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Binaural Beats: Effect On the Brain

binaural beats

A wealth of studies have been performed documenting the effect of binaural beats on the brain.

The studies wax poetic on the amazing effects binaural beats have on mood, cognition, health (both physical and emotional), and spiritual growth. Personal growth benefits are many. However, most studies extol the benefits of binaural beats for meditation.

What Are Binaural Beats?

Electrical activity in the brain is affected by neurons, of which we have billions. Communication between neurons is carried by brainwaves. If you’ve ever had an EEG or electroencephalography test with a cap and electrodes on your head, you’ll better understand such brainwaves.

Brainwave entrainment means aligning these brainwaves with an outside factor such as music or sound. The outside factor causes the brain’s frequencies to align with it. Binaural beats operate on Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Theta frequencies, each of which produce an atmosphere, so to speak, in the brain.

For example, binaural beats using a 495 Hz tone along with a 505 Hz tone produce a 10, which is what the ears communicate to the brain. The 10 Hz frequency therefore works with the brainwaves to produce an outcome.

The History Of Binaural Beats

Binaural beats’ discovery goes back to 1839. A German professor at the University of Berlin, Heinrich Dove, published his discovery in the German scientific journal Repertorium der Physik. One hundred thirty-four years later, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster published in Scientific American the position that binaural beats proved to be a “powerful tool in cognitive and neurological research.” Dr. Oster’s position was that noise, such as static on a radio, enhanced binaural beats, making them zero in on the purpose of the beats.

How Do Binaural Beats Facilitate Meditation?

Most people know the trance-like feeling following hearing a repetitive rhythmic beat. The neurons in the brain bind to other neurons, forming a pathway for the rhythmic beat to influence. Now possessing a solid form, the beats then influence the information it wants the brain to manifest, i.e., meditation.

The study reporting these findings involved 20 volunteer test subjects. They were lying in a dark room listening to binaural beats for 45 minutes. The subjects then heard the same binaural beats for the same 45 minutes, except this time they were being tested with six EEG recordings over a 90 minute time frame.

Results showed that while alpha frequencies decreased, delta frequencies increased. Relaxation, sleep, meditation, and even “altered states of consciousness” can be facilitated on the delta level using binaural beats.

How Is It Done?

Meditation is about focus. You should be alone in a quiet spot while meditating. Using earbuds is recommended for better focus. There are dozens of sites online with binaural beats, along with focus subjects like personal growth, the higher self, and meditation.

Choose the focus subject, download the binaural beats, and plug in. You don’t have to sit cross-legged or hold your fingers in a certain pose. Just be. The brain needs seven minutes in which to entrain with the beats.  You’ll need at least 30 minutes to completely benefit from the beats.

Binaural Beats: Effect On the Brain

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.


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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). Binaural Beats: Effect On the Brain. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2018/08/binaural-beats-effect-on-the-brain/

 

Last updated: 28 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.