At the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviours is the communication between neurons within our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronised electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other, which can then be detected using sensors placed on the scalp. They are divided into bandwidths to describe their functions, but are best thought of as a continuous spectrum of consciousness; from slow, loud and functional – to fast, subtle, and complex.
Our brainwaves change according to what we are doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant we feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy. The higher frequencies are dominant when we feel wired, or hyper-alert. The descriptions that follow are only broad descriptions – in practice things are far more complex, and brainwaves reflect different aspects when they occur in different locations in the brain.
Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (cycles per second) and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves. They are broadly classified into 5 types of brain waves as illustrated in the chart below:
Beta brainwaves (12-25Hz) dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity.
Alpha brainwaves (8-12Hz) are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
Theta brainwaves (4-8Hz) occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness.
Delta brainwaves (0.5-4Hz) are slow, loud brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.
Gamma brainwaves (>25Hz) are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. It is the most subtle of the brainwave frequencies.
Our brainwave profile and our daily experience of the world are inseparable. When our brainwaves are out of balance, there will be corresponding problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health. Research has identified brainwave patterns associated with all sorts of emotional and neurological conditions.
Over-arousal in certain brain areas is linked with anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, impulsive behaviour, anger/aggression, agitated depression, chronic nerve pain and spasticity. Under-arousal in certain brain areas leads to some types of depression, attention deficit, chronic pain and insomnia. A combination of under-arousal and over-arousal is seen in cases of anxiety, depression and ADHD. Instabilities in brain rhythms correlate with tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggressive behaviour, rage, bruxism, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, migraines, narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleep apnea, vertigo, tinnitus, anorexia/bulimia, PMT, diabetes, hypoglycaemia and explosive behaviour.
Brain wave patterns could be modified by chemical interventions such as medications or recreational drugs as the most common methods to alter brain function. Other alternative methods have been proposed and tested over the years. More established research encompasses the fields of brain entrainment, music therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
The approach adopted by Neuro Code provides a method for development of mental wellness enhancement waves combining music therapy and brain oscillation through low frequency waves.
The illustration below shows the components of Neuro Soundwave and its typical applications.
The method of creating Neuro Soundwave is outlined in the following steps in sequence:
- To generate a sine wave with frequencies starting from the β (Beta) wave frequency (12-30 Hz) and decrease gradually to the frequency of the δ (Delta) wave at (0.5-4 Hz). As the frequency reduces, the amplitude decreases accordingly.
- The sine wave selected in step (1) is decomposed into N harmonics by Fast Fourier Transformation algorithm, where N> 5.Any waveform can be decomposed into an infinite series of sine waves added together. This is called Fourier transform.
- Select M harmonics from N harmonics and integrate these M harmonics into one sound wave by using a fixed waveform generator, where M> 2.
- Through the music synthesizer and using the FM music synthesis method, the integrated sound wave and the synchronized music are superposed and synthesized. The result is music embedded with Neuro Soundwave that helps sleep.