Frequently asked questions

What is Mendi?

Mendi brings together the powerful combination of neurofeedback brain training and behavioural science for home use for the first time. The Mendi brain health system consists of three components: 

  • The Mendi headset which uses advanced functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure blood flow and oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
  • A brain training mobile game that you control with your mind. In other words, you can visualize your brain activity in near real-time by controlling the brain training mobile game with your mind.
  • Behavioural science / lifestyle recommendations.

    With Mendi you measure, visualize  and improve your brain activity and over time you can train your brain to enhance its functioning, for instance, improve focus, control mood, regulate stress level and create better sleep patterns. This as a result leads to a healthier brain and mental well-being.

     

    How does Mendi work?

    Mendi uses neurofeedback to provide you with live, visual feedback based on your brain activity measured by the Mendi headset while you play a brain training mobile game. The Mendi headset uses fNIRS technology which, among other things, measures blood flow and oxygenation in the PFC. The app includes a brain training game requiring focus and calmness. This subsequently increases activity in your PFC, which controls your brain’s pathways. 

    • With Mendi you measure, control and improve your brain activity
    • Mendi is 100% safe as infrared light is non-evasive
    • Mendi can (and should) be used by anyone 

    If you combine Mendi’s neurofeedback practice with a practice of a lifestyle change/doing/nudging, you can see the effect in the ease with which your behavior changes. It is important that one understands what they are looking for in results. The most efficient way to measure progress is to track one of your behaviors. For example, if you’re focusing your neurofeedback practice on attention, try reading for 15 minutes everyday without interruption, and track the ease with which you can do that over the course of your Mendi practice.

     

    Why should I use Mendi?

    Several thousands of users have already reported and recorded improvements in their brain health and overall mental well-being. The most common improvements being increased focus, regulated stress levels, mood control and better sleep. Mendi makes your brain healthier ultimately impacting:

    • Mental well-being: your brain function is essential to your mental and neurological well-being. In fact, brain enhancement training is being used every day in clinics and in research for preventive care as well as for individuals experiencing stress, anxiety, ADHD, sleep issues and more.
    • Better performance: a well functioning brain is key to high performance. Brain enhancement training is used by many individuals and organization to take their performance from good to great.
    • Overall health: our overall health starts with our brain. Just like we look after our bodies, it is critical to keep our brains healthy. The brain affects every part of our body. Strengthening your brain and cognitive function can improve your physical well-being.

     

    How often should I use Mendi? 

    We recommend starting with 15 minutes per week (3 x 5min) for the first few weeks. Here is an example schedule for you to follow in your Mendi practice:

    • Mendi training: 2/3 times per week, 3 min sessions each
    • Individual behavioral practice: 2/3 times per week, 5 min sessions each

    Consistency is more important than total time. And like a treadmill doesn’t make you a runner overnight, patience and attention to your Mendi practice is integral.

     

    Who can use Mendi?

    Mendi can (and should) be used by individuals of all age groups; for practical reasons we recommend 5+. Mendi is helpful for individuals who look to establish a healthy brain routine aimed at improving focus, mood control, sleep, stress level and overall brain health.

    It is important to understand that Mendi is not licensed medical technology. This is something we may do in the future, but for now our focus is on helping our customers improve their general brain health and mental well-being. As such Mendi is not intended for diagnosing or treating clinical or mental health conditions. If you have, or think you have, a condition, you should speak to your doctor before you use Mendi.

     

    How do I get started with Mendi?

    There are three key importance steps:

    • 1. Switch on the Mendi device and put it on your head
      • Make sure the head strap is tightly but comfortably affixed, and adjust it if necessary.
      • If you have longer hair, move it out of the way.
      • It is important that you target the same brain region during each session. To make sure you place the Mendi at the same position in each session, look in the mirror and align the lower edge of the device with your eyebrows. Make sure that the letters “en” of the “Mendi” logo are aligned with your nose.
    • 2. Find a quiet place so you can do your Mendi session without being disturbed. There are a few things you need to consider to make training your brain with Mendi as effective as possible:
      • Mendi measures your brain activity indirectly by measuring blood flow and oxygenation in your prefrontal cortex. The blood takes a while to reach your Prefrontal cortex. That is why the signal which you see as animated feedback in the app is a bit delayed. Whenever you start training it will take about 4-6 seconds before you see any effect. If you want to try out a different strategy for changing the signal, you need to stick to it for at least 20 seconds to find out if it works.
      • Please breathe regularly. Mendi measures oxygenation of your blood. It is very easy to affect the signal by just breathing very heavily or holding your breath. But if you really want to train your neural activity you should avoid this and just breathe regularly during the neurofeedback training.
      • It is also important that you are in a relaxed state before you start a training session. Please don’t do a Mendi session immediately after a workout or any other form of strenuous physical activity. Take a few moments to relax before you start. (good before the workout).
      • Please also try to keep movement to a minimum during your session. The device can handle some movement, so no need to tense up, but please try to keep your head in a stable position. Don’t shake your head, move your eyebrows or lean forward. Avoid touching the Mendi device while you are training.
      • Lastly, controlling your brain activity is not easy. It is a skill to be mastered with time. So be patient and don’t get frustrated.
    • 3. Now:
      • Do not think about anything.
      • Just relax.
      • Only focus on the ball to make it go up.

     

    What is neurofeedback?

    Neurofeedback is a way for people to look at their own brain activity in real-time, and learn how to control it. In the same way that we use mirrors to help us see how we appear on the outside, neurofeedback helps us see what our brain is doing when we’re thinking.

    Feedback is how we learn and the brain is not an exception. The first and most important step in changing the way you think is to shine a light on the networks that support your current ways of thinking. Through live visual feedback of what your brain is doing, you are able to train it to function better and this is exactly what neurofeedback is about. Mendi does that by showing you how your brain interprets the world in real-time through neurofeedback.

    Training with neurofeedback is considered to improve different cognitive functions. Elite athletes, world class artists, executives, entrepreneurs and in general any top performing individual across various undertakings use neurofeedback to maintain their high performance in combination with clear mind. But traditionally, neurofeedback brain training is expensive, with people paying up to $15,000 or more for clinical neurofeedback, in their quest to improve health and performance. Mendi brings neurofeedback clinics to the comfort of your home.

     

    What is neuroplasticity?

    Neuroplasticity is the ability to naturally strengthen your brain. By training and strengthening your brain, you can create new pathways that allow for more mental flexibility and higher function.

    So, just like the muscles in your body, you can train your brain to be stronger. When you train your brain, you learn to stimulate the flow of oxygenated blood to the area that you are training. The fact that the brain is “plastic” allows for the potential to learn, grow, and change. This is what Mendi helps you do. Mendi makes it easier for you to forge your own desired patterns of thought.

     

    What is prefrontal cortex (PFC)? 

    The brain is organized into specialized areas that process specific kinds of information quickly, and then interconnect to put together a comprehensive picture of the world. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the area of the brain that Mendi measures.


    If you think of your brain as an entire orchestra with billions of instruments playing together, the PFC is where the conductor stands. The PFC is a region of the brain that lies at the very front of your brain. Its location in the front of the brain allows it to act as a major hub for neural networks carrying information from all parts of the brain. One of the PFC’s roles as a conductor is to decide what to pay attention to.

     

    How is the brain wired?

    The main function of our brains is to receive all of the information from the world (sights, sounds, smells, feelings, interactions, news), make sense of it, and then turn it into action.


    Every single thing you do and think is processed in the brain through neurons and neural networks. So what are neurons and neural networks, how do they work, and how can Mendi help control them?

    Neurons are the information messengers of the body. They are responsible for translating information from the outside world into signals that can be communicated across the nervous system and brain. Neurons are cells.


    The human brain is estimated to contain over 100 billion neurons (roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy), and each neuron is connected to thousands of other neurons. These interconnected neurons are then further connected across the entire brain into neural networks. The networks take information from all parts of your brain and body and integrate them into cohesive thoughts and behaviors.

    The neural networks in your brain are always changing. That's why we call the brain “plastic”. When you learn something, there is a physical and chemical change to the shape and output of a neuron.

     

    What is the difference between Mendi and Muse?

    We believe every practice and every device can be helpful depending on your purpose. There are two main distinctions between Mendi and Muse. Mendi measures blood flow and oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which provides an accurate indicator of brain activity in the area we are working to measure control and enhance. Muse, as far as we know, uses electroencephalography (EEG) which measures electrical activity in your brain from the surface of your scalp.

    Mendi is about measuring, controlling and enhancing your brain activity. Muse, similar to a meditation app, helps you relax. Regular brain training may help you preserve and enhance brain activity and neural plasticity. Long-term effects of neuroplasticity can include improvement in cognition, for instance, memory and attention, and emotional control. Brain training with Mendi is a similar experience to meditation with the technology that has dozens of future possible applications that we are on a journey to unpack.

     

    What is the difference between Mendi and Halo?

    We believe every practice and every device can be helpful depending on your purpose. The main distinction between Mendi and Halo which is now part of Flow is that they use different techniques.

    Mendi uses neurofeedback to provide you with live, visual feedback based on your brain activity measured by Mendi headset while you play a brain training mobile game. Mendi headset uses fNIRS technology which, among other things, measures blood flow and oxygenation in the PFC. The app provides brain training requiring focus and calmness. This subsequently increases activity in your PFC, which controls your brain’s pathways. This is a natural process to condition the brain to increase blood flow and other nutrients to the prefrontal cortex, which can help preserve and improve brain performance, mental well-being and overall health.

    Halo uses transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) which sends electrical currents to the brain to prompt a change in behavior.

     

    What is the difference between Mendi and Apollo?

    We believe every practice and every device can be helpful depending on your purpose.

    With Mendi you measure, control and improve your brain activity. Mendi uses neurofeedback to provide you with live, visual feedback based on your brain activity measured by Mendi headset while you play a brain training mobile game. Mendi headset uses fNIRS technology which, among other things, measures blood flow and oxygenation in the PFC. The app provides brain training requiring focus and calmness. This subsequently increases activity in your PFC, which controls your brain’s pathways. This is a natural process to condition the brain to increase blood flow and other nutrients to the prefrontal cortex, which can help preserve and improve brain performance, mental well-being and overall health.

    Apollo is an HRV training device. As far as we understand Apollo helps you to improve your breathing, so you can be more calm and relaxed.

     

    What is the difference between Mendi and Flow?

    We believe every practice and every device can be helpful depending on your purpose. The main distinction between Mendi and Flow is that they use different techniques.

    Mendi uses neurofeedback to provide you with live, visual feedback based on your brain activity measured by Mendi headset while you play a brain training mobile game. Mendi headset uses fNIRS technology which, among other things, measures blood flow and oxygenation in the PFC. The app provides brain training requiring focus and calmness. This subsequently increases activity in your PFC, which controls your brain’s pathways. This is a natural process to condition the brain to increase blood flow and other nutrients to the prefrontal cortex, which can help preserve and improve brain performance, mental well-being and overall health.


    Flow uses transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to deliver electrical signals to restore activity in brain cells, resulting in a reduction of depressive symptoms (according to Flow).