Binaural Beat Impact on Brain Function
Originally discovered in 1839, by the mid-19 70s research on binaural beat jumped to the forefront of diagnostic and neurological research. Many people don't understand exactly what binaural beat means, but if you take the word and separated out into two distinct words, you're going to find bi, meaning two, and aural, or the basic meaning of sound. Binaural beats combine two separate tones that are heard by the brain as a combined tone, and affect brain wave activity.
Also, known as auditory processing artifacts, the brain perceives the sound as a physical entity, even without physical stimuli. The tones must be within 30 MHz of each other and be over 1000 MHz and less than 1500 MHz, in order for the brain to combine them and have a reaction. Understandably, the researchers then measure the brain activity during the tones, and measure the brain's activity against the measurements taken from different tones. Often, Alpha brain waves are increased, with a physical response being measured of an increased alert and yet relaxed stance within the animal or human patient. This is what has made binaural beats so fascinating, no physical stimuli, and yet a measurable reaction.
Entrainment, is the process whereby the brain actually tries to follow the frequency and move toward the actual frequency itself increasing brain wave activity, especially the Alpha brain waves. Researchers have discovered that with other types of tones, unpleasant brain wave activity can occur.
It's interesting to note, that the hearing ability of the human ear is limited in its range of frequencies. The human ear has the limits of frequencies ranging from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz, with brain waves that are actually below 40 Hz. This is interesting to note as when two different tones are heard, the brain combines them, and then tries to match the frequency.
The binaural beat heard by the brain, deals with Beta, Alpha, Delta, and even Theta ranges and yet all brain waves try to match the frequency heard. For instant, a 315 Hz tone is heard by one year, while at the same time a 325 Hz tone is heard in the opposite ear. The brain then entrains the frequency trying to match it, with the differential impacting brain wave activity closest to the disparity.
The Monroe Institute, and also, the Centerpoint Research Institute are actively involved in trying to understand how brain wave activity, binaural beats, and the resulting effects can be developed into meditation and relaxation techniques and its resulting healing properties. It won't be long before binaural beats are used in healing patients with a variety of illnesses or neurological problems, simple tones, affecting a relaxed yet alert state precipitating body and mind healing.