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: 3.23). 04/2012; 7(4):e34789. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034789
Source: PubMed


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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    • "However, other studies did not achieve similar observations (Stevens et al., 2003; Wahbeh et al., 2007; Goodin et al., 2012; Vernon et al., 2012). Goodin et al. (2012) assessed theta (7 Hz) and beta (16 Hz) bands in 2-min BB carrier tone. They reported no significant differences in cortical frequency power during the period of BB stimulation compared to using a white noise signal. "
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    ABSTRACT: When two coherent sounds with nearly similar frequencies are presented to each ear respectively with stereo headphones, the brain integrates the two signals and produces a sensation of a third sound called binaural beat (BB). Although earlier studies showed that BB could influence behavior and cognition, common agreement on the mechanism of BB has not been reached yet. In this work, we employed Relative Power (RP), Phase Locking Value (PLV) and Cross-Mutual Information (CMI) to track EEG changes during BB stimulations. EEG signals were acquired from 13 healthy subjects. Five-minute BBs with four different frequencies were tested: delta band (1Hz), theta band (5Hz), alpha band (10Hz) and beta band (20Hz). We observed RP increase in theta and alpha bands and decrease in beta band during delta and alpha BB stimulations. RP decreased in beta band during theta BB, while RP decreased in theta band during beta BB. However, no clear brainwave entrainment effect was identified. Connectivity changes were detected following the variation of RP during BB stimulations. Our observation supports the hypothesis that BBs could affect functional brain connectivity, suggesting that the mechanism of BB-brain interaction is worth further study. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 10/2014; 94(3):399-406. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.10.010 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    • "This may be especially important for the MT group, as the length of exposure to a particular beat may determine the brain's ability to entrain, or to assume the rhythm of the musical selection, which then permits the progressive transition from one state to another described in the ISO principle [28]. Short presentations of as little as four minutes (the maximum length of most music tracks) of binaural beats may not be sufficient to alter patient's physiological vigilance, thereby making it impossible to fully “transition” from one mood state to another [29]. Second, the time at which the intervention was conducted may be another reason for the lack of long-term intervention effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. This study examines the short- and long-term QOL benefits of a music therapy intervention for patients recovering from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods. Ninety allogeneic HSCT patients, after transplant, were randomized to receive ISO-principle (i.e., mood matching) based music therapy (MT; n = 29), unstructured music (UM; n = 30), or usual care (UC; n = 31) for four weeks. The ISO principle posits that patients may shift their mood from one state to another by listening to music that is “equal to” the individual's initial mood state and subsequently listening to music selections that gradually shift in tempo and mood to match the patient's desired disposition. Participants in MT and UM groups developed two audio CDs to help them feel more relaxed and energized and were instructed to use the CDs to improve their mood as needed. Short-term effects on mood and long-term effects on QOL were examined. Results. MT and UM participants reported improved mood immediately after listening to CDs; the within-group effect was greater for UM participants compared to MT participants. Participant group was not associated with long-term QOL outcomes. Conclusions. Music listening improves mood acutely but was not associated with long-term benefits in this study.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:742941. DOI:10.1155/2014/742941 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stress can be perceived as the reaction of the body towards observed mental, emotional and physical distress. It is highly curable if it is detected and managed early. There are various methods in relieving anxiety and stress such as meditation. However, to some people, this act is hard to perform. Therefore, they switch to another therapy which is easier and simpler but deliver similar side effects as meditation i.e. brainwave entrainment. Binaural beat is one type of such brainwave entrainments, in which two signals with different frequency are presented to each ear simultaneously. In regards to this, our research work focuses on studying the effects of binaural-beats to people with stress, specifically the effects to their EEG signals. In such context, this paper presents the results collected from the experiments performed on a number of participants. EEG signals of the participants are recorded in three different states namely the initial state, after stress induction and after binaural-beats entrainment. The Alpha Symmetry method has been employed in analyzing the results especially to study the effect of stress induced and binaural beats entrainment on the participants' alpha waves.
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