by Terrance A. Bastian
The human brain is a wondrous and complex organic computer that
governs every motion of our bodies. Within this computer there is a
virtual storm of electrical, magnetic, and chemical activity. This
storm of seeming chaotic activity is a big part of what gives us order
in our lives. Since the early 1900's doctors and scientists have been
able to look into the brain and view this activity, in hopes to
decipher why people do one thing verses another. While the doctors and
scientists were probing the regions of the brain they found out that
for the most part the activity detected was composed of many different
frequencies of rhythmic and non-rhythmic waves or pulsations ranging
from 0.2 to several hundred hertz. These pulsations were further
broken down into individual categories for easier study and for there
particular properties. These categories are the Beta, Alpha, Theta,
and Delta waves.
The first type of brain wave is the Beta wave. This wave is in
the range of approximately 10-30 hertz or pulses per second, sometimes
Beta waves are also referred to those frequencies up into the hundreds
of hertz. The mental activity normally assoiated with Beta waves is the
active awareness state that we experience from day to day at work and
play. There are many external chemicals that can be induced into the
brain to produce this state and they are known generally as stimulants.
Some of those stimulants are small amounts of alcohol, the nicotine in
cigarettes, caffeine in coffee and tea, diet pills, and aphetamines
(which are illegal).
The second type of wave and I should say the most widely known
and publicized is the Alpha wave. Most people equate this wave with
ESP, meditation, and all sorts of strange ideas. The truth is the
alpha waves account for only half the story. Alpha ranges between 7-12
hertz and is prominent during relaxation mostly with eyes closed, day
dreaming, and upon deep self-introspection. The 1960's made this
activity famous when it was found out that cannabis or marijuana, which
grew naturally, induced this state in people. Scientist have found out
that it was the chemical THC that caused this euphoric feeling by being
a substitute for the brain's natural pleasure chemicals which are
The next wave activity is the Theta region and is the least known
type outside the confines of the dream research laboratories. This
wave is in the range of 5-8 hertz and is characterized mainly with
light sleep, Rapid Eye Movement(REM) dreams, and hallucinations. The
brain uses this state to exercise itself, somewhat like working out
your muscles to make them stronger and to release overall tension. The
drugs that promote this activity are, on the whole, illegal. These
substances are in the general category of hallucinegics (LSD, Acid,
Magic mushrooms, etc...).
The fourth kind of wave and I can say a very important one is the
Delta wave. The Delta's frequency is in between 0.2 & 6 hertz
which can be as low as 1 cycle per month or even pure direct current
(DC). The outward appearance of this area is dead to the world
sleep, no dreaming, and coma occour during this state. Many people
have had more than their share to drink after work or at an office
party and had the irresistible urge to just go to sleep, or in extreme
instances just to outright pass out wherever you were. Excessive
ammounts of alchol induces the brain into the Delta state as so the
body can repair and filter out toxins and poisons within itself. The
body uses this state to put full effort to repair itself from the days
activities. Its significant to know that 2/3's of your sleep time is
taken up by this state to complete these repairs and to give the brain
time to rest. Other chemicals that induce this Delta state are known
as downers, things like sleeping pills, aspirin, muscle relaxants, and
barbiturates. All these chemicals can be very dangerous if taken in
excessive amounts which causes the brain and body to totally relax into
Out of all the different types of brain waves there is a very
interesting range called the Alpha-Theta border. I've already
mentioned that the Alpha was half the story, well the Theta wave is the
other half of a state of mind that brings about creativity,
intelligence, and a host of other abilities the brain is capable of
doing when properly stimulated. It is a state where the central
nervous system reduces input from the peripheral nervous system.
The lowering of sensory input serves to normally protect the
central nervous system from sensory overload caused by stress or
physical damage. Without these outside functions for the brain to
control the brain expands its functioning powers. The normally
unused portion of the brain becomes active and performs at maximum
capacity. This range is between 7-8 hertz and this is not so surprising
when you learn that the resonant frequency of the earth and ionosphere
is approximately 7.5 hertz. Our brains evolved within this dynamic
field and used it as a standard to function on. The mind experences
the body in a half-in half-out state of sleep or detachment. The
feeling is of being concious of all things around you but the body
being in deep relaxation. Many cultures discovered this and the
methods to achieve this state naturally and artificially. Many of the
worlds religions were founded on reaching this state and devised strict
disciplines to do so. The Alpha-Theta range occurs during reverie,
hypnogoic imagery, meditation, and by self-hypnosis. The drugs that
achieve this state are controlled use of cannabis and hallucinegics.
Science and medicine have devised several ways to monitor brain
waves. The main methods are the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the
magnetoencephalogram (MEG). The EEG measures the electrical potentials
on the surface of the scalp or at times on the surface of the brains
cortex. The EEG has many drawbacks in that it measures the average
frequencies in the brain. The electrodes are separated from the brain
for the most part by the thick barrier of the skull. This is like a
scientist in a good year blimp flying over a football game: he could
hear the crowd roar but thats about it.
The MEG senses and records the subtle magnetic fields generated
by the brain. This is difficult because each neuro cell "talks" to
one another in the brain through electrical signals that generate weak
magnetic fields, about one billionth the strength of the earths field.
But by using the new superconducting technology the problem is being
rapidly done away with, more and more sensitive magnetic sensing coils
are being made. Using a superconducting neuromagnetometer placed
near a persons head, like an antenna, it picks up the magnetic field
emerging from the brain. This information is sent to a computer and a
accurate map of the brains activity can be made and analyzed.
In the last few years a new approach to brain waves and human
emotion is being explored in the form of brain entrainment. This is a
form of bio-feedback and stimulation to promote a specific wave state
that is desired. This can be done by various methods; flashing lights
,sound pulsations ,electromagnetic pulses ,and physical vibrations.
These stimulation techniques require that the pulses, vibrations, or
flashings occour at the desired frequency rate so that the brain can
synchronize with the external signals. Any one or a combination of
these methods can have a profound effect upon the operation of the
brain. It has been known that the Soviet Union and the United States
has used external stimulation to induce sleep ,hypnosis, and other
altered states in people.
The area of brain wave activity is an active and dynamic field
indeed. Many scientific discoveries are bound to be made, from the
relief of stress to increasing the power of the human mind. Who
really can say what will happen in the future.
OtherIsomer added 78 Minutes and 0 Seconds later...
Swim did not write this article, but found it very interesting and wished to share it with his df-friends.
If there is a certain protocol to posting news articles, input will be happily recieved.