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When the brain is stimulated with pulsed sounds (neuro-electrical activity via the nerves originating from the ears), the overall activity of the brain will respond to and align with these pulses. By selecting the desired rate, the brain — via the frequency following response (entrainment) — can be naturally induced towards the selected brainwave state.
First discovered by biophysicist Gerald Oster at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Brainwave Therapy sends pure, precisely tuned sound waves of different frequencies to your brain via stereo headphones. In his EEG research, Oster discovered that when different vibrations, or sound frequencies, are delivered to the brain separately through each ear (as with stereo headphones), the two hemispheres of the brain function together to "hear" not the external sound signals, but a third phantom signal. This signal is called a binaural beat, and it pulses at the exact mathematical difference between the two actual tones. For example, a signal of 100 Hz delivered to the left ear, and a signal of 107 Hz delivered to the right creates a binaural beat of 7 Hz that in this case falls into the Alpha range
Our everyday, waking brain used for active intelligence operates at approximately 13 hertz, which is in the range of high alpha or low beta frequencies. People who have certain learning disabilities and problems with attention often have low levels of 13 hertz frequency brainwaves in crucial areas of the brain used for sequencing tasks and doing simple math calculations. This is one concrete example of how brainwaves are associated with thinking and behavior. Each identified brainwave frequency has a different effect on a person’s ability to think, act, and feel.
So discovering the field of Brainwave Entrainment is very exciting and promising. However intriguing, there are a few things that make me a bit sceptical towards it. F.i. I’m not too keen on having to rely on any external stimuli, as (regular) meditation is one of the very few things where you are absolutely independent from anything external to make a change within, which to me makes it so special.
When you listen to binaural beats/tones, you are actually listening to two slightly different pitched frequencies. Each frequency goes to each of your ears independently. When this happens your brain responds by creating a third tone, making up the difference between the two frequencies. This shift in frequency then shifts your brain’s consciousness and changes your state.
With so many thoughts begging for your attention each day, it’s hard to believe that most of them are the same ones you had yesterday. Actually, many psychologists who have studied the thought processes associated with our thinking patterns would agree that, on average, 90% of the thoughts that we become aware of throughout the day are the same thoughts that we have already experienced, over and over again. The reason we are so prone to repetitive thinking is because the brain is always … [Read more...]
In the past, the most common method of inducing specific brainwave states was through the use of binaural beats. One specific beat was played in one ear (through stereo headphones) and a different beat was played through the other. What the brain would naturally do in hearing these variated beats was create its own beat from the combination of the two (ie if a beat at 100 Hz was played in one ear, and a beat of 110 Hz was played in the other, the brain would resonate at 10Hz). Aside from this directing the brain into a specific state, it also causes the two hemispheres of the brain to synchronize, promoting whole brain functioning. More recently, other methods have been discovered for inducing specific brainwave states, such as isochronic tones, and monaural beats, but the bottom line is that
Robert Monroe, a radio producer and executive published a popular book called Journeys Out of the Body about his out-of-body experiences when using brainwave entrainment. He later founded an original brainwave entrainment audio company, Hemi Sync. In 1981, the book Mega Brain by Michael Hutchison brought brainwave entrainment information, techniques, and terminology into the popular press.
Thanks for making Brain Wave the Top-Selling Brainwave Entrainment App in the App Store! * This update includes support for iOS 6, an optimized UI for iPhone 5, and a new ambient forest background. The app is universal, so you get it across all your devices with one app! Includes optimized UIs for iPhone/iPod Touch, iPhone 5, iPad and support for landscape and portrait orientations.
There are many sources of binaural beats on the internet and YouTube to check-out and experiment with yourself – I recommend using headphones for optimal effectiveness. However, like most things, not all binaural beats are created equally (especially if they are free on the internet) and therefore not as effective or enjoyable to listen to. This is why I HIGHLY recommend the binaural beats created by master audio technician, music producer and meditation teacher, Cory Allen – which can be found here:
Also, don’t you think that the inherent hemispheric synchronization using binaural beats might be a positive benefit within itself? While it’s true that the huge majority of us use both sides of our brains most of the time, it’s also true that many of us are a bit polarized to one side or the other in general, or when doing a particular kind of activity or focus. I’ve found stimulating a more equally and consistently whole brain activity has it’s own benefits other than the entrainment aspect.
If the further development of consciousness and awareness is your ultimate goal, there really is no substitute for actual meditation, of which many techniques are the result of thousands of years of human endeavor and accumulated knowledge and experience. Sure, it's not as easy as putting on headphones and pushing a button, but achieving authentic inner peace and relief from the stresses of human existence will mean so much more to you when earned through the time-tested route of traditional meditation. (Plus, once you learn to actually meditate, you can do it anywhere anytime without having to rely on being plugged in to something!)
Controlled or pre/post studies of the effects of BWE using auditory or visual stimulation were eligible for inclusion, provided pulses of light or tone were delivered at frequencies hypothesised to have a beneficial effect or in line with a protocol addressing clinical outcomes. Studies were required to report clinical or psychological outcomes (measured using standard methods or as deemed appropriate by peer review) and to report statistical analysis. Studies of outcomes such as electroencephalogram (EEG) response or neurotransmitter levels were not eligible. Case studies were excluded.