Oct 11, 2021
Smart headbands claim to make people calmer. Do they work?
Are such devices, which are otherwise used by doctors to test for conditions such as epilepsy and strokes, really beneficial in helping people to reduce their stress? Like physical exercise making the body stronger, Mr Newlon says that people can learn to relax their brain, and that once the skill is acquired, it sticks. Derek Luke, chief executive of InteraXon, says its customers are either "Trying to address an issue in their life", such as stress and anxiety, or "Proactively trying to improve" at something, such as their performance in a certain sport. The headbands encourage people to work towards "Norms" for an average brain, she says. Prof Sandra Wachter of Oxford University, a leading artificial intelligence expert, questions whether EEG devices aimed at making people less stressed should ever be needed.
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