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Muse x Joshua: Not Your Average 8th Grade Science Project

Nadia K

Our team at Muse received a request from one very bright 8th grader at Emery/Weiner School in Houston Texas.

His name is Joshua Kaplan, and was in need of our help for his science fair project. Joshua’s curiosity lead him to investigate the effects of different lighting on states of stress and relaxation.

We were lucky enough to have him write to us and ask for support!

See below for Joshua’s post:


My name is Joshua Kaplan, I am an 8th grader, at the Emery/Weiner School. I am doing a science fair project where I am trying to measure relaxation/stress under different lighting. Initially, I was going to use a traditional EEG device or EEG data, but it was too expensive. I decided to look for a different way, and after a lot of research, I found Muse!

The Project:

I need something that can measure theta and all the “stress/relaxation” frequencies. Muse does just that. I am emailing to ask if I could get a sponsorship for funding for the Muse 2 headband to help with my experiment. I am planning on making it to the national science fair, but I need the help of muse.

My timeline starts December 3, 2019, and I want to finish research for the science fair by January 10th the latest. Anyone can move on to the Houston science fair, and I plan to move on. The first science fair is at my school, then the city of Houston, then I believe it goes City if I move on, State, then I think it is national!

Our science fair is January 16, 2020, and then I will move on to city, then hopefully state and national. I just want to clarify I am not in national yet, but I believe I can make it to national. Also, for my passion project, I plan to keep doing more in-depth research on brainwaves and things that can affect the different them. I plan to keep my project going on for as long as I can, but with different ideas/questions and with different variables.



My Support Crew:

Dr. Stephen A. Thompson, MD, is the main person who will be helping me with my project. His specialties are Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy. His board certification is with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for Epilepsy and Neurology. He works at UT Physicians Neurology at the Texas Medical Center.

My science teacher Mrs. Louisa Savarese will be helping and supervising me. Other people involved will be human participants and possibly another Ph.D. Professor, who specializes in neuroscience and EEG.

Key Outcome Goals: What are the effects of different stimuli on the brain and stress levels?

I have titled my project “The Effects of different light and sounds on the brain and stress levels.”

For my project, I will be putting human participants under different environments:

  • red light
  • blue light
  • normal light
  • white noise

I will be using Muse to measure the raw data of brain waves for each environment for each person. I will be saving the files and doing 10-30 minute measurements for each environment. I will be meeting with Dr. Thompson to discuss the results and to understand the frequencies/measurements better.



Personal Mission:

As a young neuroscience buff, my goal for this project is to find out if red light, blue light, or white noise can help relax a person or …if it is bogus and these stimuli don’t do anything.

I want to be able to compare the results of each test to see what is different in each. I want to be able to learn more about brainwaves, light, noise, and stress. Mainly I am hoping to discover if any of the variables help lower stress faster and or do anything else.

I plan on sharing my information with the world and hopefully help those who experience stress to understand their brains a little more. For the future, I would like to find different variables or questions that I can use the Muse for.

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