Sometimes do you find it hard it to concentrate on your task?
Are you not falling asleep every day so easily?
Does catching some inspiration for your art project become a nightmare?
Have you ever searched for an audio, which could help to ease you physical pain?
Are you feeling so stressed because of your daily work?
Or would you like to improve your mood?
What if I tell you that there are some magical beats which can help you 🙂
Although my statement “magical beats” sounds pretty strong, this is the image I have about the effect of listening Binaural Beats. Let me explain with some research examples:
Normal human EEG is divided to five bands; 0.5-4 Hz as delta, 4-7 Hz as theta, 8-12 Hz as alpha, 13-28 Hz as beta and 28+ Hz as gamma called and each of the bands is associated with specific brain states (Foster, 1990). In other words, particular brain waves are associated with distinct states. For example, when we close our eyes, an increase in alpha activation can be observed which is associated with sleepiness and a relaxed mind whereas when we are concentrated to a task, beta waves seem to be the dominant brain activation, which can be related with active mind.
EEG frequency bands with their associated states
So if, somehow we are able to induce those brain states, maybe it is possible to experience their functions as well. Binaural Beats seems to be one of the possibilities for this purpose.
Binaural beats are discovered by H.W. Dove in 1839 and it is described as, when two similar sounds with small frequency difference are received by each ear with stereo headphones; the brain merges the presented frequencies and creates a new sensation of a third sound (Oster, 1973). This third sound is associated with some specific brain states depending on the carrier frequency and the total frequency difference between the ears. For instance; if one ear receives 400 Hz pure tone and the other one 420 Hz with stereo headphones, the new sound with 20 Hz frequency can also be perceived. In general, depending on the frequency difference between two ears, manipulation or inducing a specific brain state seems to be possible.
According to Oster, the baseline frequency should not exceed 1000 Hz and the received frequency difference between the two ears should be less than 30 Hz (1973). Moreover according to the Oster Curve, the optimum binaural beats perception occurs around 400 Hz baseline level.
In the literature, several researches have been done to understand the effects of binaural beats and It can be said that the application field of binaural beats are very broad. So, while you are reading the following section, you may think of your needs and pick your beats accordingly…
Sleep Problems ?
Alpha waves are associated with relaxed consciousness. Gao and his colleagues (2014) state that train drivers have tendency to fall asleep with greater alpha activation.
Need Some Inspiration ?
Listening to alpha and gamma binaural beats is associated with creativity. The research by Reedijk and colleagues (2013) suggests a positive effect for divergent but not convergent thinking as associated with being exposed to alpha and gamma beats.
Easing the Physical Pain ?
Balan and his colleagues (2014) varied binaural beats stimulation (including delta, theta and alpha) in their pain perception experiment; compared to control group, participants who received binaural beats stimulation reported less discomfort to a painful stimulus.
Too Much of Stress?
Delta waves with deep sleep and theta waves with light sleep or dreaming are associated. McConnell and his colleagues (2014) investigated the effects of binaural beats theta stimulation on autonomic system and measured the heart rate variability during & after self-reported exercise relaxation. Results suggest higher parasympathetic activation and withdrawal symptoms compared to the placebo condition in binaural beats theta condition.
Better Mood ?
Beta waves are associated with active consciousness; Lane and her colleagues (1997) concluded that beta frequency is correlated with decrease on negative mood and less task related mix-ups compared to theta and delta frequencies.
Concentration is Needed ?
Kennerly (1994) concludes in his experimental design that the group which received binaural beats beta frequency compared with the control condition scored better in recalling task.
Despite the current research, understanding the variables which effects binaural beats seems to be an ongoing subject in the literature. However, as a “Binaural Beats Enthusiast”, who is getting the company of binaural beats more than 6 years, I would recommend you to experience the binaural beats to achieve a better life. Here is the link I use while studying (Binaural Beats- Beta for concentration and enhanced attention ) –Don’t forget to try it with your stereo headphone.-Remember to know your limits and give breaks accordingly. By doing so you can reach to your optimum work cycle.
Last and not least, please let me know about your personal experience, I would be happy to discuss the topic with you more in detail.
If You Wanna Reach the Sources…
Bălan, S. A., Cocoană, E. V., Gabor, S. C., Gabriel, M. G., & Vas, R. G. (2014). A Comparative Study Regarding the Efficiency of Applying Hypnotherapeutic Techniques and Binaural Beats in Modifying the Level of Perceived Pain. Romanian Journal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Hypnosis, 1(2).
Foster, D. S. (1990). EEG and subjective correlates of alpha frequency binaural beats stimulation combined with alpha biofeedback (Doctoral dissertation, Memphis State University).
Gao, X., Cao, H., Ming, D., Qi, H., Wang, X., Wang, X., … & Zhou, P. (2014). Analysis of EEG activity in response to binaural beats with different frequencies. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 94(3), 399-406.
Kennel, S., Taylor, A. G., Lyon, D., & Bourguignon, C. (2010). Pilot feasibility study of binaural auditory beats for reducing symptoms of inattention in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of pediatric nursing, 25(1), 3-11.
Kennerly, R. C. (1994). An empirical investigation into the effect of beta frequency binaural beat audio signals on four measures of human memory (Master’s thesis, West Georgia College).
Lane, J. D., Kasian, S. J., Owens, J. E., & Marsh, G. R.(1997). Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood. Physiology & behavior, 63 (2), 249-252.
McConnell, P. A., Froeliger, B., Garland, E. L., Ives, J. C., & Sforzo, G. A. (2014). Auditory driving of the autonomic nervous system: Listening to theta-frequency binaural beats post-exercise increases parasympathetic activation and sympathetic withdrawal. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1248. Doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01248
Oster, G. (1973). Auditory beats in the brain. Scientific American, 229(4), 94-102.
Reedijk, S. A., Bolders, A., & Hommel, B. (2013). The impact of binaural beats on creativity. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7, 786.