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Joseph Kao

Brain Brightening Protocol for the Procyon (upgraded)

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Note: I originally designed these sessions for the Proteus (and TomC converted the originals to the Procyon in 2010). Now that I've finally upgraded to the Procyon myself, I thought I'd revisit them and upgrade the series to make better use of the Procyon's audio and visual capabilities.

Brain Brightening Protocol for the Procyon

Brain Brightening" was a protocol devised by Tom Budzynski PhD, where light and sound stimulation is delivered with rapidly changing frequencies to increase overall brainwave activation, rather than focusing on any one specific entrainment frequency.

Whilst these sessions are not an exact replica of Budzynski's protocol, they are still primarily based on his research, and they have the same goal (broadband activation of frequency bands for cognitive enhancement), so I've taken the liberty of giving them the "Brain Brightening" name.

The album itself consists of eleven sessions, which are designed to be used over a period of several weeks to produce lasting improvements in your ability to concentrate, focus and be creative. They may also help lift your mood and energy levels.

The eleven sessions are:

1 - Quick Brain Brightening - 12 mins
2-8 - Brain Brightening sessions - 18 mins each.
9-11 - Mind Calming sessions - also 18 mins each.

*The link to download the album is at the bottom of this post*
About these sessions

One of the challenges of any light and sound machine is to ensure it doesn't become a novelty gadget, gathering dust on the shelf. Research indicates that devices like the Procyon can create tremendous mental and physical benefits for people, but this typically happens only when these machines are used regularly and consistently.

I have made all of these sessions relatively short, to make using them on a regular basis as convenient as possible. Instead of being a group of unrelated sessions to dabble with now and then, this set is designed to provide a brainwave training system, to be used consistently over a period of weeks and months.

In designing this album I drew on neuro-feedback studies and audio-visual stimulation (AVS) research to produce a series of sessions that target a wide spectrum of SMR and beta brainwaves frequencies. Research indicates that these are frequency bands that are likely to have significant cognition-boosting effects.

I created these sessions both for my personal use to promote creativity and mental sharpness in myself and also for several clients I've treated, who wanted help relieving the "mental fog" they were chronically experiencing. The clients in question did indeed report that they felt much sharper and more focused after a couple of weeks of using this protocol.

I hope these sessions will offer you a system, a protocol, for making the Procyon a tool that you make use of daily.
The seven core "Brain Brightening" sessions

These seven sessions are based on research by Tom Budzynski and others, showing that regular usage of light and sound stimulation over a period of weeks can boost grade point average, lift depression, and in essence, create sharper, more focused mental abilities in the user.

As a treatment protocol for relieving chronic fatigue, depression, ADHD, and age-related cognitive decline, I recommend using the seven core Brain Brightening sessions at least five times a week for two months. If you choose to use the sessions every day, or even twice a day, this is also fine, and may produce better results.

Using the Brain Brightening sessions in the morning or afternoon is recommended instead of in the evening, as these sessions may disrupt sleep if used too close to bedtime.

None of the sessions is more advanced than any of the others. Each session simply targets slightly different brainwave frequencies in a different order, so as to provide a variety of different challenges and ?mental stretches? for your brain. This is the same principle as varying the exercises that you do at the gym in order to develop all-round fitness. I suggest using a different one each day, rotating through all seven sessions repeatedly.

After two months, notice what the benefits have been for you. You may then choose to continue the protocol indefinitely (people have safely used light and sound machines daily for years).

Alternatively, after the initial two months, you can reduce down to a maintenance protocol, by either using the sessions 2-3 days a week, or by repeating the two month protocol twice a year. There is no research as to which choice is better, so you will need to find what works best for you.

When you don't have time for a full 18 minute Brain Brightening session, you can use the Quick Brain Brightening session as a substitute - this session lasts 12 minutes.

The three "Mind Calming" sessions

These three sessions are an excellent way to to unwind in the late afternoon or early evening. They are all similar in structure, but each one goes slightly deeper into the brainwave frequencies associated with deep rest and relaxation. As with the Brain Brightening sessions, I suggest alternating between each of them so that your brain doesn't get too used to any particular session.

All of the Mind Calming sessions begin and end by spending some time stimulating SMR brainwaves, which are associated with calm alertness.

I've personally found it very effective to use one of the Brain Brightening sessions early in the day, and one of the Mind Calming sessions in the early evening.

What to do during the session

1. These sessions will be most effective when used with eyes closed.

2. In my experience, in any light and sound session it's a good idea to put some deliberate, conscious attention on the flickering light and the sounds.

Your mind may naturally wander over the course of the session, but at least for the first few minutes I recommend being actively interested in the light patterns ? to pay attention to any shapes or ghostly after-images you notice.

By doing this, you're signifying to your brain that this is a stimulus you want to engage with.

3. If you want to feel more alert, it's best to use a session sitting upright, rather than lying down. Being horizontal primes your brain to feel sleepy, whereas being upright primes your brain to feel more alert.

4. I recommend doing a simple breathing exercise for several minutes during each session. For example, try several minutes of square breathing, where you repeatedly:

  • Breathe in for the count of four
  • Hold for four
  • Out for four
  • Hold for four

Deep, slow, rhythmic breathing like this has a variety of physical and cognitive benefits, and I recommend doing some reading in this area if you'd like to find out more.

5. It's okay to practice a deep relaxation exercise when using a session that's designed to boost energy and alertness. In fact this can produce very useful results.

By deeply relaxing each part of your body, step by step, whilst simultaneously experiencing the brainwaves of high focus and alertness, you'll be training yourself to develop a peak performance state of "relaxed attentiveness".

6. You can also feed music, radio or an audiobook into the Procyon's auxiliary socket.

Technical details

  • All of the Brain Brightening sessions target the SMR range and the beta range.
  • The Mind Calming sessions primarily target the SMR range and high alpha. In the middle of each session they dip into the alpha-theta range.
  • You can read about Tom Budzynski's research into AVS here:
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Updated 01-12-2012 at 11:02 AM by Joseph Kao



  1. neuroasis's Avatar
    Excellent write up and contribution. Welcome to the blog system! I'll give these a go this evening and report back.
  2. Joseph Kao's Avatar
    Thanks Scott! Looking forward to hearing your feedback :-)
  3. Robert Austin's Avatar
    Thanks very much for your contribution, Joseph - and your very lucid descriptions and write-up! I'll soon start trying these myself. BTW we made up an alternative OS for the Procyon, intended for the same application, but in this case it produces band-limited noise. Each light pulse is a different frequency. PM me if you're interested in playing with this at some point.
  4. neuroasis's Avatar
    I suggest Joseph that you try this OS. It is a very interesting take on flicker stimulation. More about this soon...
  5. Joseph Kao's Avatar
    Thanks Robert - the thing I'm most happy with about these Brain Brightening sessions isn't that they're wildly different from the other Procyon alertness/energy sessions (though there are some differences), it's that they form a protocol - a treatment program - with enough variety in it to use over a period of eight weeks without experiencing the "habituation effect" that some people get from using the same session too often.

    I'll PM you about trying the mindbrite OS. I remember you hinted at it in a thread some months back, and I'd love to give it a go. I can see the menu for it already in the Procyon Editor, and it looks very intriguing indeed :-)
    Updated 01-30-2012 at 12:49 PM by Joseph Kao
  6. danlights's Avatar
    how do you transfer these audio files onto your procyon?
  7. neuroasis's Avatar
    These files are Procyon session files so you save them to the Procyon using the commands in the Session Tools menu in the Procyon Editor on your computer.
  8. Joseph Kao's Avatar
    Hi Dan,

    As Scott says, these are Procyon session files. If you've never uploaded new sessions to the Procyon, then you need to:

    1. Install the Procyon driver on your computer.

    2. Install the Procyon editor.

    3. Download and unzip the Brain Brightening album to a folder on your PC.

    4. Connect the Procyon to the computer with the USB cable.

    5. Open the Procyon editor program and in the serial communication menu select "open com port" (if you don't see the little red circle to the left of the editor window turn green then you may need to set the com port to a different number - usually between 1-4).

    6. Choose "Upload Album to Procyon" in the "Session Tools" menu.

    7. Choose "append", select the Brain Brightening.PRb file and choose "Open"

    And that should do the trick! You may already be familiar with these steps, but I just thought I'd add this thumbnail sketch of the process in case anyone else isn't sure.

    You can find more detailed instructions in the Procyon editor manual.

    Hope that helps,

  9. vvia's Avatar
    Hi Joseph, any chance to create the sessions for Kasina too? Thank you.