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Home Library Methods & Technology Methods & Technology Intro - Part I: Methods - Intelligence Augmentation and Exploration
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Neurohacking - Methods & Technology
Written by NHA   
Sunday, 28 February 2010 03:15
Article Index
Methods & Technology Intro - Part I: Methods
Investigative and Diagnostic Techniques
Repair and Prevention
Intelligence Augmentation and Exploration
All Pages


 Methods for Intelligence Augmentation & Exploration



Many of the methods used for repair and maintenance can also be used for augmentation, some are outlined below. A selection of augmentation techniques are also included in the tutorials. They should not be used by complete beginners and in the interests of your own safety, not until you have a reliable functional analysis.

Most successful augmentation is a conglomerate of techniques, all working together to achieve specific goals; for example to boost intellect or creativity or memory Nhers might use any combination of exercise, diet, drugs, meditation, biofeedback, input control, mind machines, association aids, and so on. People who want to augment tend to go for it in as many ways as possible.


Physical & Sensory Methods

One of the simplest ways of augmenting the system with exercise is perhaps the 'endorphin rush' well known to athletes.

If you don't exercise very often, doing so will get you slightly 'high' at first in any case, because of the sudden increase in oxygen to your brain and bodily systems (remember to eat your antioxidants!) But sustained exercise (over 30 minutes) does cause the release of several neurotransmitters, two of the main ones being serotonin and endorphins. Exercise can therefore be used as part of input control to adjust these transmitters. Both help improve the relaxation response and self care, confidence and decision making.

Facial expression and posture are also strongly tied to neurotransmitter release and can be used in input control. Laughter is a good serotonin-increaser and vice versa, as many people eating magic mushrooms with bananas have no doubt discovered.



Sensory Deprivation

Almost all kinds of sensory input can be used to enhance any hack, and so can a total lack of it.

There are two main methods of sensory deprivation used popularly and a couple of other methods used by dodgy intelligence agencies (fortunately the methods themselves are not dodgy).

Just 15 minutes of near-total sensory deprivation can bring on hallucinations in many individuals. Short periods of SD can be good for relaxation.

Hallucinations happen when the brain misidentifies the source of what it is experiencing, a concept researchers call faulty source monitoring.

Why would anyone want to induce hallucinations on purpose? Astronauts do SD as part of their training, because one thing about SD is that it takes longer and longer to have an effect the more often you do it, and for astronauts it's essential practice for spacewalk conditions where total darkness, absolute silence and isolation are everyday facts of life. People doing exposure therapy to overcome phobias might choose SD as a way to confront claustrophobia, one minute at a time. People doing creativity or imagination enhancement might use it for achieving altered states, inspiration and ideas, or spiritual seekers might use it for interpreting the contents of the unconscious. Most users do so for relaxation and anxiety reduction.


REST Chambers & Float Tanks

There are two basic methods of restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST): chamber REST and flotation REST.

In chamber REST, subjects lie on a comfortable bed in a completely dark and sound reducing room or small enclosure. In flotation REST, the room contains (or consists of) a tank or pool. The flotation medium consists of a skin-temperature solution of water and epsom salts at a specific gravity that allows for the person to float supine freely without worry of safety.

There is more information about both of these in “Methods & tech part 2: Tech” (this section)


Other Methods

The requirements for SD are simply blocking input, and any means from a padded chair in a warm dark soundproof room to a blindfold and headphones provide some method of this. Ideally the room temperature is at the same temperature as the person, complete darkness and silence are achieved, motion is restricted and there are no peripherals such as strong odors or vibrations that might serve as input.



Behavioral Methods


Learning to play a musical instrument and swimming are two activities known to improve overall mental function. An enriched environment containing plenty to do makes brains more resilient against anxiety and neurotoxins.

A popular form of cognitive enhancement software consists of learned association strategies to memorize information. One of the most effective of such methods is “the method of loci”. The user visualizes a building, either real or imaginary, and in imagination walks from room to room, depositing imaginary objects that evoke natural associations to the subject matter being memorized. During retrieval, the user retraces their imaginary steps, and the sequence of memorized information is recalled when they “see” the objects they placed along the route. 

This technique harnesses the brain’s spatial navigation system to remember objects or propositional contents. Other memory techniques make use of rhyming or weighting (the fact that one more easily recalls dramatic, colorful, or emotional scenes, which can serve as representations for items that are more difficult to retain, such as numbers or letters).


Mind Maps

Mind Mapping is an important NH technique that improves learning speed and supports and enhances creative problem solving. By using Mind Maps, you can quickly identify and understand the structure of a subject and the way that pieces of information fit together, as well as recording the raw facts contained in normal notes. More than this, Mind Maps provide a structure which encourages creative problem solving, and they hold information in a format that your mind will find easy to remember and quick to review.

Popularized by Tony Buzan, Mind Maps abandon the list format of conventional note taking. They do this in favor of a semi-graphic structure. The brain works by association; not separated, disconnected lines A good Mind Map shows the 'shape' of the subject, the relative importance of individual points, and the way in which ideas associate or relate to one another. Mind Maps are more compact than conventional notes, often taking up only one side of A4 paper. Their spatial qualities help you to make associations and remember more easily. If you find out more information after you have drawn the main Mind Map, you can also easily integrate it with little disruption.

The method for mind mapping is given in tutorial 6.


Input Control for Genome Hacking

You will need to know:


Your target system or function.

What input produces what neurotransmitters in you personally. The more kinds you can combine, the easier the change will be.

The current state of your networks



What gene transcription factors are involved

The duration and frequency of input (epigenetic factors) necessary to cause genome expression alteration in the area of your choice.

Any genetic limitations.


If you have the essential requirements, the method sounds as straightforward as taking a course of pills; you simply apply the required epigenetic factors for the required duration at the required frequency and the genome will change all by itself, regardless of whether or not you know the science. However, if you really know what you're doing, during any advanced hack you will be using exercises for the brain networks involved and keeping neurotransmitters balanced on the fly as dynamic changes progress, as well as monitoring & controlling input 24/7, and you can end up feeling like you're flying through an asteroid field by the seat of your pants; i.e., it's not easy even if you've done it before.

Popular target systems in genome hacking are metabolism & body fat control, hair loss & hair color, physical appearance, and reversing aging processes.

The NH golden rule 'know yourself' comes into play bigtime here because if you don't get the epigenetic factors correct for you personally, your genome will ignore you, or worse; you could trigger a response you really didn't want. Accidentally changing your hair color or metabolism may not be fun at all. Don't underestimate the power of what you are playing with just because it seems so easy, because wrong association can have unpleasant consequences.

Being aware of your limitations saves a lot of time that you could otherwise waste trying to trigger a gene that you do not actually have! We all have different DNA, so although there are some basic things that we can all change, there are also specialist things that only some of us can change, and there may be one or two things that only you personally can change.

A general rule for genome hacking via input control seems to be 'frequency rather than duration'. Something done more often seems to affect changes faster than something done constantly for a long time. We also know that parallel input (a variety of different epigenetic factors associated with the same thing) works faster than just one kind of input. Ideally you need to control or modulate input for all senses and the mind, brain & body overall, which includes pretty tight control of your immediate environment and likely events.


To learn more about input control for genome hacking, read:

Plasticity & epigenetics; the basics (basics section)

Optimal nutrition for beginners (nutrition section)




Is one of the most powerful forms of input control (see tutorials) allied to directed behavior. The method makes use of a role model (someone who demonstrates the abilities you desire), whom you then copy, or 'model' as closely as you can.

Anyone who practises a martial art under tuition will know that every master expects their moves to be copied, but a truly exceptional master will find the best students imitating their habits, dress, way of speaking, hobbies, diets, likes and dislikes etc as well as their moves.

The golden rule 'you will become more like whatever you are surrounded by' sums up the reasons for employing input control, although it takes a little real experience and experimentation to get the hang of what it can do. When you find a healthy role model you will notice the changes in yourself.

Role models may be real live people, they may be fictional characters in movies, they may be imagined characters from our own minds or from the past or from our favorite comic books; depending on how good our imagination is (with a developed imagination, we can use all these sources).

Modeling is not merely copying someone; the method has two parts; 'cut' and 'paste'. During the 'cut' phase you pay close attention to the model and concentrate on imagining yourself doing what they are doing, as you are seeing them do it. Imagine how it feels to be inside their body and mind; to be the person experiencing the doing. The second phase transfers these basics to your own body and mind -you behave as though you were the person. This does not mean you copy their behavior like some kind of mirror, it means you go off by yourself and pretend to be that person getting on with life.

A part of learning anything well is learning the state of mind that is appropriate for the circumstances. To get into the state of mind of the master, one must empathize so well that one can 'become' the master; i.e. we initiate a process of circular feedback: when we can think like the master thinks, we behave like the master behaves, and if we behave like the master behaves, we will begin to think like the master thinks.

For those who like it to sound less cosmic, any aspect of intelligence upgraded will upgrade all other aspects (but note 'upgraded' means better quality; not greater density or dominance).

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about modeling as a learning aid because some of the techniques that are normal and healthy in modeling become distorted into hero-worship, blind imitation, dependence and stalking in the not-so-healthy. But we only have to look at animal behavior to see plainly how important the ability to copy is to learning and survival, and how guilelessly animals are able to mimic each other. This is the spirit in which we should imitate our heroes: from an urge to improve ourselves, to become competent, autonomous people like them and provide what we need for ourselves, not from an urge to get something from them that we need.



Methods Using Drugs / Chemicals 

See Drugs & chemicals section



Methods Using Technology

See Methods & tech part 2 (this section)



Psychological Methods

Interaction and Working with Groups

Group work is more challenging than working alone but can bring greater benefits and faster development.

Groups should have clear goals (for example, memory improvement, imagination exercises, improving emotional stability in relationships); and a clearly defined method or context (for example, mutual testing, storytelling, co counselling). Learning about methods will help you match methods to goals, and almost any therapy can be used in group context for enhancement as well as repair.

Groups should keep records of their activities to avoid misunderstandings, assess their developmental progress and maintain objectivity. Practicing interaction with core conditions (see tutorials) in a well organized group is one of the fastest ways to speed up personal development.

If you want to learn more about core conditions, read:

Interaction & core conditions: the basics (basics section)



Memory Adjusting

Most advanced memory work combines psychological with other methods.

You will need to know how memory works at a chemical and cellular level and what type of memory (and hence what networks) you are dealing with, in order to make the most of available techniques.

Memory adjusting includes enhancing overall or specifics, reformatting or removing (for example in anxiety disorders or PTSD) and complicated fun stuff in psychological games such as space/time overlaying, parallel reality perception and artificial constructs.


Overall & Specific Memory Enhancement

Methods include anxiety reduction, association, physical exercise, nutrition and similar factors. Meditation gives memory extra 'defragging' time (you make associations faster and so learn faster.) There are plenty of exercises for improving overall memory and enhancing different kinds of memory in the tutorials.


Reformatting or Removing Memory

There are around 120 different molecules involved in memory processing, and most enhancement or alteration uses chemical means. (See: Drugs & chemicals section introduction).

The main psychological method used with or without drugs is summarized below:

The act of recalling makes memory vulnerable until it is re-stored again (a process called reconsolidation). During this unstable 'window', new information can be incorporated into the old memory.

Reactivating traumatic memories in humans allows them to be updated with a lower weighing. As a result, traumatic memories no longer invoke high anxiety.

In order to initially measure memory weighting, often a GSR machine (see tech section) is used to measure skin conductance in response to individual memories.

Once the target memory is selected, it is deliberately reinvoked 24 hours later (this reactivation of the memory initiates the reconsolidation process). During this process, information that the same event is now "safe" is provided through recordings or an assistant. Presenting this new "safe" information during reconsolidation is designed to incorporate it into the initial traumatic memory associations.

This method on its own leads to the temporary reduction of anxiety. When drugs are also given to block effective reconsolidation the effect is permanent.

However, the method on its own is now known to be permanently sufficient as long as the healthy input occurs during the 'reconsolidation window'; when the memory is temporarily unstable.

Reweighting of the traumatic memory as safe is specific to the memory that was reactivated prior to adding good input. Other traumatic memories remain following recall, suggesting that the method is selective and targets individual memory rather than having a general effect on memory.



Play should be a constant ongoing factor in the life of anyone who wants to maintain good mental health or further develop their intelligence.

Play serves as the grounding core of learning and helps shape the developing nervous systems of mammals. Through play we build our basic ontology for reality which bridges the concrete physical, mechanical, analogical, metaphoric, digital and abstract information we need to learn and be able to communicate.

Play is absolutely necessary for the development of imagination, perception, empathy, and interaction behaviors needed to handle stress without anxiety. Evolutionarily, the smarter, more flexible and adaptive the creature, the more they play. Play movements are recognized across species lines, and play signals, such as a relaxed open mouth expression, (the "play face") can be seen in both mammals and birds and is understood by both to mean - no harm will come to you - what follows is play. Thus play has established a language which forms the basis for trust of others and forms an action pattern of beginning integrity.

For humans, play is also catalytic in the shaping of one's own inner awareness (actual sense of self), and thus is directly related to mental health and plasticity. It is also the means by which we shape imagination.

Real playing is how real learning takes place. You can force 'parrot-fashion' declarative recall through coercion, via conditioning or behavior modification or programming or brainwashing, but it's not learning; it's indoctrination.

Play is a major NH method for achieving all sorts of enhancements in various different functions, notably in network 3 but applicable to all networks. Above all else play will help you rediscover the lighthearted playful and childlike genius of your own innate intelligence.


Psychological Gaming

In psychological gaming and other areas of advanced NH, various combined methods are used to achieve a variety of goals (see therapeutic imagery, above) usually including chemicals, self suggestion and/or other methods. The aim is an 'altered state' called gamespace, in which we exercise the ability to change reality including ourselves. The goal is developmental and experiential, and Gamespace is a state of body and mind free from the boundaries, limitations and categories imposed by social conditioning; a state Rogerians would call Congruence or Congruity.

Research shows that the "state" athletes call the Zone, what researchers and professionals call Flow and what children call Play share the basic characteristics of complete selfless absorption and engagement in the moment. This "state" of complete unconflicted (congruent) behavior is nature's baseline, biology's expectation, for optimum learning, performance and well-being.

Some of the basic methods in psychological gaming are outlined below. However, just as most people cannot play with hard drugs safely and competently, most people cannot play hard games competently (which is often a frustration to those who can). It's therefore a minority area and we won't go fully into it here. Future tutorials, very possibly.


Imagery and Visualization Overlay

This technique demands good control and direction of network 3; in particular the mirror neuron system. It enables you to do things like replace dodgy input with useful input in real time, explore the creative possibilities of perception, put up 'firewalls' against coercion and achieve changes of mood swiftly and effectively.

Mental training and visualization techniques are widely practised in NH, with apparently best

effects on performance on factors associated with most networks (see tutorials).

The method is the first half of 'modelling' with or without the model (see above). Users vividly imagine themselves performing a task, repeatedly imagining every movement and how it would feel. A likely explanation for the efficacy of such exercises is that they activate the neural networks involved in executing a skill in real life at the same time as the performance criteria for the task is held in close attention, optimizing neural plasticity and appropriate neural reorganization.


Memory Overlay

Is a method of restructuring long term memories or current memories that normally uses chemicals and self hypnosis. It requires detailed knowledge of imagination, perception and the nature of memory and should be avoided by anyone with wronguse in networks 3 4 or 5, or anyone susceptible to hallucination or emotional instability.


Placebos and Self-Suggestion

Spiritual practices and psychological gaming work because they change brain chemistry, and suggestion is a self-hypnotic tool for optimal results. Going through the motions with no underlying belief at all is often enough, but belief also changes neurochemistry too. We can learn to use belief itself as a powerful ability.



Cognitive Methods

'Brain Training'

Do 'brain training' games really work?

Whether something works and what it achieves when 'working' are two different questions. The beneficial outcome required is all important here. Brain training games can increase your declarative memory and improve your reflexes and intellect. They will not augment your intelligence, and they could even slow it down in you have wronguse in network 5 (see tutorials).

If you have nonuse in network 5, braintraining games are a good way to encourage development and improve cognitive skills. The ones available free online are just as effective as those for specific consoles that you have to buy. They are also available to borrow from many libraries.

For more about brain training games, see “methods & tech part 2: tech” (this section).


Discourse Programming

Is an extended method of discourse analysis and a form of input control, aimed at maintaining emotional stability by interrupting the onset of harmful sentiments and replacing them with healthy emotional responses (see tutorials). The method requires discourse analysis and spotting of danger keywords, then self-programming to replace the words used in speech as a mnemonic to alter the associated thought patterns. Once the mind is distracted from a habit, a healthy habit can be introduced.


Self-Analysis & Assessment

Is an invaluable tool in intelligence enhancement. Keeping track of your progress prevents anxiety tying to con you into thinking there's been no improvement. The proof is there in front of you, to feel good about. You get to know your own mind in depth and understand better how to enhance your abilities. You can also spot any potential problems before they develop, adjust your program dynamically as required, and maintain a healthy balanced brain.

In NH the more accurate you are about pinpointing your current limitations, the more and faster progress you will make. Assessing yourself should be a regular good habit, whatever your stage of development or level of NH you are at.



Spiritual Methods

The Spiritual Path as a Development Map

You will need to know:

Nothing to start, as long as you are willing to learn and aim to improve yourself.

To progress optimally, especially if you are working by yourself, you will need to learn all the basics of NH and have a firm clear background theory of development itself, your own current level of development and the nature of intelligence in general. If you fully understand what a spiritual journey IS, you'll realize are already upon one, in learning what you have learned you have taken the first steps...


In other words, to navigate such a journey you will need:

Input control and access to prepared input for all stages.

Genuine resolve/motivation/energy and staying power.

And a safe place to start from (your 'map' or foundation of background knowledge, awareness and ability).

A spiritual path seeks answers to the most important questions of reality: what are we, what is the nature of the conceptual structures which we experience as divine, what is the relationship between human and divine, what is the meaning of our lives, how can we realize our full potential and assist others to do the same, how to live, adapt and thrive in peace and harmony?

There many different spiritual paths but genuine ones all have one thing in common -they are attempts to understand reality, our lives in relation to it, and how to live beneficially. They all attempt to answer these questions.

In advanced NH, shamanic or spiritual journeying has been described variously as playing the mind like an instrument which requires much practice to be mastered, performing an ever-changing complex dance, or flying a starship into new frontiers.

Regardless of what path they follow, many NH students end up designing their own 'spiritual or shamanic journey' and all of these will be unique, but the above descriptions are all ways of saying the same thing -exploring and adapting to interact with something whose variety and complexity is ever-expanding. This is what life itself does, it is what evolution does, and it is also what intelligence does.

Even Nhers with no religious beliefs whatsoever use 'the journey' as a series of hacks that catalyses development, for the simple reason that they work; they achieve the desired results, just as meditation works regardless of whether you believe that you are initiating the relaxation response to change your neurochemistry or becoming one with Buddha nature or invoking the spirits to get rid of a headache. Your hardware brain cannot itself think, so it doesn't care about your reasons; it only cares about what chemicals it's getting. What your mind thinks can deliberately alter that.

There are a number of presentations of 'the hero's journey' online. Unfortunately each type works only for a limited number of people -those whose neural association aligns with that particular map. So you may have to do some searching to find one that works for you, or design your own by putting together useful parts of other paths or improvising links from your own eidetic association.

If you want to learn more about the possibilities of a spiritual path in NH, read:


Spirituality section of the library



Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 11:50