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Posts Tagged ‘behavior modification’

Brain Beats

February 17th, 2009 Comments off

WritingAssignmentIconWhat if you could decide exactly what mood you were going to be in and when? If you could fine tune your brainwaves so you could concentrate better at work or relax more on your day off? With brainwave synchronization, you can. But how does it work?

Neurons, or brain cells, send signals causing electrical activity to different parts of the brain. This electrical activity is what researchers have named brainwaves. Different waves are associated with different mental states and can be stimulated to change a person’s state of mind. Brainwave entrainment is the practice of changing one’s brainwave pattern to a specific frequency by stimulus with the corresponding frequency to adjust mood and concentration levels. This article will discuss and explore the history of brainwave entrainment and the different techniques.

In 1839 a man named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove noticed that if you play a different tone that blends naturally in each ear it creates a beat that is not actually there. Dove called these perceived beats “Binaural Beats”. When he discovered the beats, they were considered an oddity of the brain and nothing more. Research continued on the potential to use binaural beats as a diagnostic tool for finding auditory and general neurological problems but, because the brainwave wasn’t discovered yet, no one originally considered a side effect of these beats being mood and concentration enhancement.

Hans Berger discovered Alpha brainwaves in 1929 and researchers found the strength of brainwaves could be driven beyond normal frequency using flickering lights. This process is called “Photic Driving”. Less than twenty years later, in 1942, Dempsey and Morrison discovered that repetitive physical stimulation could also affect the brainwaves while in 1959 Dr. Chatrian noticed auditory entrainment in response to fifteen clicks per second administered to the subject.

In the 60s, brainwave synchronization became a tool rather than a strange phenomenon of the brain and in 1973 Dr. Gerald Oster wrote an article for Scientific American called “Auditory Beats in the Brain”. In his paper, Dr. Oster discussed the differences between binaural and monaural beats. He noticed that monaural beats got extremely strong cortical responses (electrical activity in the brain that is responsible for synchronization) though binaural beats produced very little neural response. In conclusion, Dr. Oster stated that binaural beats could be useful in diagnosing neurological disorders while monaural beats would be useful in entrainment of the brainwaves. Read more…