Tom Kenyon is a researcher, a therapist, a musician,
sound healer and teacher. For over twenty years his research group,
Acoustic Brain Research, has been a leader in the field of
psycho-acoustics and the use of sound and music to access the creative
abilities of the brain and mind. The ABR Library has both science and a
proven track record behind it and is in use by therapists, clinicians and
by laypersons all over the world.
Important Note: ABR tapes are designed for the purpose
of education and self-exploration only.
ABR’s psychoacoustic technology is based on the use of
complex tonal matrices in which various sound patterns are mixed to
stimulate the brain/mind into more resourceful states. Many of these tones
are mixed beneath the level of audible hearing, masked by other sounds,
and sometimes music, specifically composed for the desired mental/
Tom Kenyon’s ABR tapes and CDs also take advantage of
“BioPulse Technology” in which specific tones, known to affect brain
state, are mixed into the tonal matrix. Research indicates that such
frequencies can significantly alter awareness.
These primary categories are:
(0.5 -–4 HZ). Associated with deep levels of relaxation such as sleep
theta (4 -–8HZ). Associated with tranquil states of
awareness in which vivid internal imagery can often occur
alpha (8- 12 HZ). Relaxed nervous system, ideal for
stress management, accelerated learning and mental imagery
beta (12-30 HZ). Associated with waking/alert states of
awareness k-complex (30 -–35HZ). Clarity and sudden states of integration,
the “ah-ha experience”
super high beta (35 -–150 HZ). Psychodynamic states of
An Important Note About Research Documents
The articles, reports, and studies in this section are
being shared in the spirit of offering a free-flow of information. They
are essentially educational in nature and will hopefully give you a
glimpse into the workings of the brain in response to sound and music, as
well as an understanding of Acoustic Brain Research (ABR) psychoacoustic
But before you take a look, I feel it is imperative
that I discuss some of the basic points regarding scientific research. I
do this because, although I am offering the ABR psychoacoustic recordings
for sale, I am also a lover of the scientific method. And in case some of
you reading this aren't scientists, I feel it obligatory to cover some of
the basic principles of scientific research.
There are essentially three types of information in
science — Anecdotal reports from individuals, Pilot Studies (sometimes
called Anecdotal Studies), and Controlled Studies.
The scientific method requires quantification or a
means of measuring. It is this objective standard that is the foundation
of all scientific inquiry. Without quantification you do not have science.
The ABR Library of psychoacoustic recordings has been
out in the field being used by therapists and laypersons throughout the
world, in some cases, as long as twenty-three years (as of 2006). As a
result, their usage has generated a large amount of anecdotal reports. We
regularly get phone calls, letters and emails from people all over the
globe who say that they have been helped by ABR recordings and programs.
It is gratifying to see such accolades so often, but these reports are
anecdotal, in that they are subjective reports from individuals and there
is no quantification of data.
From the scientific perspective, anecdotal reports may
indicate an area of possible focus or attention, but these types of
information have no scientific significance. Significance in science is
based upon measurement or quantification.
The second type of information in scientific inquiry is
the Pilot Study. These studies usually involve a very small sample of
subjects (sometimes as small as one), and in such cases these studies of
one subject are often called Anecdotal Studies. There is always some form
of measurement involved, and this gives these types of studies a little
more scientific significance and credibility than anecdotal reports.
The primary method we used to research the technology
that eventually became the foundation of ABR psychoacoustic recordings was
EEG Topographical Brain Mapping. This method gives a wealth of statistical
information about brain state in the surface areas of the brain (the
neocortex). As part of this research, we often conducted small anecdotal
studies when I had developed a new aspect of psychoacoustic technology.
And that is most of what you will find in this section.
I want to be very clear here. Although Pilot Studies
offer some modicum of quantification, we would be remiss if we jumped to
conclusions, and decided that the results experienced by anyone person, or
a few persons, can be generalized to everyone. This is why the third form
of scientific research is so important-the Controlled Study. In these
types of studies, a large sample of subjects is vital. It is this sampling
of data from a large pool of subjects that allows researchers to predict
whether the same results experienced by one individual are likely to be
experienced by others.
ABR's psychoacoustic technology was developed
primarily, with a few exceptions, through a combination of clinical
observation and Pilot Studies. In other words, we studied a small sample
of subjects (via EEG) and then predicted possible effects. These effects
were then observed in a clinical setting with a much larger group of
persons-mostly in my psychotherapy office, in individual or group
sessions, and by other therapists throughout the world. It is important, I
think, to keep these distinctions in mind as you read over the studies and
comments in this section.
Psychoacoustics is a growing field of interest both by
laypersons, therapists and by medical and mental health professionals. It
is my hope that by presenting this information in a scientifically
accurate manner, this emerging technology of personal transformation will
Theoretical Constructs of ABR Technology
What is Psychoacoustics?
Psychoacoustics, a newly emerging field of human
potential technology, promises to radically affect human behavior through
its study of sound, language, and music and their effects on the
brain/mind. You will notice that we write brain/mind linked together. This
is based on Dr. Carl Pribram's view of the brain and "the mind," which is
that "the mind" is a process which runs parallel to physiological
processes within the brain. Thus it is possible to have a brain without a
mind, as in a cadaver, but it is not possible to have a mind without a
functioning brain -- at least not the way we normally think of
mental/emotional experience. (This is not to say that there may not be
some aspect of consciousness which operates independently of brain
processing, simply that brain processing is crucial to normal everyday
experience.) In the following pages we would like to introduce some of the
basic concepts in Psychoacoustics and discuss the research findings
pertinent to ABR recordings.
Sound and Music
For centuries music and sound have been used for
"healing" and transformation. From the guttural chanting of ancient
shamans to the lofty Gregorian chants of the cathedrals, sound and music
have played a central role in the culture of humanity. Only recently have
we begun to understand the physiological effects of sound and music on the
brain. In the following section we will discuss their background and
ramifications in the technology of Psychoacousatics.
We know that music can play a crucial role in brain
processing. The work of Dr. Lozanov in Bulgaria confirms this. He
discovered that music at 60 beats per minute, as used in the Largo
movements of Baroque music, increased alpha activity by 6% associated with
relaxation and decreased beta activity (normal waking state) by 6%. Pulse
slowed by an average of 4 divisions of mercury. Subjects reported a
In a study conducted by Dr. Sue Chapman at a New York
City Hospital, the response of premature infants to music was studied. One
group listened to Brahms lullaby (stringed version) six times a day, while
a control group listened to nothing. The group of infants who listened to
Brahms gained weight faster, had fewer complications and were released
from the hospital an average of a week earlier than those babies who did
not listen to Brahms.
From the perspective of Psychoacoustics it is very
clear. The architecture of the music, the rhythm and the timbre all
created changes in brain processing through stimulation of the auditory
pathways. These changes in the infants' brain processing greatly reduced
their stress levels, thereby allowing their natural "healing" abilities to
engage more efficiently than those in the control group.
The vibratory nature of sound and music creates a
language which the body and mind understand. By language we do not mean
"words," we mean "information." Indeed our word "information" comes from
the Latin stem "informare" which means form or shape. From this
perspective, music is a process of changing acoustic shapes and forms. If
you were to look at the shapes and forms made by music you would see
organic shapes reminiscent of mountains, valleys, trees, microorganisms
and galaxies. The study of the shapes created by music and sound is called
Cymatics, and has resulted primarily from the work of two men: Dr. Hans
Jenny and Dr. Guy Manners. These researchers have collected numerous
photographs of cymatic patterns which are made by sending sound vibrations
through a metal plate covered with various resonant mediums, such as iron
filings or sand. In some cases a tonoscope was used which records the
patterns electronically. These studies show that music does indeed create
a kind of language.
As with all language there is the concept of syntax.
Normally syntax is a term reserved for written or spoken speech. It refers
to the order in which words appear. If you change the order of words in a
sentence, you change the meaning. This concept can also be extended to
music. If you scramble the notes in a musical composition, you have
changed it. The order of the information (notes) in music is just as
crucial as the order of the information (words) in speech. When we think
of sound and music as a language, or sets of information, we see new
possibilities for understanding its effects on the brain/mind.
Music also has a profound impact on emotional problems
and learning difficulties, as shown by the work of
Dr. Tomatis in
France. It is quite interesting how Dr. Tomatis got involved in his work
with Sound Therapy. Somewhat early in his studies, he was called to a
Benedictine monastery outside of Paris. The monks were depressed and were
having trouble eating and sleeping. Dr. Tomatis was asked to find the
cause of their ailments.In the course of his explorations, he discovered
that the abbey had recently acquired a new abbot. The new father prided
himself on being a modern man, and considering the Gregorian chants too
medieval, he had ordered the monks to stop chanting.
Without knowing it, the abbot had taken away a primary
form of brain stimulation for the monks. When Dr. Tomatis had the abbot
reinstate the chanting, the depression lifted, and the monks were fine.
This incident led Dr. Tomatis to study the effects of sound on the brain.
In the course of his work, he discovered the effects of high frequencies
on brain processing, emotional problems and blocks to learning.
At the Beckman Research Institute in Duarte,
California, noted geneticist Dr. Ohno has ascribed musical notes to each
of the 6 amino acids that make up the DNA code. Dr.Ohno has been able to
transcribe the "music" made by the DNA helixes in living things. These
sound patterns are not random, but actually make melodies. In one of his
experiments, he transcribed the melody of a particular type of cancer. The
melody had an uncanny similarity to a piece of music written in the 17th
century—Chopin's Funeral March. Had Chopin "intuited" this melody from
The importance of sound and music on brain processing
is significant to the field of Psychoacoustics. By looking at the changes
in brain states and behaviors elicited through sound, language and music,
we can more fully understand these phenomena. Psychoacoustics is in its
infancy, and we are only now beginning to understand the precision in
which sound patterns can affect brain and cellular processes. It is an
exciting time, and ABR is committed to the scientific exploration and
understanding of Psychoacoustic theory and technology.
The use of language in ABR tapes is highly specific and
is based upon the work of Milton Erickson, M.D., and the use of
Transformational Grammar. Transformational Grammar is concerned with the
"transformations" or changes in grammar native speakers of a language make
when speaking. Transformations can facilitate altered states of awareness.
By using language within the context of this grammar,
we are able to "speak" to the unconscious mind in its own language. This
language of the unconscious mind is characterized by its use of metaphors.
Metaphors have much deeper and more global associations than cognitive
type (normal) sentences. For instance, if someone were to say to you, "I
love you," you would know what was meant. However, if a metaphor was used,
the communication would have more depth. For instance, "I love you as a
river must love the sea, rushing, pushing ever onward.... I am drawn to
you." This is the essence of poetry, and it is also a means by which we
can greatly accelerate change. Fundamental changes in behaviors and
attitudes will occur with the use of metaphors. By speaking to the
unconscious mind on its own terms, we can increase the depth of mental and
Acoustic stimulation of the brain is accomplished via
the auditory pathways which are routed into the auditory cortex. The
Reticular Activating System (RAS) is also activated through the
spinoreticular fibers located in laminae 5 through 8 of the spinal gray
matter. While the RAS is not equipped to deal with specific sensory
information, it is well suited for controlling arousal. Any strong
stimulation, such as sound, activates the RAS, thereby diffusely
activating the entire cerebral cortex, the seat of "higher" thought.
In a study released by Ted Melnechuk, Director of
Research Communications at the Institute for the Advancement of Health,
there was a direct relationship between music and the opiate-like
endorphins released by the brain. Many incidences of highly pleasurable
and "healing" experiences have been reported by the users of our
recordings. Therefore, it may be inferred, through observation, that many
of our tapes increase endorphin levels within the body. Clinical data in
support of this hypothesis is not available at this time, though studies
are presently underway.
In his book The Psychobiology of Mind-Body
Healing, Ernst Rossi, M.D., shows how language can
create specific physiological changes within the body. He suggests that
there is a structure within the brain which "translates" language into
physiological response. This structure, called the hypothalamus, is
located in the mid-lower level of the brain. It communicates via nerve
fibers with the higher cortex and the various organs and systems of the
body. When information enters the hypothalamus from the cortical areas of
the brain, the hypothalamus "transduces" the energy of the nerve impulses
from the cortex into the "language" of the body. Therefore, the use of
language in highly specific ways, as found in some ABR recordings, results
in distinct physiological responses.
Another way of viewing the effects of psychoacoustic
stimulation on brain physiology is through Pet Scans. In Pet Scans, brain
activity is measured by the consumption of glucose (a simple sugar used by
the brain for fuel). Through Pet Scans it has been shown that language
activates the left hemisphere, while music activates the right. When music
and language are combined, both hemispheres are stimulated. One of the
principles of ABR technology is that an increase in neurological activity
in the brain, increases the opportunity for change to occur.
The Neuromap is a 24 channel Electroencephalogram (EEG)
which measures brain wave activity via a microprocessor (see Brain Wave
Primer). The 24 channels of information are color coded to give a
topographic map of the brain and the various areas of brain wave activity.
The particular form of Neuromapping used by ABR was created by Dr. Ed
Wilson, M.D., at the Colorado Center for BioBehavioral Health. When the
Neuromap was used to study a subject listening to the ABR tape, Wave Form,
a radical shift of dominant alpha brain activity indicating a significant
altered state of consciousness was observed. Also noted was a powerful
increase in theta activity associated with deep states of relaxation. It
should be noted that Wave Form has been used extensively by numerous
clinicians for stress and pain management.
ABR uses a variety of sound and musical patterns
depending on the behavioral effects desired. In general, we are looking to
create brain wave states in the area of alpha and theta, and sometimes
delta. This allows the brain/mind to be more receptive to incoming
information which may or may not be expressed in the form of language.
ABR technologies rely on numerous auditory strategies
to generate specific brain wave patterning. Threshold Electronic
Pulsations (generating specific brain wave patterns by pulsing a given
frequency at the desired cycles per second), frequency modulations (in
which tones are quickly oscillated between two polarities), musical
patterning, tonal architecture and hemispheric spanning (spacing key tones
within the stereo field) are just a few of the more frequently used
devices. In addition, differential signaling is occasionally used to
affect brain entrainment. In differential signaling two different signals
are sent to the brain simultaneously. The tones are most often set in a
musical ratio, which are often associated with healing abilities.
In addition, we employ frequencies to stimulate the
sensory processing centers of the brain during crucial moments of "high
learning potential." Such frequencies may be electronically or naturally
generated. In some instances, the brain may be cross-laterally stimulated
through the right and left hemispheres to increase cerebral processing,
directing sound patterns and frequencies across the corpus collosum. These
various elements are mixed together into a tonal matrix in which many of
the sounds and frequencies are mixed subliminally (just at the threshold
of hearing). The final effect is a complex web of auditory stimulation
which maximizes brain processing and learning.
Research Data Anecdotal
We have received numerous reports from listeners of our
recordings that titles such as Wave Form produce relaxed states of
awareness. They have reported floating feelings, deep muscular relaxation,
the reduction of perceived pain, profound feelings of peace and calmness,
and pronounced increases in pleasurable states. These anecdotal reports
have been physiologically explained by studies such as the Neuromap-ping
A number of persons with chronic health problems have
reported vast improvements through use of the Psycho-Immunology series.
These patients have included persons with cancer, endocrine system
imbalances, lupus, stress fatigue syndrome, etc. It would appear that any
problem exacerbated by stress would be helped by these recordings. (This
refers to the stress patterns revealed by the anecdotal reports and by the
premises of Psychoacoustics as they apply to the Sympathetic and
Parasympathetic Nervous Systems. These are inferences and are not based,
at this time, on controlled studies.)
Author Robert Anton Wilson, reported in Magical Blend
magazine that he gave Psycho-Immunology to a movie producer under
tremendous stress. After a week of listening to the recording, the
producer said he "felt like a new man", and "as if [he] had taken a
vacation." Furthermore, Wilson reported that he found the recording more
stimulating and effective than brain machines. This is another effect
reported anecdotally from a number of listeners. Psycho-Immunology seems
to create all types of transformational experiences. Theoretically this
may be explained by the broad range of frequency stimulation as well as by
increased bodily awareness. Usage of the recordings seems to increase
sensitivity to internal sensations.
Ambient Support was originally designed for use by
students and teachers in the classroom, though it is now being used by an
increasing number of professionals to increase productivity. Anecdotal
reports have been outstanding. Dr. Gwen Moore of the Northside Learning
Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, reported that Ambient Support increased ease of
learning, reduced stress and increased motivation. In a subjective survey
of 42 graduate and undergraduate students, 90% reported reduced anxiety
and stress around learning, 87% reported less test anxiety, 85% reported
increased motivation and 84% reported improved memory. (Note that this was
not a controlled study, and the figures are not significant from a purely
scientific standpoint. They merely indicate subjective impressions, and as
such, may be highly variable.)
Physiological measurements include such things as heart
rate, blood pressure, respiration, blood chemistry, etc. PET SCANS and
EEG's have already been mentioned earlier. ABR has focused most of its
current physiological studies on the results of EEG's such as Neuromapping
and a Computer Data Retrieval System called HAL-4.
BRAIN WAVE PRIMER
The brain emits electrical potentials or patterns
throughout its entire structure. These electrical patterns or brain waves
have been clinically shown to correlate with various mental and emotional
states. The standard means for measuring brain wave activity is with an
EEG (see Brain Physiology). There are some disagreements in the field as
to where different brain states overlap, but the following schema is
generally accepted. There are six different classifications starting with
delta, the lowest level, to K-complex, the highest level.
Delta is in the 0.5 - 4.0 HZ range and it is associated
with deep sleep with no awareness of the self. However, certain
individuals with highly developed nervous systems have reported a deep
stillness and a relaxed awareness of the self while in delta. Such persons
have usually cultivated their nervous systems through such practices as
yoga, meditation, etc.
The next level of brain wave activity is theta, which
is in the 4 - 8 HZ range. Theta is associated with deep relaxation and
profound imaging experiences such as dreams, visions, etc. Furthermore,
theta is often linked with the phenomena of self-healing.
From theta we move up into alpha which is associated
with mild relaxation. Alpha is in the 8 -14 HZ range, and is often used in
such accelerated learning methods as Superlearning. In addition, alpha is
utilized in certain types of self-help methods such as cybernetics.
Beta is what we normally think of as waking state, and
is in the 14 - 23 HZ range. High beta is in the 23 - 33 HZ range and is
associated with heightened states of mental activity. K Complex is in the
33 HZ range, usually occurs in short bursts, and is associated with "aha"
experiences when there is sudden insight. Recent research indicates that
the brain may generate activity in the neocortex as high as 150 HZ. These
brain states are grouped together as high and super high beta.
By targeting certain brain states, it is possible to
greatly assist internal activities such as learning, self-healing, the
exploration of altered states, etc. While the measurement of brain
activity is of paramount importance in our grasp of neurophysiology, the
actual mental/emotional and spiritual experiences of the individual are
also crucial to our understanding of the brain/mind interface.
The following information is a very basic overview of
frequencies as the term is used in Psychoacoustics. All sound vibration is
comprised of wave patterns. The diagram below shows a typical sine wave
(which is the most common wave form used in Psychoacoustics).
A cycle is the distance between peaks.
Frequencies are usually read in cycles per second or HZ (Hertz). The
higher the frequency the higher the pitch. The normal range of hearing for
most people is in the 20 - 20,000 HZ range. A few people hear tones above
20,000 HZ, though it is very rare for someone to hear frequencies below
When frequencies are used to "entrain" the
brain into an altered state there are numerous possible strategies. An
important thing to remember is that most people cannot hear the lower
frequencies that are typical of brain wave patterning. For instance, low
alpha (with its attendant relaxation) is in the 8 - 9 HZ range, far below
the 20HZ threshold of hearing.
One way to get around this is through
Differential Signaling. In Differential Signaling two different tones are
sent to the brain. For example let us say we send 200 HZ to the left ear
and 208 HZ to the right. The difference between the signals is 8HZ which
is what the brain will "entrain" to. We also use musical ratios which have
been found to be quite effective at altering awareness.
Another strategy, more commonly used on ABR
recordings8, is to pulse low tones at specific rhythmic pulsations to
"entrain" the brain into the desired state. Thus we may pulse any given
frequency or tone at 10 cycles per second to achieve an increase in alpha
activity. An advantage to this form of entrain-ment is that a person with
ear deafness in one ear can still get the "entrainment", whereas in
Differential Signaling they would not.
In terms of brain processing and body image,
there is one aspect to frequencies of vital interest in Psychoacoustics.
By using different frequencies, it is possible to resonate different areas
of the body, thereby activating or triggering emotional/mental activity
associated with those areas. The applications to psychotherapy and
disciplines involving the body/mind interface are very exciting.
Auditory Stimulation and the Brain
The brain PET scan facsimiles below indicate that
language is processed primarily in the left hemisphere, while music is
processed in the right hemisphere of the brain.
When music, sound and language are combined, as on ABR
CDs, we are able to stimulate greater neurological activity in both brain
Glucose is the brain's primary source of energy and an
increase in glucose consumption indicates an increase in neurological
activity. The reddish areas below show the areas of highest brain activity
as measured by glucose consumption.
When the brain is exposed to language, the left
hemisphere shows greater activity, while music stimulates the right
hemisphere. When the brain hears music, sound and language combined, both
hemispheres are activated.
Alpha and Theta Response to a Programmed Auditory
Stimulus: Acoustic Brain Research Tapes and Entrainment
Bruce Harrah-Conforth, PhD Indiana University
SYNOPSIS OF STUDY
As early as 1934 Adrian and Matthews showed that the
resting rhythms of the brain could be made to assume the frequency of a
photic stimulus ("entrainment"). It was not until 1960, however, that any
similar tests using an auditory stimulus were done (Neher: 1960).
In recent years a growing number of tapes and devices
have been produced which claim to use the principle of entrainment for the
purposes of enhancing performance, stress reduction, creativity, and a
host of other byproducts.
The aim of this study was to ascertain and analyze the
efficacy of various "brain entrainment" audio tapes produced by Acoustic
Brain Research. These tapes, it is claimed, assist in stimulating alpha
and theta brain waves in test subjects by alerting the Reticular
Activating System (RAS) to incoming signals and activating the cerebral
Techniques by which ABR claims to facilitate such
changes in the brain are: Threshold Electronic Pulsations, frequency
modulations, musical patterning, tonal architecture and hemispheric
Methods and Materials
The subjects were 15 volunteers, 6 females and 9 males,
aged 25 - 38, all of whom were considered to be in good health. The test
environment consisted of having the subjects lie on a bed in a dark room,
with their eyes shut throughout the session. Three electrodes were placed
"left occipital to left parietal." A baseline reading was established with
regard to the normal relaxed state of each subject.
The subject was then equipped with a set of stereo
headphones through which four different ABR tapes were played: Sound
Meditation, Wave Form, Creativity and Intuition, and Movement with Body
Sync, as well as four tapes of pink noise not by ABR. The average time of
each tape was 20 minutes. During each session the subject's production of
Beta, Alpha, and Theta waves were monitored. Sensitivity settings during
the tests ran from 3 uvpp through 100 uvpp. Brain wave readings were also
taken at 5 minute intervals following the stimulation for a total period
of 20 minutes.
The ABR tapes used are described by ABR in the
The Wave Form tape is designed with the intent of
producing the theta state for relaxation. The tone generated is based on
the Principle of the Perfect Harmonic Fifth.
Designed to be a meditative experience the Sound
Meditation tape utilizes the Pythagorean (pure) tone, Mongolian chanting,
as well as Tibetan bowls and bells.
Creativity and Intuition
This tape utilizes complex tonal matrices and cross
lateral stimulation as well as including subliminal messages designed to
Movement with Brain Sync
ABR claims that this tape facilitates brain
synchronization and its subliminal messages aid on the clearance of
emotional energies and forgiveness. The sounds used consist of oceans,
birds, whales, and soothing music.
As expected, subjects produced a "classic" alpha
driving response when they closed their eyes, even though no auditory
stimulus was present. A baseline was then established for their resting
brain. Immediate visual and auditory indications showed that the ABR tapes
increased beta activity, decreased alpha activity, and increased theta
Influence of Pink Noise
There was no significant difference between resting
wave production and wave production under pink noise stimulation (0.05).
Influence of ABR tapes
All ABR tapes produced an initial decrease of the Alpha
band, while two ABR tapes (Sound Meditation and Wave Form) produced
increases of the Theta band.
In order to compare each subject's susceptibility to
auditory stimulation the significance of ABR stimulation was only
considered if it was more than >0.05 above the noise response. The
findings seemed to indicate a link between an altered EEG response and ABR
tapes that could not be evidenced with the pink noise alone.
Four ABR tapes were tested. All four ABR tapes produced
significant changes in the theta band in 19 out of 32 (59%) sensitivity
frequencies. Two ABR tapes succeeded in this regard more than 68% of the
test time (13 out of 16). All four ABR tapes showed alpha attenuation (20
out of 32 or 62%), and three tapes showed beta enhancement (9 out of 32 or
In comparison, the test tape, which included only pink
noise as its sound source, showed no significant theta enhancement, some
alpha enhancement (37%), and no beta change.
It is suggested that in this test with these subjects
the ABR tapes did assist in the alteration of the subjects' brain wave
Perhaps the most difficult task to undertake is to
assign psychological meaning to physiological change. Although the actual
meanings of brain waves are not understood, research has permitted a
general consensus to be adopted with regard to these states. Cade (1979),
building upon the work of Lesh (1970), was able to formulate a
relationship between objective and subjective states. His findings
indicated, and have been verified by other researchers, that various brain
wave states correspond to various psychological ones.
The beta state (13-30 Hz) corresponds to our normal
The alpha state (8-13 Hz), appears to be the equivalent
of relaxation and concentration.
Theta waves (5-7 Hz), are such that they seem to
reflect a deeply internalized state, deep relaxation, a sense of quieted
emotions, and the production of hypnogogic imagery.
Delta waves (.5-4 Hz), are those which are usually
associated with sleep or other similarly unconscious states.
The relationship of test subject's subjective reporting
of their experiences using the ABR tapes and the pink noise tapes to their
brain wave indications appears to verify the findings of researchers such
as those mentioned above.
While little relaxation occurred during the pink noise
sessions, subjects reported feeling marked changes in their bodily
sensations during the ABR Wave Form and Sound Meditation tapes. This seems
to correspond to an increased production of theta waves and an attenuation
of alpha waves experienced by subjects while using these tapes.
Among the subject's comments were such typical
descriptions as "I lost all sense of my body," "I felt like I was flying,"
"I was deeply relaxed," I felt like I was out of my body," etc. There
appeared to be no significant difference in reports by either sex or age.
If these findings are substantiated by future research,
it follows that the ABR tapes will be shown to be effective means by which
a variety of psycho-physiological conditions (stress, anxiety,
self-esteem, etc.) may be altered.
While no cause and effect is implied in this research,
the high incidence of similar reports among subjects seems to indicate
that further studies are necessary to investigate this realm.
No theories about alpha or theta activity can be
inferred from this study, but the study of ABR tapes to both subjective
and objective analysis should prove rewarding.