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Surprising Science

Device Tracks Brain Waves

A new device worn on the arm or leg trains you to be aware of your brain function, so you can regain focus when you drift off at work, lose concentration on the back nine, or fall asleep at the wheel.

The new device works by tracking your brain-wave activity as you play games or engage in virtual-reality simulations. When synapses fire, they release electrical pulses that move through the body. The iPhone-size device uses three carbon contacts to tap the signal through the skin, while software filters out electrical interference from moving muscles, particularly the heart. The system comes with software, such as games or virtual-reality training scenarios, and it prevents you from engaging in any program until you’re in the zone.


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