Gamma brainwaves are the fastest documented brainwave frequency range, which oscillate within the range of about 30 to 100 Hz. They have the smallest amplitude on an E.E.G. in comparison to the other four basic types of brainwave frequencies. According to a popular theory [1], gamma waves may be implicated in creating the unity of conscious perception (the binding problem [2]).

Their Significance

In studies that have been done, gamma waves have showed increased mental activity/cognitive enhancement, freedom from distractibility, high levels of info-processing, learning and focus, high short-term memory ability and migraine prevention [3][4][5][6]. They’ve also shown some promise with depression and other disorders. They can certainly be very energizing as well.

Cognitive control of emotions plays an important role in maintaining emotional stability in our daily life. A study suggested that gamma brainwave activity reinforces the mechanism of cognitive control of emotion [7].

Another interesting fact is that at gamma brainwave state, neurons fire together, at the same time (as you will also see below). These fast rhythms are known to occur when people, for example, pay attention to the most relevant aspects of their surroundings – such as a person talking to them – and ignore distractions, like background music [8].

Relation to Meditation

Experiments on Tibetan Buddhist monks have shown a correlation between transcendental mental states and gamma waves. A 2004 study [9] took eight long-term Tibetan Buddhist practitioners of meditation and, using electrodes, monitored the patterns of electrical activity produced by their brains as they meditated.

The researchers compared the brain activity of the monks to a group of novice meditators (the study had these subjects meditate an hour a day for one week prior to empirical observation). In a normal meditative state, both groups were shown to have similar brain activity. However, when the monks were told to generate an objective feeling of compassion during meditation, their brain activity began to fire in a rhythmic, coherent manner, suggesting neuronal structures were firing in harmony. This was observed at a frequency of 25–40 Hz, the (typical) rhythm of gamma waves.

New research is continually being conducted, as brainwave stimulation continues the transition from a neurological curiosity to an important tool with practical and beneficial applications.

How Can we Experience Gamma Brainwaves?

As we saw above, the answer is meditation. People can train themselves to produce more of the gamma frequency, and by focusing on compassion and love is the way to do this. Another method to stimulate gamma brainwaves is by using brainwave entrainment.

The following is a session which uses isochronic tones that starts from low beta waves (12 Hz) and gradually goes to gamma waves (40 Hz) at about 20 minutes, till the end. It’s preferred to use it in the morning or afternoon, or whenever you want to be focused or energized. You can use it with or without headphones. However, if you are in a noisy environment, it is recommended to use headphones.

 

References:

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810099903999

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binding_problem

[3] http://braindynamics.iku.edu.tr/Pdf/Early%20gamma%20response%20is%20sensory%20in%20origin-%20a%20conclusion%20based%20on%20cross-comparison%20of%20results%20from%20multiple%20experimental%20paradigms.pdf

[4] http://www.transparentcorp.com/downloads/Huang-PsychologicalEffectsBrainwaveEntrainment.pdf

[5] Olmstead R. Use of auditory and visual stimulation to improve cognitive abilities in learning-disabled children. J Neurother. 2005;9(2):49-61

[6] Noton D. Migraine and photic stimulation: report on a survey of migraineurs using flickering light therapy. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2000;6(3):138-142.

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22254657

[8] http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2009/laser-technique-pins-source-of-brain-waves-linked-to-autism

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC526201/

More sources that might interest you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_wave

http://www.livescience.com/14806-gamma-brain-learning-running.html

http://www.omharmonics.com/blog/gamma-brain-waves/

http://www.transparentcorp.com/research/gamma-brain-waves.php

http://www.brainwavesblog.com/tag/gamma-brainwaves/

http://www.gammamindset.com/

http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/neuronal-networks-brain-waves

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

– Nikola Tesla

Using sound to heal the body and relax the mind is nothing new; in fact it goes back to the beginning of time, but some of the most interesting ways to achieve this are by using Solfeggio frequencies, isochronic and binaural tones. You may be well aware of these already, but if you are not, you HAVE to give them a try. I recently added these “sound therapies” to my daily routine and I am amazed at the change I have experienced in my over-all state of mind and well-being. Even more amazing, is the fact that I “felt” a positive change in only a matter of minutes. I had to find out just how and why these sounds do what they do and share my findings with others.

The Law of Vibration

This law of nature states that everything moves, everything vibrates, and nothing rests. These vibrations may be lower (slower vibration) or higher (faster vibrations). These vibrational energy levels are known as “frequencies” and are measured in Hertz (Hz). A Hertz is equal to ONE vibrational cycle per second.

I won’t go too deep into a physics lessons here, but it’s interesting to note that Dr. Colin W.F. McClare (Bio-Physicist), discovered that frequencies of vibrating energy are roughly 100 times more efficient in relaying information within a biological system than physical signals, such as hormones, neurotransmitters and other growth factors (Lipton 2008). That would explain how different frequencies can impact our moods and emotions and the moods and emotions of those around us. It is believed that feeling of sadness, anger, fear, and dread for example have a low frequency while feelings, of love, happiness, gratitude, etc. have a high frequency.

Solfeggio Frequencies

Everyone today can easily recognize the 7 note scale assigned to the syllables Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti, but the ancient version was a 6 note scale assigned to the ascending syllables Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La. This is the ancient Solfeggio Scale. This ancient 6 note scale was created by Benedictine monk, Guido d’Arezzo (991 AD – 1050 AD). The scale was used as a teaching tool to help others learn chants and songs easier. Each tone in the scale produces a specific frequency; these frequencies have been discovered to have very specific impacts on the body.

According to information gathered from Attuned Vibrations:

solfeggio-639-hzUT- 396 Hz = turning grief into joy, liberating guilt & fear: searches out hidden blockages, subconscious negative beliefs, and ideas that have led to your present situations.

RE- 417 Hz = undoing situations and facilitating change: puts you in touch with an inexhaustible source of energy that allows you to change your life.

MI- 528 Hz = transformation and miracles (DNA repair): increased amount of life energy, clarity of mind, awareness, awakened or activated creativity, ecstatic states like deep inner peace, dance and celebration. Also, activates your imagination, intention and intuition to operate for your highest and best purpose.

FA- 639 Hz = re-connecting and balancing, relationships: enhances communication, understanding, tolerance and love.

Sol- 741 Hz = solving problems, expressions/solutions: leads to a healthier, simpler life, and also to changes in diet. Also, leads you into the power of self-expression, which results in a pure and stable life.

LA- 852 Hz = awakening intuition, returning to spiritual order: ability to see through the illusions of your life, such as hidden agendas of people, places and things. Opens a person up for communication with the all-embracing Spirit and raises awareness and lets you return to spiritual order. In addition to the original 6 above, 3 other tones have been shown to have healing properties. Together the 9 make up the, Solfeggio frequencies.

SI- 963 Hz = awakens any system to its original, perfect state: enables direct experience, the return to Oneness.

174 Hz = natural anesthetic: reduce pain physically and energetically.

285 Hz = helps return tissue into its original form: influences energy fields, sending them a message to restructure damaged organs. It also leaves your body rejuvenated and energized.

Isochronic & Binaural Tones

Referred to as “brainwave entrainment,” these tones and beats are distinctive sound pulses that are often combined with soothing sounds or music. They have a direct impact on your brain activity changing the frequency of your brainwaves, so you can train your brain to enter various mental states and levels of consciousness. These states are similar to what the brain experiences during meditation and can have similar benefits on the body. The magic of isochronic and binaural beats/tones is that they target and work on various brainwave frequencies to achieve various impacts on the body.

Beta brain waves – 12 Hz to 30 Hz = help regulate and stabilize your normal waking awareness. Entrainment of your beta waves may also be used to increase your ability to concentrate and may even improve your IQ.

Alpha brain waves – 8 Hz to 12 Hz = states of relaxation, enhances creativity, mental clarity, and the brain is more receptive to information. Alpha is great for stress relief and relaxation.

Theta brain waves – 4 Hz to 7 Hz = state of deep meditation/relaxation: improved concentration, major reductions in stress and improved memory retention. Blood pressure, breathing and heart rate will all slow to a much more restful and healthy level that promotes natural healing.

Delta brain waves – 0.1 Hz to 4 Hz = deepest state of complete relaxation: dreamless, completely unconscious sleep state that allows your body and brain to rest and repair. This is the most effective way to encourage your mind to release itself from an overactive waking state and enter into a sleep state.

music-characterBinaural tones play slightly different frequencies in each ear so headphones are a must for them to work! With isochronic tones, the ears receive the same simple pulse of sound, so headphones aren’t required, but they can enhance the experience.

The brain needs about 7 full minutes for these tones to start to work, but to get and feel the benefits; at least 15-30 minutes are recommended. With these tones it is wise to note that you should only listen to them when you have time to relax or meditate. Do not listen while driving a car or operating machinery. Certain people, those that are affected by seizures or other similar health conditions, shouldn’t listen to these tones.

These sound therapies can be an excellent tool for those who are beginning meditation practices or by anyone who wants to add to their daily well-being rituals. No matter what your goal is, the above are great ways to relax and improve your mood fast! Be well!

References:

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., Hay House, 2008

http://attunedvibrations.com

http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com

This article was originally posted at learning-mind.com and used here with permission.

About the author

Amie Moses is a full-time student of Psychology and she holds a degree in Natural Science as well. She is a blogger, photographer, and musician. She is completely fascinated by the human mind, (especially personality, perception, and consciousness studies) and the physical as well as the metaphysical universe. She is a seeker of knowledge and of “self” and she loves to help others on their quests as well.

Brainwaves are the result of the brain’s electrical activity.

Our brains emit continuously in various frequency bands from sleep to full wakefulness. All the sounds we hear every day emit a specific frequency (eg cars, birds, water flow) and generate an electrical response in the brain. When we hear a sound for some time our brain is tuned to it.

Our brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG), measuring electricity levels over areas of the scalp.

The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a brainwave pattern, because of its cyclic, “wave-like” nature. Below is one of the first recordings of brain activity 1:

eeg_rec

Here is a more modern EEG recording:

modern_eeg

Brainwave Frequencies

With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake. Over the years, more sensitive equipment has brought us closer to figuring out exactly what brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person’s health and state of mind. Here is a table showing the known brainwave types and their associated mental states:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Significance of Brainwaves

You can tell a lot about a person simply by observing their brainwave patterns. For example, anxious people tend to produce an overabundance of high beta waves while people with ADD/ADHD tend to produce an overabundance of slower alpha/theta brainwaves. Researchers have found that not only are brainwaves representative of of mental state, but they can be stimulated to change a person’s mental state, and this in turn can help with a variety of mental issues.

We recommend you to read the article of Tina Huang ,PhD (Transparent Corp.), “A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment”.

*As a precautionary measure, it is common to recommend that brainwave entrainment is not used by pregnant women, people diagnosed with epilepsy, people using pacemakers, or people under 18, though there are no reported cases of negative effects or trauma associated with these people using brainwave entrainment.

We attach all credits in Transparent Corp. on this list. They created perhaps the most comprehensive list of reference relative to brainwaves that exists online.

1. Berger, H. (1929). Über das elektrenkephalogramm des menschen. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 87(1), 527-570.
2. Crone, N. E., Hao, L., Hart, J., Boatman, D., Lesser, R. P., Irizarry, R., & Gordon, B. (2001). Electrocorticographic gamma activity during word production in spoken and sign language. Neurology, 57(11), 2045-2053.
3. Burle, B., & Bonnet, M. (2000). High-speed memory scanning: a behavioral argument for a serial oscillatory model. Cognitive Brain Research, 9(3), 327-337.
4. Miltner, W. H., Braun, C., Arnold, M., Witte, H., & Taub, E. (1999). Coherence of gamma-band EEG activity as a basis for associative learning. Nature,397(6718), 434-436.
5. John, E. R., Prichep, L. S., Kox, W., Valdes-Sosa, P., Bosch-Bayard, J., Aubert, E., & Gugino, L. D. (2001). Invariant reversible QEEG effects of anesthetics. Consciousness and cognition, 10(2), 165-183.
6. Munk, M. H., Roelfsema, P. R., König, P., Engel, A. K., & Singer, W. (1996). Role of reticular activation in the modulation of intracortical synchronization.Science, 272(5259), 271-274.
7. Brenner, R. P., Ulrich, R. F., Spiker, D. G., Sclabassi, R. J., Reynolds III, C. F., Marin, R. S., & Boller, F. (1986). Computerized EEG spectral analysis in elderly normal, demented and depressed subjects. Electroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology, 64(6), 483-492.
8. Egner, T., & Gruzelier, J. H. (2004). EEG biofeedback of low beta band components: frequency-specific effects on variables of attention and event-related brain potentials. Clinical Neurophysiology, 115(1), 131-139.
9. Hauri, P. (1981). Treating psychophysiologic insomnia with biofeedback.Archives of General Psychiatry, 38(7), 752.
10. Siever, D. (2004). The application of audio-visual entrainment for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. Biofeedback, 32 (3), 32-35.
11. Howard CE, Graham LE, 2nd, Wycoff SJ. A comparison of methods for reducing stress among dental students. J Dent Educ. 1986;50(9):542-544
12. Patrick GJ. Improved neuronal regulation in ADHD: An application of 15 sessions of photic-driven EEG neurotherapy. J Neurother. 1996;1(4):27-36.
13. Cahn BR, Polich J. Meditation states and traits: EEG, ERP, and neuroimaging studies. Psychol Bull. 2006 Mar;132(2):180-211.
14. Williams, J., Ramaswamy, D. and Oulhaj, A., 2006. 10 Hz flicker improves recognition memory in older people. BMC Neurosci. 7, 21.
15. Williams JH. Frequency specific effects of flicker on recognition memory. Neuroscience. 2001;104(2):283-286
16. Nomura T, Higuchi K, Yu H, et al. Slow-wave photic stimulation relieves patient discomfort during esophagogastroduodenoscopy. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;21(1 Pt 1):54-58
17. Ossebaard HC. Stress reduction by technology? An experimental study into the effects of brainmachines on burnout and state anxiety. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2000;25(2):93-101
18. Wickramasekera I, I. E. (1977). On attempts to modify hypnotic susceptibility: Some psychophysiological procedures and promising directions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 296, 143-153
19. Sabourin, M. E., Cutcomb, S. D., Crawford, H. J., & Pribram, K. (1990). EEG correlates of hypnotic susceptibility and hypnotic trance: spectral analysis and coherence. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 10(2), 125-142.
20. Botella-Soler, V., Valderrama, M., Crépon, B., Navarro, V., & Le Van Quyen, M. (2012). Large-scale cortical dynamics of sleep slow waves. PloS one, 7(2), e30757.

References:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/np/brainwaves.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment

http://www.brainandhealth.com/

http://www.doctorhugo.org/brainwaves/brainwaves.html

http://nhahealth.com/

http://www.brainwavecollege.com/

https://www.binauralbeatsmeditation.com/is-it-safe-to-use-binaural-beats-during-pregnancy/

http://www.brainwavelove.com/brainwave-entrainment-side-effects-what-are-they

https://www.transparentcorp.com/community/forum/topic/2616-brainwave-entrainment-and-pregnant-women

https://www.transparentcorp.com/products/general_faq.php

http://jtoomim.org/brain-training/brain%20wave%20entrainment%20and%20WISC.pdf