Receptive Sound Therapy uses auditory stimuli to help make positive changes in a persons mood, attitude, and actions. By positively influencing thoughts and feelings, it aims to improve their general life quality. As opposed to psychological stimulus, which uses a sound or a piece of music that has an existing association to a place, person, thought or experience to trigger a memory-based reaction, a neurological response is initiated by the properties of a sound itself and not by any pre–existing associations.

One way to achieve a neurological response is via Brainwave Entrainment, which involves synchronising brainwaves to an external stimulus. There are a number of techniques that can do this, but let’s examine one called “Binaural Beats”. It is an effective tool for influencing both cognitive and physiological processes – such as memory, creativity or pain management. Binaural Beats can speed-up or slow-down brainwaves to influence everything from relaxation, sleep, focus, and general well-being. In neurophysiology, the effect of Binaural Beats has been examined extensively and the influence they can have on our brains has been thoroughly documented.

How Do Binaural Beats Work?

Binaural Beats are responsible for a psychoacoustic phenomenon that occurs in the brain when the right and left ears are exposed to sine waves at a constant amplitude with a slight difference in frequency for each ear. For example, if a sine wave at 430 Hz is played in the left ear, and at the same time a sine wave at 440 Hz is played to the right ear (preferably over headphones), then the listener will perceive a pulsating tone of 10 Hz. The pulse produced in the head corresponds to the difference between the two frequencies.

Neurophysiological Research

There have been studies that have investigated the effect of Binaural Beats on the human organism – both on cognitive processes, e.g. creativity, memory, and physical aspects, such as pain. In the following page, we will take a look at some of this neurophysiological research.

Memory Performance

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 were stimulated with various acoustic signals: Binaural Beats of 5Hz and 13Hz and white noise, respectively. The results showed a significant 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 was 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, given various tasks requiring creative thinking.

In one part of the experiment, divergent thinking was examined. Tasks were set, e.g. to enumerate as many uses of a 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 affects divergent thinking. On the other hand, the third non-binaural sound had no effect whatsoever on convergent thinking.

Reduce Anxiety

The prospect of surgery often leaves patients with a sense of anxiety. This can be explained by the feared loss of control, the unfamiliar environment, and 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 level 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.

Can Binaural Beats be Measured?

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. This can be measured when a large number of neurons in the brain, send small electro-chemical signals to each other. This activity can be detected and visualized on an electroencephalogram (EEG). The voltage fluctuations on the surface of the head are measured and show the electrical activity of the brain as brainwaves.

Conclusion

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.

SonicTonic provides both options.

 

 

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

 

Binaural Beats are used to synchronize brainwaves to achieve a specific mental state.

This process of Auditory Bilateral Stimulation is the rhythmic alternation of sonic activation between the left and the right brain hemispheres, resulting in an energy transfer that is known as Brainwave Entrainment. Binaural Beats are able to produce specific effects such as inducing sleep, relaxation, and energizing. They do this by creating signals at the same frequency as the brainwaves of the desired mental state, causing them to resonate and to synchronize.

In practice, a tone is played over headphones and tuned slightly differently in each ear. The difference between the two tones generates the so-called “beat” (oscillation) which causes a measurable change in brain activity.

Content:
Braincells, also called neurons use electricity to communicate with each other. Medical equipment like an EEG are able to measure these electric brainwaves.
Those graphs shown by the EEG are called Brain Waves Patterns because of its cyclic,wave-like nature.There are 4 different Categories of Brain Wave Patterns.
brain-waves-gif

“Most of us live the majority of our lives in a state of primarily beta brain waves – aroused, alert, concentrated, but also somewhat stressed.”

The Alpha Brain Wave Pattern is an ideal condition for us to learn new Information like new languages, analyze complex situations or for example improve focus and performance in athletics. The “decreased electrical activity in the brain can lead to significant increases in feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins, noroepinephrine and dopamine.”

When you focus on something like meditation, your breath or a prayer the electrical patterns in your brain slow down and relax “and the amplitude of your brain-waves generally stabilizes in the alpha wave range.”
To get the same effect you can use the Brainwave entrainment method that causes your brainwaves to change its EGG frequency towards the frequency of a dominant external stimulus, such as binaural beats.
“The way that these work is that two tones close in frequency generate a beat frequency at the difference of the frequencies.”
For example: a 315 Hz audio tone and 325 Hz will produce a 10 Hz binaural beat, which is in the middle of the alpha brain wave range.

Interview with expert Dr. Jeffrey Thompson: Transcript

Writer: Gerald Oster
Source: The Scientific American (Source www.brainisohertz.it)

Content:
Despite the many that state Gerald Oster invented binaural beat brainwave entrainment, this document (painstakingly recreated by Brainisohertz) puts the record right. It gives a pretty good explanation of the basic concept of binaural beats before it goes into detail.

g-oster-auditory-beats-in-the-brain-2
Writer: Helané Wahbeh, N.D., Carlo Calabrese, N.D., and Heather Zwickey, Ph.D.
Source: The journal of alternative and complementary medicine (2006) Volume 13, Number 1, 2007, pp. 25–32

Content:
Binaural beats are existent in a variety of frequency ranges. This study focused on the delta frequency, which is a very low frequency (0 – 4 Hz). Although this frequency is not as “useful” as the alpha ranges, the scientist still discovered improved life quality and a reduction of anxiety in their patients’ physical and psychological data. In addition to the other study is this further evidence of the positive effect of this tonic.

Stress-Relief
Writer: James D. Lane, Stefan J. Kasian, Justin E. Owens and Gail R. Marsh*
Source: Journal of Physiology & Behavior (1998) Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 249–252

Content:
This study tested 180 participants on theta/delta and beta frequency ranges. While the different frequency ranges had different effects on the listeners, the overall conclusion of this paper is the verification of a successful usage of binaural beats to change focus and mood while performing cognitive tasks.

binaural-auditory-beats-affect-vigilance-performance-and-mood
Writer: Leila Chaieb, Elke Caroline Wilpert, Thomas P. Reber and Juergen Fell. Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn, Germany
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry. Published 12.05.2015 (found on epileptologie-bonn.de)

Content:
Several independent studies on the effects of Binaural Beats all report the same: Binaural Beats are able to reduce the feeling of anxiety. This is great news for sufferers, but It is important that the sound files are of the best quality and technically able to function properly. The user has no way of knowing if correct frequency are being heard or if, in fact. the Binaural Beats are even in stereo, which is a prerequisite for Binaural Beats to have any effect whatsoever! Binaural Beats be obtained from a trusted source.
Several studies consistently report a diminishing impact of binaural-beat stimulation on anxiety levels.

chaiebetal_front_psychiatry_2015-2