But the question is: Does it have a special effect on the brain? A lot of people think so. The basic claim being made for binaural beats is "resonant entrainment". Entrainment, in physics, is when two systems which oscillate at different frequencies independently are brought together, they synchronize with one another, at whatever the combined system's resonant frequency is. Examples of entrainment occur in animals in nature; for example the chirping of crickets or the croaking of frogs. Synchronization of menstrual cycles in women is another example. Even people coming together and dancing with one another is a type of entrainment. The basic claim for binaural beats is that the perceived low-frequency beat will entrain your brain wave pattern, thus forcing your brain into some desired state.
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The name of the game (and by game, we mean mind hack) is binaural beats. Binaural beats refer to the event in which two similar — but not identical — frequencies are played in different ears through headphones. For example, you might have a 300 Hz tone playing into your left ear, and a 305 Hz tone playing into your right ear (hence the need for headphones, since it’s important for the different sounds to be heard in isolation). Your brain will hear those two tones, yes, but what it will also pick up a 5 Hz tone – the difference between the two frequencies – which is actually too low for our ears to hear. So what’s happening here is not that your ears are suddenly picking up a tone that they couldn’t prior, but instead, your brain is producing the tone; you are perceiving it, not actually hearing it. The resulting noise that you will hear is a steady rhythm, about 4.5 beats per second. Your brain, in the process, will actually emit brainwaves at the frequency of the synthesized tone.
Effects on cortisol: The hormone cortisol is commonly associated with stress, and when levels are higher than usual, it can have a negative impact on the body. High levels of cortisol can lead to a range of conditions, including Cushing syndrome, menstrual cycle and female libido changes, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Giampapa noted a reduction of cortisol of up to 70-80 percent in several study participants.