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Burning Man – the annual community-run festival of art and expression- has no shortage of creative, outrageous, and downright weird installations. Normally you’ve got to attend the event to witness them, but this year we’re lucky enough to catch a preview of one before it goes live on the playa – Mens Amplio (Latin for “expanding the mind”) is an enormous glowing brain with effects controlled via a NeuroSky EEG headset.

The crew behind the Mens Amplio project -made up of artists and professionals from the worlds of brain imaging and neural interfaces- is building a 15-foot-tall head and brain with interactive light and flame effects that will be controlled by a participant’s brain waves at the Burning Man festival. Later on, the plan is to take it around to schools “to get kids excited about science, technology and fabrication.”

Mens Amplio will be an interactive, 15-foot-tall wire frame model of a head and a brain with LEDs inside that will light up the structure representing a bundle of neurons that is made up of transparent illuminated rods – a special type of clear light-diffusing acrylic.

These neuron-like rods will illuminate in varying patterns and colors. The variation of patterns is triggered by a participant wearing a NeuroSky brain-computer interface headset, picking up the brain signal from the participant’s forehead.

According to -where we found this amazing story- a calm user’s relaxed mental state will trigger ambient sequences, while active, attentive brainwaves will cause more rapid light flashes.

Want to help this project come alive? Support Mens Amplio’s Indiegogo campaign!

Project homepage:

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3d Video Rendering of the Sculpture