Make a “Dreamachine”

Make a “Dreamachine”

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Make your own “Dreamachine” – a machine that’s meant to used with your eyes closed, not sure if it will actually do anything, but it’ll be fun to have your friends, er, test subjects tell you about their alpha waves – “The Dreamachine simply consist in a cylinder with holes cut into his sides, placed on a turntable set at the speed of 78RPM. A lightbulb is suspended on the center of the spinning cylinder, and the rotation allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency, situated between 8 and 13 pulses per second.”Link.

8 thoughts on “Make a “Dreamachine”

  1. Unomi says:

    Isn’t this the thing Kurt Corbain was obsessed with? I believe using alpha states too frequently makes you depressed when not ‘in the zone’. Same applies for serotonine abuse and the lack of it afterwards….

    – Unomi –

  2. Unomi says:

    Sorry, me again ;-)

    Isn’t it possible to make such a sequence in let’s say Flash?

    Just a white field with the pattern on top of it scrolling from right to left (the way a turntable rotates) continuesly. I don’t know if the brightness of the lightsource is key, but on a CRT monitor it should work. Anybody an idea?

    – Unomi –

  3. kaden says:

    I have one sitting on a table about 10 feet from where I’m currently sitting. I fabricated it as part of a book I’m writing.

    It does what it says on the packet.

    Photic stimulation of the optic nerve as a tool for brainwave entrainment ain’t exactly new…W. Grey Walter postulated that the biblical ‘Tree of Knowledge’ was a veiled reference to the flicker effect of sunlight passing through palm leaves in his book ‘The Living Brain’, which was published in ’46, as I recall. Gysin and Sommerville *definitely* used W. Greys’ research as a starting point.

    In terms of digital equivalents, the BrainWave Generator app ( is based on psychocaoustic entrainment, but includes provisions for flicker effects on your screen as well. From personal experience, it’s less effective than the Gysin device.

    Be aware that the 8-10 hz flicker frequency is within the range known to induce light sensitive epilepsy: If there’s any doubt as to your sensitivity to this affliction, exercise extreme caution.

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