Brain entrainment

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Brain entrainment

Postby scratch123 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:55 pm UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... t_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment_(physics)

Entrainment is something in physics that happens when 2 things synchronize just by being near each other. The way this works in the brain is that when neurons are communicating with each other they create electricity known as brain waves. Like all waves these waves have a certain frequency. This frequency varies depending on what you are doing and your mood. Sound waves also have a certain frequency. If this frequency is made to match the frequency of certain brain states then it can actually have some effect on your mood. Normally I don't believe in these kind of things but I actually tried some of the brain entrainment software and it actually had an effect on me that was almost like a drug. I also looked up some youtube videos regarding brain entrainment and when I was reading the comments it seemed to work on alot of other people as well.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

No.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby DrSir » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:06 am UTC

scratch123 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment

I also looked up some youtube videos regarding brain entrainment and when I was reading the comments it seemed to work on alot of other people as well.


Youtube. Comments. Enough said.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:10 am UTC

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby JWalker » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:32 am UTC

There is some research that supports this.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:35 am UTC

No. There isn't.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby qetzal » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:44 pm UTC

Bald statements that there is or isn't research to support this aren't very persuasive. This is wayyy outside my field, but a quick search of PubMed does turn up some seemingly-relevant studies on the entrainment part, e.g. this and this.

I had a harder time finding anything connecting supposed brainwave entrainment to mood or cognition, but I did find this one. From the abstract, however, the results sound pretty underwhelming.

There was also this review, which concludes:

Findings to date suggest that BWE is an effective therapeutic tool. People suffering from cognitive functioning deficits, stress, pain, headache/migraines, PMS, and behavioral problems benefited from BWE. However, more controlled trials are needed to test additional protocols with outcomes.


However, given the journal it's in, I don't put much stock in it.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

'Underwhelming' is the word you'd use to describe their findings? From an N of ten, they found:
Significant differences were found for the subjective moods "sleepy," "alert," and "effort." However, no significant differences were found for pre- and post-photic driving for "angry," "irritable," "hungry," "tense," "overall," "happy," "sexual," and "sad."

So, people being shown cool swirling colors feel either more tired or more alert, and feel like they're making an effort to watch (or maybe not watch) the screens. Their moods however, are unaffected.

That's the sort of data out there for brain entrainment. The OP is asking
scratch123 wrote:Normally I don't believe in these kind of things but I actually tried some of the brain entrainment software and it actually had an effect on me that was almost like a drug. I also looked up some youtube videos regarding brain entrainment and when I was reading the comments it seemed to work on alot of other people as well.

Which is N of one (and not really defined anyway), and using YOUTUBE COMMENTS as support.

Yeah, my monosyllabic responses are all this thread deserves.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

I seriously can't believe the responses I am getting here. Have you guys even tried this? Its not hard, just download one of the programs. Since you guys can't do the smallest bit of research here is a near direct link to one of the downloads (http://www.bwgen.com/download.htm). Since I have posted this topic I have showed this to a few people IRL and it worked for them as well. One person even called the effect of it scary. Also just because you don't like some youtube comments doesn't mean you can dismiss them completely. After reading so many youtube comments about this I would have expected to find one that says it had no effect on that person but I still haven't found one yet. The closest thing to this is the entrainment sound had the opposite effect on that person that it was supposed to have.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:19 pm UTC

Because searches for this stuff nets websites like this:
http://www.kaladrious.com/brainwave_generator.htm

And you want to know why no one takes it seriously? No one takes it seriously, because it's concomitant with Astral Projection and Crystal Field Vibration alternative medicine bullshit. Also, because scientific literature has found nothing to support it's claims. Also, because it smacks of psuedoscience bullshit. Because the claims are 'helps you sleep' to 'hallucinate balls man' to 'increased sex drive'.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby scratch123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:45 pm UTC

Ok I guess there are some websites that make claims on it not supported by research but at least some of the claims are true. People actually spent alot of work trying to discover what sound frequencies worked and which ones had no effect on the brain and there is some research to back this up. I really wish people here would try it themselves before forming an opinion about it because the software is easy to download and you can just play the sound in the background at low volume. Not all alternative medicine is BS you just have to be careful with it and treat it as something that will maybe work or maybe not. Approach it like a scientist would. I probably wouldn't believe it either if I hadn't tried it myself.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:33 pm UTC

Oh, there is research? Can you cite it, please?
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:46 pm UTC

This binaural beats thing does work (there are java applets to generate them if you want to experiment on your own brain), but the phenomenon has been besieged by quacks and pseudoscientists that associate it with all sorts of new age mumbo jumbo. The actual effect isn't as spectacular as the quacks will have you believe. It's a curiosity or a parlor trick at best. You can for example put your mind at a state similar to where you're at just before going to sleep, where you experience some mild visual hallucinations (emphasis on mild).
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Certain noises sound better than others. To provide a link from this, to brain waves or brain patterns, much more is going to be needed. Perhaps scans of brain activity. Perhaps comparison to classical music or hip hop. Is this just a reaction such as reacting poorly to loud noises, or is it just emotional such as a familiar smell? For anyone to make a conclusion, you or the researchers, need to do a lot more work. If you put someone on a Lazyboy chair with automassage do they get the same result?

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby JWalker » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

Robert'); DROP TABLE *; wrote:Oh, there is research? Can you cite it, please?


Why? Its not like anyone is actually planning on doing more than checking what journal its in and maybe reading the abstract. Research is useless if no one actually reads the paper.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

A) That's a cop out for the argument at hand, given that the burden of proof is on those claiming that this psuedoscience thing is legit.
B) We've already found scientific studies that found NOTHING, as evidenced by their statements in the abstract. In case you aren't aware, an abstract is supposed to state a rough outline and sketch of the findings of the study.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby JWalker » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:A) That's a cop out for the argument at hand, given that the burden of proof is on those claiming that this psuedoscience thing is legit.
B) We've already found scientific studies that found NOTHING, as evidenced by their statements in the abstract. In case you aren't aware, an abstract is supposed to state a rough outline and sketch of the findings of the study.


You've already decided its pseudoscience based on the abstract of two papers presenting the results of some pretty bad experiments (if you read the papers you'd know why I say they're not the greatest experiments). Why should I waste my time trying to convince someone who does that?

Either actually read the papers posted without coming to your conclusion before having done so or go find the research that has been done yourself, because I'm not going to do it for you.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:23 pm UTC

Are you being intentionally daft? Read the conversation; links have been provided and I'm basing my assertion that it's psuedoscience ON THE FINDINGS IN THE PAPERS.

Here, I'll spell out the conversations path for you:
OP: There's this cool thing where you can make some noise and it has a drastic effect on people's brains!
Other People: That sounds like bullshit. Here's a peer reviewed article that confirms that it is bullshit. Here are some psuedoscience websites that make claims about astral projection and such. It seems this phenomenon is bullshit.
JWalker: If you can't be bothered to read the literature, I'm not going to do it for you.

So, again, because we've provided peer reviewed evidence for why it's bogus, and you're still positing that it's not, the onus is on you to prove us wrong. Provide some of these papers that support it. Don't just sit back and say "It's not my job to support my argument" In fact, you haven't linked anything, and have done nothing but A) claim it's true or B) get upset that people don't believe you.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby JWalker » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:36 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Are you being intentionally daft? Read the conversation; links have been provided and I'm basing my assertion that it's psuedoscience ON THE FINDINGS IN THE PAPERS.

Here, I'll spell out the conversations path for you:
OP: There's this cool thing where you can make some noise and it has a drastic effect on people's brains!
Other People: That sounds like bullshit. Here's a peer reviewed article that confirms that it is bullshit. Here are some psuedoscience websites that make claims about astral projection and such. It seems this phenomenon is bullshit.
JWalker: If you can't be bothered to read the literature, I'm not going to do it for you.

So, again, because we've provided peer reviewed evidence for why it's bogus, and you're still positing that it's not, the onus is on you to prove us wrong. Provide some of these papers that support it. Don't just sit back and say "It's not my job to support my argument" In fact, you haven't linked anything, and have done nothing but A) claim it's true or B) get upset that people don't believe you.


We must have very different views on what the papers posted are showing I guess. It seems that qetzal posted some evidence FOR it not against (again, they werent the greatest experiments, but this isn't qetzal's fault). Hence why I am not inclined to post anything else because it seems clear to me that you did not read them. Please do so, and try to actually argue scientifically and I will begin to as well.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby qetzal » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:50 am UTC

JWalker wrote:You've already decided its pseudoscience based on the abstract of two papers presenting the results of some pretty bad experiments (if you read the papers you'd know why I say they're not the greatest experiments). Why should I waste my time trying to convince someone who does that?


Is it a waste of your time to try to convince everyone else in this thread, just because you think Izawwlgodd is being dismissive?

Either actually read the papers posted without coming to your conclusion before having done so or go find the research that has been done yourself, because I'm not going to do it for you.


Well in fact, I already attempted to find the research that has been done. You might notice that I'm so far the only one who's linked to anything remotely resembling a peer-reviewed study on this topic. Even so, I'm not interested in paying to read the full studies. And you yourself admit they're both "pretty bad" so why bother?

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:18 am UTC

JWalker wrote:We must have very different views on what the papers posted are showing I guess. It seems that qetzal posted some evidence FOR it not against (again, they werent the greatest experiments, but this isn't qetzal's fault). Hence why I am not inclined to post anything else because it seems clear to me that you did not read them. Please do so, and try to actually argue scientifically and I will begin to as well.

Now you're definitely being daft. Finding changes to brain waves != mood control. qetzal posted articles that found certain tones alter brain waves, and another article that found these various tones had zero effect on mood and such.

But yeah, basically, you're deciding not to participate in the discussion and have resorted to claiming your own correctness sans evidence or commenting upon the discussion itself. It's working well for you.

qetzal wrote:Well in fact, I already attempted to find the research that has been done. You might notice that I'm so far the only one who's linked to anything remotely resembling a peer-reviewed study on this topic. Even so, I'm not interested in paying to read the full studies. And you yourself admit they're both "pretty bad" so why bother?

It should be pointed out that the OP linked wikipedia entries, and then suggested we download a program, from a website that also claimed the tones produced helped a psuedoscience, snake oil peddling barrage of alternative health medicine claims. Listening to these tones will increase your penis size, reduce baldness, alleviate anxiety, induce blissful sleep, arouse your libido, and give you a six pack. Like, immediately.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby antonfire » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:13 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:But yeah, basically, you're deciding not to participate in the discussion and have resorted to claiming your own correctness sans evidence or commenting upon the discussion itself. It's working well for you.
Working pretty well for the whole thread, it seems.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Velifer » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:Since I have posted this topic I have showed this to a few people IRL and it worked for them as well. One person even called the effect of it scary.

You know, I totally believe you.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:12 pm UTC

antonfire wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:But yeah, basically, you're deciding not to participate in the discussion and have resorted to claiming your own correctness sans evidence or commenting upon the discussion itself. It's working well for you.
Working pretty well for the whole thread, it seems.

Except for, you know, that dialog in which qetzal cited articles, and we commented on their findings, which were that it has no effect. Or that part where I linked an example of the type of websites that talk about the audio entrainment programs, which also claim to allow astral projection.

But good contribution!
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby cphite » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... t_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment_(physics)

Entrainment is something in physics that happens when 2 things synchronize just by being near each other. The way this works in the brain is that when neurons are communicating with each other they create electricity known as brain waves. Like all waves these waves have a certain frequency. This frequency varies depending on what you are doing and your mood. Sound waves also have a certain frequency. If this frequency is made to match the frequency of certain brain states then it can actually have some effect on your mood. Normally I don't believe in these kind of things but I actually tried some of the brain entrainment software and it actually had an effect on me that was almost like a drug. I also looked up some youtube videos regarding brain entrainment and when I was reading the comments it seemed to work on alot of other people as well.


Expectations can have an enormous effect on your experience with these sorts of things. YouTube is full of binaural tracks and swirly lights videos, and if you read the comments you'll see a ton of people who experience exactly what the header says they're going to experience... thing is, if you take that exact same clip and put the opposite header on it, people will start reporting the opposite experience.

Basically, you want to feel something, so you do. For example, with the binaural stuff, your brain notices the weird harmonics and says "Hey, something is strange about this sound..." and your imagination runs with that.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
scratch123 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... t_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrainment_(physics)

Entrainment is something in physics that happens when 2 things synchronize just by being near each other. The way this works in the brain is that when neurons are communicating with each other they create electricity known as brain waves. Like all waves these waves have a certain frequency. This frequency varies depending on what you are doing and your mood. Sound waves also have a certain frequency. If this frequency is made to match the frequency of certain brain states then it can actually have some effect on your mood. Normally I don't believe in these kind of things but I actually tried some of the brain entrainment software and it actually had an effect on me that was almost like a drug. I also looked up some youtube videos regarding brain entrainment and when I was reading the comments it seemed to work on alot of other people as well.


Expectations can have an enormous effect on your experience with these sorts of things. YouTube is full of binaural tracks and swirly lights videos, and if you read the comments you'll see a ton of people who experience exactly what the header says they're going to experience... thing is, if you take that exact same clip and put the opposite header on it, people will start reporting the opposite experience.

Basically, you want to feel something, so you do. For example, with the binaural stuff, your brain notices the weird harmonics and says "Hey, something is strange about this sound..." and your imagination runs with that.


That's sort of an argument, when lacking experimental basis, is pathological and can be applied to virtually every real or fictitious effect. In other words, it's a good hypothesis, but not an argument on it's own.

Luckily, your position can be tested. Since you expect this to be nothing more than suggestion, then listening to a binaural track shouldn't have any effect on you. So I suggest you get a pair of headphones, go here (requires java), leave the default settings alone, press play and close your eyes. Then report back what you experienced.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby cphite » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:16 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:That's sort of an argument, when lacking experimental basis, is pathological and can be applied to virtually every real or fictitious effect. In other words, it's a good hypothesis, but not an argument on it's own.


If you want to do real research on the effects of binaural sounds then by all means do so. My level of concern with the subject is such that I am willing to rely on personal observation.

What I've noted is that people tend to feel what they're expecting to feel beforehand. And - more telling - when they aren't expecting anything at all, the reactions tend to range from "What is that noise?" to "Okay, that's weird... so what?"

You, sir, name? wrote:Luckily, your position can be tested. Since you expect this to be nothing more than suggestion, then listening to a binaural track shouldn't have any effect on you. So I suggest you get a pair of headphones, go here (requires java), leave the default settings alone, press play and close your eyes. Then report back what you experienced.


I've listened to binaural beats before; I'm simply not impressed. See, I actually go looking for this kind of stuff - not because I believe it or even disbelieve it, but just because I find it interesting. I love strange and unusual claims. So, when I read about binaural tracks, I downloaded all sorts of examples and listened to them and... nothing. They did absolutely nothing. Sure, I noticed the effect and, yes I thought it was kind of cool. But in terms of it having any effect whatsoever on my mood or anything like that, nothing. I've had other people listen to them, and again - nothing. Even my dog was unimpressed.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:Luckily, your position can be tested. Since you expect this to be nothing more than suggestion, then listening to a binaural track shouldn't have any effect on you. So I suggest you get a pair of headphones, go here (requires java), leave the default settings alone, press play and close your eyes. Then report back what you experienced.


I've listened to binaural beats before; I'm simply not impressed. See, I actually go looking for this kind of stuff - not because I believe it or even disbelieve it, but just because I find it interesting. I love strange and unusual claims. So, when I read about binaural tracks, I downloaded all sorts of examples and listened to them and... nothing. They did absolutely nothing. Sure, I noticed the effect and, yes I thought it was kind of cool. But in terms of it having any effect whatsoever on my mood or anything like that, nothing. I've had other people listen to them, and again - nothing. Even my dog was unimpressed.


Yeah, I'm not sure it's supposed to affect your mood.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby scratch123 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:14 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:That's sort of an argument, when lacking experimental basis, is pathological and can be applied to virtually every real or fictitious effect. In other words, it's a good hypothesis, but not an argument on it's own.


If you want to do real research on the effects of binaural sounds then by all means do so. My level of concern with the subject is such that I am willing to rely on personal observation.

What I've noted is that people tend to feel what they're expecting to feel beforehand. And - more telling - when they aren't expecting anything at all, the reactions tend to range from "What is that noise?" to "Okay, that's weird... so what?"

You, sir, name? wrote:Luckily, your position can be tested. Since you expect this to be nothing more than suggestion, then listening to a binaural track shouldn't have any effect on you. So I suggest you get a pair of headphones, go here (requires java), leave the default settings alone, press play and close your eyes. Then report back what you experienced.


I've listened to binaural beats before; I'm simply not impressed. See, I actually go looking for this kind of stuff - not because I believe it or even disbelieve it, but just because I find it interesting. I love strange and unusual claims. So, when I read about binaural tracks, I downloaded all sorts of examples and listened to them and... nothing. They did absolutely nothing. Sure, I noticed the effect and, yes I thought it was kind of cool. But in terms of it having any effect whatsoever on my mood or anything like that, nothing. I've had other people listen to them, and again - nothing. Even my dog was unimpressed.


Did you try the download link that I provided earlier in this topic? I know there are alot of them that don't work that well on youtube. When searching on youtube try to focus on videos that have a high frequency sound (hertz, hz) because those tend to work better. Sometimes you have to listen to them for a while so just put them in the background with the volume low while you do something else. You could also try playing it in a public place with the volume so low that people don't consciously notice and see if you notice anyone acting differently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTdjI9Mvjto

So far this is the best one that I have found on youtube so see if this does anything for you. The sound matters much more than actual video and I am not completely convinced the video portion does anything, only the sound.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

If you want to do real research on the effects of binaural sounds then by all means do so. My level of concern with the subject is such that I am willing to rely on personal observation.

Proposal: Why doesn't someone make two youtube videos that claim separate effects for the same sound and see what pops up in the comments? We can have two different people put up two different videos and share them on their (separate) social networks.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:Did you try the download link that I provided earlier in this topic? I know there are alot of them that don't work that well on youtube.
Screw YouTube. I've made these myself, at a variety of frequencies, on my own computer and headphones. And yes, I hear the binaural beats, and it's a neat effect of how the brain processes audio. No mood-changing effects, though, even after listening to it for a long time.

You seem pretty dead-set on assuming people are probably doing it wrong if they're not getting an effect, and keep suggesting they try it in more and different ways until there is an effect. If someone does try and try and try until maybe they eventually just happen to also feel better while listening to it, that doesn't prove anything. Just like telling someone your d20 rolls 20 for everyone, and then insisting that they did something wrong and should roll again if they get something else their first several times.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby qetzal » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:16 pm UTC

I just wanted to point out the the original claim was that sounds (or light pulses) of a certain frequency can induce brainwaves of a similar frequency, and that this entrainment can cause specific effects on mood.

We seem to have moved away from that claim to a more general claim that some sounds (including those that are generated by some of the cited programs, but perhaps not others?) can affect mood. That's a pretty mundane claim, is it not?

The YouTube experiment might be fun, but it wouldn't tell us anything useful about even the more general claim above, much less the original specific claim.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:33 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:Did you try the download link that I provided earlier in this topic? I know there are alot of them that don't work that well on youtube. When searching on youtube try to focus on videos that have a high frequency sound (hertz, hz) because those tend to work better. Sometimes you have to listen to them for a while so just put them in the background with the volume low while you do something else. You could also try playing it in a public place with the volume so low that people don't consciously notice and see if you notice anyone acting differently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTdjI9Mvjto

So far this is the best one that I have found on youtube so see if this does anything for you. The sound matters much more than actual video and I am not completely convinced the video portion does anything, only the sound.


It doesn't work in public, as it doesn't work with speakers. Binaural beats only work with headphones. The mechanism is very simple, you play one tone in one ear, and a similar but slightly different tone in the other, so that when your brain combines the two, beats are formed.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:52 pm UTC

Yeah, from speakers it's just a regular old interference pattern, a purely audio phenomenon very different from the neurological phenomenon of binaural beats. (And in fact the suggestion of playing it in public indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of what binaural even means.)
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby Velifer » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:I just wanted to point out the the original claim was that sounds (or light pulses) of a certain frequency can induce brainwaves of a similar frequency, and that this entrainment can cause specific effects on mood.


Ok, then if you create a signal between 8 to 12 Hz or so, and put your subject in a comfortable place with the headphones on, have them close their eyes and relax, then I bet you'd find EEG readings with a wave around that same frequency. They'd be pretty strong.

Then you can clamp those headphones on someone just hanging out and chatting, pipe in a 12 to 30 Hz signal, and get similar frequencies back out. SCIENCE IS AWESOME.

If you really want to use light to induce brainwaves, there's an important intermediary step:
J. Cardin, M. Carle, K. Meletis, U. Knoblich, F. Zhang, K. Deisseroth (2009) Driving fast-spiking cells induces gamma rhythm and controls sensory responses. Nature, 459: 663-668.

1) Genetically engineer light-sensitive neurons.
2) flash blinky lights at mice
3) ...
4) Profit!
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby qetzal » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:46 pm UTC

Velifer wrote:Ok, then if you create a signal between 8 to 12 Hz or so, and put your subject in a comfortable place with the headphones on, have them close their eyes and relax, then I bet you'd find EEG readings with a wave around that same frequency. They'd be pretty strong.


Yes, that part seems to be demonstrated in the literature that I could find. But the claim was that generating such entrained EEG readings would have specific, reproducible effects on mood (or cognition or whatever). That's the part that doesn't seem to be well-supported.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:56 pm UTC

No, I think Velifer's point was that sitting and relaxing would produce those brainwaves anyway, regardless of what's happening auditorially.
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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby cphite » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:Did you try the download link that I provided earlier in this topic? I know there are alot of them that don't work that well on youtube. When searching on youtube try to focus on videos that have a high frequency sound (hertz, hz) because those tend to work better. Sometimes you have to listen to them for a while so just put them in the background with the volume low while you do something else. You could also try playing it in a public place with the volume so low that people don't consciously notice and see if you notice anyone acting differently.


I'd actually already heard that one - and many others. I've even made some of them myself... If you have something that can record two tracks and generate a specific tone on each track - and nothing better to do with your time - you can make them too.

They simply don't do anything for me. Nothing. No change in mood. No altered outlook on life. Nothing whatsoever except for the joy that comes with tinkering with silly things. And, in my "test group" of several people including friends and co-workers, I can safely say that it does nothing for them either - aside from perhaps making them wonder if I couldn't be spending my time on something more worthwhile.

As a few others have pointed out, the fact that you are even suggesting that I play these over speakers in a public place shows that you, yourself, have absolutely no idea how they (supposedly) even work. Seriously. That isn't meant to be a jab at you or anything, it's simply a statement of fact. The entire point of binaural beats is that your brain creates them. You hear one tone in one ear, and another very close tone in another ear, and your brain says "Hey, wait a minute...!" and tries to reconcile the two. In the process, your mind essentially creates "beats" that aren't really there. It actually IS a really interesting and cool effect, especially for anyone who's interested in learning about how the brain interprets the world - in the same way that optical illusions can teach us about how the brain interprets the information that comes in through our eyes.

If you play the tones over speakers, what you're hearing is an actual interference pattern. Which is also cool and interesting, if you're into learning about how sound works - but has nothing whatsoever to do with binaural beats.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby scratch123 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:06 am UTC

I really can't understand why this is working for people in real life and on youtube but not people here. Its not like they expect it to work either. What I do is to tell them to listen to the sound (headache treatment 3 from the download) and then I ask them for there opinion about it. So far everyone I have showed it to has been really impressed and then I show them more of them and they are even more impressed. I guess if you tell people it is supposed to change there mood then maybe they might be biased against it. The only other things I can think of are the volume and the length of time it is played for. Isn't it also known that music has some effect on your mood as well? Like how some people describe a song as being happy or sad. I wonder if this is related to that at all.

Also I like the idea of a youtube challenge where you try to convince people certain entrainment sound is supposed to do something when it really does nothing.

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Re: Brain entrainment

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:16 am UTC

I get it to work, in the sense that with 4-5 Hz beats I can bring myself very quickly to a state similar to what I experience when I'm about to fall asleep (much faster than I would merely sitting down and relaxing. Gnaural also periodically raises the frequency to keep you from falling asleep, which produces a peculiar sensation I'm not sure how to describe). I experience a mild visual hallucination consisting of a swirly, amorphous faintly yellowish blob (which I also see some times when I'm near sleep).

What I don't see, however, is any sort of mood effects, pain relief, changes in outlook of life, astral projection, vivid hallucinations, increase in penis length, or anything else the mumbo jumbo mongers claim it will induce.
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