Binaural beats are a frequency-following response that occurs when a person hears two different tones at slightly different frequencies through headphones. The brain combines the two tones and produces a pulsing sound. The frequency of the beats is the difference between the two tones. For example, if a person hears a tone of 100 Hz in the right ear and a tone of 90 Hz in the left ear, the difference is 10 Hz. The beats a person experiences is the 10 Hz frequency.
Dr. Andrew Huberman in an episode about Productivity & Focus explains that the frequency of binaural beats which can improve cognitive functioning at the level of memory, improve reaction times and improve verbal recall seems to be 40 Hertz.
It is possible to induce a brainwave entrainment response using sound alone, as this is how the brain naturally works. In 1984 researcher Dr. Gerald Oster published a prominent article in Scientific American exploring this effect called, “Auditory Beats in the Brain.”
Oster's research showed that a specific brainwave could be induced when a person heard two separate, but closely related, sound frequencies, one in each ear. He noted that the frequency of the beats is the same as the difference between the two frequencies. This means that if you want to induce a 40 Hz response, you need only play 270 Hz and 310 Hz together, or any other pair of frequencies that produce a 40 Hz beat.
When a person hears these tones, the brain produces a pulse of electricity at the same frequency of the beat. The brain then produces a second pulse at the same frequency as the beat. This process continues, creating a pattern of brainwaves.
40 Hz Binaural Beats
According to Dr. Huberman research, 40 Hertz binaural beats have been shown to bring the brain into a state optimal for learning, memory, recall, etc. There are many free apps and YouTube videos where you can listen to 40Hz binaural beats, but Dr. Huberman tells us to avoid those that are imposed with other sounds like rain sounds, sea waves, or any other sound as they don't seem to be as effective as pure binaural beats.
The benefits of 40 Hz binaural beats are:
- Imroved Focus
- Improved Memory
- Improved Recall Ability
- Accelerated Learning
How do Binaural Beats Affect the Brain
Binaural beats affect the brain in a number of ways. The most significant is through the entrainment of brainwaves. Because the brain is a mass of millions of neurons, each one firing at random, the brain’s output can be considered as a series of waves. The rate of firing of the neurons determines the frequency of the brainwaves. The faster the rate, the higher the frequency, and the slower the rate, the lower the frequency.
When the left and right hemispheres of the brain are synchronized, the brain produces a state of alertness and focus. The synchronization of brainwaves also results in an increase in serotonin, a hormone produced in the brain that improves mood.
This synchronization can produce deeper meditative and hypnotic states. It can induce the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkiller, and can also increase blood flow to the brain which can help the brain function faster and more efficiently.
How are Binaural Beats Produced?
Binaural beats can be produced by using several different methods. One method is to use a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) tone generator. These are available as software programs or hardware devices. Another method is to use a pitch shifter. A pitch shifter is a device that changes the pitch of a sound. It can be used to create a binaural beat. A binaural beat can also be produced by using a stereo system. The left and right channels are used to produce the beat. The sound is delivered through a stereo system.
What are Binaural Beats Used For?
- Binaural beats have been used for years in meditation and hypnosis.
- Binaural beats are also used to treat insomnia and depression.
- Binaural beats can induce a state of relaxation and concentration.
- They can induce a state of deep relaxation.
- They can induce a state of deep sleep.
- Binaural beats can also induce a state of lucid dreaming. This is the state where you are conscious but unaware of your surroundings.
- Binaural beats can induce a state of deep meditation.