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Music and Human Brain Waves.


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I'm sure most of you know that there are certain types of brain waves; Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Each one in higher Hz rates that the previous, gamma being the highest recorded.


These brain waves are often associated with daily functions, being the lower frequency waves are associated with deep sleep while gamma is with almost god-like concentration and higher brain functions.


Some actually belive that there is a way to tap into these brain waves with outside influence, i.e. meditation, music, beats, drums, etc...


Now, do you believe that certain music could essentially tap into the higher frequency brain patterns? or that they have no effect or is dependent on the person.


I have been struggleing with this question, but with me being my only example, it's somewhat hard. I have noticed that when I listen to techno or classical, I have the greatest concentration and am able to understand things faster and to a greater magnitude, something like near gamma. Jazz and metal seem to just have that medium amount of concentration, somewhere near beta. Anything else seems to have a negative effect.


Any ideas on this one?


I may be completely off, but whatever information I got was from wikipedia.

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A few weeks back out of curiosity i sent off for a demo cd for one of these meditation cds you speak of, free of course. When it came i do have to admit i found the sounds when listened to in headphones did kind of have a strange effect on me. and left me feeling a bit more 'alert' afterwards, however i think this could have been for a few reasons, such as the relaxing nature sounds in the background, or the fact i was sitting comfortably in a dark room for 15 mins resting my brain.


The cds creators claimed sending sound at different wavelengths aids communication between the two hemispheres of the brain, although i havent seen evidence of studies supporting this on this companies site. i remain a cynic as the CDs website generally uses a lot of pseudo scientific wording (and we all know how misleading that can be, eh creation scientists ;) )


The ability to increase synchronous neuro-electrical activity between the two hemispheres of the brain, and it's ability to drive the nervous system to higher levels of functioning over time


This is making reference to the work of Dr. Gerald Oster of Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. (about which has already been linked by exeluc) other than that i havent really seen much research done in this area, if anyone has any links i can follow, i would appreciate it, i find this stuff quite interesting too.

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I actually did some digging on the subject and found, through the help of Digg.com and wikipedia, a website that has a program you can download to induce certain effects such as deep sleep, caffeine, lsd effects, etc... And some pretty weird effects that I cannot wait to try when I get home.


Anyways I found out that the process of which I speak is called brainwave synchronization or entrainment.

Brainwave synchronization (entrainment) may be achieved when audio signals are introduced to the brain causing a response directly related to the frequency of the signal introduced. Two tones close in frequency generate a beat frequency at the difference of the frequencies, which is generally subsonic. For example, a 500 Hz tone and 510 Hz tone will produce a subsonic 10 Hz tone, roughly in the middle of the alpha range. The resulting subsonic tone may affect the state of mind of the subject.


The following summary shows frequencies that might be used in brainwave synchronization and the related brain waves and mind states.


* Beta: 12Hz - 38Hz. This is subcategorized into SMR, beta 1 and beta 2.

o SMR (12Hz - 15Hz) can result in relaxed focus, improved attention.

o Beta 1 (15Hz - 20Hz) can increase mental abilities, IQ, focus.

o Beta 2 (20Hz - 38Hz) can result in anxiousness and hightened sense of alertness.

* Alpha: 8Hz - 12Hz. This frequency can result in a state where the brain is awake, but not processing much. Often used for meditation. Also associated with a feeling of being "in the zone" and dreaming (REM sleep) and states of creative reverie.

* Theta: 3Hz - 8Hz. Associated with the hypnogogic state right after one wakes up or begins to fall asleep (drowsiness). Can be used for self-hypnosis.

o Theta 1 (3Hz - 5Hz) suppression can result in improved concentration and attention while reducing hyperactiveness (after the session).

o Theta 2 (5Hz - 8Hz) can result in a very relaxed sleep. This frequency range is often related to paranormal/spiritual experience.

o Schumann resonance (7.83hz) associated with the hypnogogic state, out of body experiences, and various hormonal releases. Also happens to be a set of spectrum peaks in the ELF portion of the Earth's electromagnetic field spectrum.

* Delta: 0.2 - 3Hz. This frequency range usually results in deep sleep.


Still, this is pretty interesting.


Also, I propose this be moved to the metaphysics section.

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