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For those of you who would like to see some of the research articles on this subject, I've included that information here for your reading pleasure. They're not full articles, mainly abstracts with citations where you can gather the full articles if you're so inclined. There's not a lot of information out there on this, many sites are using the first article as the springboard to many different hypothesis.
Use of binaural beat tapes for treatment of anxiety: a pilot study of tape preference and outcomes.
Le Scouarnec RP, Poirier RM, Owens JE, Gauthier J, Taylor AG, Foresman PA.
Clinique Psyche in Montreal, Quebec.
CONTEXT: Recent studies and anecdotal reports suggest that binaural auditory beats can affect mood, performance on vigilance tasks, and anxiety. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether mildly anxious people would report decreased anxiety after listening daily for 1 month to tapes imbedded with tones that create binaural beats, and whether they would show a definite tape preference among 3 tapes. DESIGN: A 1-group pre-posttest pilot study. SETTING: Patients' homes. PARTICIPANTS: A volunteer sample of 15 mildly anxious patients seen in the Clinique Psyche, Montreal, Quebec. INTERVENTION: Participants were asked to listen at least 5 times weekly for 4 weeks to 1 or more of 3 music tapes containing tones that produce binaural beats in the electroencephalogram delta/theta frequency range. Participants also were asked to record tape usage, tape preference, and anxiety ratings in a journal before and after listening to the tape or tapes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Anxiety ratings before and after tape listening, pre- and post-study State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scores, and tape preferences documented in daily journals. RESULTS: Listening to the binaural beat tapes resulted in a significant reduction in the anxiety score reported daily in patients' diaries. The number of times participants listened to the tapes in 4 weeks ranged from 10 to 17 (an average of 1.4 to 2.4 times per week) for approximately 30 minutes per session. End-of-study tape preferences indicated that slightly more participants preferred tape B, with its pronounced and extended patterns of binaural beats, over tapes A and C. Changes in pre- and posttest listening State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scores trended toward a reduction of anxiety, but these differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Listening to binaural beat tapes in the delta/theta electroencephalogram range may be beneficial in reducing mild anxiety. Future studies should account for music preference among participants and include age as a factor in outcomes, incentives to foster tape listening, and a physiologic measure of anxiety reduction. A controlled trial that includes binaural beat tapes as an adjunctive treatment to conventional therapy for mild anxiety may be warranted.
PMID: 11191043 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Binaural Auditory Beats Affect Vigilance Performance and Mood
James D. Lane Stefan J. Kasian Justine E. OwensA, A, B, * and Gail R. MarshA
of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center,
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Received 18 July 1997; accepted 29 August 1997. Available online 30 January 1998.
LANE, J. D., S. J. KASIAN, J. E. OWENS AND G. R. MARSH.
Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood. PHYSIOL BEHAV 63(2) 249252, 1998.When two tones of slightly different frequency are presented separately to the left and right ears the listener perceives a single tone that varies in amplitude at a frequency equal to the frequency difference between the two tones, a perceptual phenomenon known as the binaural auditory beat. Anecdotal reports suggest that binaural auditory beats within the electroencephalograph frequency range can entrain EEG activity and may affect states of consciousness, although few scientific studies have been published. This study compared the effects of binaural auditory beats in the EEG beta and EEG theta/delta frequency ranges on mood and on performance of a vigilance task to investigate their effects on subjective and objective measures of arousal. Participants (n = 29) performed a 30-min visual vigilance task on three different days while listening to pink noise containing simple tones or binaural beats either in the beta range (16 and 24 Hz) or the theta/delta range (1.5 and 4 Hz). However, participants were kept blind to the presence of binaural beats to control expectation effects. Presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than presentation of theta/delta frequency binaural beats. In addition, the beta-frequency beats were associated with less negative mood. Results suggest that the presentation of binaural auditory beats can affect psychomotor performance and mood. This technology may have applications for the control of attention and arousal and the enhancement of human performance.
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