One of the ingredients used in SonicTonic is Binaural Beats, but what are these and how do they work?

What are Binaural Beats?

Binaural beats are sounds that are heard in the left and right ear as two slightly different frequency tones, yet perceived as one. So the binaural auditory beat that a person hears is the difference in frequency between the left and the right ear. Binaural beats are always lower than 1000 hertz (Hz) as it is at these frequencies that the brain detects the binaural beat.

For example, if the left ear registers a tone at 440 Hz and the right at 430 Hz (preferably with headphones) the binaural beat that is heard by the brain is the difference between the two frequencies — 10 Hz.

A number of studies have proven that listening to Binaural Beats can influence brainwaves and that the brain will synchronize to the frequency given by the Binaural Beats, which is why they’re used in the Receptive Sound Therapy in SonicTonic.

The effects on the brain, or “Brainwave entrainment” can be measured when a large number of neurons in the brain, send small electro-chemical signals to each other. These can be detected and visualized on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

How do Binaural Beats work?

There are a number of studies that have investigated the effect of Binaural Beats on the human body – both on cognitive processes, e.g. creativity, memory, and physical aspects, such as pain.

They can help with memory…

A study by Prof. T. Ortis investigated the effect of Binaural Beats on memory performance. As part of the experiment, twenty subjects were asked to remember incoherent words and then recite them back from memory.

During the study, which was conducted over a 15-day period, they heard various acoustic signals: Binaural Beats of 5Hz and 13Hz and white noise, respectively. The results showed a significantly positive effect as for those exposed twice a day to 15 minutes of 5Hz Binaural Beats.

… boost creativity

At Leiden University in the Netherlands, an experiment explored the connection between Binaural Beats and creativity. In the study, 24 subjects performed 3 experiments per day: In the first, they were stimulated with a Binaural Beat using an Alpha frequency of 10 Hz, in the second with a Binaural Beat using a Gamma frequency of 40 Hz and in the third with a non-binaural, constant tone of 340Hz as a control situation.

The order of the three experiments varied from participant to participant. At the beginning of the experiment, the participants were stimulated with one of the three sound sources, and then, while the audio signal was on, they were given various tasks that required creative thinking.

In one part of the experiment, the researchers looked at divergent thinking, so tasks were set to test this, e.g. participants were asked to list as many uses of a specific household item as possible in a given period of time.

The second part of the task involved the study of convergent thinking. Participants were given the task of finding a word that can be linked to the three others, such as combining“super” with ’market’, ‘star’ and ‘hero’.

The study found that stimulation with Binaural Beats, regardless of frequency, positively affected divergent thinking.

…reduce anxiety

The prospect of surgery often leaves patients feeling anxious. This can be explained by the loss of control, the unfamiliar environment, along with the perceived risk of the procedure. Dr. Padmanabhan and his colleagues investigated the influence of Binaural Beats on the feelings of anxiety experienced before an upcoming operation. The study was conducted at the Sunderland Royal Hospital over a 6-month period with a total of 108 patients who were awaiting surgery under general anaesthesia.

About 45-60 minutes before surgery, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to help them understand their subjective anxiety. Thereafter, each participant had one of the following randomly-triggered actions:

  • A Binaural Beat embedded in a soundtrack was played to them
  • A soundtrack without a Binaural Beat was played to them, or
  • No audio file was played to them (the Participants were allowed to read or watch TV, for example).

Participants were then asked to complete the same questionnaire again. The result was a significant reduction in the levels of anxiety for those who had listened to Binaural Beats.

…reduce pain

A study by Dr. Donna D. Zampi investigated whether Binaural Beats can be used effectively to relieve chronic pain. To this end, 36 patients who were suffering from various types of chronic pain were divided into two groups. One group listened to Binaural Beats at 6Hz for 20 minutes on 14 consecutive days, while the other group listened to a non-binaural tone of 300Hz as placebo. Subsequently, the groups were changed for the next 14 days. As a result, it could be proven that the perceived pain could be significantly lowered by listening to Binaural Beats.

It is safe to say, it is scientifically proven that Binaural Beats can positively influence various cognitive and physical processes, such as memory, creativity, fear or pain. Many listeners perceive Binaural Beats to be more pleasant when they are embedded in music as opposed to listening to pure sine waves.

With SonicTonic you can do both, so if you would like to see the effects of Binaural Beats for yourself, download the app and try out them out today.

 

 

Sources

[1] Chaieb, Leila et al: Auditory beat stimulation and its effects on cognition and mood states, In: Frontiers in
Psychatry 6:70 (2015)
[2] Oster, Gerald: Auditory beats in the brain, In: Scientific American 229 (1973), S. 94-102
[3] Ortis, T.: Impact of auditory stimulation at a frequency of 5Hz in verbal memory, In: Actas Esp Psiquitar (2008) 36(6):
307-13
[4] Reedijk, Susan et al: The impact of binaural beats on creativity, In: Frontiers in human neuroscience (2013) 7:786
[5] Padmanabhan, R. et al: A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and preoperative
anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery, In: Anaesthesia (2005) 60:9:874-7
[6] Zampi, Donna D.: Efficacy of Theta Binaural Beats for the Treatment of Chronic Pain, In: Alternative Therapies in
Health & Medicine, Jan/Feb2016, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p32-38. 7p.
[7] Berger, Hans: Über das Elektrenkephalogramm des Menschen, In: Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten 87,
1929, S. 527-570
[8] Heraz, A.; Frasson, C.: Predicting the three major dimensions of the learner’s Emotions from Brainwaves,
In: International Journal of Computer Science Vol. 2 No. 3, 187-193
[9] Mori, T.; Kai, S.: Noise-Induced Entrainment and Stochastic Resonance in Human Brain Waves, In: Physical Review
Letters, Vol. 88 No. 21 (2002)
[10] Thaut, M. H.: Neural basis of rhythmic timing networks in the human brain, In: Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences, Band 999, November 2003, S. 364–373
[11] Dobie, R.A et al.: Binaural interaction in human auditory evoked potentials, In: Electroencephalography and clinical
neurophysiology, Bd.49(3-4), S. 303–313
[12] Christine Beauchene1, Nicole Abaid2, Rosalyn Moran3, Rachel A. Diana4, Alexander Leonessa1: The Effect of
Binaural Beats on Visuospatial Working Memory and Cortical Connectivity
Based on a German posting by musicfox.com

 

Brainwave entrainment is a good example of technology positively affecting biology to intentionally synchronize our brainwave frequencies with an external stimulus. In our case, this stimulus is sound. We use Brainwave Entrainment to align thought patterns for different purposes. For example, to improve sleep, feel less stressed and calm or be more focused. There are various technologies available such as Binaural Beats or Isochronic Tones, that are each described in detail in the Knowledge Pyramid on www.sonictonic.io. This article will tell you about the different types of brainwaves and what they do.

 

What is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brainwave entrainment is the synchronization of the two hemispheres in the brain. Therefore, brainwave entrainment is also referred to as hemispheric synchronization. Using technical methods, it is possible to influence and reconcile the brain waves. Sound waves for instance are nothing more than vibrations of air. These little waves pulsate in a certain rhythmical pattern, that is being adopted by the brain waves. Like stomping your foot to a beat that is being played.
If you are very tense and need to concentrate, your brain will work in the gamma frequency range at 40 Hz (40 cycles per second). The dreamless deep sleep phase takes place in the delta frequency band – your brain waves then oscillate between 0.1 and 4 Hz.
By specifically influencing the brainwaves, you can control the individual activities in the brain itself. These states can be initiated entirely without the aid of technical means. For example, if you want to relax, or go to bed: if you live well, you will come to sleep without any aids.

 

How does Brainwave technology work?

Stimulation of the brain waves causes certain states of consciousness. The brain is consciously directed to the appropriate work mode in which it works best.
It can be proven that brain waves can be influenced if you provide the brain with opportunities that it understands. Since the brain waves move in the frequency range between 0.1 and 40 Hz, it just needs these frequency bands to address the brain directly. Problem: Human hearing perceives sounds that range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Outside this frequency range we cannot hear any frequencies. Brainwave technology, however, knows ways to circumvent this.

 

Firstly, it is important to know that humans display five different types of electrical patterns or “brainwaves” across the cortex. All brainwave entrainment increases the growth of new neural pathways, and improves the communication between the right and left hemispheres.

From high to low frequency, the brainwaves are:

Gamma 31 Hz -100 Hz, Beta 14 Hz -30 Hz, Alpha 9 Hz-13 Hz, Theta 4 Hz -8 Hz, and Delta 0 Hz – 4 Hz. The brainwaves can be observed with an EEG (“electroencephalograph”) – a tool that makes brainwave patterns visible.

Each brainwave has a specific purpose and allows for optimal mental functioning. Our brain’s ability to become flexible and to transition through the various brainwave frequencies plays a large role in how successful we are at managing stress, focusing on tasks, or getting a good night’s sleep.

If one of the five types of brainwaves is either overproduced or under produced in our brain, it can cause us problems. For this reason, it is important to understand that there is no single brainwave that is “better” or more “optimal” than the other. They all have their purpose at different times. By exposing ourselves to specific frequencies, we can influence the way we think and feel. Let’s take a look at the individual frequencies.

 

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  • Delta Waves |(0 Hz to 4 Hz) (Slowest)

 

These are the slowest recorded brain waves in human beings. They are found most often in infants as well as young children. As we age, we tend to produce less delta even during deep sleep. They are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative, healing sleep. They have also been found to be involved in unconscious bodily functions such as regulating heart beat and digestion. Adequate production of delta waves helps us feel completely rejuvenated after we wake up from a good night’s sleep. If there is abnormal delta activity, an individual may experience learning disabilities or have difficulties maintaining conscious awareness (such as in cases of brain injuries).

 

Lack of Delta Waves can cause: Inability to rejuvenate body, inability to revitalise the brain, poor sleep

 

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  • Theta Waves |4 Hz to 8 Hz (Slow)

 

Theta is the best state for memorisation and creativity. In the Theta state the brain activity has slowed below Alpha (at approximately 4-8 Hz) and an even greater connection occurs between the conscious and unconscious mind. It is here that intuition and spontaneity happen, and creative problem solving can be well-utilized. The Theta state is often suspected to be the resource of great artists and thinkers. If you need to memorise a lot of information – history, formulas, etc., Theta may be your best bet. Theta waves are connected to us experiencing and feeling deep and raw emotions. Too much theta activity may make people prone to bouts of depression and may make them “highly suggestible” based on the fact that they are in a deeply relaxed, semi-hypnotic state. Theta waves can help us to improve our intuition, creativity, and makes us feel more natural. They are also involved in restorative sleep and daydreaming. As long as Theta isn’t produced in excess during our waking hours, it is a very helpful brain wave range.

 

Lack of Theta Waves can cause: Anxiety, poor emotional awareness, stress

 

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  • Alpha | 9 Hz to 13 Hz (Moderate)

 

The Alpha state occurs when brain activity slows just below the normal waking state of Beta (14-30 Hz). In Alpha, the mind and body are relaxed but a level of focus is easily maintained. Modern brain science has shown that only 1 of 6 of our brain’s processing methods happen on the conscious level, so there is certainly a benefit in engaging the deeper parts of the brain, while taking in information. This frequency range bridges the gap between our conscious thinking and subconscious mind. In other words, alpha is the frequency range between beta and theta. It helps us calm down when necessary and promotes feelings of deep relaxation. If we become stressed, a phenomenon called “alpha blocking” may occur which involves excessive beta activity and very little alpha. Essentially the beta waves “block” out the production of alpha because we become too aroused. There is also a greater link between the conscious and subconscious mind in Alpha, meaning that while one is consciously learning, their brain is also unconsciously processing what one is learning.

 

Lack of Alpha Waves can cause: Anxiety, high stress, insomnia, OCD

 

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  • Beta 14 Hz to 30 Hz (High)

 

These are known as high frequency low amplitude brain waves that are commonly observed while we are awake. They are involved in conscious thought, logical thinking, and tend to have a stimulating affect. Having the right amount of beta waves allows us to focus and complete school or work-based tasks easily. Having too much beta may lead to us experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety. The higher beta frequencies are associated with high levels of arousal. When you drink caffeine or have another stimulant, your beta activity will naturally increase. Think of these as being very fast brain waves that most people exhibit throughout the day in order to complete conscious tasks such as: critical thinking, writing, reading, and socialization.

 

Lack of Beta Waves can cause: ADHD, daydreaming, depression, poor cognition

 

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  • Gamma | 31 Hz to 100 Hz (Highest)

 

There is also great value in producing Gamma waves, as these, more than the other brainwaves, have been directly linked to increased IQ, enhanced cognitive function, and improved memory. If you need to learn something new, I would recommend Alpha, as the relaxed yet focused mental state will make it much easier to stay interested and process clearly. It also wouldn’t’t be a bad idea to listen to some Gamma brainwave entrainment audios on a semi-regular basis when one is not actually studying to help boost IQ and cognitive functioning. Gamma waves are involved in higher processing tasks as well as cognitive functioning. Gamma waves are important for learning, memory and information processing. It is thought that the 40 Hz gamma wave is important for the binding of our senses in regards to perception and are involved in learning new material. It has been found that individuals who are mentally challenged and have learning disabilities tend to have lower gamma activity than average.

 

Lack of Gamma Waves can cause: ADHD, depression, learning disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autosuggestion trains the subconscious mind to influence the way a person thinks, perceives and believes. As well as implementing the power of positive thinking, it builds on such techniques as Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Autogenic Training, Active Imagination and other tried and tested psychological methods.

Emile Coué (1857-1926) was a French pharmacist and pioneer of autosuggestion. Coué who, after reading the writings on hypnosis from the “School of Nancy” (A. Liébeaut and H. Bernheim), developed a very simple method of self-hypnosis. Every day before falling asleep and after waking up, the patient should repeat 20-30 times the now famous sentence: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.

Autosuggestion uses positive affirmations to replace negative thoughts, opinions or beliefs with good and healthy ones. For this technique to properly take effect, the recipient must first achieve an altered state of consciousness. The reason for this is that, when we are in our normal waking state, the new thoughts or ideas have to get past our critical minds, which isn’t that easy. When the idea that we want to suggest, contradicts a belief or opinion that we have previously held to be true, we immediately activate and reinforce the original thought we wanted to avoid, which is not going to give us the effect we want.

Under The Radar

“Unconscious” is the keyword; Positive affirmations, such as Coué’s aforementioned line, enter our minds under the radar. They by-pass our critical mind and create new beliefs.  It is the same thing when we are dealing with stress: in the waking state of consciousness, we tell ourselves to relax and it just doesn’t work. The more we will ourselves to relax, the more we just get tense. But when we hear new ideas or suggestions, communicated in a slow, monotonous voice, or embedded in relaxing music, they are more inclined reach our subconscious mind, and our critical minds will be distracted. The words influence us, and the effect is that we relax.

The reason that the Coué method of autosuggestion is so effective in making positive mental changes, is because it does not involve willpower. Attempting to use willpower inevitably leads to the strengthening of exactly those existing ideas, that we want to avoid.

So whether you want to reduce stress, relax or change some unwanted or disturbing mental patterns, autosuggestion will help you to switch off your critical minds in order to achieve the mental state you desire.  For best results, you should make it a habit and integrate the program into your daily routine!

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SonicTonic uses autosuggestion

SonicTonic is a revolutionary sound-based tool for providing quick and effective help to those who are having problems with sleep, stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. It uses Receptive Sound Therapy – a balanced blend of proven auditory healthcare techniques. Purpose-targeted audio programs are available via the SonicTonic app for Android and iOS. The programmes that use autosuggestion are tagged with this icon: 

Writer: Jaakko Erkkilä, Marko Punkanen, Jörg Fachner, Esa Ala-Ruona, Inga Pöntiö, Mari Tervaniemi, Mauno Vanhala and Christian Gold

Source: The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 199, 132–139.

Content:
While many people suffer under depression, clinical treatment is moving fast forward and is providing great medicine for the patients. Music is hereby an important player. This cost-efficient tool is not only available at any time and uplifts your mood, it is also a great working tool against depression! Although the scientist do not solely predefine music as the key against depression, they still proved a significant improvement in therapy of depressions if music is added.

individual-music-therapy-for-depression
Writer: Imogen N. Clark, Felicity A. Baker & Nicholas F. Taylor
Source: Nordic Journal of Music Therapy (2016), 25:1, 76-104

Content:
This study is a review of 23 theoretical texts representing three contexts: therapeutic outcomes, sports and exercise performance, and auditory-motor processing. The findings consistently categorised music as a true motivator in physical activities, and furthermore suggest to use music as a prescriptive therapy to boost mood and motivation.

the-modulating-effects-of-music-listening-on-health-related-exercise-and-physical-activity-in-adults-a-systematic-review-and-narrative-synthesis