Creating a Brain-Computer Interface.

I would describe myself as part of the maker movement. My passion is researching, designing, and creating usable items, instruments, systems that can be used within the art sector but will also cross over as a usable design for clinical innovation.

I have starting to look at the effects of frequency on the inside of the body and I have come across some fascinating research on how our cells communicate through frequency. Take a look at this paper written by Matthias Shneider, Boston University, Can Cells Signal each other via Sound Waves? This new information has informed my process and leads me to research EEG systems and brainwave technology. I have a Mind wave by Neurosky and plan to extract the brain sensor and attach it to an Arduino board to create an interactive headpiece. I first came across this technology at The Gadget Show 2013 they were demonstrating brain-reactive clothing.

Mickey Hart and Dr. Adam Gazzaley have been working with Emotiv please have a look at this lecture it’s an informative and exciting innovation.

Because my artwork crosses numerous disciplines such as ceramics, casting, sculpting, photography, painting, printing, 3d printing, sound design, 3d CAD design, laser cutting, and graphic design, I am undecided as to the best way to present this work. My questions to myself are should it be an ephemeral piece that will resonate with the ephemeral properties of music itself.


To create an Interactive Neuro Design, BCI (Brain-computer Interface) this is software and hardware that will react and interact in relation to the brain waves. The garment will transmit brainwaves and frequency patterns, transpose data into visuals or audible sound (voice, or musical instrument, notation) This work will be clinical innovation, art installation,  sonic art, performance art, and film.

Research into the Hardware needed for this work:

EMOTIV is a company that I have been following since 2012 they have designed EPOC which is a BCI (Brain-Computer interface). It has 14 EEG sensors and it wireless. Although after research I was advised to avoid the Emotiv-EPOC. The software is ok, but there have been a lot of questions about the design, such as the sensors measuring nowhere near enough resistance for an effective differential amp circuit (a few khom when you need more like 1M ohm), such that they likely get a lot of their input from scalp muscle contractions and not actual brain activity. Cost $799.

Mind wave mobile by NeuroSky is another source of EEG technology, and can also be used with Arduino. This device only has one EEG electrode on the arm which rests on the forehead. Cost £135

Open BCI created their first EEG BCI in 2013 they have made improvements to an already great design, it can now read brain, muscle and heart activity.  Open Source BCI video Cost $999. 


I have decided to use mindwave mobile due to cost. I have connected the mindwave mobile headset to an app called Visualizer. This app plays your brain pattern. Please visit film of Video of Brain Activity . The headset connects to your ear and forehead.

The brainvisualizer app records the brain activity and the data is collected and converted into:


wave form

To create your own BCI you will need:

shield ekg/emg £19.95

http://EEG sensors £10 each

Here I have found a opensource that has listed parts, place of purchase, and cost.

If you would like to build your own EEG pcb board click here 

Schematic for EEG PCB board

Here is a list of software links.

This sketch represents the idea that I use the mindwave mobile and create the interface required for communication via Arduino and Mindwave. For this you will need:

Mindwave headset
Arduino (advised to use 2 if linking to midi)
Bluesmirf RN41 USB dongle
Avago HDSP-4832 10 element LED bar
sparkfun level converter (might be able to do without)
12 v power source.



Linking arduino – to mindwave instructions.

Hacking Toy EEGs

Mindwave to Max/MSP 

Another BCI hack

 More BCI projects

 Arduino code for reading EEG

 This project is very much cost lead as some of these hardware items when pre-assembled are as much as £1500. I have purchased a Mindwave Mobile for £89 and Bluesmirf RN41 £22.18 and will be using 2 Arduino £70 and have managed to get much of the software for free.

Published by liannemorgan

BA (Hons), MFA. I use a Multi-Disciplinary approach to create my work in both Music and Art. I use Science, Technology, and other Artists to inspire my process and create my work.

9 thoughts on “Creating a Brain-Computer Interface.

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