Amir Raz, Uri Maoz
We are interested in studying the neurological and physiological effects of the float pod, also known as REST therapy, or sensory deprivation tank. Float pods rely on the concept of depriving most senses (from sound and light to temperature and proprioception) in a pool filled with buoyant salt water at body temperature. While float pods are most commonly used in spa environments, we intend to look at the potential benefits of floating under the empirical lens. In this study, we aim to measure neural activity using electroencephalography (EEG). We intend to look at the different levels of relaxation and the brain frequencies are associated with relaxation. Research done in this field has shown that the float pod induced a state of relaxation and heightened introspective awareness in participants with high levels of anxiety sensitivity (Feinstein et al., 2018). Research has also shown that the float pod may be a promising technique for reducing suffering in individuals with anxiety and depression (Feinstein et al., 2018). There is little research on the topic of float pods, and there have been no successful attempts to record EEG inside a float pod, to the best of our knowledge. We are currently able to record 6-channel EEGs on the frontal lobe. However, we are still working on the EEG signal quality and signal to noise ratio (SNR). One of the goals is to overcome those challenges, which were brought about by electrocardiography (ECG) artifacts and moisture in the pod and then adjust our EEG cap and electrodes accordingly. One of the ways we are addressing this problem is by adjusting the position of the referential electrode and fabric materials that we use to make the EEG cap. This has been effective in reducing the ECG artifact, but has so far not eliminated it. We aim to improve the SNR of EEG signal in the float pod and be capable of recording continuously and in a stable fashion. Once stable EEG recordings will be obtained in the float pod, various experimental paradigms will be introduced inside the float pod.
Gregory, Jackson; Lan, Tian; Maoz, Uri; and Raz, Amir, "Measuring neural time series data in a sensory deprivation tank" (2019). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 325.
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