Your brain continually produces electrical activity, even when you are asleep. Neurologists found that this activity can be recorded in the form of brainwave patterns, also known as ‘brainwaves'.
Many scientific studies have shown that the brainwave activity in the brain can be influenced and corrected when it is stimulated with specific beats and tones. This process is known as ‘Brainwave Entrainment', and can be extremely effective when used correctly.
Various forms of brainwave entrainment and synchronization have been used in many different cultures for hundreds of years. Long before scientists were able to measure our brainwave patterns.
Lots of historical references show that our ancestors used drums and or chanting, to induce and experience different states of mind. Some cultures still use the same methods today.
A Naturally Occurring Synchronization Phenomena
This synchronization phenomenon is not just confined to our brainwaves; it's universal and appears in chemistry, biology, neurology, pharmacology, medicine, astronomy and more.
- If you put a number of pendulum clocks on the wall and started them at different times, you will find that within a day or sooner, all of the pendulums will start to synchronize with each other in perfect unison.
- Studies have shown that when a group of women live and sleep very closely together, after a while their menstrual cycles will start to adjust and happen at the same time.
- If you ever listen to an audience clapping, you will notice that if it goes on for a while, people will start to clap in tune with each other, without consciously thinking about it.
Here's a video example of metronomes completely synchronizing together in under 2 minutes.
Your Different Mental States, Measured By Your Brainwave Frequency
Through the advancement of neurological research, we are now able to accurately identify what frequency ranges our brainwaves are in, during certain mental states.
- Gamma 40+ Hz is experienced during extreme alertness, high energy and times of intense focus.
- Beta' 12hz – 40hz, is the most common mental state for most of us when we are awake during the day.
- The ‘Alpha' range is between 8hz – 12hz, and in this state, we are awake but relaxed, and not processing much information.
- During light sleep or deep relaxation, we are usually in between the 4hz to 8hz range. Also known as ‘Theta'.
- When we are in a deep sleep, our brainwave frequency is usually very low, between 0hz to 4hz which is also referred to as ‘Delta'.
Brainwave Entrainment Methods
With this knowledge and more in-depth research, we are now able to develop audio brainwave entrainment programs, to match the frequency range of our desired mental state, and produce brainwave synchronization.
For the brain to be effectively entrained, every tone or beat has to produce an individual electrical imprint on the brain, called a ‘Cortical Evoked Response'. The stronger the beat, the stronger the entrainment effect.
The most well-known form of brainwave entrainment uses Binaural Beats.
Binaural Beats are created by sending a different tone into each ear. The tones are mixed together ‘inside' your head by your brain, resulting in a pulse also called a ‘beat'. So as an example, you might send a frequency of 200hz into your left ear, and 190hz into the right. This would create a beating tone in your brain at 10hz.
The lower of the two tones is called the ‘carrier' and the higher one the ‘offset'.
The beat you hear is actually created inside your head, not externally. This is because your brain creates the beat after working out the differences from each ear.
Because of how Binaural Beats work, you always have to listen to them with headphones on, so that each ear can receive a different frequency. If you listen to the same Binaural Beat audio without headphones, in most cases you will hardly be able to detect a beat at all, because your ears will be able to hear both frequencies at once and the effect is lost.
This can be a drawback with Binaural Beats because it's not always practical or desired to listen to entrainment with headphones on.
How a typical Binaural Beat would look in your brain:
The fluctuation in the wave pattern is what creates the resulting beat.
Isochronic Tones – The Most Powerful Form Of Audio Entrainment
lsochronic tones are created in a completely different way to Binaural Beats. Instead of two different tones being combined together, just a single tone is used.
The beat is created by turning the tone on and off at regular intervals. This is also referred to as Amplitude Entrainment.
As you can see from the diagram below, Isochronic Tones are significantly more obvious and stronger. The resulting entrainment effect is much more powerful than Binaural Beats.
Mixed With Music
Brainwave entrainment can be mixed with normal music and white noise very effectively, which can really enhance the user experience and make the beats more pleasant and relaxing to to listen to.
The image below shows an Isochronic Tone that has been mixed with music. Although the individual pulses are not separated as clearly, the resulting entrainment effect is still very effective on the brain.
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