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Showing posts with label Brain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain. Show all posts

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.


See Also:


Friday, December 28, 2012

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves


Tan Le's astonishing new computer interface reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications. Tan Le is the founder & CEO of Emotiv Lifescience, a bioinformatics company that's working on identifying biomarkers for mental and other neurological conditions using electroencephalography (EEG)Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves
See Tan Le Profile



A user wearing a wireless Emotiv EPOC headset.

Emotiv Systems is an Australian[1] electronics company developing brain–computer interfaces based on electroencephalography (EEG) technology. The company was founded in 2003 by four scientists and executives: neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder, chip-designer Neil Weste,[2] and technology entrepreneurs Tan Le[3] and Nam Do.[4]



See :




Update:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Binaural beats by Wiki

Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and earned greater public awareness in the late 20th century based on claims that binaural beats could help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. The effect on the brainwaves depends on the difference in frequencies of each tone: for example, if 300 Hz was played in one ear and 310 in the other, then the binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz.[1][2]
The brain produces a phenomenon resulting in low-frequency pulsations in the amplitude and sound localization of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject's ears, using stereo headphones. A beating tone will be perceived, as if the two tones mixed naturally, out of the brain. The frequencies of the tones must be below 1,000 hertz for the beating to be noticeable.[3] The difference between the two frequencies must be small (less than or equal to 30 Hz) for the effect to occur; otherwise, the two tones will be heard separately and no beat will be perceived.

Binaural beats are of interest to neurophysiologists investigating the sense of hearing.[4][5][6][7]

Binaural beats reportedly influence the brain in more subtle ways through the entrainment of brainwaves[3][8][9] and have been claimed to reduce anxiety[10] and to provide other health benefits such as control over pain.[11]

Contents

 

 

Acoustical background

 


Interaural time differences (ITD) of binaural beats
For sound localization the human auditory system analyses interaural time differences between both ears inside small frequency ranges, called critical bands. For frequencies below 1000 to 1500 Hz interaural time differences are evaluated from interaural phase differences between both ear signals.[12] The perceived sound is also evaluated from the analysis of both ear signals.

If different pure tones (sinusoidal signals with different frequencies) are presented to each ear, there will be time dependent phase and time differences between both ears (see figure). The perceived sound depends on the frequency difference between both ear signals:

  • If the frequency difference between the ear signals is lower than some hertz, the auditory system can follow the changes in the interaural time differences. As a result an auditory event is perceived, which is moving through the head. The perceived direction corresponds to the instantaneous interaural time difference.
  • For slightly bigger frequency differences between the ear signals (more than 10 Hz) the auditory system can no longer follow the changes in the interaural parameters. A diffuse auditory event appears. The sound corresponds to an overlay of both ear signals, which means amplitude and loudness are changing rapidly (see figure in the chapter above).
  • For frequency differences between the ear signals of above 30 Hz the cocktail party effect begins to work, and the auditory system is able to analyze the presented ear signals in terms of two different sound sources at two different locations, and two distinct signals are perceived.

Binaural beats can also be experienced without headphones, they appear when playing two different pure tones through loudspeakers. The sound perceived is quite similar: with auditory events which move through the room, at low frequency differences, and diffuse sound at slightly bigger frequency differences. At bigger frequency differences apparent localized sound sources appear.[13] However, it is more effective to use headphones than loudspeakers.

History

Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered binaural beats in 1839. While research about them continued after that, the subject remained something of a scientific curiosity until 134 years later, with the publishing of Gerald Oster's article "Auditory Beats in the Brain" (Scientific American, 1973). Oster's article identified and assembled the scattered islands of relevant research since Dove, offering fresh insight (and new laboratory findings) to research on binaural beats.

In particular,Oster saw binaural beats as a powerful tool for cognitive and neurological research, addressing questions such as how animals locate sounds in their three-dimensional environment, and also the remarkable ability of animals to pick out and focus on specific sounds in a sea of noise (which is known as the "cocktail party effect").
Oster also considered binaural beats to be a potentially useful medical diagnostic tool, not merely for finding and assessing auditory impairments, but also for more general neurological conditions. (Binaural beats involve different neurological pathways than ordinary auditory processing.) For example, Oster found that a number of his subjects that could not perceive binaural beats, suffered from Parkinson's disease. In one particular case, Oster was able to follow the subject through a week-long treatment of Parkinson's disease; at the outset the patient could not perceive binaural beats; but by the end of the week of treatment, the patient was able to hear them.

In corroborating an earlier study, Oster also reported gender differences in the perception of beats. Specifically, women seemed to experience two separate peaks in their ability to perceive binaural beats—peaks possibly correlating with specific points in the menstrual cycle, onset of menstruation and during the luteal phase. This data led Oster to wonder if binaural beats could be used as a tool for measuring relative levels of estrogen.[3]

The effects of binaural beats on consciousness were first examined by physicist Thomas Warren Campbell and electrical engineer Dennis Mennerich, who under the direction of Robert Monroe sought to reproduce a subjective impression of 4 Hz oscillation that they associated with out-of-body experience.[14] On the strength of their findings, Monroe created the binaural-beat technology self-development industry by forming The Monroe Institute, now a charitable binaural research and education organization.

Unverified claims


There have been a number of claims regarding binaural beats, among them that they may simulate the effect of recreational drugs, help people memorize and learn, stop smoking, help dieting, tackle erectile dysfunction and improve athletic performance.
Scientific research into binaural beats is very limited. No conclusive studies have been released to support the wilder claims listed above. However, one uncontrolled pilot study[15] of 8 individuals indicates that binaural beats may have a relaxing effect. In absence of positive evidence for a specific effect, however, claimed effects may be attributed to the power of suggestion (the placebo effect).
In a blind study (8 participants) of binaural beats' effects on meditation, 7 Hz frequencies were found to enhance meditative focus while 15 Hz frequencies harmed it.[16]

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]

Hypothetical effects on brain function

 

Overview


Binaural beats may influence functions of the brain in ways besides those related to hearing. This phenomenon is called frequency following response. The concept is that if one receives a stimulus with a frequency in the range of brain waves, the predominant brain wave frequency is said to be likely to move towards the frequency of the stimulus (a process called entrainment).[20] In addition, binaural beats have been credibly documented to relate to both spatial perception & stereo auditory recognition, and, according to the frequency following response, activation of various sites in the brain.[21][22][23][24][25]
The stimulus does not have to be aural; it can also be visual[26] or a combination of aural and visual[27] (one such example would be Dreamachine).

Perceived human hearing is limited to the range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, but the frequencies of human brain waves are below about 40 Hz. To account for this lack of perception, binaural beat frequencies are used. Beat frequencies of 40 Hz have been produced in the brain with binaural sound and measured experimentally.[28]
When the perceived beat frequency corresponds to the delta, theta, alpha, beta, or gamma range of brainwave frequencies, the brainwaves entrain to or move towards the beat frequency.[29] For example, if a 315 Hz sine wave is played into the right ear and a 325 Hz one into the left ear, the brain is entrained towards the beat frequency 10 Hz, in the alpha range. Since alpha range is associated with relaxation, this has a relaxing effect or if in the beta range, more alertness. An experiment with binaural sound stimulation using beat frequencies in the Beta range on some participants and Delta/Theta range in other participants, found better vigilance performance and mood in those on the awake alert state of Beta range stimulation.[30][31]

Binaural beat stimulation has been used fairly extensively to induce a variety of states of consciousness, and there has been some work done in regards to the effects of these stimuli on relaxation, focus, attention, and states of consciousness.[8] Studies have shown that with repeated training to distinguish close frequency sounds that a plastic reorganization of the brain occurs for the trained frequencies[32] and is capable of asymmetric hemispheric balancing.[33]

 

Brain waves

Frequency range Name Usually associated with:
> 40 Hz Gamma waves Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, fear, and consciousness
13–39 Hz Beta waves Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition, and or paranoia
7–13 Hz Alpha waves Relaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness, REM sleep, Dreams
8–12 Hz Mu waves Sensorimotor rhythm Mu_rhythm, Sensorimotor_rhythm
4–7 Hz Theta waves deep meditation/relaxation, NREM sleep
< 4 Hz Delta waves Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness
(The precise boundaries between ranges vary among definitions, and there is no universally accepted standard.)
The dominant frequency determines your current state. For example, if in someone's brain alpha waves are dominating, they are in the alpha state (this happens when one is relaxed but awake). However, other frequencies will also be present, albeit with smaller amplitudes.
The brain entraining is more effective if the entraining frequency is close to the user's starting dominant frequency. Therefore, it is suggested to start with a frequency near to one's current dominant frequency (likely to be about 20 Hz or less for a waking person), and then slowly decreasing/increasing it towards the desired frequency.
Some people find pure sine waves unpleasant, so a pink noise or another background (e.g. natural sounds such as river noises) can also be mixed with them. In addition to that, as long as the beat is audible, increasing the volume should not necessarily improve the effectiveness, therefore using a low volume is usually suggested. One theory is to reduce the volume so low that the beating should not even be clearly audible, but this does not seem to be the case (see the next paragraph).

Other uses

In addition to lowering the brain frequency to relax the listener, there are other controversial, alleged uses for binaural beats. For example, that by using specific frequencies an individual can stimulate certain glands to produce desired hormones. Beta-endorphin has been modulated in studies using alpha-theta brain wave training,[34] and dopamine with binaural beats.[1] Among other alleged uses, there are reducing learning time and sleeping needs (theta waves are thought to improve learning, since children, who have stronger theta waves, and remain in this state for a longer period of time than adults, usually learn faster than adults;[citation needed] and some people find that half an hour in the theta state can reduce sleeping needs up to four hours;[citation needed] similar to another method of achieving a theta state, e.g. meditation;[citation needed]) some use them for lucid dreaming and even for attempting out-of-body experiences, astral projection, telepathy and psychokinesis. However, the role of alpha-wave activity in lucid dreaming is subject to ongoing research).[35][36][37]

Alpha-theta brainwave training has also been used successfully for the treatment of addictions.[34][38][39]

It has been used for the recovery of repressed memories, but as with other techniques this can lead to false memories.[40]

An uncontrolled pilot study of Delta binaural beat technology over 60 days has shown positive effect on self-reported psychologic measures, especially anxiety. There was significant decrease in trait anxiety, an increase in quality of life, and a decrease in insulin-like growth factor-1 and dopamine[1] and has been successfully shown to decrease mild anxiety.[41] A randomised, controlled study concluded that binaural beat audio could lessen hospital acute pre-operative anxiety.[42]

Another claimed effect for sound induced brain synchronization is enhanced learning ability. It was proposed in the 1970s that induced alpha brain waves enabled students to assimilate more information with greater long term retention.[43] In more recent times has come more understanding of the role of theta brain waves in behavioural learning.[44] The presence of theta patterns in the brain has been associated with increased receptivity for learning and decreased filtering by the left hemisphere.[43][45][46] Based on the association between theta activity (4–7 Hz) and working memory performance, biofeedback training suggests that normal healthy individuals can learn to increase a specific component of their EEG activity, and that such enhanced activity may facilitate a working memory task and to a lesser extent focused attention.[47]

A small media controversy was spawned in 2010 by an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics official comparing binaural beats to illegal narcotics, and warning that interest in websites offering binaural beats could lead to drug use.[48]

See also

 

 

References

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External links

Monday, August 06, 2012

For You Men Out There

This post has been due in that one can learn so many things about ones perspective having been engaged with the realities. So it was with me that I was at a loss of how to deal with,  that my sweet wife gave me a book to read. It has been a source of comfort in that you get to understand the process that your own wife may be going through.

Men most certainly can come in all sizes that you quickly see how the differences between men and women shows itself as one reads. Men,  did you know you can get it too?  Ultimately, it is about listening to your wife.


Breast Cancer Husband

Marc Silver on Marc Silver:
I'm the author of BREAST CANCER HUSBAND: How to Help Your Wife (And Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond, and a great believer in the motto of the breast cancer husband: "Shut up and listen." Really, it works for just about any husband.
 When Marsha was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, I wished I had a book to guide me through the difficult months ahead, because I had no clue what to do. In the spring of 2002, after Marsha finished her treatments, I began working on the proposal for BREAST CANCER HUSBAND. Even though many publishers told me that "men don't buy self-help books," I was sure this was one book that guys would buy–and if they didn't, their wives would buy it for them.

This book has been a constant reference guide for me.When at a loss of focus it helped bring the focus back.

In hind sight when talking with my wife we came to some conclusions about the process itself in that when ever she had to make a decision it should have been from having all the information available. By having it at   her finger tips further decisions could have been made better.  So an additional resource that helped was something your surgeon may make inclusive in your package for what decisions you make about the choices given.

Intelligent Patient Guide to Breast Cancer
5th edition, 2011.

by Ivo Olivotto, Karen Gelmon, David McCready and Urve Kuusk.  This book is available free of charge in the kit.  It can also be borrowed from the BC Cancer Agency Library or can be purchased at your local bookstore.


This is very important information and a woman can be inundated with a lot considering her feelings and bombardment of what she has to face. Here I put of importance the help of your Cancer Coordinator as to the help in clarifications as vital. Even as I sit trying to scoop as much info as I can, being impacted emotional as well one tends to miss questions as my wife did or just could not process.

We have reflected on this as wondering if we could have taped or recorded the conversation so as to get the full scope of the process your surgeon may reveal to you. So we saw this as a possible avenue you might want to take so you can go back an see exactly what was said. This might be useful.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

New Ways of Looking at Things



I am having some  problems defining the way in which some concepts have been presented for consideration. So it may seem a little frazzled but it's one of those things that sits just below the surface waiting to be explained clearly and concisely.

As a scientist you may not care.

 I had thought then how interesting it may seem that such an example could have compared the brain to a black hole whose boundary conditions may have been the minds attempt at conscious awareness? Something that has been contained,  and contains all of what we are.  As an experimental pursuit then, a  thought to push our conscious mind to look deep within the parameters of that black hole?:) So people create thought experiments? That would be fun wouldn't it?

Human brain showing the four major lobes of the cerebrum. Beneath the cerebral cortex are the cerebellum, pons, olive, and medulla oblongata  




Okay so here's the thing I am considering. The Frontal Lobe is a recent addition to the development and evolution of the brain? I am of course open to corrections here. If we relegate the conscious awareness to everything going on around us too, consciousness is then is being correlated to that frontal lobe.

Okay so you got this so far, right? I want you to be a Polymath here for a moment. I want you to cross pollinate your trade with the idea of the brain, as consciousness and subconsciousness. Look into the black hole and tell me what you see?

  But for the first time, quantum physicist Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that memories of entanglement can survive its destruction. He compares the effect to Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights: “the spectral Catherine communicates with her quantum Heathcliff as a flash of light from beyond the grave.”

You can't because no information can leave the confines of the black hole? So how can I be told? Theoretically you being consciously aware,  you try to tell me? It's a description of the THing? So as a scientist you try to describe it for me by describing the surface/horizon.

As a scientist can such variables be introduced by shaking the foundations of the tree with which you have formulated your views. You are in your own mind then as you read and you see yourself trying to describe it.

If you are aware of what is happening with your subconscious mind you are in the moment of reliving everything that existed from the very beginning time you were born up to this moment. You have in essence  this moment recognized the parameters of all that life lived can be constrained within the confines of the rest of the brain. We would call that the subconscious. So your frontal Lobe and consciousness sits at the door way to a vast reservoir of all that has been contained.

I sense Kurzwellian thoughts intruding here.  I am trying to develop my own thoughts here. I have heard of his singularity though.

Now I would like this to be very scientifically recognized but know well the reticence of scientists who would like to see the matter states defined as to its substance, yet how can a scientist account for their whole life they have lived is retained in a place called the brain? Upon reflection,  see that such memory is contained?

So the thoughts formulating in my head are indeed about what manifests through any moment where we do not consciously observe but let ourselves be lost within the parameters of the subconscious.

As an example I might react without maintaining my conscious awareness and let the memory of the past dictate my responses as I have learn and lived the experiences. We may have inherited them within this library of experience as a deeper level of understanding. Such experiences are not ours in terms of the lived responses but those of our own parents. We may say that the subconscious gave way to a reaction by way of that in which we have lived?

Now since the frontal lobe and conscious awareness has the capability of predicting the future and looking at the past, we may say that the full scope of the subconscious needs the frontal lobe with which to observe the rest of the brain? As an observer and participator of the future actions other then what has been lived is the ability of your conscious awareness to change all that we have lived, to a new and set possibility of our future life?

This is not possible then to consider that the evolution of the black hole could have contained within in itself all that was remembered in the life of the universe? How then could there have ever been a before to have constituent familiarity  that such substance would have been displayed in the the life we live now?