Music

High-Level Cognition: BETA Binaural Beats [14-30 Hz] by RoundGlass Music

High-Level Cognition: BETA Binaural Beats [14-30 Hz] by RoundGlass Music

The human brain is so cool. Beyond being incredibly useful for the machines to generate power to fuel the matrix after we torched the sky, it also processes information in fascinating ways. Don’t buy it? Google the Chubb Illusion. This simple illusion shows two boxes each with a smaller box in the middle. The boxes will look like vastly different shades to you, but in reality, they’re the exact same color. The brain processes them differently because of context. There are tons of visual illusions like this, where the mind’s tools for processing information surprise you. 

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The human brain is so cool. Beyond being incredibly useful for the machines to generate power to fuel the matrix after we torched the sky, it also processes information in fascinating ways. Don’t buy it? Google the Chubb Illusion. This simple illusion shows two boxes each with a smaller box in the middle. The boxes will look like vastly different shades to you, but in reality, they’re the exact same color. The brain processes them differently because of context. There are tons of visual illusions like this, where the mind’s tools for processing information surprise you.

Binaural Beats are a little like that, but for the brain. Binaural means ‘having or relating to two ears,’ and you’ll need to use two ears to experience the phenomenon. To hear these elusive beats, you’ll need a pair of headphones. When a slightly different tone will be emitted from each of the right and left earphones, your ears and brain will process a tone that is directly in between the two. This tone isn’t in the mix anywhere, but it is what you’ll hear. This auditory illusion is known as a Binaural Beat. When the brain received these differing signals from each ear it tries to mix them as if they were two sounds heard together. For example, if you are listening to a 440 Hz tone with your left ear and a 444 Hz tone with your right ear, you would be hearing a 4 Hz tone. A Hertz (Hz) measures a cycle of sound, 1 Hz means the sound has one vibration cycle per second. Not every Binaural Beat is the same and they differ depending on the Hz. So, our example, 4 Hz Binaural Beat, puts it in the Theta range.

If you don’t know what that means, put simply, depending on the frequency a Binaural Beat operates at, it will have a different effect on the mind. Delta Patterns (0.5-4 Hz) are shown to encourage deeper sleep. Theta Patterns (4-7 Hz) are shown to improve mood, relaxation, and creativity. Alpha Patterns (7-13 Hz) also promote relaxation. Beta Patterns (14-30 Hz) increase concentration and alertness. Gamma Patterns are the fastest of the Binaural patterns that have a noticeable effect on listeners. These are 30-100 Hz and can aid in memory recall and awareness.

Binaural Beats were first discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a Prussian physicist and meteorologist in 1839, however, it is thought that the phenomena have been used for thousands of years by Indigenous American shamans, Tibetan monks, and Hindu healers. These ancient peoples realized that if you produced consistent rhythmic beats, you could induce a state of altered consciousness in the listener. Scientist Melinda Maxfield studied several of these cultures and found that the drums used in these rituals are beating at exactly four and a half beats per second, this is due to the brain mirroring the 4.5 bps into an identical low Theta brainwave frequency.

In 1973, over a hundred years after Heinrich Wilhelm Drove’s research, Gerald Oster, reformulated these developments in a way that brought them into the modern consciousness in his paper ‘Auditory Beats in the Brain.’ Oster saw Binaural Beats as a powerful tool for neurological research.

When you listen to binaural beats, your brain activity matches the frequency set by the frequency of the beat. This is called the frequency-following effect. This means you can use binaural beats to train your mind to reach a certain mental state. This mix is made up of Beta Binaural Beats, so the difference between tones is between 14 Hz and 30 Hz, on the higher end of the frequency range for these special beats. Try listening for 30 minutes to an hour.  You might experience increased concentration and alertness, enhanced problem-solving, and improved memory. The Beta binaural beat is recommended for highly cognitive work like that problem set you need to get through.