Binaural Beats the True Scientific Results

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I am frequently looking into various medications, technologies, and research with an eye on self-improvement.  Frankly, there isn’t much wrong with me, so generally, I go looking for something that might be a little extra bonus.  There isn’t much out there for that.

Recently I came across something called binaural beats which are two different beats, or sounds, played simultaneously to each ear that differ in frequency by some amount.  The theory is that the brain perceives this stimulus in a specific manner and that this brain response can be used to create or improve certain mood states.  Some sites claim an ability to mimic illegal drug affects by essentially making your brain feel like it is on cocaine through these beats.  Less far-fetched claims include the ability to sleep better, improve mood, and give you more energy and alertness.

A quick Google search turns up two red flags.  Red flag number one is that the only sites popping up are those from ardent proponents who are, of course, selling the secret to these beats.  Red flag number two is that the Wikipedia entry is littered with those this section needs actual data type messages.

In cases like these, I turn to PubMed, the government’s online database of published research studies.  At PubMed you can read the actual research and not just the pull quotes supporters use to make it sound like their science is a foregone conclusion.

It didn’t take long to find a slew of “No effect” conclusions from the research studies undertaken.  This is where the pushers jump in with their “Yeah, but…”.  Ironically, the “Yeah, but…” to everyone of their points is, “Yeah, but, no one actually has even the slightest proof that what you are saying is true, except for one scientist whose research is at least fifty years old.”

The newer and more current the research gets (the better the technology and methodology used) the worse the results get.

The real shocker about these beats was this binaural beat technology research study which found that there was an increase in depression and worse memory recall after using the binaural beats.  Yikes!

I guess you can tell, this one is not something I’ll be getting into.

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One thought on “Binaural Beats the True Scientific Results”

  1. renegate says:

    to be fair
    the negative study mentioned was just a pilot study on 4 people
    -> sample too small to conclude anything.

    My personnel experience:
    binaural beats induce a similar feeling than regular mindfulness meditation (for me)
    however the calming effect subsides with in minutes, while regular meditation keeps me clam for the entire day

    learning how to meditate is very hard, it took me 4 years
    to become proficient in it. It’s so worth it!

    listening to binaural beats is not the same as meditating
    i had no ill effects from listening to binaural beats (tried it for a month before switching to regular meditation)

    i recommend mindfulness mediation,
    without any of the mystical nonsense
    (don’t fall for gurus like Depak Chopra )

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