Brainwave entrainment is clearly NOT an effective standalone treatment for mental illness, but it may be an effective adjunct treatment in certain individuals. It should also be mentioned that when using brainwave entrainment, you may want to have a specific purpose in mind. If your goal is to relax, yet you’re using a protocol that is stimulating, you may falsely conclude that it doesn’t work even though you’re using the wrong protocol.
Isochronic tones work just the same in delta as they do in alpha, theta and beta and they are widely used in the brainwave entrainment community to help people sleep. Like you, I’ve also seen some websites saying they don’t work in delta, but it’s a bit like the game of Chinese Whispers, where someone makes a comment and then after it gets passed around and shared a lot the message gets distorted and appears to be a fact. I don’t know of any scientific reason why they wouldn’t work in delta. I remember some people talking about this on a brainwave entrainment forum many years ago. They were saying they found isochronic tones a bit too abrupt for using to help them sleep and they preferred binaural beats, as they thought they were a more soothing sound. That was just a personal preference shared by a couple of prominent forum members at the time and some people then took that as a fact for everyone. That’s where I think that belief originated from.
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So, I tried those frequencies. And after listening to the 1st one (High Beta to Gamma, Isochronic tones: 18HZ ramped up to 40HZ within 20 minutes) – I immediately stood up and started organizing! (Something that I kept forgetting to do!) Overall, I’ve found that isochronic tones & monaural beats are more immediately effective than binaural beats, though they are still good.
Beta stimulation: There is evidence that stimulation within the beta range can improve attention, measures of intelligence, relieve short-term stress, decrease headaches, and decrease behavioral problems. Some evidence even suggests that beta could decrease emotion-based exhaustion. Many people with slower frequency brain waves may benefit from regular beta stimulation.
How does brainwave entrainment work? Consistent, precisely engineered audio frequencies in the form of binaural beats cause the brain’s frequencies to match the stimulus. Your brain perceives two beats with slightly different frequencies (which are inaudible to the ear) through your headphones. It takes the difference between the two, and matches its own frequency to it. This is called the “frequency following” response.
The functional role of neural oscillations is still not fully understood; however they have been shown to correlate with emotional responses, motor control, and a number of cognitive functions including information transfer, perception, and memory. Specifically, neural oscillations, in particular theta activity, are extensively linked to memory function, and coupling between theta and gamma activity is considered to be vital for memory functions, including episodic memory.