Article

A High-Density EEG Investigation into Steady State Binaural Beat Stimulation

Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 04/2012; 7(4):e34789. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034789
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Binaural beats are an auditory phenomenon that has been suggested to alter physiological and cognitive processes including vigilance and brainwave entrainment. Some personality traits measured by the NEO Five Factor Model have been found to alter entrainment using pulsing light stimuli, but as yet no studies have examined if this occurs using steady state presentation of binaural beats for a relatively short presentation of two minutes. This study aimed to examine if binaural beat stimulation altered vigilance or cortical frequencies and if personality traits were involved. Thirty-one participants were played binaural beat stimuli designed to elicit a response at either the Theta (7 Hz) or Beta (16 Hz) frequency bands while undertaking a zero-back vigilance task. EEG was recorded from a high-density electrode cap. No significant differences were found in vigilance or cortical frequency power during binaural beat stimulation compared to a white noise control period. Furthermore, no significant relationships were detected between the above and the Big Five personality traits. This suggests a short presentation of steady state binaural beats are not sufficient to alter vigilance or entrain cortical frequencies at the two bands examined and that certain personality traits were not more susceptible than others.

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