Research – Alpha Theta Brain Waves

Neurofeedback can powerfully mimic traditional meditation training by giving users audio feedback when they are producing synchronous alpha theta brain waves.

Research has shown that it accelerates the learning of meditation, as well as enabling people, who find it very difficult to learn meditation the traditional way, to not just learn but to master it at a high level.

Alpha theta brain waves training provides all of the benefits of meditation, so if you are able to accelerate your achievement of mastery, you can enjoy much more powerful, deeper results much faster.

Alpha theta brain waves training has been researched in the areas of therapy, peak performance, creativity, and personal development.

Elmer and Alyce Green of the Meninger Foundation pioneered the first neurofeedback studies, inspired by Japanese research on Zen monks, reported in Zoren Psychologia 12:205-225 1969.

They used healthy subjects and taught one group (with neurofeedback) to mimic the Zen monks (who during meditation were able to systematically increase alpha {8-12hz} that reduced in frequency until it sank into theta {4-8hz}), while a control group just tried to relax.

They discovered that the theta group often reported memories of long forgotten childhood events, which weren’t ‘remembered’ but ‘relived,’ had life altering insights that lead to profound changes in their life and increased their psychological health, becoming more poised, more accepting of self and others, less rigid and conforming and more creative.

What surprised the Greens the most, was that they didn’t get sick anymore, while the control group had no change in their physical health.

Dr Julian Isaacs PhD, researcher and neurofeedback clinician points out the phenomenology of mysticism is accessed in altered states created by alpha theta brain waves neuro feedback.

Dr James Hardt PhD, formally of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute of the University of California Medical Centre and now director of the Biocybernaut Institute Hardt, who has done some work on comparing yoga and Zen meditation to alpha theta brain waves training, asserts that mystical experience and alpha theta neurofeedback experience share many, if not all ‘basic dimensions,’ an observation made by many other clinician/researchers.

His research indicates neurofeedback is closer to Zen than Yoga, as Zen integrates the inner and outer worlds in mediation practice, with eyes slightly open.

In yoga, meditation is done with eyes closed and an attempt to shut out sensory stimulus. Alpha theta neurofeedback is not only a form of mindfulness training as you focus on the feedback tone as well as breathing, which substantially accelerates mindfulness skill development and it’s benefits but as the brain is literally watching itself, we can say it is brainfulness training.

 

Personal development

Working independently on theta research, neurofeedback researcher and clinician Thomas Budzynski, found that theta states made subjects ‘hyper-suggestable’ (as if in a hypnotic trance) to suggestions for positive changes to their behaviour and attitudes and they were able to learn languages and other information much faster.

Neurofeedback researcher and Houston clinician, William Beckwith, stated that increased alpha theta brain waves training with cross lateral brainwave synchronisation, “… is often accompanied by spontaneous surfacing of previously inaccessible memories, often from early childhood,” which produces ‘profound’ alterations in a person’s mood and behaviour, as well as the, “…seemingly miraculous resolution of complex psychological problems.” In what looks like “…a sudden reordering of the entire personality.”

 

References
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Green E, Green A (1977) Beyond biofeedback. Delta, New York

Hardt, J.V. Alpha EEG responses of low and high anxiety males to respiration and relaxation training and to auditory feedback of occipital alpha. Dissertation Abstracts, International, 35(4), Catalog No. 74-19309, 1912B-1913B, (1974).

Hardt, J.V. and Kamiya, J. Anxiety change through EEG alpha feedback: Seen only in high anxiety subjects. Science, 201, 79-81, (1978).

Hardt, J.V. EEG Biofeedback Method and System for Training Voluntary Control of Human EEG Activity, United States Patent #4,928,704, May 29, (1990).

Hardt,J.V. Creativity Increases: Seen in top scientists having insight breakthroughs on long term projects.

Martindale, C. & Greenough, J., The Differential Effect of Increased Arousal on Creative and Intellectual Performance, The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 123, 329-335 (1973).

Martindale, C. & Armstrong, J., The Relationship of Creativity to Cortical Activation and its Operant Control, The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 124, 311-320 (1974).

Martindale, C., What Makes Creative People Different, Psychology Today, 44-50, July (1975).

Martindale, C. & Hines, D., Creativity and Cortical Activation During Creative Intellectual and EEG Feedback Tasks, Biological Psychology, 5, 91-100 (1975).

Martindale, C., Creativity, Consciousness, and Cortical Arousal, Journal of Altered States of Consciousness, 3(1), 69-85, (1977-78).

Martindale, C. & Hasenfus, N., EEG Differences as a Function of Creativity, Stage of the Creative Process, and Effort to be Original, Biological Psychology, 6, 157-167 (1978).

Martindale, C., Hines, D., Mitchell, L., Covello, E., EEG Alpha Asymmetry and Creativity, Personality & Individual Differences, 5(1), 77-86 (1984).

Budzynski, T. The Brainwave Investigation Megabrain Report The Journal of Mind Technology Vol.2 No.3 p6-13

Beckwith, W. The Brainwave Investigation Megabrain Report The Journal of Mind Technology Vol.2 No.3 p9