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Human brain produces electrical signals of various frequencies depending on its functioning. These signal are transmitted through neurons and ultimately lead to various mental and physical activities. Brainwave patterns are typically grouped into four different categories: Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta. Each of these brainwave patterns is associated with various states of mind.

What happens when a reverse process happens ? i.e. instead of being in a particular state of mind and thereby diagnosing the brainwave corresponding to that state, if one applies the same frequency signals externally to brain ? The result is altered state of mind, and so one can in-principle use brainwaves to achieve altered state of mind e.g. meditative state.

Brainwave Categories:

Alpha Waves It is believed that many creative people are most of the time in Alpha state  than others. Alpha waves are between 9 and 14 Hz and occur when the body is awake and at rest, not asleep, and the eyes are closed. You may feel intellectual relaxation, deep relaxation or meditation when in Alpha. Alpha brainwave rhythms produce: warm hands and feet, peaceful feelings, a sense of well-being, improved academic performance, improved sleep, increased productivity in the workplace, reduced anxiety and improved immune functioning which counters the negative affects of Cortisol.

Beta Waves are fast, low amplitude waves of 15 to 30 times per second (Hz). Beta brainwave patterns are generated naturally when in an awake, focused and alert state of consciousness. In Beta we experience the stresses of our day-to-day activities. (e.g. Driving cars, shopping, paying bills, meeting deadlines.)

Theta Waves are between 4 and 8 Hz and are commonly referred to as the dream or "twilight" state. Memory development is enhanced in this state. In the Theta brainwave state, memory is improved, and access to unconscious material, sudden insight, free association and creative ideas is increased. Theta is associated with REM and dreaming states. 

Delta Waves are observed when in a sleeping state. Delta waves are the slowest of brainwaves spanning from 1 to 3 Hz in frequency. As we fall asleep the dominant brainwave becomes Delta. 

Brain Waves and Meditation


ScienceDaily (Mar. 31, 2010)  Forget about crystals and candles, and about sitting and breathing in awkward ways. Meditation research explores how the brain works when we refrain from concentration, rumination and intentional thinking. Electrical brain waves suggest that mental activity during meditation is wakeful and relaxed (click here to read more).


Let us try to understand the Brain Pathology: Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain. In clinical contexts, EEG refers to the recording of the brain's spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, usually 2040 minutes, as recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp.

Comparison of EEG bands
Type Frequency (Hz) Location Normally Pathologically
Delta up to 4 frontally in adults, posteriorly in children; high amplitude waves
  • adults slow wave sleep
  • in babies
  • Has been found during some continuous attention tasks (Kirmizi-Alsan et al. 2006)
  • subcortical lesions
  • diffuse lesions
  • metabolic encephalopathy hydrocephalus
  • deep midline lesions
Theta 4 <8 Found in locations not related to task at hand
  • young children
  • drowsiness or arousal in older children and adults
  • idling
  • Associated with inhibition of elicited responses (has been found to spike in situations where a person is actively trying to repress a response or action) (Kirmizi-Alsan et al. 2006).
  • focal subcortical lesions
  • metabolic encephalopathy
  • deep midline disorders
  • some instances of hydrocephalus
Alpha 8 13 posterior regions of head, both sides, higher in amplitude on dominant side. Central sites (c3-c4) at rest .
  • relaxed/reflecting
  • closing the eyes
  • Also associated with inhibition control, seemingly with the purpose of timing inhibitory activity in different locations across the brain (Klimesch, Sauseng, & Hanslmayr 2007; Coan & Allen 2008).
  • coma
Beta >13 30 both sides, symmetrical distribution, most evident frontally; low amplitude waves
  • alert/working
  • active, busy or anxious thinking, active concentration
Gamma 30 100+ Somatosensory cortex
  • Displays during cross-modal sensory processing (perception that combines two different senses, such as sound and sight) (Kisley & Cornwell 2006; Kanayama, Sato, & Ohira 2007; Nieuwenhuis, Yeung, & Cohen 2004)
  • Also is shown during short term memory matching of recognized objects, sounds, or tactile sensations (Herrmann, Frund, & Lenz 2009)
  • A decrease in gamma band activity may be associated with cognitive decline, especially when related the theta band; however, this has not been proven for use as a clinical diagnostic measurement yet (Moretti et al. 2009).
Mu 8 13 Sensorimotor cortex
  • Shows rest state motor neurons (Gastaut, 1952).[16]
  • Mu suppression could be indicative for motor mirror neurons working, and deficits in Mu suppression, and thus in mirror neurons, might play a role in autism. (Oberman et al., 2005)[17]

Wave patterns



Wish to try out some brainwaves ??????????????  

You may download some of the brainwaves from (you must use a headphone to listen to these brainwaves, otherwise it has no effect, as these brainwaves are binaural beats created by beating of different frequency sounds in two ears).

OR visit


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This site was last updated 04/01/11