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Brainwave entrainment, also referred to as brainwave synchronization or neural entrainment, refers to the observation that brainwaves (large-scale electrical oscillations in the brain) will naturally synchronize to the rhythm of periodic external stimuli, such as flickering lights,[1] speech,[2] music,[3] or tactile stimuli.


As different conscious states can be associated with different dominant brainwave frequencies,[4] it is hypothesized that brainwave entrainment might induce a desired state. Researchers have found, for instance, that acoustic entrainment of delta waves in slow wave sleep had the functional effect of improving memory in healthy subjects.[5]

The activity of neurons generate electric currents; and the synchronous action of neural ensembles in the cerebral cortex, comprising large numbers of neurons, produce macroscopic oscillations. These phenomena can be monitored and graphically documented by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The electroencephalographic representations of those oscillations are typically denoted by the term 'brainwaves' in common parlance.[9][10]

"Our brain's plasticity is the ability to restructure and learn new things, continually building on previous patterns of neuronal interactions. By harnessing brainwave rhythms, it may be possible to enhance flexible learning across the lifespan, from infancy to older adulthood," Kourtzi said.

A brainwave cycle consists of a peak and trough. Some participants received pulses matching the peak of their waves, some the trough, while some got rhythms that were either random or at the wrong rate (a little faster or slower). Each participant repeated over 800 variations of the cognitive task, and the neuroscientists measured how quickly people improved.

Previous work from Leong's Baby-LINC lab shows that brainwaves of mothers and babies will synchronise when they communicate. Leong believes the mechanism in this latest study is so effective because it mirrors the way we learn as infants.

"When adults speak to young children they adopt child-directed speech -- a slow and exaggerated form of speaking. This study suggests that child-directed speech may be a spontaneous way of rate-matching and entraining the slower brainwaves of children to support learning."

They argue that potential applications for brainwave entrainment may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but are increasingly achievable. "While our study used complex EEG machines, there are now simple headband systems that allow you to gauge brain frequencies quite easily," said Kourtzi.

"Children now do so much of their learning in front of screens. One can imagine using brainwave rhythms to enhance aspects of learning for children who struggle in regular classrooms, perhaps due to attentional deficits."

Other early applications of brainwave entrainment to boost learning could involve training in professions where fast learning and quick decision-making is vital, such as pilots or surgeons. "Virtual reality simulations are now an effective part of training in many professions," said Kourtzi.

Brainwaves have proved to be unique enough across individuals to be useful as biometrics. They also provide promising advantages over traditional means of authentication, such as resistance to external observability, revocability, and intrinsic liveness detection. However, most of the research so far has been conducted with expensive, bulky, medical-grade helmets, which offer limited applicability for everyday usage. With the aim to bring brainwave authentication and its benefits closer to real world deployment, we investigate brain biometrics with consumer devices. We conduct a comprehensive experiment that compares five authentication tasks on a user sample up to 10 times larger than those from previous studies, introducing three novel techniques based on cognitive semantic processing. We analyze both the performance and usability of the different options and use this evidence to elicit design and research recommendations. Our results show that it is possible to achieve Equal Error Rates of 14.5% (a reduction between 37%-44% with respect to existing approaches) based on brain responses to images with current inexpensive technology. With regard to adoption, users call for simpler devices, faster authentication, and better privacy.

Adriane Randolph, professor of information systems at KSU, and doctoral student Rosemary Tufon will present a research paper on security threats to brainwave technology at a conference in Vienna, Austria, this week.

Randolph, who is also executive director of the BrainLab, a science lab and technology incubator in the Coles College of Business, works with researchers at Kennesaw State to develop brainwave technologies that aim to help people with conditions that can severely limit communication and mobility, such as cerebral palsy or ALS. But the process of decoding the information that comes from those people could put their personal data at risk, she said.

myNoise Binaural Beats generator, is a popular brainwave entrainment player on the internet, with hundreds of listeners every day. It covers most frequencies, from low delta (1 Hz) up to low gamma (32 Hz).

Recent scientific papers suggest that higher frequencies in the gamma range - and 40 Hz in particular - could be more effective than any other frequency for improving memory and attention. It didn't take long for visitors to begin requesting that frequency from me. Here is what they were looking for, along with some explanation as to why that frequency wasn't included the original brainwave entrainment generator.

40 Hz is unusually high for a brainwave and is already a frequency that humans can hear! This is why I didn't consider including it in the binaural beat generator: it didn't need binaural beats in order to be audible. Unfortunately, this special frequency was not to be found elsewhere on the website. Until now.

The next sliders use that same frequency but as a carrier embedding other brainwave frequencies. This hasn't been offered elsewhere yet! They play two brainwaves simultaneously: 40 Hz gamma as a carrier and slower brainwaves as a binaural beat embedded in thise carrier. Headphones are again strongly recommended.

To get our brain on the right wavelength, you can listen to binaural beats, which are basically two different sound frequencies played in each ear. You can easily find these beats by searching for Delta Binaural Beats or Alpha Binaural Beats on YouTube. If you find binaural beats to be a bit boring or repetitive, there are also services that play music designed to enhance certain brainwaves.

While brainwave entrainment is a relatively new, trendy biohacking method, the concepts behind it are centuries old. In the Bronze Age, people used ceremonial chambers that were acoustically tuned to particular brainwave frequencies in order to induce an altered state. Ancient Greeks built spinning wheels that allowed sunlight to flicker through them in a specific way.

Several forms of audio stimulation have been used to entrain brain waves through the vestibulocochlear nerve, the pathway that directly connects your ears to your brain. This is the most accessible type of brainwave entrainment because all it requires is sound. If you want to try it out for yourself, just do a quick YouTube search.

While brainwave entrainment pushes your brain into a specific state, neurofeedback training aims to teach you to reach that state on your own. Rather than forcing your brain to reach a certain position, neurofeedback gives you the skills you need to be able to move your brain yourself.

Another study sought to discover the effects of brainwave entrainment on people with ADHD. The results of this study suggest that brainwave entrainment has a moderate impact on the problem-solving skills of the participants.

Your sole option for brainwave entrainment used to be attaching yourself to a giant machine run by an expert. Now, there are many brain entrainment devices on the market that allow you to achieve similar results at home. Here are a few of the most popular ones in the magnetic, electric, and haptic categories of brainwave entrainment.

The NeoRhythm headset utilizes the technology of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). It emanates magnetic fields corresponding dominant and accompanying frequencies to the different brainwave frequencies so that the brain can synchronize them.

The Apollo neuro is a different sort of brainwave entrainment device . It is worn on your wrist or ankle rather than on your head and utilizes vibration to send signals from your wrist or ankle up through the vagus nerve and into the brain. The Apollo claims to help with focus, sleep, calm, and physical recovery.

The user can manipulate brainwaves: an electrical impulse given off by brain issue occurring at a certain frequency that correlates to the mental state of someone. Generally, there are five main brainwave frequencies produced by humans and other creatures: the delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma states, which may have specialized effects and activities when in motion.

To get started with sessions at Natural Balance, you will first have to complete a brainwave assessment. To do this, call our Brain Health Center and we will be happy to schedule you. Please note that on the day of the assessment we will be placing read-only sensors on your scalp and ears. So, please make sure to take off any earrings prior to your appointment and forgo the use of hairspray or heavy hair styling products so that the technologist has an easy time with sensor placements. 041b061a72

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