Can EEG Headband Devices Like Muse Help Us Become Better Meditators And More Mindful?

Cody McLain
12 min readJul 23, 2019

With new gadgets constantly flooding the market, promising to tell you everything from your heart rate to how many calories you’ve burned, it’s about time that a similar device finally exists for your brain.

Meet the Muse; simply put the band around your head, and it will measure the electrical activity in your brain. This info can help you achieve a greater sense of mindfulness and focus in all aspects of your daily life.

According to Muse, using the device for just 3 minutes a day will help you improve focus and concentration. They go on to make claims, promising it will improve your response to stress, increase self-control, benefit your emotional state, and help you form habits (which habits exactly is unclear).

Are these just hollow claims, or is there something to it? I wanted to find out, so I I consulted 2 neuroscientists and 2 Meditation practitioners to answer some of the fundamental questions of meditation and the potential effectiveness of a device like Muse.

So how does Muse work?

Muse is simply a headband with EEG sensors on the front. Putting the device around your head and opening up the app on your iPhone or Android device will show a dashboard to start a new session or view your previous session data. The app works on the principle of setting a weekly goal to help motivate you to complete the sessions daily.

On the face of it, you simply select how long your session is, difficulty, and then click start. It’ll run a quick test to ensure the sensors are connected and then start asking you a few questions for around 30 seconds.

Muse says that this 30-second pre-session test is to help it gauge the electrical activity of your brain before each session. It helps them to set a baseline for that day since each day can be different. Muse uses these questions to calibrate itself to establish a baseline for the day since the electrical activity of your brain can vary from day to day (at least they claim).

After the calibration, the session starts and you’re asked to focus on your breathing. This is a form of Zazen Meditation where each breath in and out is counted. The device works…

Cody McLain

Founder of $12m SupportNinja, Author of From Foster Care to Millionaire book, Host of Podcast