20 to 60 minutes of exposure to impact the brain. Many devices use binaural beats for brain entrainment, despite such signals being less effective than the standard isochronic signals. The choice of binaural beats is obvious – they can be easily masked with attractive ambient sounds/music.  

SENSORY ENRICHMENT:

Summary: The cardinal sensory enrichment factors that stimulate generalized neuroplastic processes are fundamentally incorporated into the NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling designs. It is fascinating that the person credited with the early recognition of basic brain neuroplasticity is also the same person to demonstrate the neuroplastic results of Sensory Enrichment processes successfully. A Canadian researcher, Donald Hebb, performed impressive rodent research in the late 1940s in “environmental enrichment” experiments. (Sensory Enrichment is an extension of Environmental Enrichment principles.) It was evident that such “enrichment” promoted general neuroplastic growth in the brain. When examining the physical brains of “sensory enriched” rodents, surprisingly, these brains were more extensive and more developed due to the enrichment processes. During the decades that followed (and preceding our current period), what we now call ‘neuroplasticity” was called “Hebbian Learning.” The NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience uses Sensory Enrichment methodology to stimulate generalized neuroplastic responses. Five factors are required to successfully “ENRICH” our brain in generalized neuroplastic growth and adaptation:
  1. Combine two different sensory types of stimulation;
  2. The sensory experience must be novel/unique and unlike everyday experiences;
  3. The experience must be isolated and free from distraction;
  4. The user must be of free will and not forced;
  5. The experience optimally should be enjoyable (more “secret sauce”).
The NeuroVizr™ checks off all five of these factors.  

BRAIN PRIMING:

Summary: The NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience is an effective Brain Priming stimulation, improving the outcomes of various associated techniques and therapies. The Brain Priming characteristics of the NeuroVizr™ make the experience “everybody’s best friend.” Regardless of what neuro-stimulatory techniques one employs, doing the NeuroVizr™ first tends to improve the outcomes of the methods. Priming, applied in physiological and psychological tasks, is a technique whereby exposure to one stimulus influences a response to a subsequent stimulus without necessarily induced conscious guidance or intention. “Priming” is a type of implicit learning wherein a stimulus prompts a behavior change. Priming, which may occur after a single learning episode, is implicit learning capable of inducing neuroplasticity. “Studies of priming originated in psychology but have since been investigated in neuroscience, neurorehabilitation, and cognitive neuroscience using behavioral and brain mapping techniques. These translational and clinical studies have been examining … priming as a tool for inducing neuroplasticity…”. (Stoykov and Madhavan,) The general theory underlying priming is that the brain, primed by a prior activation method, is generally more responsive to the accompanying training. Priming presupposes that enhanced neural activity before or during exercise can facilitate the acquisition of long-term potentiation- (LTP) or long-term depression- (LTD) like mechanisms. Two proposed neural mechanisms for priming include gating and homeostatic plasticity. Gating occurs by disinhibiting intracortical inhibitory circuits due to increased calcium in the targeted cortical neurons. Gating occurs instantaneously and is achieved concurrently with motor training. Homeostatic plasticity is the ability of neurons to increase excitability after a period of low synaptic activity (and, conversely, to decrease excitability after a period of high synaptic activity). It is related to changes in postsynaptic glutamate receptors. The time scale of homeostatic meta-plasticity, compared to gating, is protracted. Hence, the resting state of neurons is modulated before training to induce synaptic plasticity. The priming paradigms that are supported by the greatest amount of evidence are:
  1. Energetic Stimulation – based; (such as transcranial magnetic stimulation)
  2. Motor Imagery – based; (mental movement rehearsal)
  3. Sensory–based; (NB. NeuroVizr# style “priming” is Sensory-based.)
  4. MoMovement-based(actual low-power movement rehearsal)
  5. Pharmacological – based. (Ziemann and Siebner)
Upon consideration, it becomes evident that Sensory-based Brain Priming, Sensory Enrichment, and Neuroplastic Engagement are all overlapping methods that enable similar or possibly even the same core neurological methods of adaptation and selfregulation. Any apparent distinction may be an artifact of the various disciplines studying the phenomena and not any real difference in the mechanisms and outcomes.  

EMDR & NEUROVIZR™:

Summary: The EMDR psychological process is enhanced by applying alternating bilateral photic stimulation, also found throughout the NeuroVizr™ light/sound sessions. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment initially designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing traumatic memories and other adverse life experiences to bring these to an adaptive resolution. Memory consolidation during sleep contextualizes memories into the broader narrative of the individual’s lifeline and is essential to meaning and self- dentity. Trauma memories and associated fantasies (e.g., “what if” fantasies, fantasies of revenge against the perpetrator, etc.) fail to be integrated because of their high emotional charge or taboo and unacceptable nature. Desensitization of affective charge and acceptance of taboo emotional processing during EMDR restores normal memory contextualization and integration at night. The idea presented here is that the indirect therapeutic effect of EMDR on sleep is made considerably stronger by augmenting EMDR with alternating bilateral photic stimulation (ABPS). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex remains activated during the flicker-induced “waking dream,” and its functions of reflective thought and insight are preserved. It is hypothesized that flicker-induced hypnagogic imagery reinforces the EMDR mechanism of action, namely the facilitation of memory integration during sleep, by creating a more excellent linkage between EMDR therapy and dreaming. With ABPS-induced visioning, EMDR progresses seamlessly from the initial targeting of trauma and adversity to the desensitization of emotionally-charged brain-disturbing material related to identity, selfhood, and embodiment. Desensitization of the effect allows the self-regulatory dynamics of sleep-dreaming to restore embodied selfhood by an integrative process of resynchronization. (Peter Carr, 2020) One of the principal theories as to EMDR’s mechanisms of action is sleep-dependent memory processing. It is proposed that the alternating bilateral stimulation (ABS) of the EMDR procedure, especially when reinforced by alternating bilateral photic stimulation (ABPS), induces a brain/mind state similar to that of REM sleep and facilitates the memory processing during sleep that is necessary for the resolution of trauma. The NeuroVizr™ light/sound compositions employ alternating bilateral photic stimulation within the templated constructs of sessions. Hence, the NeuroVizr™ may be used as a novel form of Brain Priming for EMDR applications or as a general process to help access more profound levels of retained experiences.  

Entropic Brain/Psychedelic Information Theory:

Summary: Advanced brain research utilizing psychedelic compounds creates a roadmap for NeuroVizr™ light/sound signaling designs that have integrated periods of de-stabilization and re-stabilization for optimum information processing. The recent reintroduction of the scientific study of psychedelic compounds has had a powerful effect on brain neurological research. The theoretical insights of Kent (Psychedelic Information Theory) and the technical analysis of Carhart-Harris (Entropic Brain Model) are just two examples of high-impact perspectives directly influencing the light/sound compositional constructs used in the NeuroVizr™ experience. At the heart of Kent’s and Carhart-Harris’ understandings are the complementary factors of Order and Disorder (sometimes considered as Syntropy/Entropy or Certainty/Uncertainty or Stable/Unstable). Our brain constantly attempts to make predictions and seek out patterns. These neurological activities are considered “topdown” processes and are critical in maintaining high levels of Ordered responses in the wake of flooding sensory stimulation. Using Bayesian statistical terminology, our brain attempts to “reduce prediction errors” as our brain consistently “jumps to conclusions.” Basic biological survival depends mainly on correct predictions. Perhaps surprisingly, our Order-loving brain, like all natural complex adaptive systems, also regularly dances up to the edge of Chaos and back (consider Chaos = Entropy = Disorder = Uncertainty). When old Order cannot match various adaptive challenges, the brain will temporarily abandon Order and venture into the Uncertain realms of Entropic Disorder. This Uncertain realm is hard to predict and identify patterns – however, it is also exceedingly “rich” (the Carhart-Harris term) in a wide range of potential possibilities. The NeuroVizr™ light/sound compositions are constructed upon templates that purposefully engage in degrees of “tempered instability” that disengage the brain from older Ordered neurological patterns to stimulate exposure to new informational experiences. Once “destabilized,” an “appetite” for Order increases, making it more effective in integrating experiences into the more common Order states of consciousness.  

REBUS & ANARCHIC BRAIN:

Summary: The combination of Certainty and Uncertainty of signaling in the NeuroVizr™ light/sound experience promotes a softening or relaxing of rigid neurological patterns, which enhances the acquisition of new adaptive behaviors. The brilliant Karl Friston has developed profound models related to brain behavior, including the Free-Energy Principle, brain SURPRISE functions, and his deep system of Active Inference. Friston partnered up with Robin Carhart-Harris (see above) to form a concept called REBUS (a clumsy acronym – it stands for Relaxed Beliefs Under Psychedelics (RElaxed Beliefs Under pSychedelics). They also propose the Anarchic Brain Model. “Anarchic” is the adjective for “anarchy.” “Anarchy” literally means “without a leader.” So, what is the meaning of “Anarchic Brain”? In this model, the “leader” is the familiar Ordered Waking State which is active throughout our daily periods of task fulfillment. It is the “leader” in mundane activities and acts to decipher the flood of ongoing stimulation from the external environment and our internal awareness. An Altered State of Consciousness will break away from this leadership, leaving Ordered Consciousness to expand and explore the Disordered and Uncertain realms of possibility. Our brain commits anarchy in the Altered State of Consciousness. The critical point is that this anarchic state is NOT foreign to the brain. It is an intrinsic and innate capacity within the brain to “let loose” of “high-level priors/belief patterns” and explore new adaptive possibilities that may then be retrieved and successfully integrated into newly reconfigured Ordered Consciousness. It is a dynamic form of learning necessary when old non-functional molds must be broken. Here it is proposed that the NeuroVizr™ light/sound compositional constructs create a short but reliable Altered State of Consciousness (ASC), which permits a “relaxing of beliefs/patterns” and a “bottom-up” neurological entry into increased ranges of adaptive problem-solving information.