EEG and fMRI research sets out to uncover neural mechanisms of altered states induced by the popular Lumenate app
With psychedelics gaining in popularity as medical treatments and tools for self-development, and decriminalization efforts resulting in wider access to psychedelics, patients and wellness seekers are seeking tools that can enhance these experiences, or (for the majority still unable to access psychedelics legally) provide access to some of their benefits.
Based on the principle of sensory entrainment, the Lumenate app facilitates controlled and easily-halted altered states using flashing lights at predetermined frequencies. Users typically report being immersed in colorful and kaleidoscopic closed-eye visual hallucinations, while also feeling a reduction in their sense of ego, allowing them to view their thoughts and feelings from a new and insightful perspective—all just using their mobile phone.
Given the prior lack of formal investigation into the neurological mechanisms of action of this phenomenon, Lumenate is supporting research programs to better understand its potential utility for wellness and mental health patients undertaking these practices.
“Our current research at Freie Universität Berlin is using fMRI to better understand the effects of stroboscopic light on brain networks that process visual signals, and how these interact with the default mode network. This research will help us to not only better understand the mechanisms by which Lumenate induces an altered state of consciousness, but also provide a new perspective on the neural pathways behind visual imagery,” said Dr. Timo Torsten Schmidt of Freie Universität Berlin.
“Our research at Imperial College London aims to uncover neural mechanisms of visual imagery induced by Lumenate, using high-density EEG. The research also aims at comparing psychedelic experiences induced by DMT and Lumenate, by exploring the psychological and biological mechanisms of both altered states of consciousness,” added Chris Timmerman, Ph.D., lead investigator at Imperial College London.
Lumenate made headlines in 2021 when actress Rosamund Pike joined its leadership team as Creative Director, based on her positive experiences with the app.
“What the Lumenate App offers as a gateway into pure consciousness is incredibly exciting,” said Pike. “The stroboscopic light is a revelatory way to explore the subconscious workings of one’s mind. What I experience using the app is a combination of meditation and deep inner awareness. The tool is both innovative and groundbreaking. I cannot wait for the world to experience it.”
For more information, to request interviews, or for review access to the Lumenate app, please contact: