Home > Mental health > Brain > News 06 March 2013 Apps use brainwaves to guide, improve meditation A new smartphone app aims to ease stress and guide users through meditation by monitoring brain waves that change as people become more relaxed. 0 iStock Related New brain-test app App for green chemistry for new meds A cynic meets zen Ask CyberShrink » Talk Heart to heart forum » How brain injury affects you Transparent brains A new smartphone app aims to ease stress and guide users through meditation by monitoring brain waves that change as people become more relaxed.Transcend, made by the Canadian company Personal Neuro Devices, links the smartphone to a separately sold headset that records electrical activity along the forehead."It doesn't matter whether you're meditating as part of a secular practice, or spiritual practice. It all creates the same change in the brain," said Chad Veinotte, a director of the company, which launched the app last month.How it worksThe user picks the duration of time for the meditation and can also opt to listen to a guided audio meditation. A candle graphic in the app grows brighter as the quality of the practice increases, which is determined by brainwaves that indicate relaxation and concentration.A graph in the app also shows the quality of meditation in real time throughout the session."You get to literally look at what's happening in the mind while you're doing the practice," Veinotte said.Transcend is one of several apps available for the MindWave headsets made by San Jose, California, company NeuroSky, and which connect to smartphones wirelessly. San Francisco-based company Emotiv Systems also creates headsets that run apps.NeuroSky's CEO, Stanley Yang, said other uses for the headsets include concentration and focus games.Veinotte said the headsets, which are also known as brain computer interfaces, will become popular just as sensor-based fitness apps that track distance and speed have."We'll see headsets shrink and get more compact and easier to use, and become something you can wear all day every day," he said.Headset manufacturers are working on making them more practical for everyday use by integrating them into musical headsets, and by making them more stylish."We're going to see an explosion in the types of applications available and the way in which people start paying attention to their minds," Veinotte said.The app is available for Android. An iPhone version is expected to be released soon. More in Mental health Knowing the signs of brain aneurysm can save your life More: BrainNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle Legal marijuana unlikely to tempt more kids Fitness Boosting muscle strength may improve memory Lifestyle Women catching up fast with male alcohol use Parenting Epidural better than 'laughing gas' for labour pain Parenting Infants should share parents' room to help prevent SIDS Lifestyle Blood for transfusion doesn't have to be fresh From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.