In the last two posts, I discussed some unusual ways in which some people respond to certain very ordinary sounds. In the case of ASMR, sounds like tapping, tearing, and popping can lead to tingling sensations associated with relaxation and even drowsiness. In the case of misophonia similar sounds, like swallowing and lip-smacking, can also cause a tingling sensation, but one accompanied by disgust and even rage. Binaural beats are a different kind of sound and many people report finding certain of them relaxing and even conducive to falling asleep. Other people do not like them and after hearing them once never want to hear them again.
Passively listening to binaural beats may not spontaneously propel you into an altered state of consciousness. One's subjective experience in response to binaural-beat stimulation may also be influenced by a number of mediating factors. For example, the willingness and ability of the listener to relax and focus attention may contribute to binaural-beat effectiveness in inducing state changes. "Ultradian rhythms in the nervous system are characterized by periodic changes in arousal and states of consciousness (Rossi, 1986).
Isochronic tones are basically just a single tone with the volume being turned on and off at regular intervals. When you apply the same effects to music or a noise, it’s usually referred to as amplitude entrainment effects (in Mind Workstation anyway). When you apply the on/off effect to music or noise it’s usually done by targeting a specific frequency range in the sound and only turning that part on/off, leaving the rest of the music/noise untouched. What that does is allow parts of the music/noise to play without being distorted/interrupted, making it sound more pleasant to listen to. It produces a kind of fluttering sound as I like to call it and you can adjust the level of intensity.
Hi Ulka, thanks for your compliment on my article. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any studies or much discussion about the problem with habituation and isochronic tones and how to overcome it. The consensus among experienced users is to regularly change the frequencies and music soundtracks you listen to. Adding music to the tones does change the waveform you are stimulated with, so that’s one of the main reasons why I provide different soundtracks for my isochronic tones sessions. I have released some tracks which use amplitude modulations in the music, instead of isochronic tones. It might be worth giving them a try if you haven’t already. I have them in a playlist on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj5tHl2cuWw&list=PLveg0IEcZWN6OIRZyLkv0BJADY7Q6xFCl.
Further experimentation showed that the difference between the two frequencies must be relatively small – under 30 hertz – for it to be perceived as a “beat”; frequencies with greater difference are perceived separately. Using binaural beats in various mental states while being recorded by an EEG (encepl…blahFIX) allowed researchers to further delineate the different wavelengths the human mind generates for different states of being. The categories are generally agreed upon as (from most to least “active” states): Gamma (extreme emotions or intense concentration), Beta (active thinking, concentration, anxiety, arousal), Alpha (drowsy, falling-asleep feeling, sometimes also general relaxation), Theta (dreaming sleep or deep meditation), and Delta (deep, dreamless sleep), but the wavelengths at which each occurs are not set in stone, though they generally run as over 40 hertz for Gamma, 13 to 29 for Beta, 7 to 13 for Alpha, 4 to 7 for Theta, and under 4 hertz for Delta.
People with a past history of epilepsy or seizures should NOT use brainwave entrainment. Those with heart disorders or taking mood-altering pharmaceutical drugs should consult a doctor before trying. Also, some of the frequencies within the videos may make you feel sleepy. As a good practice, please do not listen whilst you are operating machinery or vehicles or carrying out any responsible duties.