MindMods Blog

A systematic review and analysis of 20 of the major studies done on Brainwave Entrainment. The effect of photic stimulation (Mind Machines) on cognition, stress & anxiety, pain, headaches & migraines, mood, and PMS are are all discussed.

Below you'll find a link to the entire article and a conclusion extract. One of the authors of the study, Christine Charyton, PhD, is an employee of Transparent Corporation.

Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment

Tina L. Huang, PhD; Christine Charyton, PhD

From _Alternative_ Therapies, Sep/Oct 2008, Vol. 14, No. 5

The immediate psychological effects of memory, attention, stress, pain, and headaches/migraines were shown to benefit from even a single session of BWE. Many practitioners and developers of BWE tools believe that repeated exposure to BWE will allow the user to enter the desired brain states unassisted. Indeed, the study by Patrick, which found improvements in overall intelligence and behavior, gradually withdrew the stimulus until users could produce the targeted brainwave frequencies on their own. Most studies that examined long-term effects did not withdraw stimulus over a specified time period before testing, so the duration of the effects are unclear. Nor are there studies that compare the effects of duration or frequency of stimulation, so it is not known whether there is a minimal length or frequency of entrainment required to achieve each positive outcome or if there is a limit to the intensity of symptom relief from BWE.

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Further studies are needed to compare the effects of auditory, photic, and AVE stimulation at the same frequencies for each outcome and to compare the clinical benefi ts of monaural, binaural, and isochronic beats and the use of white noise vs music as a background.

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In conclusion, preliminary evidence suggests that BWE is effective in several cognitive domains and can relieve acute and long-term stress, reduce pain, headaches, migraines, and PMS and improve behavior.

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Preliminary evidence suggests that alpha stimulation was preferable for trigram recognition, short-term stress, and pain relief, whereas beta was used to enhance attention, increase overall intelligence, relieve short-term stress, and improve behavior. The alternating alpha and beta protocol was used successfully to improve behavior, verbal skills, and attention. A protocol that alternatively ascended and descended from beta to gamma enhanced arithmetic skills and attention. A protocol that alternated between 14 and 22 Hz increased overall intelligence. Several protocols, including a combination of theta and delta and a progressive slowing over 30 minutes to delta, were effective in relieving short-term stress. Migraines were prevented with a 30-Hz stimulus that alternated between left and right hemispheres, and a few studies that allowed the subject to choose the frequency of stimulation were successful in alleviating long-term stress, pain, and migraines. It is clear that more research needs to be conducted to confi rm the effectiveness of specific protocols to each outcome, but given the evidence so far, we conclude that BWE is worthy of further consideration by clinicians and researchers as a therapeutic tool.

Original article is here

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