Creativity Portal - Spring into Creativity
  Home  ·   Creativity Interviews  ·   Imagination Prompt Generator  ·   Writing  ·   Arts & Crafts
  What's New » Authors » Prompts » Submit »
Brain Sync
Michael Gelb : How Brain Sync Works: The Training-Wheel Effect (pg. 1)

How Brain Sync Works: The Training-Wheel Effect

From Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age by Michael J. Gelb and Kelly Howell

Brain Sync harmonically layers pure and precisely tuned sound waves called "binaural beat frequencies" behind soothing musical tones to gently guide your brain into balance. A binaural beat frequency is an audio phenomenon that occurs in the brain when two slightly different sine waves are delivered to either ear through headphones. A sine wave is a continuous wave with a constant frequency and amplitude. For example, a sine wave of 100 Hz played in the left ear plus another one at 107 Hz in the right ear will produce a perception of a pulsating beat of 7 Hz. (Hz is the abbreviation for hertz—not the rental car company but the standard unit for measuring cycles per second.)

In other words, the two hemispheres of the brain function together to "hear" not the external sound signals but instead a third "phantom" beat, which is the mathematical difference between the two tones. The beat is not coming through the headphones but is perceived and experienced within the brain. It sounds like a soft, gentle drumbeat.

Discovered in 1839 by German physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, binaural beats were just a curious anomaly until 1973, when Gerald Oster, MD, published his landmark article entitled "Auditory Beats in the Brain." Working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Dr. Oster found that binaural beats evoked change in the electrical activity of the listener's brain. This tendency for brain waves to resonate sympathetically is known as the frequency following response.

In the same way you might tap your foot to the rhythm of a song, brain activity naturally falls into rhythm with binaural beats. This frequency-following response means that binaural beats can be orchestrated to influence our brain waves, thus altering our states of consciousness. Different brain wave types are associated with different mental states, such as alpha for relaxation, beta for concentration, theta for meditation, and delta for sleep.

Michael Hutchison, author of Megabrain: New Tools and Techniques for Brain Growth and Mind Expansion, explains, "Research results show that parts of the brain, and eventually large areas of the brain, resonate sympathetically to this 'phantom' binaural beat, like a crystal goblet vibrates in response to a pure musical tone. Brain Sync audio programs thus provide a highly effective method for rapidly altering brain wave activity to boost you into specific, expanded states of consciousness." Hutchison describes the technology as "training wheels for your brain."

Catching the Perfect Wave

Brain waves—represented by squiggly lines on an electroencephalogram (EEG) monitor—show the speed at which neurons fire. Each time a neuron fires, an electromagnetic spark of energy is released, setting off a chain reaction among other neurons. The speed of the connection correlates to the speed of the frequency. For example, beta brain waves (associated with alertness) oscillate at much faster speeds than delta waves (associated with sleep).

You have your own unique brain wave patterns that function habitually. Some of these brain wave habits are useful, and others need some fine-tuning. When your brain is functioning efficiently, your brain waves are "in sync" with your activity, but stress or lack of sleep can interfere with this natural, harmonious relationship. Brain Sync technology can help you coordinate your brain waves with your desired behavior so that you can overcome stress, improve sleep, and enjoy the benefits of meditation, effortlessly. It can also support the development of new patterns that will improve your mind as you age.

Types of Brain Waves

In the 1930s, researchers began to identify several different types of brain waves that correspond to specific mental states.

Beta and Gamma Waves: The Key to Focus and Concentration

Beta and gamma waves (12–40 Hz) are correlated with the fastest of all the brain wave states—neurons fire rapidly and abundantly. These brain wave states are associated with alertness and focus. Beta is the best modality for activities where directed attention and high levels of concentration are needed. Biofeedback therapists often use beta training to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Even if you don't have ADD, beta waves support mental alertness. They are beneficial for any activities that require focus and concentration. Beta waves help you prepare to take an exam, play sports, give a presentation, analyze and organize information, and perform other activities for which mental clarity is essential.

Some researchers refer to brain waves at the level of 40 Hz as gamma waves (others do not distinguish gamma waves as a distinct class but include them in beta waves). Nobel laureate Sir Francis Crick and other scientists believe that the 40 Hz frequency plays a special role in advanced cognition and high-level information processing.

Pure Coherence, track 2 on the Brain Sync audio program, features the 40 Hz frequency so that you can cultivate a sharper mind, greater clarity, and increased ability to concentrate.

Continue to page 2 »

Updated 1/7/14