How Sounds Affect Our Brains

We know that some sounds (techno music comes to mind) can drive us crazy. We use soothing music to relax and distress. Music therapy is widely used to support treatment of many psychological and emotional disorders. Music and beats have very powerful effects on our mood, the way we learn and the way we express ourselves. There is an untapped potential for using sounds in the combination with new sound technological developments as a new powerful tool for the treatment of various health problems.

How it all works

Our brain has a tendency to adapt its dominant electroencephalography (EEG) frequency to that of a dominant strong external stimulus, such as sound. This is known as brain entrainment. Brainwave entrainment uses rhythmic sounds to change brainwave frequency and alter brain states. Sounds ominous, but it has been explored since the late 1800s. It is much more known to the musicologists than to the scientists and physicians. Two scientists, Dr. Tina L. Huang and Dr. Christine Charyton, published recently a review of respected scientific publications throwing more light on the potentials brain entrainment and associated technologies have for the treatment of some health issues.

The power of sound

Drs Huang and Charyton believe that standard treatment options for numerous mental or cognitive disorders are not successful with all patients. It is their conviction that brainwave entertainment can fill the gap. They support their review with the list of studies from reputable scientists and it is surprising that the findings of these scientists are not used more, as part of the standard treatment.

Where scientists are failing, money-making companies are taking advantage. A number of computer programs are available on the market, and are selling very well, which offer brainwave entrainment-based sounds to induce deep relaxation and meditative state. The reviews of users are highly promising, especially for the treatment of depression and stress.

There is a hope that the convention organized by the Association for Psychological Science held in Chicago at the end of May, on the connection between music and the brain will bring more attention to this interesting approach to treating health issues.


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