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Old December 5th, 2007, 16:16   #1 (permalink)
Michael Mackenzie (Offline)
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Default Scientific Research - Brainwave Entrainment

The phenomenon of entrainment was discovered in approximately 1665 by a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens.

Christian Huygens


He had a room with a number of pendulum driven clocks in it, and he observed that over time the pendulums of all the clocks fell into synchronization with each other. Even if he deliberately started them swinging at different times, he would inevitably return to find they had resynchronized themselves with each other. He called this synchronization tendency "entrainment".

Scientific research has proven that advanced meditators develop the ability to use their whole brain and to live in a more balanced state characterized by brain synchronization and whole brain functioning. Some of the most brilliant scientists, technologists and artists throughout history had a high degree of "whole brain synchronisation".

Director of the Institute for Advanced studies in behavioural medicine, Dr. Charles Stroebel, Ph.D., M.D., carried out a sequence of experiments on meditators in the 1970s.

He discovered that during stages of deep meditation the brain wave patterns of meditators altered and both hemispheres of the brain were working in harmony together. When these same people were not meditating, one hemisphere was alternately dominant over the other and they were not working in harmony.

In October of 1973 a remarkable report “Auditory Beats in the Brain” by Dr. Gerald Oster of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center was published in the Scientific American.



It explained, when tones of different frequencies were presented separately to each ear, pulsation's called binaural beats occurred in the brain.



This resulted in the whole brain becoming entrained to the internal beat and resonating to that frequency.

Science ushered in a new era in our capacity to learn, be creative, memorize, be in charge of our moods, lower stress, resolve unwanted behaviour patterns, and a multitude of other advantages, with the publishing of this remarkable paper in which Dr. Gerald Oster’s report discovered a technique called "entrainment" of brain wave patterns.

At the same time, Robert Monroe of the Monroe Institute of Applied Sciences was also studying binaural beats. In countless experiments, using an EEG machine to observe the subject's electrical brain wave patterns, Robert Monroe confirmed that he could without a doubt entrain brain wave patterns using binaural beats.

He also noted that the response did not only occur in the area of the brain accountable for hearing, or only in one or the other of the hemispheres, but rather the whole brain resonated, the wave forms of both hemispheres becoming identical in frequency, amplitude, phase, and coherence. Many other researchers have also verified this phenomenon.

Research by Dr. Lester Fehmi, director of the Princeton Behavioral Medicine and Biofeedback Clinic, and possibly the principal authority on hemispheric synchronization in the brain, also confirms that hemispheric synchronization and brain entrainment can be induced by binaural beats.

In a paper entitled "Tests of the Sleep Induction Technique" Dr. Arthur Hastings, Ph.D., describes the effects of individuals listening to a cassette tape specifically engineered to create binaural beats in the brain. In this particular case, the sounds on the tape were designed to slow the brain wave patterns from a normal waking "beta" brain wave pattern to a slower “alpha” brain wave pattern, then to a still slower theta pattern (the brain wave pattern of dreaming sleep), and finally to a delta pattern, the slowest of all, the brainwave pattern of dreamless sleep.

Hastings says: We were able to test the effects of the sleep tape on brain waves with an EEG machine through the courtesy of the researchers at the Langely-Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, part of the University of California Medical School in San Francisco.

Dr Joe Kaniya, Director of the Psychophysiology of Consciousness Laboratory, monitored the brainwave frequencies of one subject as he listened to the sleep tape. The chart recording showed a typical sleep onset pattern: initial alpha waves, then a slowing of the brain waves with sleep spindles, and finally a pattern of stage 2 and 3 sleep brain waves in the low theta range...the patterns in the various stages suggested that the tape was influencing the subject's state.

Dr. Bill D. Schul also refers to this brain entrainment phenomenon:

Phased sine waves at discernible sound frequencies, when blended to create 'beat' frequencies within the ranges of electrical brain waves found at the various stages of human sleep, will create a frequency following response (FFR) within the EEG pattern of the individual listening to such audio waveforms. The FFR in turn evokes physiological and mental states in direct relationship to the original stimulus.

With the availability of this means, it becomes possible to develop and hold the subject into any of the various stages of sleep, from light Alpha relaxation through Theta into Delta and in REM (dreaming)." His conclusion was that "Binaural beat-frequency stimulation creates a sustaining FFR that is synchronous in both amplitude and frequency between the brain hemispheres.

The ability to entrain brain wave patterns opens up an exciting world of endless and incredible possibilities. Many neuroscience researchers have expressed their excitement.

"It's difficult to try to responsibly convey some sense of excitement about what's going on," said UCLA neurophysiologist John Kiebeskind. "You find yourself sounding like people you don't respect. You try to be more conservative and not say such wild and intriguing things, but damn! The field is wild and intriguing. It's hard to avoid talking that way... We are at a frontier, and it's a terribly exciting time to be in this line of work."

Neuro-chemist Candace Pert of the National Institute of Mental Health commented: "There's a revolution going on. There used to be two systems of knowledge: hard science chemistry, physics, biophysics on the one hand, and, on the other, a system of knowledge that included ethnology, psychology and psychiatry. And now it's as if a lightning bolt had connected the two. It's all one system -- neuroscience...The present era in neuroscience is comparable to the time when Louis Pasteur first found out that germs cause disease."

In certain brainwave frequencies the brain releases numerous highly beneficial substances, including human growth hormone. Read more about this by clicking here.

By Michael Mackenzie
 
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