August 17, 2007

Experimenting with Binaural Beats / Does It Work?

First off, I want to thank everyone who has linked to us over the last few weeks. Don't be surprised if I make a visit because I am collecting screenshots for our personal photo archive of sites that discover or feature something we've made. I really enjoy it as our readership is getting more international by the day and we are discovering some great sites in the process. Really, thanks.

So tonight we decided to experiment with binaural beats. I realise that the company i-doser has gotten lots of publicity the last few months but the findings of this scientific discovery has been around since 1839.

Here's the basics:

"Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, that is apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain independent of physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.

In nature, two sounds that are similar but slightly shifted in frequency will beat to produce two new frequencies which are the sum and the difference of the original two sounds. For example, a 400 Hz tone and a 410 Hz tone will form a ~405 Hz tone pulsating 10 times per second.

The brain produces a similar phenomenon internally, resulting in low-frequency pulsations in the loudness of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject's ears, using stereo headphones. A beating tone will be perceived, as if the two tones mixed naturally, out of the brain. The frequency of the tones must be below about 1,000 to 1,500 hertz for the beating to be heard. The difference between the two frequencies must be small (below about 30 Hz) for the effect to occur; otherwise the two tones will be heard separately and no beat will be perceived.

Interest in binaural beats can be classified into two categories. First, they are of interest to neurophysiologists investigating the sense of hearing. Second, some protoscientists believe that binaural beats may influence the brain in more subtle ways through the entrainment of brainwaves and can be used to produce relaxation and other health benefits." - Wiki

It all sounds a little heavy and new age but being sensitive to motion, light and sound I was really interested in trying this, as was John.

We decided to stop whatever we were doing and try 'one dose'. The lights were dimmed and we each put on our respective headphones. The track was 30 minutes long. I was sure that both of us would have a different experience - I believed John would enjoy the experience more readily but wouldn't have the same lasting effect as on myself. In fact I was sure he would go to bed while I stayed up all night with untapped energy. The conclusion was, I was right. The length also had us on different sides. He felt the 'song' lasted ten minutes, I felt like it was timeless with several conscious wake-ups although I woke up right before the file ended, knowing it was about to end.

This kind of experiment is surely based on your own desire to see it through. We both had no psychedelic notions but we were certainly open to discovering the sounds that would be presented to us and how that would effect us. This element is the most natural for people like us, we both are enormously sensitive to noise and stimuli around us in everyday life.

The after effect was in one word euphoric. We discussed our experience and concluded that indeed something happened and that the sound sample had some great variations. All in all, this is something I think we both want to explore because the sounds we heard tonight were actually very well orchestrated and layered, well thought out. In hindsight, it really wasn't far off from our usual experimentation with music but I wish I could go to sleep!

Links:

Binaural Beat Brain Wave Experimenter's Lab
Binaural Beats via Wiki


- C

3 comments:

ROCKNROLLPIMP said...

i have been readin every post and subscribe to this in my rss feed
although some of it is "over my head"
yeah yeah i'm a noob,just give me my hammer n nails
i find it quite interesting and wanted to leave ya'll a well done!! comment
WELL DONE
lol
RAWK!

wedidit said...

hello keith, what a nice surprise to see you here! thank you, much appreciated. keep cool lol ;-)

- Connie

JetCityOrange said...

I host a number of free MP3 files featuring binaural beats on my web site: JetCityOrange.com/meditation/binaural-beats.html