MindLab Proteus Help

The following questions and answers will help you get the most from the Mindlab Proteus.

If you have any other questions, please email us – use the contact form page in the menu.

Q: How long do the batteries last?
A: We recommend that you use alkaline batteries, such as Duracells, with the MindLab Proteus for best results; under normal use you can expect up to 70 hours continuous operation.(I know this as I ran 70 one-hour sessions on full brightness before the batteries ran out.) You can also use rechargeable Ni-Cad “AA” batteries, which should last roughly 10-20 hours between recharges.

Q: What are the system requirements for the Proteus Editor program?
A: Windows 98 or later is recommended (we’ve heard that this may be run under Windows 95, but have not certified it for so doing ourselves). You need less than 3 MB disc space; practically any system that runs W98+ should work well.

Q: I can’t open the battery compartment. What shall I do?
A: Some Proteus battery doors are a bit hard to remove the first time, apparently due to the green metallic paint being very slightly thicker than normal. This is easy to remedy, and once you’ve opened it for the first time, should work fine.
Normally you would slide the battery door straight down, holding Proteus with the button side facing the floor and the bottom pointing towards you. Place your two thumbs on the ridged friction guide and pull firmly towards you. If this doesn’t do the trick, use a small screwdriver or similar object to pop the door down and off, by first placing it in one of the two small square holes on either side of the top of the battery door. Do this carefully to avoid marring the finish of your unit.

Q: How important is sound as a component of the light/sound experience?
A: It is especially important as a means for blocking external distractions, and pulsed audio waveforms can help reduce distracting thoughts via patterned stimuli. Binaural beat frequencies can induce brainwave activity at the beat frequencies in some cases, which further assists in accessing certain states of awareness. Generally speaking, the audio component is much less important than the visual, since a large part of our brain (about 40%) is involved with vision.
If you are using AudioStrobe or other forms of audio input, such as various forms of spoken word (affirmations, NLP, etc.) the importance of the audio increases in the overall experience.

Q: How does AudioStrobe work?
the AudioStrobe technique stores an inaudible control signal on digital media such as compact discs; these signals directly control the pulsing of the lights. Because the signals are mastered at the same time that the CD is, very precise synchronization of the audio and visual stimulation can be achieved. AudioStrobe was developed by Mr. Andrzej Slawinski of AudioStrobe GMBH, Germany.

Q: Why didn’t I receive a software disc?
A: We decided not to include the Proteus software on the AudioStrobe sampler disc for two reasons: first, we could fit an extra “bonus” audio track on the CD that way, and more importantly we were making rapid progress on our new software revision and didn’t want to make a lot of discs with obsolete software!
You can download the latest version of Proteus software from www.syneticsystems.com/resources/software. Of course, if you do not have internet access and you live in the United States, we will be happy to send you the software on disc.

Q: I can’t download sessions from my computer into Proteus.
A: Check the following:
Have you selected the proper serial port?
Is the serial cable plugged snugly into the computer and Proteus?
Are you using the proper cable? (it should be black; the ThoughtStream cable looks identical but is beige)
Is Proteus in DL mode? (if not, press the middle button until it is, and repeat the download process.
Remember that the Proteus digital display will show rapidly changing numbers if it is receiving data. If you’ve tried all of the above and you still cannot download, write or call us.

Q: Are additional sessions available for download?
A: As they become available, they may be accessed from this site.

Q: How do I update the Proteus firmware (operating system)?
A: a. Launch Proteus Editor and click the Update Code button on the top right hand side of the program window. the following window appears:

b. Note that there are three checked boxes on the lower right, under send data to Proteus; in the future you can selectively upload new session data, code or user preferences separately. Leave them all checked for the moment.
c. Point your cursor to the Prot1_6.pts (or later, if available when you read this) file and left-click to highlight the filename.
d. Be sure your Proteus is connected to your PC, and if necessary press the MODE (middle) button until the display reads DL (for download). Verify that the PC cable is plugged into the AUX input on the lower right side of Proteus.
e. Now left-click the Upload Code button. You will see a display on screen indicating that the firmware update is downloading. the Proteus display should also show rapidly changing numbers during the download; if this is not the case then either you have not selected the correct serial port, or the serial cable is not properly connected, or you are not in DL mode.

Q: Why are the LEDs in the lightframes red and green?
A: We chose these colors because they include a large range of evocable feeling-states, ranging from red (=energizing) to green (=relaxing) with a range of possibilities in between, especially amber, which is most efficient at evoking the peak performance state. Also, our testers reported that these colors produced the most vivid imagery.
We also produce red/blue (ruby/sapphire) LightFrames; blue is deeply relaxing and the visual effects and overall feel of these colors is more trance-like.

Q: In what way is multicolored light superior to a single color?
A: Single-color stimulation does not take into account the differential effects of colored light stimulation on mood and EEG. Proteus is the first system to provide real-time control over the brightness of both colors simultaneously, allow smooth shifts between the 250+ possible color combinations (16 shades each of red and green).
So a typical ramp from 16 hz to 8 hz might start all red, shifting to amber at 12 hz and all green at 8 hz. Or, you can try your own combinations to explore more unique effects.

Q: Why is the use of two frequencies simultaneously of value?
A: It is possible to elicit more complex states of consciousness by using more than one frequency simultaneously. In fact, most states of consciousness are not exemplified by a single frequency band. Proteus is the only machine available today which at least partially remedies that situation.

Q: What are the advantages of using biofeedback to control Proteus?
A: For several reasons. First, the light frequency, brightness, color, etc. may be used to provide you with direct feedback regarding changes in your physiology associated with the use of light/sound stimulation–whether it be increased or decreased arousal, etc. Secondly, sessions may be created which alternate between light/sound stimulation and biofeedback; this was the approach taken with the Biolight study which led to significant improvement in college grade point average in those who used this system. Thirdly, the light/sound parameters may be “tuned” in real time to craft highly specific states of consciousness.

Q: I’m pregnant. Can I use the MindLab Proteus safely?
A: You will probably know that many products say they are unsuitable for use while pregnant: probably electric toothbrushes included! the main reason is that miscarriages as far more common than people realise, and manufacturers reduce comebacks by advising people not to use their products when you are pregnant.
We are the same: we strongly advise against using the MindLab Proteus during pregnancy.

Q: I have a problem getting my computer to recognise the devices via my comms port. Can you help? — Peter
Peter emailed back later: Hi Nigel & Robert,
Thanks for your kind and prompt advice. the problem is solved. the syncronization programme for my handheld computer had comandeered the com port. It had to be disabled to free up the port for other devices. Without your support I would not have found this out. Thank you again. Now I can enjoy my holiday weekend with my new toys in working order. Best wishes, Peter

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