Saturday, February 02, 2013

Delving Deeper into the Subject of Binaural Beats

Scheme showing the course of the fibers of the lemniscus; medial lemniscus in blue, lateral in red. (Superior olivary nucleus is labeled at center right.) The superior olivary nucleus is considered part of the pons and is a part of the auditory system, aiding the perception of sound.


It is important that people understand that I hold no credentials in terms of physiology or credentials as a scientist. This is purely from a layman subjective questionings,  as to the viability of what helps to produce effective layering of consciousness's  abilities to explore.

Why is this effective and what is accomplished?

Physiology


The sensation of binaural beats is believed to originate in the superior olivary nucleus, a part of the brain stem. They appear to be related to the brain's ability to locate the sources of sounds in three dimensions and to track moving sounds, which also involves inferior colliculus (IC) neurons.[17] Regarding entrainment, the study of rhythmicity provides insights into the understanding of temporal information processing in the human brain. Auditory rhythms rapidly entrain motor responses into stable steady synchronization states below and above conscious perception thresholds. Activated regions include primary sensorimotor and cingulate areas, bilateral opercular premotor areas, bilateral SII, ventral prefrontal cortex, and, subcortically, anterior insula, putamen, and thalamus. Within the cerebellum, vermal regions and anterior hemispheres ipsilateral to the movement became significantly activated. Tracking temporal modulations additionally activated predominantly right prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and intraparietal regions as well as posterior cerebellar hemispheres.[18] A study of aphasic subjects who had a severe stroke versus normal subjects showed that the aphasic subject could not hear the binaural beats whereas the normal subjects could.[19]

It is healthy to retain some  skepticism as a method for sounding  the process for discovery about truth in the quest for what affects can be established. So while retaining these questions in mind,  the effect of what can be gained from the idea of Binaural beat as a tool for development of consciousness is an important one to me.

I am of course drawn to those comments that deal directly with the explanations of science and physiology .




Studies have shown a neurological basis of binaural beats perception which have assisted in identifying subcortical regions associated with processing phase differences between sounds. These have been found to be generated by neurons in the inferior colliculus, auditory cortex [15], [16] and the medial olivary nucleus, all of which are thought to be involved in processing and integration of auditory stimuli [17]. The effect of binaural beats on psychological and biological aspects however has been somewhat less clear.

A final consideration is the use of pink noise, overlaid music or sound, to generate some sort of effect. One study [33] compared music with an embedded binaural beat to music without one and generated a significant decrease in pain medication both during and after an operation, however the study was not controlled as participants were allowed to choose their own music. Also, other studies using pink noise [8], [18] have not detected entrainment, but have found psychological changes previously discussed. Comparing pink noise with a binaural beat, without and a control and subsequent effects on electrophysiological and psychological factors may be of interest.

In conclusion, this study aimed to examine if binaural beats were able to alter psychological processes and entrain cortical frequencies. Furthermore it aimed to examine if personality traits modulated entrainment. No statistically significant changes or relationships were detected between binaural beat stimulation at Beta and Theta frequencies and white noise control conditions in any personality trait, the vigilance task or EEG power spectra analysis. These results suggest that relatively short presentation steady state binaural beat stimulation at Beta and Theta frequencies are insufficient to generate entrainment and in turn this lack of entrainment does not seem to be related to personality traits. Additionally it appears that short presentation stimulation of binaural beats is ineffective at altering vigilance.A High-Density EEG Investigation into Steady State Binaural Beat Stimulation




OBJECTIVE:

Brainwave entrainment (BWE), which uses rhythmic stimuli to alter brainwave frequency and thus brain states, has been investigated and used since the late 1800s, yet many clinicians and scientists are unaware of its existence. We aim to raise awareness and discuss its potential by presenting a systematic review of the literature from peer-reviewed journals on the psychological effects of BWE.A comprehensive review of the psychological effects of brainwave entrainment.


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