Archive for 'Brainwave Entrainment (BWE)'

New Study Points to Significant Relationship Between Brainwave Entrainment and Heart Rate Variability

Over the past year, Dr. Elio Conte and a team of researchers from the University of Bari in Italy have been conducting a study using Neuro-Programmer 3. Their work ultimately led to the finding of a statistically significant relationship between alpha brain wave entrainment and enhanced heart rate variability. In September 2013, their work was accepted after peer review, and published in the World Journal of Neuroscience. Because of the tremendous importance of HRV, and the scarcity of known HRV interventions, this research is incredibly exciting.

The study focused on ten subjects, 4 males and 6 females, 28 – 62 years old, ascertained to be in healthy condition. For each subject, the research team first took HRV measurements during 5 minutes at rest, in complete quiet and with the patient in a comfortable position. Then, each subject listened to 20 minutes of alpha stimulation (at 8 – 10 Hz), generated by Neuro-Programmer 3.

The research team then compared the average total HRV experienced by subjects during the at rest state to that experienced during the alpha stimulation, and noted an increase for each subject in total variability, ranging from a 20% to a 68% improvement.

We’ve created a new page on our site to better explain the importance of HRV, and why this research could be so significant. We link to the full text of the study from that page as well. You can find all of that information at this link:

Research in focus: “Alpha-rhythm stimulation using brain entrainment enhances heart rate variability in subjects with reduced HRV”

Binaural Beats Reduce Patient Anxiety During Cataract Surgery

Researchers at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, led by Dr. Pornpattana Vichitvejpaisal, M.D., have found that patients listening to binaural beats during surgery experienced lower heart rates and decreased anxiety throughout the procedure. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly required surgical procedures in the USA, and it is often performed with only local anesthesia, meaning the patient is awake while the surgery is being conducted. That last fact makes it quite clear why anxiety can be an issue for many of the patients who undergo this procedure.

The findings were presented this month at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I had the chance to discuss this study with the lead researcher, Dr. Vichitvejpaisal, who generously offered his time to answer a few questions and provide additional details about the use of binaural beats in this experiment.

Here’s what Dr. Vichitvejpaisal had to say about the protocol and session configuration used for this study:

“We created binaural beats with a frequency of 20 Hz (EEG: beta wave, for normal activity or anxiety) in the first 5 minutes.

The binaural beat frequency was set to decline gradually to the therapeutic frequency of 10 Hz (EEG: alpha wave, for relaxation) within the following 5 minutes and be sustained for the remaining 50 minutes to ensure enough operative time.

Musical arrangements with relaxing components of melodies, tones and rhythms with a 60-minute duration were embedded with the binaural beats. Natural sounds such as waterfalls, birds, ocean, river and forest sounds were also inserted.”

The study included 141 people, who were split up into groups of 47 each. One group listened to the binaural beats combined with music and nature sounds, the second group listened only to the music with the natural noises, and the third group didn’t listen to anything at all.

The result of the experiment was that the binaural beats group experienced significant reductions in heart rate, systolic blood pressure and anxiety, compared to the control group that did not listen to anything. The patient’s anxiety was measured by the STAI (State Trait Anxiety Inventory), which is a standard and widely used test in the field.

To the team here at Transparent, one of the most exciting aspects of this research is the use of a control group listening to only music, without the binaural beats. Other significant studies have used this control method as well, and it’s a great test to further validate the brainwave entrainment effect as being separate from the neurological results of simply listening to relaxing music.

Those in the group receiving binaural beat stimulation showed the largest reduction in heart rate and anxiety levels, compared to both the control group and the group who listened to music without binaural beats.

Dr. Vichitvejpaisal does have goals to complete even more research in this area, he explained, “we plan to conduct this research on more operative surgery that causes anxiety, or long time operative surgery, to evaluate more effects of the binaural beat.”

That’s good news for the entire field, and we’re looking forward to the results of any future research ventures from this team.

Medical Xpress reported this anecdote about the experience of one patient during the study:

“Dr. Vichitvejpaisal referenced one of his study participants who reported that during her first cataract surgery, she was afraid from the moment she entered the surgical suite. Though she’d been told it wouldn’t take long, the surgery seemed to drag on endlessly. Receiving sound therapy during her second surgery dramatically changed her experience from start to finish. She said that she felt very little anxiety, and that the surgery was over before she knew it.”

If you’d like to try a binaural beat/brainwave entrainment session, Neuro-Programmer 3 is a great place to start.

Neuro-Programmer 3 release!

We are proud to introduce the long-awaited Neuro-Programmer 3!

In the last five years since the release of version 2, we have invested heavily into research to improve the neural stimulation and overall effectiveness of the program. We have also been collecting input from our customers on how to increase usability and enhance the user experience.

This release adds an array of new and exciting features, making Neuro-Programmer more powerful, usable and more effective than ever before.

Here are a few of the new features available in NP3:

– Improved sessions and neural stimulation methods

– Biofeedback-optimized neural stimulation

– Export to MP3 or OGG

– Reverberation / Echo effects

– Pitch / tempo effects

– Volume normalization

– Visual plugins and enhanced screen flashing

– ALL sessions are now editable

– Improved recording and hypnosis scripting tools

– New layout, wizards and overall enhanced user experience

Try it out for yourself today! Explore the website for more information:

What’s new

Purchase

Screenshots

Video Tutorials

Upgrade from version 2

Enjoy!

Alpha frequencies and hallucinations

Mind Hacks has a great write-up about the Dream Machine, one of the original mind machines, and its use for inducing visual hallucinations:

http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2009/09/from_stroboscope_to_.html

What Gamma Can Do For You

For a long time neuroscientists have shown work from poor unsuspecting birds and cats that there are specific critical periods in development important for a functional visual system or a species-appropriate bird song. In humans there have been a few unfortunate cases of horrific neglect of children (i.e. Genie) that have likely been responsible for profound intellectual deficits, which have been informative to scientists interested in the consequences of depravation during the early years. But scientists have not been able to conduct a formal and yet ethical scientific experiment to measure the relationship between a critical period and its function in humans until now, thanks to the ability to measure gamma.

On Oct 21st, the Science Daily featured an article on the exploration of the critical period for language development and other skills in toddlers by measuring their gamma waves on the EEG. The time period between 16 to 36 months is a time of tremendous language growth in humans, where their vocabulary typically expands from about 100 to 1000 words. Dr. April Benasich from Rutgers University in Newark, measured gamma activity in the frontal cortex of toddlers (16, 24 and 36 months) while they sat on a parent’s lap and quietly played. Gamma power (which is determined by the amount of synchronous gamma firing) was associated with language development, cognitive skills, behavior and impulse control. The more advanced a child’s language or cognitive skills, the more gamma power that child showed. And as expected, children who’s parents had a history of language impairments showed lower gamma power.

This new finding is consistent with what is already known about gamma in adults and from work in animals. Gamma heightens during the processing of linguistic information, during the formation of ideas and memories and during other abilities. Furthermore, gamma fires between 2 regions of the brain during associative learning, when a new concept is linked to one already known.

Low gamma coherence within different hemispheres is associated with ADD and learning disabilities. In fact Dr. C. Njiokiktjien from the Amsterdam, Netherlands compared intrahemispheric coherences of various frequencies (including gamma) of children with non-verbal vs. verbal learning disabilities(1). Their results suggested that children with non-verbal learning disabilities had less connectivity in the right hemisphere, which is consistent with the idea that it’s the right hemisphere that manages spatial skills, as well as other non-verbal tasks.

Dr. Hermann from Magdeburg University in Germany presents a model of gamma based on its power under various psychiatric conditions(2). Too much gamma firing is associated with ADHD, positive associations in Schizophrenia (i.e. hallucinations) and epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease, negative symptoms of Schizophrenia (i.e. blunt or flat affects) are associated with too little gamma.

So can we benefit from using brainwave entrainment to help us enter gamma states? Or are there risks associated with having more gamma power?

Dr. R. Olmstead, a clinical psychologist from Sunrise, FL, found benefits with gamma training in children with non-verbal learning disabilities, ages 6-16(3). She exposed them to 35 min brainwave entrainment sessions twice a week for 6 weeks. The sessions alternated between excitatory sessions (increasing from 14 (beta) to 40 (gamma) Hz), and inhibitory sessions (decreasing from 40 to 14 Hz). She found that her training enhanced various non-verbal cognitive abilities such as processing speed, freedom from distractibility, arithmetic and coding.

But what about the rest of us?

I think there is good reason to hypothesize that gamma training might also benefit many with other learning disabilities as well. But I am concerned about the fact that ADHD is associated with too much gamma firing. Thus if you have a learning disability and ADHD, or just ADHD alone, or even if you didn’t have any signs of ADHD, would gamma training enhance your distractibility or impulsiveness? 

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research done to answer these questions at this point. However, there is good news. Brainwave entrainment for most of the population is a very gentle stimulus, and it takes time for cognitive benefits to take effect. Thus training with gamma (or any other stimulus) is done slowly. All such training should be conducted mindfully, and if you start to develop any unwanted symptoms, you can simply stop your training, and the effects will likely to go away. The higher the gamma power, the more severe the symptoms, so ignoring milder unwanted side effects could be dangerous.

The study by Olmstead might also be a good example as to how to safely train gamma. She trained students to progress into gamma with the excitatory protocol, and to leave gamma and return to beta in the inhibitory protocol. I would imagine that such training is good for leading our brains in and out of gamma as needed. And thus it might be teaching our brains to self regulate.

Nevertheless, there is an element of adventure in using gamma to potentially enhance your cognitive skills, and if the idea makes you queasy, I’d stand back and wait for more research to be done.

References:
1 Njiokiktjien C, de Rijke W, Jonkman EJ. Children with non-verbal learning disabilities (NLD): coherence values in the resting state may reflect hypofunctional long distance connections in the right hemisphere. Fiziologiia cheloveka. 2001; 27: 17-22.
2 Herrmann CS, Demiralp T. Human EEG gamma oscillations in neuropsychiatric disorders. Clin Neurophysiol. 2005; 116: 2719-33.
3 Olmstead R. Use of Auditory and Visual Stimulation to Improve Cognitive Abilities in Learning-Disabled Children. Journal of Neurotherapy. 2005; 9: 49-61.

New study on Brainwave Entrainment (By Dr. Huang)

I’m pleased to announce the publication of “A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment” in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine this month. This paper is the most comprehensive review of peer reviewed research in the subject, and was written in order to inform those within and the beyond the field of brainwave entrainment (BWE), and to provide sufficient background for future research.

Most of the research known to date has been summarized by David Siever in two unpublished manuscripts that he sells and distributes. They contain much valuable information about the history of BWE, both published and unpublished studies and proposed mechanisms of action. However, despite their length, they do not provide a complete listing of the peer reviewed literature, nor have his manuscripts faced the scientific scrutiny that comes with publishing in a peer reviewed journal. In fact, in our comprehensive search, we found articles that have never before been mentioned by those in the brainwave entrainment development and scientific community. Why? Believe it or not, the problem is in the inconsistency in terminology used to describe BWE. The term, BWE, until today, cannot be found in the scientific literature. Instead it is referred to as audiovisual stimulation, photic stimulation, photic driving, auditory entrainment, etc, etc. In all I did a search using 31 different terms to look for articles on brainwave entrainment, which returned 27,830 articles using Ovid (1 out of the 4 databases I used to do the search). Only a very small handful of these turned out to be articles on BWE. Thus much of the credit needs to go to my bosses at Transparent Corporation, who gave me the time to do this exhaustive, time consuming, and yet important work.

I looked for papers with psychological terms that described outcomes that I’d seen associated with BWE on the web, in conferences and in the published and unpublished literature. After combining the two searches, and screening for those that were indeed articles addressing psychological outcomes of BWE, and those that passed some basic scientific criteria, we ended up with just 20 articles.

The psychological effects that had been examined in relation to BWE included cognitive functioning (we divided it into verbal, non-verbal, memory, attention and overall intelligence), stress (long and short-term), pain, headache/migraines, mood, behavior and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). When two or more studies had examined similar outcomes, we placed them into tables for greater comparability. Thus we had five tables divided by cognitive functioning, stress, pain, headaches/migraines and mood. Studies used a variety of different frequency protocols and stimulation methods which are outlined in the tables.

Out of the 20 studies, 17 were actually developed to support or confirm a hypothesis, and of these, all found a positive effect in at least one outcome. And in each outcome mentioned, at least one study had a positive finding. What was remarkable was that for some outcomes, only one of several protocols had a positive effect, while others were improved by a variety of different protocols. The most consistent positive findings were found in attention (4/4 studies), pain (3/3 studies) and headache/migraines (3/3). While positive effects were found in all other outcomes examined except for mood, either fewer studies had been conducted or a smaller percentage of the protocols examined were effective. Mood was examined in the 3 studies where the effects of theta were examined on a variety of outcomes. So we believe that the ability of brainwave entrainment to positively effect mood has not been properly tested in the peer reviewed literature.

Overall, we conclude that brainwave entrainment shows real potential to positively affect psychological outcomes. However, more and bigger studies need to be done, using additional outcomes and outcomes already examined. We hope that we’ve provided the necessary background to inspire future research and collaboration, so that the field of brainwave entrainment can gain recognition and momentum in the scientific literature.

To view a copy of this article, visit:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/research/

Tina L. Huang, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Transparent Corporation

Brainwave Entrainment And Depression

Depression is one of the main reasons I became interested in developing brainwave entrainment software. The first system I designed had a depression session I used to wean off of high doses of antidepressants. So, when new depression research surfaces, as it did late last year, I just can’t wait to get my hands on it.

First, some thoughts on depression and BWE.

Many BWE sessions for depression owe their success to the studies on Neurofeedback, which has identified some key neural characteristics of chronically depressed people. The depressed brain seems to exhibit lower overall brainwave amplitudes, and seems particularly deficient in the beta range. Alpha also seems overly abundant frontally, in the left hemisphere, and deficient in the right. You could say that the right hemisphere, which tends to be loosely associated with emotions, needs to be calmed down, while the left hemisphere, loosely associated with logic and rational thinking, needs to be stimulated into taking a more dominant role.

For people who are or have been chronically depressed, this may sound more than a little bit familiar. Rational thoughts play no part in depression. When asked why you are depressed, there really is no good excuse.

Based on the results of these EEG tests, brainwave entrainment sessions for depression were developed to stimulate beta. In some cases, alpha is sent to the right hemisphere to calm it down, while beta is sent to the left to perk it up. This is the type of session I used for myself.

In a study on Seasonal Affective Disorder (essentially, seasonal depression), Kathy Berg and David Siever used beta stimulation to raise 85% of the subjects out of depression. Anxiety and over-eating decreased. Motivation even increased. Siever has told me that more studies on depression are in the pipeline, waiting to be published.

I’ve also seen Gamma sessions used successfully for this purpose. The energizing effect alone is very beneficial to depressed individuals, who often feel as though they are “sleep walking” through life.

The latest study, which I’m going to discuss in a moment, also used beta, and reported some really extraordinary results as well.

However, depression is a broad topic. It obviously isn’t limited to people with low beta waves or frontal alpha asymmetries. Everyone gets depressed. Every few weeks I get an email from a user who used the depression session after having a bad day, or a bad week, and unfortunately most of the time a beta session just doesn’t work for them. This is not unexpected, since depression sessions are designed for the chronically depressed, not to help lighten the mood on a dreary day.

For melancholy caused by the everyday trials of human life, a pleasant relaxation session tends to work better. And there is some research to support this as well. Dr. Norman Shealy examined the effect of 30 minutes of 10 Hz stimulation, and found that it was enough to lift 60% of his subjects out of depression. He also noted an increase in serotonin levels.

High stress levels, anxiety and insomnia can also be the cause of depression. For these causes, even theta can be very helpful. But be cautious when dealing with slower frequencies, particularly theta and delta. Two separate studies (Lane, 1998, Wahbeh, 2007) found that theta and/or delta could actually increase depression scores (using the POMS, Profile of Mood States, test). Interestingly, the Lane study also showed that beta decreased those same depression scores.

Now to the new research.

Late last year,David Cantor, Ph.D. released some of the details of a new brainwave entrainment study on depression at the annual conference of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society.

He used 14 Hz stimulation daily for 4 weeks, using pulsing tones and LED glasses.

Here are the results:

After 4 weeks, [Beck Depression Inventory] testing revealed “a huge drop” in self-reported depression scores in the treatment group, compared with no change in the untreated group, said Dr. Cantor.

QEEG testing also showed neurophysiologic changes in the treated patients (but not the untreated group) that corresponded to their reports of improved mood. “The QEEG changes we saw were noted in the frontal regions of the brain that have been shown by other studies to be involved in mood regulation,” he said.

The groups were then crossed over, so that the untreated group received treatment and vice versa for another 4 weeks. Similar results were noted in the newly treated group, but the group that had received the first phase of treatment showed a sustained effect of treatment, both behaviorally and neurophysiologically, even after 4 weeks of discontinuation. “That is suggestive of an enduring effect of the therapy,” Dr. Cantor said.

“To our knowledge, this may be one of the first studies that shows, in a crossover design, that audiovisual entrainment produces changes in brain function in particular regions that are involved in mood regulation,”

I find it particularly exciting that the effect lasted even after stimulation was discontinued. I can relate this to my own experience. I haven’t had to use the depression session hardly at all after the initial couple months of daily training.

There has been some debate over the years about whether the results of entrainment can become permanent. Some neurofeedback books I’ve read have adamantly claimed that it can’t, yet a growing body of evidence and follow-ups are starting to prove otherwise. Brainwave entrainment seems to increase the “flexibility” of the brain, or the ability to switch between one state and the next. For ADD and general cognition, research has shown the effects to be very long-lasting, and now perhaps we will start seeing similar results for other problems such as depression.

Here is an article on Cantor’s work if you’re interested: http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/172316583.html

The Mind WorkStation release

A couple months ago I was browsing through some old posts on the forum and I found one from September of 2006 where I talked about an application that was going to be in beta testing in “a couple months”. How’s that for an off estimate?

After two years of research and development, Mind WorkStation was finally released on Monday. We celebrated with a pizza party.

A huge amount of work went into this. This is the seventh software product we’ve released, and by far the most ambitious and complex. All through the development, release and support of the other products I’ve been taking notes about what users want to be able to do, what research needs to be done and what problems are encountered. So, in this application we had a very large to-do list. And all throughout development we were working very closely with other researchers, developers, AVS manufacturers, EEG and biofeedback vendors.

Dr. Huang’s new research played a big part in constructing the sessions that come with it. For example, we have been able to separate sessions into verbal vs non-verbal skills improvement. A session for memory has been developed, based on some very promising studies. There are also more fascinating sessions included, such as a migraine session using alternating-eye photic stimulation at 30 Hz, or a muscle contraction headache session randomly stimulating 1-3 Hz. Another even more successful migraine session uses frequencies chosen by the user based on comfort, instead of using a set protocol!

The idea of self-chosen frequencies is very interesting, especially when dealing with a large frequency range and people who have no experience with brainwave entrainment. Some choose gamma, others choose theta, others choose delta, and so on. Yet, at least with migraines, all appeared to benefit the user tremendously.

Michael Hutchison wrote that people have a subjective feeling of “connectedness” to a frequency when they are being entrained to it successfully. Perhaps this subjective feeling has a part to play in the success of self-chosen frequencies. I’ve written many times about how different everyone’s response is to brainwave entrainment. One person may respond very well to 8 Hz but not to 10. Or to 5 Hz but not to 7. EEG research has yielded some intriguing insights into why this is.

Brainwave entrainment occurs best at one’s natural dominant frequencies. In fact, the more dominant the frequency is (the higher the amplitude), the narrower the range a person can entrain to. Someone with a very high dominant 10 Hz frequency, may not be able to entrain at all to 7 Hz.

This is where EEG-Driven stimulation becomes very useful. It is a simple thing to discover a person’s dominant frequency in any frequency band, and that data can then be transferred in real-time to Mind WorkStation to be converted into audio/visual stimuli. We worked with the fine people at Thought Technology to develop a number of EEG protocols that do this. I also developed similar protocols in BioExplorer as well, so our EEG customers can do the same. The EEG-driven sessions I’ve tried so far have been nothing short of amazing.

The response to Mind WorkStation so far has been very positive. It is already being put to use developing sessions for clinics, nursing homes, ADD kids and more. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with it. We purposefully designed it to be as flexible as possible, so I fully expect to see it used in ways I could never have imagined. In the end, that’s the point; to make research and development in this industry easy.

Before I get back to regular blogging, I thought I would use this space to share some cool Mind WorkStation features.

Waveform Ramping

In Mind WorkStation waveforms can be “morphed” into each other over time. For example, you could start with an isochronic beat, and slowly morph it into a sine wave:

Here is an animation showing what happens to the sound over time:

-

3D Audio Positioning

This allows you to position audio in 3D space. Take a listen to the results with a relaxation script read by Max, along with some other relaxing sounds. Listen with headphones if possible.

 3D sound sample.mp3

Ambience Generator

The ambience feature randomly generates sound, reducing habituation by creating a different experience every time.

Random ThunderStorm.mp3

Random Forest.mp3

Those are three neat features I like to show off, but there is a lot more to the program. Biofeedback integration, playlists, entrainment-safe audio effects, filtering methods, new stimulation techniques, and so on. Visit the below links if you’re interested in learning more:

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/overview.php

http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/features.php

Better yet, download it and try it out for yourself! http://www.transparentcorp.com/products/mindws/download.php

Regular posting will resume soon. A lot has happened in the entrainment and neuroscience world in the past few months, I just haven’t had time to write about it. :)

The ideal tempo of music, and how we perceive it

Cognitive Daily has an interesting series of posts on tempo and how it is detected. Since tempo is a relevant topic here, I thought I would pass it along.

Here are some excerpts:

They took 23 Scottish fiddle songs and played them on a synthesizer as marked in their musical scores. They then artificially slowed and speeded each tune’s tempo by 10, 20, and 30 beats per minute. Student volunteers listened to each song, as well as the original version, in random order (so they weren’t listening to the same song over and over again). They were simply asked if the song sounded too slow or too fast.

… 

An analysis of the measurable musical features of the songs found that most features (for example, whether the music was in a major or minor key) bore no significant relationship to the ideal tempo of the song. The only feature that did correlate significantly was the number of descending intervals, which correlated with tempo at r = 0.49.

So how is the optimal tempo picked?

Do we have an internal clock that runs at 100 beats per minute? Quinn and Watt’s results suggest that if we do, we don’t apply it willy-nilly to every song we hear. Instead, something about content of the songs suggests an appropriate tempo. While their research doesn’t give us a definitive answer as to what that tempo might be, they do have some hunches. If a song has many “strong” events — events that vary simultaneously across several musical dimensions — then the authors suggest that these sorts of songs might be preferred at a slow tempo, compared to songs filled with weak events. Listeners want to savor those nuances, and can only do so when the song is played slowly enough.

While the makeup of an ideal tempo is still being investigated, it is clear that people are extremely accurate at remembering tempo and detecting tempo changes, but only within certain parameters.  From personal experience, I know that extending a tempo change over 5 or 6 minutes can make it barely noticeable. This is one feature of an effective relaxation session, where easily detectable changes in tempo can act to keep the listener too engaged to relax or sleep.

However, in some cases tempo changes are used in the middle of a session to keep the user awake. This is a common practice for the middle of theta sessions, where many people find themselves dozing off. Modulating the tempo up and down within the theta range is a good way to keep the listener conscious, but still relaxed.

Here are the links to the Cognitive Daily posts. As usual, they have uploaded some online tests to replicate the results of the studies. Try them out for yourself:

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/01/some_insight_into_how_we_decid.php
http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/01/one_more_try_with_the_internal.php
http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/01/correction.php

A year of research and development. Dr. Huang’s work, Mind WorkStation and more.

From an outside perspective, 2007 has been a quiet year. We’ve been focused so much on research and development that we’ve neglected to release any new products.

Behind the scenes, it has been our busiest year to date.

At the beginning of 2007, we were preparing for the Windows Vista launch, making sure our products were compatible. Additionally, we attended a conference where Dr. Huang (Tina) presented her findings for the first time.

Tina has been continuing to work very hard on her study, along with psychology professor Christine Charyton, PhD. We’ve had a lot of emails asking what is taking so long. Research takes a while. If you want a paper to pass peer review, get published in a reputable journal, and have a big impact, it has to be well written and based on solid science. It is a slow, laborious and expensive process.

But this study is worth it. It is packed with useful information. The effects of brainwave entrainment (BWE) on a variety of tests have been analyzed, yielding some very interesting results and answering some important questions. Which protocols affect verbal performance over non-verbal? Which protocols are best for certain types of memory – auditory, visual, sequential, and so on? Which protocols enhance immediate recall, and which reduce it? What types of headaches can be relieved using BWE? (muscle contraction, sinusitis, migraine, etc).  What protocols have the greatest effect on attention, impulsivity, distractibility, and so on? I found one instance particularly fascinating, where there was an improvement in anger control but no effect on aggressiveness!

This is vital information that will advance the effectiveness of all BWE products in the future.

It is important to note that not only were positive results analyzed, but also negative results and studies that you will never find in marketing material or even in most books on this subject. Just as it is essential to know which protocols work for a certain condition, we feel that it is perhaps more crucial to know what protocols don’t work as intended, and could act contrary to the goal of the session.

I’m happy to report that earlier this month Tina’s paper was accepted into a prestigious peer reviewed journal with a great reputation. I will give you the details of it’s publication date as soon as I can. It is up to the journal as to when it is published, and I don’t want to step on any toes by releasing too much information too soon.

Tina and I both believe this study will be a major milestone for this field. There has never been a more comprehensive review than this, and it will draw a lot of attention to this technology. Years from now you will see this study quoted in nearly every book and subsequent study on entrainment that is released.

Along with research, we’ve also been working on development. Mind WorkStation is our latest upcoming project. I admit that I expected to have it out by now, having released the beta version in the summer. What’s the hold up? There is a lot in MWS that is completely new. There are parts of it I have been working many years perfecting. I’ve also had to work very closely with others in the field to implement many of the features, such as linking up with biofeedback and EEG hardware. One of the major goals in the creation of MWS is to inspire research. Up until this, it has simply been too difficult and expensive to experiment in this field. It usually involved building a separate device or programming something from the ground up. In MWS, there’s not a whole lot you can’t do. It is built for flexibility. For what you can’t do with the built in features, we’ve implemented a plugin interface that makes it pretty easy for programmers to interact with the application, without having to worry about signal processing or connecting to the myriad of hardware devices on the market. MWS does all that for you. With the help of our beta testers, I think we’ve nailed down a pretty slick and intuitive interface as well.

We’re just finishing it up now and expect to release it in January ’08.

Finally, throughout the year I’ve been working closely with our partners and others in the industry. They are all as busy as we are, researching, developing. Some truly fantastic hardware advances are expected early next year, and we’ve helped develop some of them.

2008 will be an incredibly exciting year for this industry.

Until then, have a happy new year everyone. Cynthia and I are ringing in the new year with sushi and Karaoke!