Gamma wave meditation aid

I built a circuit that flashes a 6 by 6 array of LED lights at
40 Hz (40 flashes per second).  This 40 Hz frequency
stimulates the brain to strengthen the level gamma waves
that it normally produces at that frequency.  This is said to
have a calming effect on your mood and to generate a sense
of well-being.  And is said to be an aid to meditation.  Also,
a 40 Hz flashing LED array, might alleviate the symptoms of
Alzheimer's disease, a small study has suggested.
Here is a link to the circuit:

The LED array I use in the circuit is this product on Amazon:

You could power it with a power bank, external battery for
charging smartphones. There are many of these on Amazon.
Also you could power it with a 5 volt voltage-regulated wall wart.


18 thoughts on “Gamma wave meditation aid

  1. Very very cool! Sure wish I could figure this out but the circuit diagram is greek to me. Actually I understand some Greek. Can someone w no experience make this? Thanks!

    • Yes, and it works just fine.  I have it’s LED array sitting on my desk,
      happily flashing. Perhaps the easiest way to test and adjust its
      frequency is by using an oscilloscope. I’m not sure, but I think there
      are free desktop software versions of oscilloscopes, which use the
      microphone input your computer likely already has, for input. 
      Otherwise, you could just use the values I have in the circuit, and
      that should be close.  But all component have a tolerance — accurate
      only to within a small percentage, so YMMV.

    • Yes, that’s the LED array I used.  There would be no point
      in providing a picture of the circuit, because the circuit
      diagram provides far more information than a picture
      would provide.

  2. Thanks for the info! I’m planning on making my own circuit using your plans. I’m no expert but I believe your circuit diagram should show the threshold and trigger pins tied together. Thanks again!

  3. Hi! Thank you for sharing your work!
    I’m tinkering with 555 driven flashing LEDs myself due to this article in Nature about “non-invasive 40 Hz light-flickering regime that reduced Aβ1–40 and Aβ1–42 levels in the visual cortex of pre-depositing mice and mitigated plaque load in aged, depositing mice. Our findings uncover a previously unappreciated function of gamma rhythms in recruiting both neuronal and glial responses to attenuate Alzheimer’s-disease-associated pathology.” (i.e. 40Hz light at 473nm wavelength reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s).

    Do you think you are getting 473 nm light with your version?

    • The authors used two different methods for the 40 Hz gamma
      frequency entrainment.  First, they directly stimulated the
      brains of the mice by inserting into their brains a fiber that
      carried 473nm blue laser light pulsing at 40 Hz.

      Second, the authors put the mice into cages and placed nearby
      them an array of white LED lights flashing at 40 Hz. This can
      be seen in Supplementary Video 4, referred to in their Nature
      article.  Here’s a link to the video:

    • I downloaded the app onto my iPad.  It seems to be very inaccurate.  The app measured beteeen 55 and 60 Hz on my circuit,  I re-checked the frequency with my oscilloscope and its reading was 40.1 Hz.  I have no reason to doubt the oscilloscope, because the wave it displays is almost perfectly rectangular.


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