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A Beautiful Mind: Can Ariel Garten's Brain Wave Interface Improve Your Outlook On Life?

•, Andy Isaacson
n college, Ariel Garten started a clothing line that took its inspiration from neuroscience. She hooked people up to an electroencephalograph (EEG) to record their brain waves, then emblazoned T-shirts with the spiky patterns reflecting their mental activity. She also sewed skirts with 37 pockets, a reference to the number of different brain faculties described in the Victorian pseudoscience of phrenology, and filled them with bric-a-brac to represent the subconscious. At age 34, Garten is still making geek-chic designs—only now her creations can actually read people's minds.

Garten is shoeless as she leads me through the Toronto headquarters of InteraXon, the start-up she co-founded in 2007. Her long brown hair nearly brushes her elbows as she pads along the wood flooring in brightly patterned socks. A whiteboard scribbled with nerdy wordplay and equations spans the length of one wall; neon Post-its are applied liberally elsewhere. Garten pushes open the door to a conference room called the Cerebroom and takes a seat at the table.

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