Going with the flow on the cutting edge if neuroscience at X Camp.
They hunch in swimsuits on cramped wooden benches, surrounded by firewood and snow-caked boots. Some steam, having just stepped from the sauna, sweat dripping from their noses. others flush, having clambered up a four-meter snowpack from an icy river, their bodies glowing pink and eyes flashing like Christmas lights. One by one, they fit a space-age headband onto their skulls and then sit stone-still while their brainwaves are downloaded into an app on Brent Martin’s phone.
The headband is a Muse 2, a multi-sensor EEG device widely employed by professional neuroscience researchers. Naturally, these days you can also buy one on Amazon, where it’s marketed as a meditation aid. It’s easy to see why: Muse 2 provides real-time feedback on brain activity, heart rate, breathing and body movement. In the case at hand, users are tracking their response to thermoregulatory stress. Can you be a more physiologically efficient sauna-er? A less-reluctant stream-plunger-à la the meditative approach of Dutch cold-water specialist Wim Hof. Of course you can, and biofeedback helps accelerate the process.
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