While it is no doubt that the technology does create changes in a person’s brain waves, whether there are valid scientific benefits resulting from those changes is up for debate. Self-reports from those that have engaged in various types of brainwave entrainment have made claims such as: the software helped treat my depression or improved my mental focus. These claims are often vague and could be subjective and/or a placebo effect.
Another small scale study with 30 children were entrained with a starting frequency of 14 Hz and ramped up to 40 Hz. Following the excitatory-based protocol, they were then given a protocol that started at 40 Hz and decreased to 14 Hz over 6 weeks. The results indicated that the children significantly improved in arithmetic abilities based on the WISC-III.
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.