THIS WEEK'S PROJECT: Decoding your brain's "pulse." TO DO: Obtain a small black box called "InnerQuest, the brain wave synchronizer." Plug an extraordinary pair of blackened Jackie O-size dark glasses into one of its jacks and an ordinary-looking pair of headphones into the other. Put both on, close your eyes and push a button.
PURPOSE: "To reach beyond your physical senses directly to your brain" by setting off spasms of colored light (not unlike a haywire TV test pattern) and a drone of "pink noise" (not unlike a synthesized busy signal).
TIME COMMITMENT: 20 to 60 minutes per sitting, depending on which of 14 "mental enhancement" programs you select.
BENEFIT: In the Sharper Image catalogue's words: "As your brain mirrors the frequencies detected by your ears and through your closed eyelids, you quickly begin to experience increased levels of Alpha/Theta activity. EEG monitoring during meditation and hypnosis has shown that high levels of Alpha activity (8-12 Hz) are present when you are highly creative and intuitive. Boosting these frequencies can also enhance memory, recall, and problem solving. Increased Theta activity (4-7 Hz) promotes deep meditative relaxation, balancing, experiential learning, and intuitive skills."
RISK: You might feel numb, disoriented and scared out of your mind, as we did.
CAUTION: "Not for use by persons with history of epilepsy or any form of brain seizure."
COST: $299, plus tax. And store personnel say it moves so fast they can't keep it in stock.