'Binaural beats', which are said to have healing effects and enhance cognitive function, may actually interfere with cognitive tasks

Binaural beats , which use the 'undulation' of sound produced by listening to sounds with subtly different frequencies in the left and right ears, have a healing effect and the effect of enhancing cognitive ability by acting on brain waves with low-frequency signals generated by the undulation. is believed to be However, a research team at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland reports that binaural beats may actually hinder rather than enhance cognitive performance.

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With binaural beats, for example, by letting the right ear hear sounds with slightly different pitches, such as 440 Hz and the left ear, 445 Hz, the sound is synthesized in the brain and a difference of 5 Hz is generated, which can be used for meditation. It is said to induce 'theta (theta) waves' that can be seen. Binaural beats are said to have relaxing, healing, and cognitive-enhancing effects.

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Although binaural beats are said to have such an effect, there are many voices questioning their effectiveness, and the research team of Michal Kryszkowski, a cognitive neuroscientist at Adam Mickiewicz University, is one of them.

The research team investigated whether listening to binaural beats enhances cognitive ability or is just a placebo effect.

The research team conducted a series of online surveys of 920 adults in Poland measuring abstract reasoning, active concentration, and working memory.

During the experiment, subjects were randomly assigned one of two intelligence tests that could be performed in 40 minutes to 1 hour, and were asked to take the test while wearing headphones. Headphones were played under four conditions: ``binaural beat'', ``classical music'', ``single sound'', and ``complete silence''. Similarly, some subjects received 15 Hz binaural beats, which are believed to enhance concentration, memory, and learning, and 5 Hz binaural beats, which are believed to induce theta waves and enhance healing. Two kinds of voices were played respectively.

Furthermore, in order to confirm the placebo effect of binaural beats, the research team asked the subjects, ``Binaural beats have the effect of enhancing brain function,'' ``Binaural beats have no effect of enhancing brain function,'' and ``Binaural beats Present one out of 'no explanation about'.

As a result of the investigation, the test results all showed similar results, regardless of the binaural beat frequency and the explanation to the subjects. It turns out that binaural beats, including the placebo effect, have no effect on stimulating brain function, and even interfere with cognitive tasks. On the other hand, other acoustic stimuli, such as classical music and single tones, have been reported to have little effect on the subject's performance.

The graph below is the test result when listening to audio while performing the task, including binaural beats. It can be confirmed that both 5Hz and 15Hz binaural beats worsen the test score.

Mr. Kryszkowski said about the factors why binaural beats did not produce the effect of enhancing cognitive function, ``The binaural beats somehow interfered with the brain waves and lowered the frequency of the brain waves, which may have caused a mismatch between the brain activity and the given task. There is a possibility,” he points out. As an example, it has been pointed out that drowsiness due to the generated θ waves may have distracted concentration.

``Binaural beats can interfere with the brain's normal processes, which involve a wide range of frequencies, in order to effectively perform cognitive tasks,'' Kryszkowski said. I'm guessing.

In the future, the research team is considering recording the brain wave patterns of subjects listening to binaural beats in learning sessions. It is believed that future research may lead to new discoveries about the effects of binaural beats on cognitive processes.

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut