|United States Patent
,   et al.
April 2, 1985
Shadow generating apparatus
Disclosed is an apparatus for inducing various brain wave patterns through
visual stimulation. The apparatus comprises a pair of spectacles or other
viewing apparatus having a liquid crystal display embedded in each lens.
By repetitively activating and deactivating the liquid crystals, shadows
are generated which are perceived by the subject individual wearing the
viewing apparatus. Responding to the frequency of shadow generation, the
subject's brain is thereby induced to generate sympathetic brain wave
frequencies. The apparatus finds particular utility in the generation of
alpha waves. Because learning is enhanced when the brain is in the alpha
state, activities such as listening to tapes or lectures and the like can
be carried out with greater facility. Shadow generation is accomplished
through the use of a timing mechanism for each liquid crystal display and
the frequency for each is adjustable over a wide range, permitting
synchronous or asynchronous timing.
Whitten; Glen A. (353 N. Oak St., Inglewood, CA 90302);
Pisarski; Lech (353 N. Oak St., Inglewood, CA 90302)
February 8, 1983|
|Current U.S. Class:
||600/27; D16/336 |
|Field of Search:
U.S. Patent Documents
|Foreign Patent Documents|
Primary Examiner: Kamm; William E.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Oldham, Oldham & Weber Co.
What is claimed is:
1. A shadow generating apparatus, comprising: a viewing apparatus; at least a lens fitted to said viewing apparatus, each said lens having disposed therein a liquid crystal display; a timing mechanism connected to said liquid crystal; and a power source for said timing mechanism; wherein said timing mechanism intermittently activates and deactivates said liquid crystal.
2. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said timing
mechanism is adjustable, causing said liquid crystal to open and close at
frequencies between 1 and 6 cycles per second.
3. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said timing
mechanism in each said crystal is adjustable.
4. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 3, where timing
mechanism is positioned on said viewing apparatus within a timing pack.
5. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said shadow
generating apparatus has two lenses each having a liquid crystal display
and timing mechanism and wherein said displays can be operated
6. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 5, wherein each said
liquid crystal occupies from about 1 inch by 1 inch to about 4 inches by 4
inches of said lens.
7. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said
apparatus is worn by a human subject and said timing mechanisms are
adjusted to activate said liquid crystals at a frequency of between 1 and
6 cycles per second, thereby inducing the brain of said subject to emit
8. A shadow generating apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said
apparatus is used to induce delta and theta waves in a human subject.
The present invention lies in the art of relaxation inducing devices, and
in particular it relates to the field of visual stimulation through
repetitive generation of shadows. By variation of the frequency in which
said shadows are generated, the desired state of mind is attained,
characterized by a specific wave pattern.
Heretofore, a multitude of devices have been used for controlling the brain
wave activity of a human subject. Certain of the prior art inventions
produce the required effect through electrical or chemical stimulation of
the nervous system. Others make use of flashing lights or sounds. While
all such devices may be effective to a greater or lesser degree, they have
certain drawbacks. For example, direct chemical or electrical nerve
stimulation can have serious side effects such as temporary loss of
memory, lethargy and the like. Flashing lights or sounds have been known
to produce epileptic seizures in susceptible individuals and are at the
very least distracting.
The alpha state characterized by a particular brain wave pattern, is
manifested by a high degree of alertness found to be conducive to
By way of prior art devices are the following U.S. Pat. Nos.: 3,219,028 to
Giordino; 3,255,753 to Wing; 3,470,870 to Schoffer; 3,384,074 to
Nautiola, et al; 3,712,292 to Zentmeyer; 3,718,132 to Holt, et al;
3,722,501 to Derouineau; 3,762,396 to Valentine, et al; 3,822,693 to King;
3,884,218 to Monroe; 3,967,616 to Ross; 3,993,043 to Adams, et al;
4,018,218 to Carlson, et al; 4,047,377 to Banks; 4,133,305 to Steuer;
4,157,088 to Gracey; 4,227,516 to Meland, et al; 4,282,864 to Pizer;
4,335,710 to Williamson; and 3,773,049 to Rabichev, et al.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
It is accordingly an aspect of the invention to provide a device which
induces a desired brain wave pattern through the generation of shadows.
Another aspect of the invention is to provide a device, as above, which
utilizes a liquid crystal display circuit of any shape or configuration.
It is still another aspect of the invention is to provide a device, as
above, which is portable and which can be worn unobtrusively by the
It is yet another aspect of the invention to provide a device, as above,
which can induce a brain wave pattern characterized as the alpha state.
It is yet another aspect of the invention to provide a device, as above,
which can induce a variety of brain wave patterns in a subject individual.
It is yet another aspect of the invention to provide a device, as above,
which can be fitted to a viewing apparatus, such as spectacles, eyeglass
frames, night blinders, caps, head harnesses, etc.
It is yet another aspect of the invention to provide, a device, as above,
having a variable timing circuit enabling shadows to be generated at the
same or a variety of frequencies.
The achievement of these aspects and others detailed more fully in the
following description, are achieved by: A shadow generating apparatus,
comprising: a viewing apparatus; at least a lens fitted to said viewing
apparatus, each said lens having disposed therein a liquid crystal
display; a timing mechanism connected to said liquid crystal; and a power
source for said timing mechanism; wherein said timing mechanism
intermittently activates and deactivates said liquid crystal.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order to gain a fuller insight into the aspects and workings of the
invention, a reading of the description of the invention should be
accompanied with reference to the following figures, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention utilizes a pair of
FIG. 2A is a schematic block diagram showing the essential features of the
invention's electrical circuit and FIG. 2B is a more detailed schematic of
FIG. 3 is a normal beta brain wave chart; and
FIG. 4 is a normal alpha brain wave chart.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
The salient features of the invention are depicted in FIG. 1, wherein a
shadow generating apparatus is designated generally by the number 10. A
viewing apparatus in the form of spectacle frames 11 is adapted to receive
left and right liquid crystal lenses 12a and 12b, a battery pack 14 and a
timing pack 16, both packs positioned on arms 18 and 20 respectively. The
shadow generating device 10 is worn by the subject individual in normal
fashion so that the lenses 12a and 12b are in the direct line of vision.
The liquid crystals in the lenses are then activated periodically by a
timing mechanism in the timing pack 16 so that the subject's vision is
alternatively blocked and unimpeded.
It has been discovered that, if the correct timing frequency of the LCD
lenses is used, the subject's brain will respond accordingly, attempting
to match the frequency of shadow generation by a sympathetic brain wave
output. Typical human brain wave outputs are illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.
FIG. 3 is an electroencephalogram of a brain in its normally active or
"beta" state. As seen in the Figure, with the graph moving at about 330
millimeters per second, the frequency is above 13 cycles per second.
Lower frequency alpha waves are shown in FIG. 4 which illustrates the brain
wave output of a subject utilizing the shadow generating apparatus. When
in the alpha state, the brain puts out a frequency of between 8 and 13
cycles per second and the mood of the individual is characterized as
relaxed alertness. To obtain such a state, the shadow generating apparatus
is set to a frequency between 1 and 6 cycles per second.
If the shadow timing is maintained between 1 and 6 cycles per second, the
brain is encouraged to fall into the "theta" state wherein it emits a wave
frequency of between 4 and 8 cycles per second and the individual is in a
"dreamy" condition. From theta, the individual can easily slip into the
"delta" or deep sleep state, having the brain wave frequencies between 0.5
to about 4 cycles per second.
Because the invention has the capability to varying the frequency of shadow
generation across a broad range, any of the above described states can be
achieved. Of particular interest is the alpha state however, as this
represents the level of brain activity most conducive to learning and
which can take full advantage of the invention's unique characteristics.
The connection between learning and the alpha state has been described in
Superlearning, Ostrander, et al, Delacarte, New York, New York (1979)
which is hereby incorporated by reference. The individual using the
invention, at timing frequencies above about 1 cycle per second, becomes
quickly accustomed to the intermittent shadows. Thus activities such as
listening to tapes, lectures and the like are carried out in a
hyper-attentive state. Attaining the alpha state may also be desirable
simply for purposes of relaxation rather than learning per se. For this
purpose, the subject may close his eyes and allow the shadow generating
apparatus to cast perceivable shadows through the closed eyelids. A
meditative state may be obtained.
In similar fashion, theta and delta states are initiated by continuing the
frequency of shadow generation as outlined above. The subject is most
advantageously in a supportive position such as lying down on a couch or
bed, or reclining in a chair. With the eyes again closed the invention
generates shadows which are perceived through the eyelid to produce the
Referring now to FIG. 2A, a schematic block diagram of the electrical
circuitry of the invention can be seen. As illustrated, the left lens 12a
is made transparent or opaque by control of the timing circuit 22. In
similar fashion, the right lens 12b is controlled by the timing circuit
24. It will be understood that circuits 22,24 are contained within the
timing pack 16 on the left arm or temple piece 20. The frequency of
repetitive energization of the LCD lens 12a is adjustable by means of a
potentiometer 26. In similar fashion, the right lens 12b is regulated by
the potentiometer 28. Of course, a switch 32 is provided for activation of
the circuitry. The switch 32 may readily be provided in conjunction with
the battery pack 14 which contains a battery 30, while appropriate
adjustment means such as turn knobs or levers, associated with the
potentiometers 26,28 may be provided in association with the timing pack
16. Such elements provide the user with the means for energizing the
circuit and regulating the frequency of activation of the lenses.
A more detailed schematic of the circuitry of FIG. 2A is presented in FIG.
2B. Here it is illustrated that the basic timing function of the circuits
22,24 is provided by means of a timer such as Model LM555, as sold by
National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, Motorola, or any of numerous
semiconductor manufacturers. Suffice it to say that any of numerous
off-the-shelf timing circuits would be available to satisfy the needs of
the invention herein. In any event, as illustrated for the left timing
circuit 22, the potentiometer 25 is adjusted to regulate an RC network
comprising potentiometer 26, resistors 34,36, and capacitor 38. The
regulation of this potentiometer varies the output signal to the LCD of
the left lens 12a. This control changes the output frequency of the timer
40 and, in so doing, adjusts the duty cycle of the same. The output of the
timer 40 passes through the LCD left lens 12a and is returned to the
negative side of the battery 26 as shown. It will be readily understood by
those skilled in the art that the circuitry of the right timing circuit 24
is substantially identical to that of the circuit 22.
With the circuitry just described, the operator may actuate the shadow
generating apparatus 10 by closing the switch 32. He may then adjust the
frequency of opening and closing of the lenses 12a, 12b by appropriate
adjustment of the potentiometers 26,28. Of course, it will be appreciated
that this adjustment can be made to cause the lenses 12a, 12b to operate
either synchronously or asynchronously. If desired, a single RC circuit
could be used to control the output frequency of both the left and right
timing circuits 22,24 to assure synchronous operation.
Because each liquid crystal lens has a separate timing mechanism each eye
can receive different stimulus which in turn affects the opposite brain
hemisphere. As is well known, each hemisphere of the brain performs
optimally in different areas. Through frequency variation, it may be
possible to "fine-tune" each brain hemisphere as to brain wave output.
As mentioned previously, one of the advantages of the invention is the
unobtrusiveness of the shadow generating apparatus. While not shown in the
drawings, it will be appreciated that miniaturization of the timing
mechanism and the battery pack enables both to be hidden in the arms of
the spectacles in a fashion similar to that used for hearing aids.
Alternatively, the battery and circuitry can be located in the rim
surrounding the lenses or indeed may be located remotely on the subject's
body, such as on the head and connected to the spectacles by appropriate
wiring. Further, the liquid crystals may not comprise the whole lens area,
but rather need only be large enough to be perceived by the individual
wearing the spectacles. The liquid crystal may be positioned off center or
even at the peripheral edge of the user's vision and still remain
effective. Liquid crystals displays as small as 1 millimeter by 1
millimeter have been used successfully, but those of from about 1 inch to
a size filling the spectacle rim, i.e., about 4 inches by 4 inches, are
preferred. LCD's as large as 10 inches by 10 inches could be used.
While the spectacle frames in the drawing are of conventional design, the
invetnion is not linked to such. For example, rather than comprising
separate lenses 12a and 12b, a single frame may accomodate but one lens
with an LCD positioned therein in such a way that it is perceived by both
eyes simultaneously. Naturally, this embodiment would have only one timing
mechanism. Further, suspension of the LCD within the individual's line of
sight need not be accomplished by means of spectacles of any sort. Other
suitable devices will readily occur to those skilled in the art, such as a
cap or harness worn on the head and having suspension means attached at
the front thereof. Night blinders may also be adapted to receive one or
more LCD's. Suffice it to say that the particular embodiment of the
viewing apparatus is an obvious modification and the invention is not
limited by any one or more designs.
The time it takes to reach the desired state of mind is of course dependent
upon the individual and his state of mind prior to use of the invention.
For example, if the subject is already in the alpha state, the time to
reach the theta or delta states is considerably shorter than if the
subject was initially in the beta state.
While the best mode and the preferred embodiment have been disclosed as
required by the Patent Statutes, it should be understood that the
invention is not limited thereto or thereby. Modifications in addition to
those mentioned above can be made to the invention without departing from
the scope thereof. For example, it will be understood that prescription
spectacles can be modified so as to incorporate the various parts of the
invention disclosed above. Further, the invention need not be powered by a
battery pack, but may instead utilize line power from a stationary source.
Thus to appreciate the true scope of the invention, reference should be
made to the attached claims.
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