Recently offered on eBay UK, this VINTAGE SCHNEIDER BRAIN WAVE SYNCHRONIZER MODEL MD-5 was described by the seller thusly:
3 DIFFERENT RANGES - DELTA, ALPHA AND BETA
HAS A LID AND LEADS AND PLUG BUT POSSIBLY WILL NEED CHECKING BY A ELECTRIAN. I HAVE PLUGGED IT IN, AND SEEMS TO WORK FINE BUT I AM NOT A DOCTOR
117 VOLTS 50-60 CYCLES AC 15 WATTS
APPROX HEIGHT 14CM, APPROX WIDTH 17CM, APPROX LENGTH 39CM
Sadly, bidding on this item has ended1. It sold for the low low price of £41.45.
In the journal Anesthesiology, Bause (2010) reflects on the history of the Brain Wave Synchronizer:
After observing how some radar technicians had become “transfixed” by rhythmic flashing dots on their radar screens, inventor Sidney Schneider designed his Brain Wave Synchronizer (BWS) to hypnotize by visually stimulating subjects at frequencies mimicking those of their alpha, beta, or delta brainwaves. In 1959 Schneider and hypnotist-obstetrician William Kroger, M.D., published their use of the BWS in prenatal classes for thousands of women prior to its use as an “electronic aid for hypnotic induction” during labor and delivery [Kroger & Schneider, 1959]. Four years later, Chicago anesthesiologist Max S. Sadove, M.D., published his work on how BWS-induced hypnosis could reduce anesthetic agent requirements during general anesthesia [Sadove, 1963]. By 1994 the BWS would be cited for causing epileptic seizures in a patient.
The modern brainwave synchronization or "brainwave entrainment" industry makes a lot of unsubstantiated claims to sell its devices. But discussing the peer-reviewed evidence on this will be a longer post for another time...
1 However, the same seller is offering this FAB RETRO LADIES HEAD POWDER PUFF TRINKET BOX VASE, which is still available for a limited time (until 17 Jan, 2011 17:09:21 GMT). The starting bid is £8.00.
Bause GS. (2010). The Schneider brain wave synchronizer. Anesthesiology 113:584.
Kroger WS, Schneider SA. (1959). An electronic aid for hypnotic induction: A preliminary report. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 7:93-98.
SADOVE MS. (1963). Hypnosis in anesthesiology. Ill Med J. 124:39-42.
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