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Creative Inspiration

by Maria Monroe Whitehead

Maria Monroe WhiteheadWhat is creativity? Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

Whether it’s as simple putting together an outfit for the day or as complex as planning a city, we are all striving to meet a need or solve a problem. We are constantly creating, whether we realize it or not. It is a force that drives us, as we are creations of our Creator and thusly are all mirrors of that divine prism.

As an artist, I am constantly seeking inspiration. I would like to share three resources that I use in my life to get new ideas.

Silence. I believe we are most creative in silence, daydreams and meditation. In silence we quiet our minds and become open to ideas and inspiration.

Nature. Spending time outdoors, listening to the sounds and silence of the natural world allows us to experience the timelessness of nature. Elements of trees, flora and fauna, and bodies of water large and small have been used as inspiration throughout the ages in art, architecture and design.

Perspective. And finally, thinking outside of one’s “cultural box,” so to speak, forces us to take on a different perspective that often leads to enhanced creativity and renewed inspiration. One could view a foreign film, travel to another country or visit a museum. Today the internet offers instant means to research and investigate diverse cultures.

Striving to experience the manifestation of our thoughts gives joy to life. By engaging deeply and fully in our own creativity, our potential becomes endless and exponential.

©2014 Monroe Products. All rights reserved.

“Good, Good, Good Vibrations”

Using Heart Energy to Create Wealth

Helaine Z. Harris, LMFT

Many people find it difficult to avoid becoming affected by relentless negative news broadcasts about the fluctuations in the domestic and global economy. They report becoming anxious, overwhelmed or just plain stuck because of the ongoing depressive outlook in today’s media.

Having come from a place of poverty as a child to living comfortably now, I have learned some very important principles and methods to create wealth no matter what is going on in the world around us. The following article is about getting your energy in the right place in order to create your business action plan.

The first principle is that everything in the universe is energy; everything around us and in our bodies is energy.

To understand energy, just shake both your hands for 15 seconds. Now notice what you feel. You may notice your hands feel warm and tingly. That is energy moving inside you.

We are energy from our head to our toes and we need our energy system open to manifest our greatest potential. Whenever we have blocks from negative beliefs or past traumas we took on falsely from our family or society, it causes a dam or disruption in our energy system. Eventually this leads to foggy thinking, poor choices, and physical consequences like headaches, stomach problems, or more serious diseases from these stressors.

The Law of Attraction states that whatever you truly believe at the subconscious level will materialize as your physical reality. The Universe functions as a giant mirror, reflecting back to you an exact match of your true beliefs, values and rules, which the Universe uses in creating your experiences.

When something vibrates at a certain frequency, it naturally resonates with – and ATTRACTS -situations and people with the same frequency. This is how your unconscious beliefs attract your experiences, and thus creates your reality.

Consequently, the emotional energy you are in when you ask for something from the Universe is what is mirrored back to you. If you believe you will never manifest your full potential, or have abundance, YOU WILL ATTRACT the evidence to prove you’re right.

The Biggest Secret is that you can change your energy vibration from negative to positive, as well as increase your positive energy to an even higher vibrational frequency level.

Ways to Increase Your Energy Vibration

1.  The first thing I do with clients is teach them to call in Source (God, Universe, Light) and their Inner Guides, whether they fashion them as a Higher Self, Angels, Prosperity Guides, or whatever name brings them comfort. I have found that you must clearly state what you want in order to receive it. So begin by asking for assistance in creating money, a job, a healthy loving relationship or whatever you desire at the time.

2. The next step is to transform the emotional state from where you are now to the energetic vibrational state of your goal when it is already accomplished. This correlates to visualizing, seeing the images, feeling the emotions in your body of having what you desire, hearing the sounds that go with your picture and even notice the fragrance in the air. Use all your senses, especially the ones that work best for you. Here you are actually aligning your energy with your vision and dreams, in order to create a new reality.

3. To do this fully requires that you recognize and overcome your fears, as well as eliminate emotional obstacles that have kept you from achieving your goals in the past. This is done easily with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), hypnosis, EMDR, and        Reichian work. To find out more about these techniques, visit my website at

4. Next is one of the most important steps – to open to Love, activate the heart energy and   your Spiritual connection. Remember Love is an energy frequency in your heart, not what you think in your head. Heal your heart wounds and connect to the Universal heart and flow of energy and love. We have all been wounded in some way, but when you are willing to risk and know Love, you open yourself to the abundance of the Universe. Focus on serving humanity, life, or your clients in some way. This is what creates Magic.

 5. Be grateful for all the positive changes in your life. Acknowledge all your successes and   the way the Universe and your inner guidance has stepped in to help you. The more you appreciate what you have, the more you are in alignment with the Spirit, and the more the Universe can give you what you desire. This is how we create Heart Wealth.

The rest of these suggestions are for you to continue opening your energy system.

– Choose activities that increase relaxation, inspiration, optimism and joy for you.

– Listen to your favorite uplifting music.

– Nature brings you closer to Spirit. Be in nature and swim, walk, hike – whatever you love doing.

– Do slow and gentle breathing meditations.

In closing, if we change our vibration, we can instantaneously shift our consciousness and create a new version of “reality,” just like that. For most of us to significantly change our vibration, we have to take baby steps. Commend yourself on your steps to creating heart wealth.

Helaine Z. Harris, LMFT, is an intuitive business coach, shamanic healer, psychotherapist, author and founder of An Awakening Center, which blends over 45 traditional and alternative modalities to assist clients in fulfilling their life’s dream. She empowers heart-centered spiritualpreneurs to transform their life and business so it reflects their authentic self and their values. She focuses on assisting clients to magnetize love, abundance and vibrationally matched clients, the perfect job or business opportunities to them. With her 35 years experience and mastery of energy, Helaine has helped thousands of clients awaken, manifest their potential and attract financial success from the business, job or the career they love. Visit her website at



Interview with artist Byron Metcalf

The Shaman’s Heart II with Hemi-Sync®

Monroe Products: Why did you create The Shaman’s Heart II? What is different from the first album?

Byron Metcalf: I’ve had many requests over the years to create a “long form” shamanic journey CD – a journey that would not be interrupted by separate tracks or even separate tracks that seamlessly flow into each other (crossfading). The award-winning “The Shaman’s Heart w/Hemi Sync” contains 7 tracks and is based on subdivisions of the “classic” shamanic journey tempo of 220 beats per minute (55, 110, 220). The heartbeat rhythm is 55 bpm with the drums and rattles being played at all three tempos at various times during the individual tracks. Although the tracks flow seamlessly into each other using nature sounds and ambient atmospheres, there are clear demarcations between the tracks, which is fine, and in some situations, even preferable. So the idea of creating “The Shaman’s Heart II” emerged as logical way to expand on the original by creating a long form composition that also utilized the subdivisions of 220 bpm and the heartbeat rhythm, but would be a continuous 70 min journey with no individual tracks. The Shaman’s Heart II continually evolves and builds in rhythmic complexity and dynamic intensity and is further expanded by the sonic mastery of Steve Roach, who provides analog and organic textures and atmospheres throughout. The result is a deeply powerful and sustained shamanic journey that culminates in returning safely home to a heart-centered presence.

MP: How does the music help people move into the heart space?

BM: The continuous heartbeat rhythm, along with the rattles and drums creates a profound mind-body-heart entrainment experience that invites and supports the listener in making direct contact with their heart and heart space in a sustained manner. Steve Roach’s heart oriented analog waves and textures deepen and help hold the space for the listener. The title “The Shaman’s Heart” serves as an “invocation” and the creative focus and intention of the project is infused and embedded in the music and sounds. Of course the addition of Hemi-Sync® serves to further enhance, amplify and support all of the above.

MP: How is this relevant to everyone, even if they are not walking the shaman path?

BM: I am convinced that developing the primary capacities and essential qualities of the heart is a fundamental component for living an authentic, heart-centered and soul-based life. The Shaman’s Heart and The Shaman’s Heart II are unique tools specifically designed to support the development of these primary capacities and essential qualities of the heart: Clear and Intelligent; Full and Compassionate; Open and Trusting; Strong and Powerful. So from this perspective, I believe this is relevant to anyone and everyone who is seeking a more fulfilling and satisfying life regardless of orientation or path.

MP: What else is helpful to know when working with it?

BM: Repeated use of The Shaman’s Heart II will greatly enhance the development of the primary capacities and essential qualities of the heart that I just mentioned. Repetition creates new neural pathways in the brain and the heart and therefore will strengthen the mind-heart connection. In addition, the music can be used for various methods of shamanic journeying, dynamic movement, dance, and meditation practices, breathwork and so on. And it is a perfect companion to The Shaman’s Heart Program where it can be used for advanced exercises and practices.

Byron Metcalf, Ph.D., is a transpersonal guide and educator, shamanic practitioner, researcher, and professional musician. Byron holds a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology, a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and is a certified graduate of Grof Transpersonal Training and Eupsychia Institute’s Psycho-Spiritual Integration programs. Byron has trained, studied, and worked with shamans, healers, and psycho-spiritual teachers from many parts of the world including Stan Grof, Jack Kornfield, Hameed Ali, John Davis, Ph.D., Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Jose and Lena Stevens, Sandra Ingerman, and Don Americo Yabar. For nearly three decades, Byron has been intensely involved in consciousness research and spiritual development, specializing in the transformative potential of alternative states of consciousness. As a drummer, percussionist and recording engineer, Byron produces for deep inner exploration, breathwork, shamanic journeywork, body-oriented therapies, various meditation practices and the healing arts. To learn more about Byron Metcalf and his work, visit his websites: or


©2014 Monroe Products. All rights reserved.


Creating Streamhaven

by A.J. Honeycutt

StreamhavenThe motivation and essence of Streamhaven was borne out of a brainstorming meeting in the spring of 2013. The focus was to develop audio exercises to address today’s fast-paced world where everyone is pressed for time: I thought about the commuter, the lunch break, the carving out some time with an audio player…about a half an hour is all you get at times. How can we effectively detach in such a way where we can rest for a while? What is that environment like? Can we accomplish it in a 30-minute meditation? We believed so, and to that end Streamhaven was created.

During this time I was writing about childhood memories as well, and there was a creek that I would visit regularly, just to listen to it. It was transporting – the perfect vehicle.

To help create the proper environment for this project, the digitally-recorded stream is from a very special place in Virginia, where the idea and reality of the confluence of two rivers is present, and there actually is that perfect spot for everyone.

The stream sounds enable release and relaxation, while carefully blended Hemi-Sync® rhythms provide for a quick respite, leaving you refreshed and aware at the end of the exercise. The simple affirmation allows you to go to the spot that you have established, when you need it, and realize the same ease without actually having to hear the exercise. It’s remarkable.

The second track (Streamflow) was designed for relaxed “free flow” listening, when you have more time, or if you only want to hear the sound of the stream.

AJ-Portrait-webA.J. Honeycutt is the stepson of Robert Monroe
and serves as president of Monroe Products.






©2014 Monroe Products. All rights reserved.

Woman Sleeping

Blue Light and Sleep

Do you find yourself lying in bed for a while before you actually fall asleep? Do you find that this still happens even when you feel tired and physically drained? Bet you will never guess what is really causing you to have trouble sleeping at night. Do you have a phone? How about a tablet? Perhaps you have a computer? It is almost certain you do, and a recent study conducted by UCLA showed that blue light from the screens of your electronic devices actually contributes to insomnia.

According to the study, blue light  tricks your brain into thinking it should stay awake, preventing the production of the key hormone melatonin, which is responsible for putting you to sleep. The study also showed that individuals who use their electronic devices a few hours before bed had the most difficulty falling asleep.

Getting proper sleep is an important component of staying healthy. Experts say that eight hours of quality sleep increases your ability to gain new insight into complex problems by 50% the next day. Aside from  keeping away from digital screens to protect your sleep, there are additional steps you can take to help you fall asleep quicker:

–  Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that can interfere with sleep

–  Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment

–  Keep a consistent sleep schedule

–  Nap early or not at all

–  Exercise early in the morning
–  Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods a few hours before bedtime

But what if you don’t want to stop using your electronic devices hours before bedtime? In today’s society this is not a very realistic option. The truth is that people usually need and want to use their electronic devices before bedtime, whether it be their phone, tablet, or computer. You could purchase an inexpensive anti blue-light screen protector that prevents the harmful effects of the blue light on your devices. SleepShield offers blue blocking screens for virtually any type of device.

Wishing you all a good night’s sleep!

by Matthew Golan

Robert Monroe

Whistlefield Part II by A.J. Honeycutt

I credit my parents for helping me become a voracious reader as a youngster, and at no time was this more evident than during the 1970s. There was the usual curriculum associated with school, of course, but whenever I could I’d read Carlos Castaneda and dream about being in the desert with his band of eclectic, indigenous medicine folk. If I remember correctly, don Genaro used to “make the mountains rumble” whenever he needed to use the bathroom. Ha, that was hilarious! And amidst the lessons of intention, connection, and sensitivity, there was a “groundedness” that really appealed to me. As far as my opinion of Dr. Castaneda was concerned, a guy with a Ph.D. in anthropology has to be right, right? In any event, it was a remarkable opportunity to look into a world that was real, yet intangible, and, well, relatively plausible. Not unlike the endeavors found within realm of our own house!

After my time with Journeys Out of the Body, my motive was typically to “go out there,” like space travel, but apart from Bob’s works, I liked how there was a connection to the physical in the sense of time with the desert, plants, animals, and people in Castaneda’s books. I was always trying to meld that world into my own. “Hey crow, what’s your message?” It gave my forays into fields and wilds a certain profundity in the sense of wanting to be a part of, and communicating with, nature and her effects.

There was a particular stream in the woods I really enjoyed that had a certain trickling tumble to it. I could listen and get lost in it, which provided for more insights and interesting dinner conversation.

Me: “If I’m out in the woods and feel like I’m changing my consciousness with sounds, what’s the difference between that and what you do?”

Bob: “Nothing, really. Binaural beats can be found in nature, it’s just that those nature sounds aren’t coherent, meaning that it changes constantly. Sounds move all over the place. Hemi-Sync helps you to be in a state, not to create one. What’s important is your intention.

“What is the purpose of your meditation? Is that what it was? You already know that music can take you places, and that it can make you feel a certain way. Think about the hymns you sing in church; they are designed to put you in a particular frame of mind. There are thoughts that suggest that the big cathedrals in Europe were actually designed so that the voice and music would actually sound a certain way to promote people’s connection to their higher power.”

Me: “So when the Indians (now Native Americans) do their drumming circles, what’s that? Same thing?”

Bob: “Absolutely. You might say that what we do is a contemporary expression of a similar event, but humans have been participating in ‘beat technologies’ since the dawn of time.  These days we are able to take a look at EEG data, and create our drumming, if you will, to more specific patterns that we associate with beneficial states of consciousness.”

Me: “Like going out of body?”

Bob: “Well, no. Like going to sleep or learning something while you’re sleeping. Like being able to listen to something that relaxes you. Going out of body is a peculiar by-product of my efforts, and I wrote about it to help understand it. But the sounds in and of themselves are designed for more practical purposes, although inevitably we come back to the word ‘intention.’ If you don’t have a purpose, then you will find it’s like listening to music – you get into it only as much as you want to.”

So off I was, back into the woods, listening to leaves rustling, autumn coming, and a trickling brook. It was here that I realized that sound was a powerful medium, and that it had much to say. “Hey Mr. Hawk, are you talking to me?”

Use of Hemi-Sync Audiotapes to Reduce Levels of Depression for Alcohol-Dependent Patients

by John R. Milligan, PhD
and Raymond O. Waldkoetter, EdD


This study evaluated the use of Hemi-Sync audiotapes as a supplemental treatment procedure for outpatients diagnosed as alcohol dependent, reporting mild to moderate levels of depressive feelings. The selected Hemi-Sync tape album was applied to assist brainwave synchrony in each hemisphere, alter mental imagery, and enhance relaxation for the experimental group. Subjects were enlisted military patients indicating various levels of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Using a pre- and posttreatment design, the BDI was given before and after treatment as a measure of effect. A comparison group of outpatients was also given before-and-after BDIs but not the supplemental tape treatment. Both subject groups received the primary psychoeducational therapy. Results of the study showed that the group provided with the Hemi-Sync tapes reported obviously less depressive symptoms than the group not provided with the tapes, significant beyond the Both subject groups received the primary psychoeducational therapy. Results of the study showed that the group provided with the Hemi-Sync tapes reported obviously less depressive symptoms than the group not provided with the tapes, significant beyond the p<.001 level. The authors concluded that group therapy augmented with Hemi-Sync audiotapes could offer significant improvement in treatment as reflected by the BDI.


Many studies have documented the common presence of depressive symptoms among patients seeking treatment for alcoholism (Waldkoetter & Sanders 1997). Depressive symptoms are frequently reported as comorbid factors in such treatment (Meichenbaum 1994), which must be addressed for long-term relapse prevention and for treatment acceptance in the short term. Effective treatment programs for substance abuse (SA) are no longer dependent upon the twelve-step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model as the only treatment modality. More often SA programs have now moved to models emphasizing cognitive-behavioral approaches and to somewhat decreased reliance on the AA model except as an ongoing support function after formal treatment. Such programs recognize that cognitive thought patterns have contributed to and reinforced dysfunctional lifestyles and life-long behavioral patterns leading to alcohol dependence or abuse.

Modern programs frequently are patterned after models such as the American Society of Addictions Medicine’s (ASAM 1991) that emphasize individualized, flexible treatment with specific criteria guiding level of care and length of services. Programs using the ASAM model to determine levels of entry and of care in treatment have found that ASAM placement criteria result in the patients being placed at less intense treatment levels than do programs with fixed entrance and levels of care. The placement at lesser levels of intensity has allowed many such programs to substantially reduce the cost of treatment. The savings result from shorter lengths of stay during the actual treatment phase, with generally longer aftercare or follow-on supportive services once the person completes the treatment phase. This study was designed as an ASAM structured program, which emphasized flexibility and the unique differences in individuals who have developed problematic SA problems requiring treatment.

New techniques in SA treatment include the use of brain-wave training with biofeedback as reported by Peniston and Kulkosky (1989) and Fahrion et al. (1992) and the increased use of cognitive techniques in federal prisons (Sanders 1989). The innovative use of Hemi-Sync audiotapes (Monroe 1982) targeting brain-wave synchronicity using designed sound patterns is reported in relatively select publications or studies (Russell 1993; Sanders & Waldkoetter 1997). More programs are moving to shorter lengths of treatment due both to improved flexible models and to the pressures from managed care organizations to limit costs. The movement to shorter treatment periods increases the importance of developing self-paced and self-administered treatment techniques, which are adjunctive to the primary program. Further exploration relating to the use of Hemi-Sync audiotapes for synchronizing brain-wave patterns, altering mental imagery, and enhancing relaxation appears warranted in SA facilities and was a major purpose of the research reported here.


The samples in this study were composed of forty-two naval military personnel referred for treatment to an outpatient military alcohol and drug treatment facility. All subjects were males in the enlisted grades, ranging in age from twenty-two to thirty-eight, and were diagnosed as alcohol dependent. Half of the subjects (twenty-one) were assigned to a control group (CG) and the other half to an experimental group (EG). Each subject completed a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment following the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Behavioral Health Care Standards (JCAHO 1997) and pertinent military standards. As a part of this assessment, each subject was administered the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck 1987). Those scoring at or above a cut-off score of thirteen (minimal depression) were included in the study. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a twenty-one-item multiple response screening instrument used to help identify persons who may need further assessment to rule out more serious depressive disorders. The BDI is widely used because it is cost-effective, easy to administer and score, and generally takes less than five minutes to complete. Assignment to the EG or CG was alternated based on order of admission. All subjects scoring above the cut-off score on the BDI were screened by a mental health professional regardless of group assignment to ensure that those in need of treatment for any depressive disorders were provided such care.

Experimental subjects were given a Hemi-Sync album of six tapes, stereo headsets, and instructions on their use (Waldkoetter & Johnson 1995). These instructions included listening to one side of each of the six tapes on a daily basis for twelve days. Both hospitalized and outpatient subjects were to use the tapes within two hours of their scheduled bedtime each evening and to refrain from stimulant consumption beforehand. Brain-wave training in a biofeedback protocol with alcoholics (Fahrion et al. 1992; Peniston & Kulkosky 1989) identified positive reactions to alpha-theta brain waves with increased alpha and theta brain rhythms, less reported depression, and longer abstinence posttreatment. The Hemi-Sync audiotape’s brain-wave stimulation, using a parallel technology to increase hemispheric brain synchrony, alter mental imagery, and promote relaxation, have had growing therapeutic use (Monroe 1982; Russell 1993). This auditory stimulation uses specific mixes of sound frequencies, e.g., alpha, theta, and delta. The brain resonates with this stimulus by producing similar EEG patterns as the listener follows the audioguidance program. The six tapes in the Monroe Institute album were: Morning Exercise, HUMAN-PLUS De-Hab, Energy Walk, Moment of Revelation, Winds over the World, and Surf. The tapes contained voice instructions, music, and binaural beat sound patterns and were less than an hour long on each side. The CG did not receive the tapes.

Both groups followed the same primary treatment program and were re-administered the BDI after three weeks, with the EG having the supplemental audiotape therapy as noted. The SA outpatient treatment program was an outpatient program with treatment levels of outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential levels of care. The content of the program included two psychosocial skills-building lectures/discussions each day and two group treatment sessions per day, five days per week, with the EG receiving the augmented tape therapy. The length of treatment varied for each individual in both groups depending on progress in meeting treatment goals following the approach of the ASAM model. Other studies suggest that tape effects are cumulative and different for each individual, and after initial exposure, the tape sequence may be varied to support individual choice (Waldkoetter 1983; Waldkoetter & Vandivier 1992). Average length of stay was three weeks followed by a structured aftercare program. Each subject worked with his counselor to develop an individual treatment plan tailored to his needs, including aftercare considerations such as referral to community resources for non-alcohol problems.

Results and Discussion

The CG (N=21) had an average (mean) pretreatment BDI score of 15.10 with a standard deviation (SD) of 2.72. The CG posttreatment BDI mean was 8.67 with an SD of 2.56. The EG (N=21) had a pretreatment BDI mean score of 19.95 with an SD of 6.87. After treatment, the EG had a mean BDI score of 4.90 with an SD of 2.30. Analyzing group differences using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) design resulted in a between-groups highly statistically significant F ratio of F (1,41) = 25.13, p <.001.

Table 1. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for PostBDI Scores of CG and EG

 Post BDI

Sum of Squares


Mean Square



 Between Groups

 Within Groups












These results reflect highly significant differences between the group using the Hemi-Sync tapes and the group not provided with the tapes as a part of their treatment. The large difference between the CG and the EG (BDI) scores would be expected to occur only by chance less than once in 1,000 such measures. The pretreatment mean scores on the BDI of 15.10 for the CG and 19.95 for the EG, although different, are not statistically significant (Milligan 1999). Both groups had significantly lower scores (improved) at posttreatment: CG mean of 8.67 and EG mean of 4.90. It was observed that the cognitively oriented (primary) therapy also significantly reduced reported depressive symptoms of the CG, but the reduction was not nearly as marked as that of the EG using the supplemental tapes.

Table 2. The Computed BDI Score Means, N’s, and SD’s

 CG            Mean









 EG             Mean









 Total          Mean









 CG vs. EG Post BDI Pre BDI


Earlier studies have explored the possible applications of the Monroe Institute’s sound technology and auditory guidance systems (Monroe 1977), and the authors have previously discussed how formal learning and behavioral change could likely occur (Waldkoetter & Milligan 1978). As now may be seen by the EG’s lower level of alcoholic depression in this study’s analysis, the Hemi-Sync audiotapes-a largely self-administered and self-paced treatment technology-proved clearly useful, suggesting that existing SA treatment programs may benefit from including them as part of their therapeutic regimens.


American Society of Addictions Medicine. 1991. Patient placement criteria for treatment of psychoactive substance abuse disorders. Washington, D.C.

Beck, A. T. 1987. Beck depression inventory manual. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc.

Fahrion, S. L., E. D. Walters, L. Coyne, and T. Allen. 1992. Alterations in EEG amplitude, personality factors and brain electrical mapping after alpha-theta brainwave training: A controlled case study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 16:547-52.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. 1997. Handbook of behavioral health care standards. Chicago, Il.

Meichenbaum, D. 1994. Treating PTSD: A clinical handbook. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Institute Press.

Milligan, J. R. 1999. Personal communication. Addictions Rehabilitation Clinic, Naval Air Station Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla.

Monroe, R. A. 1977. Monroe auditory guidance systems. Unpublished manuscript. Afton, Va.

Monroe, R. A. 1982. The Hemi-Sync process. Monroe Institute bulletin #PR 31380H. Nellysford, Va.

Peniston, E. G., and P. J. Kulkosky. 1989. Alpha-theta brainwave training and beta-endorphin levels in alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 13:271-79.

Russell, R., ed. 1993. Using the whole brain: Integrating the right and left brain with Hemi-Sync sound patterns. Norfolk, Va. Hampton Roads Publishing Company.

Sanders, G. O. 1989. A cognitive behavioral program in federal prisons. Unpublished manuscript. Leavenworth, Kans.

Sanders, G. O., and R. O. Waldkoetter. 1997. A study of cognitive substance abuse treatment with and without auditory guidance. Hemi-Sync Journal, 15 (3): 1-4.

Waldkoetter, R. O. 1983. The use of audio-guided stress reduction to enhance performance. Paper presented at the 25th Annual Conference of the Military Testing Association, Gulf Shores, Ala.

Waldkoetter, R. O., and P. C. Johnson. 1995. The addiction change and re-creation program: A personal redirection brochure. Unpublished manuscript. London, Ky.

Waldkoetter, R. O., and J. R. Milligan. 1978. A learning-receptive state as induced by an auditory signal or frequency pulse. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Military Testing Association, Oklahoma City, Ok.

Waldkoetter, R. O., and G. O. Sanders. 1997. Auditory brainwave stimulation in treating alcoholic depression. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84:226.

Waldkoetter, R. O., and P. L. Vandivier. 1992. Auditory guidance in officer level training. Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Military Testing Association, San Diego, Calif.

Dr. John Milligan is both a clinical and research psychologist with an ongoing interest in the application of cognitive techniques to the area of substance abuse and other disorders. He is a 1978 graduate of Texas Christian University and has held a variety of positions in both the public and private sectors. His experience includes university-level teaching and research and administrative experience as the director of a large community mental health center. He is currently employed as a clinical psychologist with a military alcohol and drug treatment center.

Dr. Raymond Waldkoetter is a member of The Monroe Institute Board of Advisors, a founding member of TMI’s Professional Division, and a consulting psychologist with an inclusive background in research psychology. He has a special interest in Hemi-Sync applications for combating substance addiction and for improving the environment of patients in adult care homes.

Hemi-Sync™ is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.

The Hemi-Sync® Phenomenon: In Search of Empirical Theories

by M. R. Sadigh, PhD, Director of Psychology, The Gateway Institute

Three years ago, with much “healthy” scientific doubt I began studying the effects of Hemi-Sync on electrocortical activity of human subjects. Study after study, I have been impressed by the effectiveness and the versatility of this audio technology to guide and entrain the brain to enter a variety of states of consciousness. These days, brain entrainment modalities are in vogue. Unfortunately, however, in my view, entrepreneurs and business people selling these gadgets and tapes seem to benefit more from them then the consumer. Therefore, it is quite refreshing to know that there is a brain-entrainment modality that actually works. In fact, I am convinced that Hemi-Sync goes beyond “blind” entrainment and consequently avoids some of the danger of underdeveloped technologies that clearly have the potential to do harm to those using them.

Although there is a wealth of clinical data with regard to the beneficial effects of Hemi-Sync, there is a lack of empirical theories explaining the phenomenon. And yet without sound and testable theories, we are liable to lose momentum in our research and clinical work, and something that we know has great value is likely to be considered a fad, a gimmick, something unscientific. As Louis Pasteur, the great scientist once stated to a group of medical students, “Without theory, practice is but routine born of habit. Theory alone can bring forth and develop the spirit of invention. It is you especially who are obliged not to share the opinion of those narrow minds who reject everything in science which has no immediate application” (in Reik, 1948, p. ix). Hemi-Sync has many applications, and there are even more applications ready to be unveiled by us as we attempt to construct now theories.

Based on my empirical research, I wish to propose two theories of Hemi-Sync, in this paper. But before introducing these theories, by merely reflecting on the obtained data and observations in our laboratory, I wish to address a few questions raised in the scientific community with regard to the effectiveness of Hemi-Sync. Dr. Lester Fehmi one of the foremost authorities in the field of applied psychophysiology and brain research once stated that he believed Hemi-Sync could drive the brain to enter certain states, but at the same time he emphasized, “. . . but it doesn’t teach you how to got there. It’s like a pill; in a way you don’t know how the pill works . . . and you may end up somewhat refreshed but if you had the option to got on a device that would allow you to learn to create the permissive conditions for the creation of this synchrony, then you’d be in much better shape, because then you could apply that anywhere without the tools and begin to learn how to function in everyday activity while doing that” (in Hutchison, 1986, V. 222). Also, another prominent scientist, Dr. Elmer Green remarked that we should not try to drive the brain but to help people learn to achieve hemispheric synchronization without external sources of brain entrainment (in Hutchison, 1986).

These are indeed legitimate and important questions that require scientific and data-based answers. Is Hemi-Sync a pill? Are we promoting dependency on a tape and a tape recorder for the rest of a patient’s life? Based on solid electoencephalographic data that we have collected in our neuropsychological laboratory, it is quite clear that after a brief period of exposure to Hemi-Sync frequencies, subjects can summon the beneficial effects of this technology at will without the use of any external sources of entrainment. In several studies, it was clearly demonstrated that subjects by merely counting up from one to eleven and simply saying, “access channel open” were able to achieve full bilateral synchrony (see Sadigh, 1990 and 1991a). Furthermore, unlike EEG biofeedback training which is limited to training in a specific state of consciousness (i.e. cognitive or somatic relaxation), Hemi-Sync can promote training in a variety of states ranging from active concentration to sleep. To those who have understandably questioned the effectiveness of Hemi-Sync and its potential to be more than an external driver we offer our data and findings–let them speak for themselves.

Theories of Hemi-Sync

Based on the findings of several studies presented in the Hemi-Sync Journal (see Sadigh, 1990,1991a, and 1991b), I wish to propose two theories of Hemi-Sync namely, the State Enhancement Theory, and the Hemispheric Communication Theory.

The State Enhancement Theory

One important observation that we made in a number of Hemi-Sync studies was that subjects exposed to the same Hemi-Sync signals achieved bilateral synchronization at different frequencies. One explanation for this phenomenon is that Hemi-Sync goes beyond “blind” entrainment. That is to say, unlike other brain-entrainment modalities which force the brain to produce certain frequencies, Hemi-Sync actually collaborates with the brain to enhance its naturally dominant state.

In summary, according to this theory:

Within a relatively defined frequency range, Hemi-Sync guides the brain to enhance and synchronize itself at its own dominant and naturally occurring frequency and state.

Should we be able to continue to support this theory with further research, we may conclude that Hemi-Sync is indeed a technology beyond entrainment and for that matter it is one of the safest modalities for health improvement and enhancement.

The Hemispheric Communication Theory

A second Hemi-Sync theory in that of the Hemispheric Communication Theory. Based on studies observing the electrocortical activity of patients undergoing psychotherapy, it appears that moments of insight and “clarity” are preceded by moments of bilateral synchrony (see Sadigh, 1991b). This is an important observation since in psychotherapy insight denotes an integration of cognition (LEFT BRAIN) and affect (RIGHT BRAIN).

In summary, this theory may be stated as follows:

Certain Hemi-Sync frequencies allow various unconscious ego-defense mechanisms to be transcended which will in turn facilitate communication between the two hemispheres. This therapeutic communication is likely to allow physical and psychological healing to follow.

Again further research is required to support and expand this theory. Should this theory withstand the text of time, it will provide us with a now way of understanding the human mind and how we may promote its healing.


The purpose of this paper was two-fold. First, a number of questions have been raised in the scientific community with regard to the effectiveness and the potentials of Hemi-Sync. I believe it is time for us to address some of these questions by reflecting on empirical data that has already been collected and analyzed. Secondly, two theories of Hemi-Sync were presented in this paper. In my view, based on these theories, it is imprudent to think of Hemi-Sync as a mere entrainment audio technology. It is a phenomenon worthy of thorough scientific research since it may provide us with many answers about the functioning of the human mind.


Hutchison, M. (1986). Megabrain. New York: Beech Tree Books, Morrow.

Reik, T. (1948). Listening with the Third Ear. New York: Farrar, Straus Co.

Sadigh, M. R. (1990). Hemi-Sync and brain entrainment: Myth or reality? Hemi-Sync Journal, Vol. VIII No. 4, 3-4.

Sadigh, M. R. (1991a). Mysteries of Hemi-Sync: Beyond entrainment. Hemi-Sync Journal, Vol. IX No. 4, 2-3.

Sadigh, M. R. (1991b). Hemi-Sync and insight-oriented psychotherapy. Hemi-Sync Journal. Vol. IX No. 2, 1-2.

An Empirical Investigation Into the Effect of Beta Frequency Binaural-beat Audio Signals on Four Measures of Human Memory

By Richard Cauley Kennerly


Beta frequency binaural-beat audio signals were utilized to investigate facilitation of human performance on two memory tasks and two memory related tasks. Subjects were 50 college students randomly assigned with a double-blind methodology to the control or experimental groups. The control group listened to instrumental music. The experimental group listened to the same music with binaural-beat audio signals bedded under the music. The four dependent variables used were a 25 item word list recall test, a 25 item word list recall/recognition test, and from the WAIS-R the digit symbol and digit span subtests. The experimental group displayed statistically significant (p>.05) increases in mean scores with the word list recall test, the digit symbol subtest, and the digit span subtest. No statistically significant increases in the experimental mean over the control mean were noted in the word list recognition/recall subtest. The results indicate that beta frequency binaural-beat audio signals are an effective method for facilitating simple free recall memory, ability to attend, and the ability to persevere at routine motor tasks.


This thesis is the culmination of a long personal struggle with the educational system. I have always loved questioning and learning. Yet before graduate school I never enjoyed, or did well in school. I have spent a lifetime on the edge of academic failure where every mediocre grade was a struggle. As a child, adults told me that I was smart and that there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to make excellent grades. The unspoken judgement being that I just didn’t want to, that there was something wrong with me or worse, that I just didn’t try hard enough. I know I frustrated many people, yet I was the most frustrated one of all.

As an adult I worked my way through college, and graduated out of luck and shear persistence. If I failed a class, I took it over until I made the grade I needed. In graduate school I knew I would need a new strategy, since I could no longer take classes over with the new grade replacing the old. I could not afford to work so hard for such mediocre results. I was still very frustrated, and I turned that frustration into a search for answers.

To my joy, I found a combination of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a nutrient found in seafood, and binaural-beat signals worked well to offset my learning disabilities.

What had been an academic Sisyphean struggle became a genuine pleasure. The effect was one of personal transformation and excellent grades. I felt as though I had been set free from a life long prison.

The thesis you now hold arises out of my personal success with, and interest in, binaural-beat signals.

This thesis is dedicated to Elisabeth Schumacher, my mother. Without her unfailing love and devotion, none of my life achievements would have been possible. She has believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She has given me support when I needed it, without regard for herself. She has loved me beyond all reason, and that has sustained me down a long and rocky road.


This study is an empirical inquiry into the facilitation of human memory with the use of beta frequency binaural-beat audio signals (BBS’s) under conditions designed to control for confounding variables. Previous studies have not controlled for confounding variables, preventing any definite conclusions on the extent to which BBS’s may facilitate memory.

Were the observed results with BBS’s in previous research the result of placebo effects, a confounding variable, or the binaural-beat signals? It is not an answerable question until research is done demonstrating the effectiveness of BBS’s in facilitating memory under more controlled conditions.

The hypothesis and experimental design of this study are constructed to be able to answer the question of the effectiveness of BBS’s in facilitating memory under controlled conditions. Statistically significant results in this study would support earlier non-empirical research which has found BBS’s to be useful in facilitating improved academic performance among mainstream and Attention Defict/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) populations. The results of the earlier studies, and more tightly controlled studies with other brain wave training techniques, suggest that beta frequency BBS’s should significantly facilitate memory.

Hypothesis and Operational Definition of Memory

There were four hypothesis used in this research, each postulating that in a study controlling for confounding variables the experimental group would display a statistically significant improvement in mean scores over the control group at a .05 or less significance level.

Hypothesis one (H1) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by a 25 item word list recall test.

Hypothesis two (H2) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by a 25 item word list recall/recognition test.

Hypothesis three (H3) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by the WAIS-R digit symbol subtest.

Hypothesis four (H4) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by the WAIS-R digit span subtest.

The statistically significant improvement in the mean scores of the experimental group over the control group on any of the tests allows one to infer that facilitation of test performance occurred. If there were no confounding variables, this facilitation of test performance can be assumed to be the result of the independent variable.

The free recall word list test and the combined recognition/recall test are the two most memory related tasks out of the four presented and thus the two most relevant to drawing any conclusions about the facilitation of memory. Generally memory can be characterized as “the ability to reproduce or recount information that was experienced at an earlier time” (Domjan & Burkhard, 1982, p. 308).

For the purposes of this study memory was operationally defined as a subject’s ability to reproduce the information presented on a test within the limited time allocated for reproduction of that information.

The Four Dependent Variables

Four tests were administered to each of 50 undergraduates participating in the study to obtain data on the effect of binaural-beat signals on memory. The first test, word list free recall, was a simple free recall memory task given to obtain data on the facilitation of memory with beta-frequency binaural-beat signals.

The second test was a German vocabulary combined recall-recognition test given to obtain data on the facilitation of memory with a more complex associative recognition/recall task.

The third and fourth tests were the digit span and digit symbol subtests of the WAIS-R. These two tests were administered in order to gain clarity on the observations of teachers who have used binaural-beat signals in their classrooms. These teachers have reported increases in grades, student attention, and decreased hyperactivity while using binaural- beat audio signals in their classes (Edrington, 1985). The two WAIS-R subtests were used to determine if binaural-beat audio signals could facilitate the ability to attend and persevere at routine tasks. Facilitation of these two features of cognitive performance may be in part, or in whole, the underlying factors in the facilitation of memory by binaural-beat signals.

What Are Binaural-Beat Audio Signals?

Binaural-beat audio signals are a specific audio entrainment technique for altering a subject’s brain waves. Alteration of a subject’s brain wave frequency or amplitude produces changes in the subject’s performance level on some cognitive tasks (Hutchinson, 1994). Brain-wave training is the utilization of brain-wave altering equipment (usually biofeedback equipment) to produce durable changes in a subject’s brain waves (Peniston, & Kulkosky 1989).

Brain-wave training has been found to yield excellent results in the facilitation of human memory, attention span, and relaxation (Hutchinson, 1994). Furthermore, this research has been demonstrating brain-wave training as an effective intervention in impaired levels of functioning due to ADHD, learning disabilities (LD), physical brain trauma, and psychological trauma (Ochs, 1993).

As a specific technique of brain-wave training, BBS’s have not been empirically studied to produce statistically significant data on how comparable they are to other forms of brain-wave training. Such results would lay a more solid groundwork for clinicians and clinician researchers who are using, or interested in using, binaural-beat brain-wave training.

It is hoped that this study will be one of the first bricks in the laying of a solid research foundation for support of clinicians and organizations interested in applied research and application of binaural-beat brain-wave training.


There has been a quiet revolution occurring in the study of human cognitive functioning and its associated brain wave activity. Breakthroughs have been occurring whose application may rival the introduction of drug therapies to psychiatry. This new wave of therapies involves non-drug interventions capable of rapidly healing previously resistant pathologies and improving cognitive performance in normal subjects.

These new interventions have arisen out of ongoing research in Electroencephalographic (EEG) feedback. In the sixties, EEG feedback was used primarily to control stress. However the interest of serious researchers waned as EEG biofeedback was embraced in the popular culture as a cure all and was tainted with a somewhat disreputable air by association with the human potential movement. Clinical interest in biofeedback returned with the decline of popular attention to biofeedback and the publication of controlled studies showing the effectiveness of biofeedback in chemical and psychometric tests with up to three years of follow-up (Ochs, 1993).

As new generations of EEG equipment became available, researchers developed an expanding understanding of brain wave patterns. Associations were found between specific patterns of brain wave activity and pathological, normal, and optimal cognitive performance/states.

Utilizing this information, biofeedback researchers have been training subjects who have frequency patterns associated with various disorders to alter their brain wave patterns to match those associated with normally functioning individuals (Hutchinson, 1994). This technique has been found to be a rapid and effective intervention for many severe and resistant pathologies including, “depression, sleep disorders, seizures, chronic fatigue, headaches, mood swings, anxiety” (Hutchison, 1994, p. 361), alcoholism, (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989), addiction, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, post-traumatic stress, paralysis and cognitive impairment as a result of a stroke or head injury (Ochs,1993).

On the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) brain-wave training (BWT) resulted in significant decreases on the “scales labeled schizoid, avoidant, passive-aggressive, schizotypal, borderline, paranoid, anxiety, somatoform, dysthymia, alcohol abuse, psychotic thinking, psychotic depression, and psychotic delusion” when used with vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1990, p. 37).

Possible Mechanisms Underlying Brain-wave Training Triggering of Neurotransmitters

Why should helping individuals retrain their brain wave frequency patterns be so helpful? A suggestion might be found in the work of Patterson and Capel (1983) in Surrey, England. They found that different neurotransmitters were triggered by different frequencies and wave forms. For example, a 10-hertz signal boosts production and turnover rate of serotonin. “Each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency, based on the predominant neurotransmitters it secretes,” says Dr. Capel. “In other words, the brain’s internal communications system–its language, if you like–is based on frequency…” (Ostrander & Schroeder, 1991, p. 264).

The implications of Capel’s & Patterson’s work is that one can alter the brain’s neurochemistry, and thereby it’s functioning, with modifications of brain wave frequency.

The popular drug Prozac alleviates depression by increasing serotonin levels. The serotonin levels are elevated through the selective chemical inhibition of the brain’s serotonin-reuptake enzymes (Kramer, 1993). The positive effect of Prozac on a depressed subject’s mood and social functioning can be profound, effects which are generated by elevating the subject’s serotonin levels.

According to Patterson and Capel, a similar increase in the level of serotonin in the brain could be achieved through the induction of a 10-hertz signal. Could we alleviate depression and other impairments associated with low serotonin levels as effectively with brain wave training as with Prozac? What about other forms of impaired mental functioning for which we have no effective chemical interventions? According to many researchers we can, and the triggering of the release of beneficial neurotransmitters may be why.

Return of the Brain to Pre-Trauma Neurochemical State

The direct release of desirable neurotransmitters through an increase in amplitude of specific brain wave frequencies might not be the only mode of action for brain-wave training. A somewhat related theory of why helping subjects retrain their EEG patterns could be helpful is postulated by Len Ochs, a California therapist and researcher. Dr. Ochs speculates that the neurochemical response to trauma may become entrained as a permanent state, limiting normal functioning, and that brain-wave training may allow a return to the pre-trauma neurochemical state.

Dr. Ochs postulates that psychological or physical trauma induces such a high level of neurochemical excitement that a seizure may be imminent. In order to protect itself, the brain responds with inhibitory chemicals. One could visualize it as the neurochemical equivalent of curling up in a ball. In a protective stance, the inhibited brain has lost function, just as person curled up in a ball cannot walk or function normally in their protective posture.

Dr. Ochs postulates that these inhibitory chemicals may linger in the brain for an extended period of time (one supposes for lack of activation of the proper janitorial reuptake enzymes) or, that the brain mechanism responsible for the production of the seizure protecting neurotransmiters does not reset itself to the pre-trauma state, creating a new homeostatic state of impaired functioning.

If brain-wave training resets the neurochemistry to its pre-trauma state, such a mechanism would explain why it is helpful, and why it works with pathologies resistant to other interventions.

EEG Disentrainment Feedback

Dr. Ochs created an EEG biofeedback device which operates directly on the subjects EEG patterns through light and sound drivers. Normally in EEG biofeedback a subject must attend to, and attempt to respond to a signal which provides information about their brain wave frequencies.

Unlike traditional EEG biofeedback, in Dr. Ochs’ device there is no need for the subject to be consciously in the loop or attempting to do anything. The overall brain waves respond to and match the frequency and amplitude of the signals delivered via strobe glasses and headphones. The audio and visual stimuli in turn are generated by the overall amplitude and frequency of the EEG. A computer monitors both and allows the clinician to intervene and sweep the frequencies upward or downward.

Dr. Ochs calls his form of biofeedback “EEG disentrainment feedback (E.D.F.)” (Ochs, 1993). The equipment is actually entraining the brainwave frequencies, yet he refers to it as disentrainment feedback. The disentrainment is for the hypothesized intervention of disentraining a protection mechanism gone awry, a locked in state of emergency brain functioning.

Ochs has been having remarkable results with victims of both psychological trauma and physical brain trauma. He has successfully treated victims of closed head injury, stroke, post-traumatic stress, depression, and addiction. Many of these patients had conditions which were very resistant to treatment with other interventions.

If Dr. Ochs hypothesis is true, then the EDF and all other brain wave retraining devices either activate the proper inhibitory enzyme reuptake mechanism, or they disrupt the seizure inhibition responses which have taken over as the day to day standard for neurochemical functioning.

In either case, brain-wave training would be helping because it allows the brain to reset itself to its normal unimpaired state of functioning. The brain-wave training would not be directly repairing what is impaired, but would be enabling the brain to heal itself (Ochs,1993).

The observations and speculations of Ochs, Patterson and Capel provide some insight into why such “physical therapy” for the brain may work. They illustrate why we might be as effective using brain wave training to improve some individual elements of functioning, such as memory, as well as working on broad fields of impaired functioning such as depression, head injury, addiction, ADHD, ect..

The Peniston Protocol

Perhaps the most famous research to date using EEG biofeedback training has been the work of Peniston and Kulkosky for their procedure, the Penniston protocol. Peniston and Kulkosky used alpha-theta brain-wave training to increase the amount and amplitude of the subjects alpha and theta brain waves.

Dr. Eugene Peniston and Dr. Paul Kulkosky randomly assigned alcoholics to a control group which received conventional medical treatment (Minnesota Model (12 Step)), and an experimental group for which the only interventions were fifteen twenty minute sessions of Alpha-Theta brain wave training. They also included in the study a second control group of non-alcoholics. The results sent a shockwave through every segment of the alcohol treatment community aware of the study (Hutchison, 1994).

The control group, who received traditional medical treatment, demonstrated an 80 percent relapse rate during the thirteen month post treatment follow-up period. The experimental group, who received 15 twenty minute brain- wave training (BWT) sessions (and no other treatment) demonstrated only a 20 percent relapse rate during the same follow-up period. “Depression, as indexed by Becks’s Depression Inventory, was significantly reduced to control (nonalcoholic) level after BWT” (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989, p. 276). The alcoholic control group did not demonstrate any significant change in depression as measured by Beck’s Depression Inventory.

Lack of Success with Standard Medical Treatment

Only a twenty percent success rate with traditional intervention techniques in the Peniston & Kulkosky study is not an unusual finding on the effectiveness of currently available alcohol treatment.

At the Washington University Department of Psychiatry, John Helzer and colleagues concluded in their study that “Less than 10 percent of those treated specifically for alcoholism survived and were not drinking alcoholically five to eight years after receiving treatment” (Peele, 1989, p. 78).

In a study of the Minnesota Model at Cambridge following up 100 patients across eight years, researchers concluded “there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease” (Peele, 1989, p. 74).

Peniston and Kulkosky also note that “major outcome studies that have used specific therapeutic interventions such as controlled drinking, abstinence, compulsory AA attendance, and an active follow-up program yielded results after 2 and 8 years that were no better than those of the natural history of the disorder” (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989, p. 271).

Advantage of Brain-wave training Over Standard Medical Treatment

If alcoholism does involve impaired brain function, then the above statistics and results would not be surprising. The subjects who received the traditional medical treatment are fighting against there own physiology, whereas those who are receiving the alpha-theta brain-wave training are not.

Beta-endorphine has been linked to internal control mechanisms for eating and ethanol consumption (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989). Based upon an existing literature, Peniston and Kulkosky observe, “If Beta-endorphin is elevated in alcoholics, a return to consumption of ethanol calories would be inevitable” (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989, p. 276).

Peniston and Kulkosky did find significantly elevated levels of beta-endorphine in the group who received traditional medical treatment. They did not find elevated levels of beta-endorphine in the group who received the brain-wave training.

Just as a painter with no arms must struggle to overcome the limitations of his physiology to pursue what he wants to do, so might an alcoholic need to struggle against his physiology to pursue his own choices for his life. Within the traditional model of treatment, a basic physiological impediment is not being addressed. According to the findings of Peniston & Kulkosky, that basic physiological impediment is being addressed with brain-wave training; a physiological impediment addressed not with drug therapy, but with a non-invasive technique which allows elevated brain chemistry to return to normal values. This is a technique which in essence allows the brain to heal itself.

The implications of the Penniston protocol are not just for the alcoholic, but also for any victim of the class of impaired brain functioning Dr. Ochs discusses. Under his model anyone with impaired neurochemistry (such as elevated beta-endorphine) would receive the same benefit of normalized brain chemistry after the brain-wave training.

EEG Beta Brain-wave training

While the Peniston protocol focuses on Alpha and Theta brain-wave training, other researchers have been looking into the benefits of using brain-wave training for beta frequencies. Beta training is another brain-wave training technique which trains the subjects to increase the amplitude and frequency of their mid-range beta frequencies. Beta training has been found to be an effective tool for treating ADHD and dyslexia (Hutchison, 1994, p. 360) and would seem to be significant particularly in the area of education.

In a controlled study, (Dr. Siegried) Othmer has found that this beta training produces average IQ increases of 23 percent. In cases where the starting IQ value was lower than 100, the average IQ increase was 33 points. Othmer has also found dramatic improvements in visual retention and auditory memory, and the subjects showed major gains in reading and arithmetic. In a one-year follow-up study, the trainees showed major improvements in self-esteem and concentration and significant improvements in such areas as handwriting, school grades, sleep, irritability, organization, hyperactivity, verbal expression, and headaches…Amazingly the improvements seem to be permanent. (Hutchison, 1994, p. 360-361).

These results warrant further research and beckon for educational application. How many special education classes and special education students could benefit from significant improvements in levels of hyperactivity, irritability, organization, and self-esteem? How many mainstream classes and students would appreciate and benefit from increased auditory memory and visual retention, IQ gains of 23 percent and improvements in verbal expression, reading and arithmetic? Pursuit of beta brain-wave training is clearly warranted for its potential to help students and teachers alike in achieving the goals of quality education.

Barriers of Cost to EEG Brianwave Training

As a tool to facilitate education, Beta training would seem to hold the same promise as alpha-theta training does for alcoholism. Indeed considering the proliferation of destructive drug use among current student populations, alpha-theta training might also be of significant interest in an educational setting. Unfortunately, in an educational environment financial resources limit making available EEG biofeedback brain-wave training to those who could benefit from it.

A major limitation in the application of EEG biofeedback training has been the cost of the equipment and the limited context under which it can be used. It is hard to imagine a classroom where all twenty students are seated with electrodes on their heads and a biofeedback therapist attending to each of them. Even as a lab where the students may go for one period a day, the cost would be prohibitive. The EEG biofeedback equipment can cost between $4,000 and $20,000 (Hutchison, 1994) per machine. Furthermore, EEG biofeedback requires the one on one attention of highly trained personnel. Cost for the therapists and equipment precludes EEG biofeedback training from practical use for most educational settings.

Alternatives to EEG Biofeedback Training

Fortunately, EEG biofeedback training is not the only way to accomplish the EEG training. Audio and visual driving of brain wave frequencies without a feedback loop has been found to be an effective method of performing the same brain-wave training. Currently available to the public for prices ranging from $99 to $350 (Tools for Exploration Vol. V, No. 2 Summer/Fall 1994), are Light and Sound (LS) machines.

These devices use audio and photic driving to alter the users brain waves to the desired frequency and amplitude patterns. Dr. Ochs EEG biofeedback device uses an LS machine as the part of the equipment which drives the alterations in brain-wave frequencies. His device becomes a form of EEG BWT because of the feedback loop through the computer and EEG machine.

An LS machine consist of set of headphones, blackout glasses with small lights placed over each eye, and a small computer. The computer controls the strobe frequency of the lights, matching them with the frequency of auditory monaural and binaural beats. The LS machines are not only cheaper to purchase than EEG BWT training equipment, but are also cheaper to operate. Unlike EEG biofeedback BWT training they do not require the one on one attention of highly trained personnel (Hutchison, 1994).

Comparable Results with Light and Sound Brain-wave Training and EEG Brain-wave Training

Russell, and Carter, have been using LS brain-wave training with learning disabled (LD), and ADHD children for beta brain-wave training (Russell & Carter, 1990). The purpose of the LS beta training is to increase the amplitude and frequency of beta brain wave activity in the frontal lobes. ADHD has been found to be “linked to abnormally slow brain-wave activity in specific parts of the brain, including the premotor cortex and the superior prefrontal cortex, which are used when people pay attention, or keep still” (Hutchison, 1994, p. 358).

A significant difference in the verbal and performance subtests of the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children is a diagnostic indicator of possible organicity, ADHD or learning disability (Aiken, 1988). What Dr. Russell and Dr. Howard noted in their LD or ADHD subjects was that whichever subtest was suppressed in the pre-test was significantly raised in the post-test (after the Beta training).

Groups that began with low verbal IQ scores had pronounced gains in verbal IQ, spelling, and arithmetic. Groups that began with high verbal but low performance IQ showed significant gains in non-verbal IQ, reading, spelling and memory…they concluded that the degree of significant improvement in functioning is related to the number of treatment sessions. (Hutchison, 1994, p. 362)

It can be seen that this intervention is normalizing the spread of the WISC subtest scores and apparently following Dr. Ochs hypothesis. The brain-wave training is permitting an individual with impaired functioning to be normalized and enter a state of unimpaired functioning on measures normally associated with organicity.

Russell and Carter suggest that use of LS devices and EEG training “may stimulate either the successful establishing of new neural pathways in the brain or re- establishing of old pathways that have been disrupted” (Hutchison, 1994, p. 363).

The re-establishment of old disrupted neural pathways sounds in essence the same as the primary mode of action for brain wave training hypothesized by Ochs. But if beta, and perhaps all brain-wave training, is doing more than just re-establishing old pathways (if it is actually creating new neural pathways as Russell and Carter suggest) then might it also be of value to expand normal mental capacities?

In the study of ADHD children conducted by Russell and Carter, significant increases in IQ scores were noted as the result of beta training raising the depressed subtest on the WISC. Othmer also found in his beta training biofeedback that ADHD subjects IQ scores rose significantly. These were both populations with impaired functioning whose rise in IQ scores can be viewed as the probable result of gaining an unimpaired level of functioning where before there had been an impaired level of functioning.

But if beta, and perhaps all brain wave training, is actually creating new neural pathways as a secondary mode of action, and if, as a tertiary mode of action, is stimulating the production of beneficial neurotransmitters as suggested by the work of Dr. Meg Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, then it would be reasonable to assume that brain-wave training might actually increase the level of functioning of an unimpaired subject.

Cranial Electrical Stimulation

Research suggestive of just such a hypothesis may be found in the investigation of cranial electrical stimulation (CES). CES is a technique which introduces the desirable frequencies by low level electrical currents applied to the cranium. The medical college at the University of Wisconsin conducted a study on a commercially available CES device, the BT-5. The purpose of the study was to determine if the BT-5 would reduce student anxiety during final exams. The unexpected results were increases in IQ by twenty to thirty points and a conclusion by the researchers that the “BT-5 (CES) stimulation appears to enhance neural efficiency…” (Ostrander & Schroeder, 1991, pp. 265-266).

As with the other forms of brain wave training, CES has a history of research showing significant improvements in individuals with an impaired level of functioning. Like the Peniston protocol, CES brain wave training has had profound beneficial effects on the impaired mental and social functioning of alcoholics and addicts. CES has enabled some addicts and alcoholics to go cold turkey without any withdrawal symptoms, apparently through the stimulation of the production of beneficial endorphins (Ostrander & Schroeder, 1991). CES brain wave training has been found to be effective in the treatment of impaired short term memory in alcoholics. With severe alcoholism, it can take as long as eight years of total abstinence before short term memory returns to its unimpaired level of functioning. With CES brain wave training, it can take as little as five days (Ostrander & Schroeder, 1991).

If neural efficiency is increased, if new neural pathways can be created and if an impaired state of homeostatic functioning can be reset to a fully functional one, then all of these technologies and interventions represent a staggering opportunity to improve the opportunities and quality of life for broad populations of individuals through brain-wave training.

The results that Russell and Carter have obtained with a form of beta brain-wave training which does not involve EEG biofeedback is apparently of the same calibre as Othmer has received with beta brain-wave training involving EEG biofeedback. The demonstrated effectiveness of both approaches validates that one does not need the EEG feedback loop for the brain-wave training to be effective.

This demonstration of comparable results means that the significant potential of brain-wave training does not have to be limited by the fiscal constraints of EEG biofeedback brain-wave training. Despite the lowered cost of the LS brain-wave training devices verses the EEG biofeedback equipment, the LS machines are expensive enough that in an educational setting access may be a significant problem.

There is one other more cost effective method of conducting brain-wave training: binaural- beat audio signals. In the LS machines, the brain waves are altered through the use of light and sound drivers. In binaural-beat audio signal brain-wave training, only sound driving is used to alter brain waves.

Binaural-beat audio signals are the final technology we will discuss and the technology under investigation in this study.

Binaural-Beat Audio Signals

Binaural-beat signals utilize a powerful form of audio driving to alter brain- wave frequencies. In specific forms of intervention, frequencies could be presented to individuals for brain-ave training in essentially the same manner as LS brain wave training.

Binaural-beats signals (BBS’s) were first observed by the German scientist H.W. Dove in 1839. In its simplest form BBS’s consist of two pure tones of different pitch being presented to each ear. Before the advent of electronic occilators, researchers used tuning forks to produce the tones. Heard in the open air (monaural beats), the sound will wax and wane due to wave interference. A subject can hear these monaural beats with just one ear if need be. Binaural beats occur when the tones are presented separately to each ear. The sound no longer waxes and wanes in the room, but is heard inside the subject’s head as a tone synthesized by the brain which does not exist outside of the subject’s head (Oster, 1973).

The brain synthesizes the two sounds into a single experienced tone which seems to originate from the center of the subjects head. The synthesizing of the two tones into one experienced tone produces a phenomena known as hemispheric synchronization, where the electrical activity of the two hemispheres of the brain unite into a single synchronous pattern with an overall frequency at the frequency of the difference between the two original tones. If the difference between the two tones matches a particular brain wave state, such as 4-8 Hz (Theta), then the overall brain activity will tend to match that frequency, and hence enter that brain wave state. This phenomena is referred to as the Frequency-Following Response (FFR) and is a powerful form of brai-wnave entrainment (Edrington, & Allen, 1985). The FFR can easily take a subject into Beta, Alpha, Theta, or Delta brain wave states and help them maintain those states.

By using only audio stimulation for brain wave training, the financial access to the benefits of brain-wave training is improved. Equipment is reduced to a simple tape and personal stereo tape player. In the classroom, access is improved by use of open air speakers which prevents the subjects from having to wear any equipment at all and thus does not interfere with the normal structure of a class (Edrington, 1985). But are BBS’s as effective as other means of brain-wave training? In an educational setting, if one did want to facilitate memory and learning, how effective would BBS’s be?

Existing research has shown that teachers who have used BBS’s in their classrooms have reported a decrease in student distractibility and an increase in academic performance (Owens, 1984). A study conducted with an introductory psychology class found significantly higher scores in the experimental group on five out of six tests (Edrington 1983). A study conducted at a government training center found an increase in scores by 30% for Morse code students (Waldkoetter, 1982a) and 75% on mental-motor skills (Waldkoetter, 1982b) using BBS’s in addition to standard teaching procedures. The US Army has also reported positive results in using BBS’s, in this case to improve acquisition of a second language (Pawelek, & Larson). Such findings would seem to indicate that in these settings the BBS’s are an effective and worthwhile intervention for improving a student’s educational level functioning.

Variables in This Study

The Independent variable was the presence of BBS’s on the instrumental music tape the experimental group listens to; and the absence of the BBS’s on the same instrumental music tape heard by the control group.

Four dependent variables were used to obtain more data on the types of memory facilitated by BBS’s. These dependent variables were tests administered to 50 undergraduate students of West Georgia College. The students were randomly assigned with a double-blind methodology to the experimental or control groups. Each student listened to a tape of music (Independent Variable) while being administered a free recall word list test, a novel word recognition/recall test, and two subtests of the WAIS-R (the digit symbol, and digit span). The four tests administered were the Dependent Variables measuring an effect of the Independent Variable on memory.

For the purposes of this study, memory will be defined as “the ability to reproduce or recount information that was experienced at an earlier time” (Domjan, M., & Burkhard, B., 1982, p. 308). Operationally, memory will be defined by the subject’s ability to reproduce on each of four subtests the information that was presented to them. The more information a subject is able to reproduce, the higher the subject’s score on that test, and the more “memory” that will be considered to have been recorded.

Based upon the existing research, I hypothesized that the experimental group would display a statistically significant improvement in recall over the control group. I made this hypothesis on the basis of the success of previous less rigorous studies on BBS’s and on the basis of the success of other forms of beta brain-wave training in the facilitation of human memory and learning.

Purpose and Rationale of This Study

None of the previous research on BBS’s have provided adequate controls for other variables, which might account for the improvement in performance on memory and learning tasks. Improvements in memory have been demonstrated with proper controls with other forms of brain-wave training, but this data is lacking for binaural-beat signals. This study is a step toward filling in that gap.

Were the observed results with binaural-beat signals in previous research the result of placebo effects, a confounding variable or the binaural-beat signals? If the BBS’s do facilitate memory, do they also facilitate an increased ability to attend as reported by Edrington?

This study is an attempt to demonstrate, in a repeatable manner, the facilitation of memory with the use of BBS’s under conditions which attempt to control for confounding variables.

METHOD Subjects

50 undergraduate students at West Georgia College participated in the study. Some, if not most of the students participated for extra credit, or to meet a course requirement. Five graduate students also participated in the study but the results of their tests were discarded to prevent skewing of the results.


A between-groups design, also known as an independent subject design was used in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned with a double-blind methodology to experimental and control groups. A .05 or less significance level was used to determine whether or not to accept the null hypothesis (p>.05) or reject it (p<=.05) in favor of the research hypothesis.

The experimental group contained 27 subjects who were presented with a music tape bearing binaural-beat audio signals while performing four different learning tasks.

The control group contained 23 subjects who performed the same four learning tasks as the experimental group. The music tape that the control group listened to did not contain the BBSs but was otherwise identical to the tape the experimental group was presented with.

Latin Squares

In order to counterbalance any effect of practice or fatigue, the order of the four learning tasks was presented on a rotating basis known as “Latin Squares” (Puff, 1982). This was done to insure the even distribution of any carryover effects from one learning task to another.

Subject five was returned to the test order presented for subject one, subject six the same as subject two, ect.. Each group had its own supply of test packets. This was to maintain rotation of the learning tasks within each group to ensure the even distribution across subjects of any carryover effects from one task to another.

Apparatus The Independent Variable

The BBS’s used in the study for beta brain- wave training were provided by The Monroe Institute. There were two tapes, an instrumental music tape for the control group, and the same tape with BBS’s for the experimental group. The presence or absence of the binaural-beat audio signals was the Independent Variable.

The tapes were presented via headphones and stereo tape player at a low volume. The researcher maintained control over the tape volume to prevent any possible confounding of the results by varied volume levels.

The Dependent Variables

The subjects were presented with four different learning tasks: word list recall (appendix B), German vocabulary list recognition/recall (appendix C), and from the WAIS-R (1981) the Digit Span, and Digit Symbol subtests. There are 25 items on both the word list recall, and the German language vocabulary recognition/recall. The scores on the Digit Span and Digit Symbol subtests were scaled by age in accordance with the procedures given in the WAIS-R manual. These four subtests were the dependent variables in the study.

Procedure Informed Consent of Research Subjects

The experimenter presented each subject with a consent form in compliance with the West Georgia Institutional Review Board procedure for research with human subjects. Each subject was instructed to completely read the consent form, including the description of the experiment, before signing and proceeding with their participation in the study.

It was explained to the subjects that the purpose of the experiment was to determine what effect, if any, listening to these tapes at a low volume has on memory tasks. It was explained that the tapes do not contain any subliminal messages, that there will be four separate memory tasks, and that the whole process should take no more than 45 minutes.

The subjects were also informed that if they were interested in the results of the study or their personal scores, those would be available to them after the completion of the study.

Each subject was instructed to ask the experimenter if they had any questions, and if not, to sign the consent form if they were still interested in participating in the study.

Assignment of Subjects and Pre-Test Period

Each subject was then randomly assigned to the control or experimental group by a coin toss. The tapes were labeled K1 and K2 for experimental and control group respectively. A result of heads resulted in the subject being assigned to K1, and a result of tails in their being assigned to K2. At the time of the collection of the data, neither the experimenter nor subject knew which tape was for the experimental group, and which was for the control group.

Once the subject was assigned to a group, the appropriate tape was placed in the tape player, and the subject was asked to listen to the tape for fifteen minutes. The fifteen minute period of listening to the tape was to allow time for the entrainment of the brain waves of the subjects in the experimental group.

While the subject was listening to the tape their name was placed on a list for their professor if they were participating in the study for extra-credit. They were given a subject number which was placed on the front of their test packet. Each test packet was also marked for the sex of the subject, position in latin square rotation, and group.

Presentation of the Four Tests

At the end of the fifteen minutes of listening to the tape, each subject was instructed to continue listening to the tape while being presented with each of the four subtests. Each subject was presented with the learning tasks in as uniform a manner as possible.

The Word List Recall Test

For the word list recall subtest (appendix B), the subject was told, “I would like you to take two minutes and look at the words I am about to give you. When I say “stop” please turn the sheet over. I will provide you with a second sheet of paper on which I would like for you to reproduce as many of the words as you can. After five minutes I will again say “stop,” at which time I would like for you to stop working. If you have any questions I can repeat these instructions, would you like for me to do that, or do you want to proceed?”

If needed the researcher repeated the instructions. When the subject indicated their understanding of the directions the researcher stated, “Ok, let’s proceed.” The researcher then presented the subject with the word list, and timed for three minutes. At the end of three minutes the researcher stated “stop,” and replaced the word list with a blank piece of paper. At the end of five minutes the researcher again stated “stop,” and collected the recalled list from the subject.

The German Vocabulary Recognition/Recall Test

For the German vocabulary recognition/recall list (appendix C), the subject was told “I would like you to take three minutes and look at the words and definitions I am about to give you. When I say “stop” please turn the sheet over. I will provide you with a second sheet of paper on which I would like for you to fill as many definitions of the words as you can. After three minutes I will again say “stop,” at which time I would like for you to stop working. If you have any questions I can repeat these instructions. Would you like for me to do that, or do you want to proceed?” If requested to do so, the researcher repeated the instructions.

When the subject indicated their understanding of the directions the researcher stated, “Ok, let’s proceed.” The researcher then presented the subject with the German vocabulary recognition/recall list and timed for three minutes. At the end of three minutes the researcher stated “stop” and placed a list of the words without definitions in front of the subject while retrieving the original word and definition list. At the end of five minutes the researcher again stated “stop,” and collected the recalled list from the subject.

The Digit Span and Digit Symbol Tests

The experimenter presented the Digit Span and Digit Symbol subtests in accordance with standard test administration procedures for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, as outlined in the WAIS-R manual.

Scoring of Tests

The Word List Recall and the German vocabulary recognition/recall tests were scored with one point being assigned for each correct answer. These were 25 item tests yielding a possible score of 0 to 25 points for each subject.

The Digit Symbol and Digit Span subtests of the WAIS-R were scored and scaled before being analyzed, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the WAIS-R manual.


In an attempt eliminate confounding variables a simple posttest-only design was employed. Each subject was seen in a single interview to be assigned to a group, be exposed to one of the two levels of the independent variable, and finally to have the effect of the independent variable measured. While this design maximized the isolation of the independent variable it did not provide the independent variable an opportunity to exert a cumulative effect upon the dependent variable.

This is an important limitation in this study because of the noted cumulative effect of brain-wave training. Russell and Carter observed “that the degree of significant improvement in functioning is related to the number of treatment sessions” (Hutchinson, 1994, p. 362). Peniston and Kulkosky also note “Time course analysis of the EEG effects of brain-wave training revealed that increases in alpha and theta rhythms occurred gradually across the 15 treatment sessions” (Peniston, & Kulkosky, 1989 p. 276).

The studies which evaluated student performance over a period of weeks or months have had the benefit of the cumulative effect of brain-wave training. The cumulative effect of the binaural-beat audio signals is a part of the brain-wave training process which was not included in the design of this study and may have a significant impact on the strength of the response as measured by the dependent variable.

This study did not provide for repeated exposures to the dependent variable due to limitations in resources. A logical next step might be to conduct this study again with a longitudinal dimension to observe any increase of performance across repeated sessions, and to observe the effect of binaural audio signals on learning as well as memory.

Placebo and suggestion effects were deliberately filtered out with a double-blind design, in order to gain clarity on what role the layered binaural-beat audio signals play in the positive results obtained with binaural-beat audio signals. Some of the positive results of previous studies may have been the result of just such effects, thus the positive results of this study may not be as profound as in previous research.


There were four hypothesis used in this research, each postulating that in a study controlling for confounding variables the experimental group would display a statistically significant improvement in mean scores over the control group at a .05 or less significance level.

Hypothesis one (H1) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by a 25 item word list recall test. Hypothesis two (H2) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by a 25 item word list recall/recognition test. Hypothesis three (H3) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by the WAIS-R digit symbol subtest. Hypothesis four (H4) postulated a statistically significant higher mean score for the experimental group as measured by the WAIS-R digit span subtest.

In reviewing the data the experimental group does display statistically significant higher mean scores on three of the four dependent measures, allowing for the rejection of the null hypothesis for H1, H3, and H4. The obtained data does not allow for the rejection of the null hypothesis with H2. Figures one through four display the mean scores with histograms and significance level.

Word List Free Recall Results

On the Word List Recall subtest, the control group displayed a mean score of 14 correct responses, and the experimental group displayed a mean score of 15.93 correct responses out of a possible 25. When evaluated with a t-test for the statistical significance of the result, the value of t(2.5) is found to fall between a probability of .02 and .01 (df=48). Since this is less than the minimum significance level of .05, the result is considered statistically significant.

Word List Recognition Results

On the Word List Recognition subtest, the control group had a mean score of 12.61 correct responses, and the experimental group had a mean score of 15.04 correct responses out of a possible 25. When evaluated with a t-test for the statistical significance of the result, the value of t(1.76) is found to fall between a probability of .10 and .05 (df=48). Since this is greater than the minimum significance level of .05 the result is not considered statistically significant.

Digit Symbol Results

The scaled Digit Symbol subtest displayed a mean score of 9.46 for the control group, and a mean score of 11.44 for the experimental group. When evaluated with a t-test for the statistical significance of the result, the value of t(2.83) was found to be greater than the critical value for a probability of .01 (df=48). Since this is less than the minimum significance level of .05, the result is considered statistically significant.

Digit Span Results

The scaled Digit Span subtest displayed a mean score of 7.69 for the control group and 9.85 for the experimental group. When evaluated with a t-test for the statistical significance of the result, the value of t(2.4) was found to fall between a probability of .02 and .01(df=48). Since this is less than the minimum significance level of .05, the result is considered statistically significant.


For H1 the Word List Recall test, H3 the Digit Symbol test, and H4 the Digit Span tests, the data does permit the rejection of the null hypothesis in favor of the research hypothesis. For H2 the Word List Recognition test, the data does not allow for the rejection of the null hypothesis.

The data does support binaural-beat audio signals facilitating memory as measured by the word list recall test. The results of the digit span and digit symbol tests support the reports of Edrington, who found a decrease in student hyperactivity and an increased ability to pay attention in class while using BBS’s.

It is reasonable to infer, given the current data, that beta-frequency BBS’s are helpful for those individuals seeking help in free recall memory, attention and completion of routine tasks.

The Four Dependent Variables

The Word List Recall is a simple free recall test, and thus was considered by the experimenter to be the core dependent variable for examining any facilitation of memory with binaural-beat audio signals. The facilitation of memory as measured by higher mean scores on this test in the experimental group demonstrate that binaural-beat audio signal beta brain-wave training did facilitate memory.

The German vocabulary recognition list is more of a combined free recall and cued recall task and was also expected to be facilitated by the beta-frequency BBS’s. Surprisingly the results for this subtest did not show a statistically significant increase in memory as the other three subtests did.

Since a Latin Squares rotation of the tests was used, this data is not the result of the order of presentation.

The results may mean that the associative memory mechanisms behind remembering the meanings for a novel set of words were not reinforced as strongly as the mechanisms behind the pure recall of a word list.

These results are not expected to be a reflection of previous knowledge of German by some of the subjects. All subjects stated that they did not know German, and the words used were not similar in sound to the English equivalent.

Given that previous work in the comparable task of second language acquisition has reported success with BBS improving performance (Pawelek, & Larson, 1985), the lack of statistically significant mean scores may be an artifact of the single session limitations of this study. As noted in the limitations section, brain-wave training has been shown to increase in effectiveness with repeated sessions.

It would be interesting to see if the data from administering a foreign language vocabulary test would have statistically significant outcomes in a longitudinal study, which would provide for a repeated exposures to beta-frequency BBS brain-wave training.

The Digit Span subtest is not only an indication of an ability to recall and repeat back a series of rote numerical digits, but also of an individuals ability to attend. The increase in Digit Span should be of interest for assisting those populations, such as ADHD, with an impaired ability to maintain their attention on rote memory tasks.

This data supports the anecdotal reports of teachers and other professionals who have reported an increased ability to attend (or a decrease in student distractibility) among their students when using binaural-beat audio signals (Edrington, 1985). The binaural-beat audio signals should, as reported by Edrington, reported, be of use in the classroom to increase the students’ ability to attend to the lesson and instructor at hand.

The Digit Symbol test is timed, and the more the subject must look up the meaning of a symbol, the less time he has for filling out the meanings. Heightened memory should facilitate higher scores on this test due to less time spent going back to the list of symbols and their numerical equivalents.

However, the Digit Symbol subtest is not characterized in psychological assessment as a memory test, but as a performance subtest, measuring the subject’s ability to persevere at routine tasks.

The increase in performance of the experimental group over the control group at this task may be significant in its implications for assisting those populations who have academic difficulty due to an impaired ability to persevere at routine motor tasks, such as an ADHD child.

Relation of Obtained Results with Previous Research

The results support the ability of BBS’s to function as an effective stand alone form of brain-wave training. The research does provide support for the observations of teachers who have reported increased grades and fewer behavioral problems with their students while utilizing binaural-beat audio in the classroom.

The data is able to support the conclusions of previous research that binaural-beat audio signals increase a subject’s ability to perform free recall tasks, attend (reduced student distractibility) and persevere at routine tasks (as measured by the Digit Span and Digit Symbol subtests); three important dimensions for success in the classroom.

The beta-frequency BBS brain-wave training did have a positive impact on dimensions of mental performance known to be impaired in ADHD. This opens the possibility that beta frequency BBS’s may yield comparable results to the beta frequency brain-wave training conducted with EEG biofeedback and light and sound machines.

The results for the German vocabulary recognition/recall list are not able to support the data on a similar task as reported by Pawelek and Larson in the BBS facilitation of second language acquisition. This may be an artifact of the number of brain-wave training sessions used. It would be interesting to see if the data from administering a foreign language vocabulary test would have statistically significant outcomes in a longitudinal study.

A secondary question of the study was the effect of beta frequency BBS on attention. Could BBS’s be used to help ADHD populations? Striking research exists with other forms of brain-wave training (Othmer, Russell, & Carter) facilitating improved performance in ADHD populations. While this study was not designed to answer the question of how effective beta frequency BBS’s could be with ADHD subjects, its design was organized to look at one element of ADHD; attention.

In order to gain clarity on the relevance of binaural-beat brain-wave training for use with ADHD populations, the digit span and digit symbol subtests of the WAIS-R were administered. The two WAIS-R subtests were included in the study in order to determine if binaural-beat audio signals could facilitate the ability to attend and persevere at routine motor tasks. Statistically significant results on the free recall word list test, digit span, and digit symbol tests, provide support for the conclusion that beta-frequency BBS’s do facilitate improved attention. By inference the BBS form of brain-wave training should be helpful to ADHD subjects. Based upon the success of biofeedback brain- wave training, non-empirical BBS research and this study, further research seems warranted in applied empirical follow-up studies on the facilitation of memory with beta-frequency BBS’s among both mainstream and ADHD populations.


It would be rewarding to pursue the effect of binaural-beat audio signals into broader applications. Of particular interest would be the use of binaural-beat audio signals to help ADHD and unimpaired students function at a higher level in mainstream classes.

Another study seems to be in order to properly address the question of whether or not the BBS’s can facilitate learning as well as memory. The differentiation being that learning refers to “enduring effects of prior experience” (Domjan, & Burkhard, 1982, p. 309) and memory may be a short lived effect of prior experience. An empirical longitudinal investigation of BBS brain-wave training on learning would clarify the applicability of the BBS brain-wave training technology toward learning in normal and ADHD populations.

Due to the unexpected lack of significant results with the German vocabulary recognition/recall list, a longitudinal study with foreign language vocabulary recognition/recall lists would be of interest. Such a study could determine if this is a task not facilitated by beta frequency BBS brain-wave training, or if it is facilitated only with repeated brain-wave sessions.

Finally it would be of interest to investigate alpha-theta BBS brain-wave training in the treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. If the results of such a study find comparable benefits to the Peniston protocol, then the social and educational impact would be wide ranging. Access to an effective intervention may be opened up to the alcoholic or addict student. A student may be able to simply go to the school counselor’s office to receive effective, lasting treatment for an acute social and educational impairment.


Having found binaural-beat audio signals to be an effective method of facilitating memory on three of the four dependent variables in this study, it may be inferred that they are a viable form of brain-wave training and could provide a portable inexpensive method of assisting students and other individuals in memory tasks. This suggests that the observed results with binaural-beat signals in previous research were the result of the binaural-beat signals and not the result of placebo effects or a confounding variable.

Binaural-beat audio signal brain-wave training could provide a cost effective non- drug alternative to those individuals and educational systems seeking to augment standard techniques. Not only special populations, but mainstream education could benefit from making widely available a form of brain-wave training which makes the learning environment more enjoyable and productive.

It is hoped that this research demonstrated binaural-beat audio signal brain-wave training as a viable alternative to other more expensive and cumbersome methods of brain-wave training. Furthermore, it is hoped that this project will have layed part of the groundwork for more conclusive applied studies with binaural-beat brain-wave training in a variety of student populations and educational environments. Continuing applied research in brain-wave training holds promise to have a profound positive impact on the learning disabled, special education classes and the educational system in general.


The following materials were consulted for sample, content, and form.

Aiken, L.R., (1988). Psychological Testing and Assessment. Allyn and Bacon, INC.: Newton MA.

Carroll, G.D. (1986). Brain Hemisphere Synchronization and Musical Learning. University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (Available through The Monroe Institute, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Cozby, P.C. (1989). Methods in Behavioral Research. Mayfield Publishing Company: Mountain View CA.

Domjan, M., & Burkhard, B., (1982). The Principles of Learning and Behavior. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company: Monterey, CA.

Edrington, D. (1983, January). Hypermnesia experiment. Breakthrough. (Available from The Monroe Institute, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Edrington, D. (1985). A Palliative for Wandering Attention. Tacoma, WA. (Available from The Monroe Institute, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Edrington, D. (1985). Binaurally Phased Sound in the Classroom. Tacoma WA. (Available from The Monroe Institute, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Edrington, D., & Allen, C. (1985). 1984-1985 EEG Experiments with Binaurally Phased Audio Stimuli. Tacoma, WA. (Available from The Monroe Institute, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Hutchison, M. (1994). Mega Brain Power. New York: Hyperion.

Kramer, P.D., (1993). Listening to Prozac: A Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self. New York: Viking.

Ochs, L., (1993). Electroencephalographic Disentrainment Feedback (EDF). Concord, CA. (Electronically published manuscript available from author: Len Ochs, Ph.D., 3490 Silver Spur Court, Concord CA. 94518, or by email at

Ostrander, S., & Schroeder, L. Supermemory: The Revolution. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc.

Owens, J.D. (1984). Some reports from teachers using Hemi-Sync. Unpublished manuscript, Tacoma Community College, Tacoma WA.

Pawelek, Y., & Larson, J. (1985). Hemispheric Synchronization and Second Language Acquisition. US Army Educational Services Division, Fort Lewis, WA.

Peele, S. (1989). Diseasing of America Addiction Treatment Out of Control. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Peniston, E. G., & Kulkosky, P.J. (1989, March/April). Alpha-Theta Brain wave Training and B-Endorphine Levels in Alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,13, (2), 271-279.

Peniston, E. G., & Kulkosky, P.J. (1990). Alcoholic Personality and Alpha-Theta Brain wave Training. Medical Psychotherapy, 3, 35-37.

Puff, C. R., & Murphy, M.D. (1982). Free Recall: Basic Methodology and Analyses. In Puff, C. R. (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Human Memory and Cognition. (pp. 110-111). New York: Academic Press.

Russell, H.L. & J.L. Carter (1990). Cognitive and Behavioral Changes in Learning Disabled Children Following the Use of Audio- Visual Stimulation: The Trinity Project. Paper presented at the 16th annual meeting of the Biofeedback Society of Texas, Dallas.

Solso, R. L., & Johnson, H. H. (1989). An Introduction to Experimental Design in Psychology, A Case Approach. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.

Waldkoetter, R. (1982a). The use of audio guided stress reduction to enhance performance. Unpublished manuscript, The Monroe Institute, Professional Division, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, VA 22938)

Waldkoetter, R. (1982b). Executive summary. (Unpublished manuscript, The Monroe Institute, Professional Division, Rt. 1, Box 175, Faber, Va 22938)

Hemi-Sync® Into Creativity

by Chok C. Hiew, PhD

Chok C. Hiew holds a PhD from the University of Colorado and is currently professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He has been a Professional Member of The Monroe Institute since 1991. Dr. Hiew’s academic publications reflect his interests in community and health issues as well as in international psychology. His long-term aspiration is to build bridges between science and intuition. This paper, presented at the 1994 Professional Seminar, advances that aspiration.

Hemi-Sync proponents have long assumed that this sound technology is linked to the intuitive process and that one of its benefits is enhanced creativity. There is plenty of self-reported and anecdotal evidence that one effect of Hemi-Sync is a shift to a more creative state. Yet, to date, there has not been a single published scientific study objectively demonstrating this relationship.


This paper reports a pilot study designed to test the impact of Hemi-Sync audiotapes on creative responses and divergent thinking. Two Hemi-Sync tapes were used. In Session I, the Deep 10 Relaxation tape was used to induce a deep state of physical and mental relaxation. In Session II, after repeating the Deep 10 tape for the first 6.5 minutes, subjects spent the remainder of the session listening to the Surf tape. Surf consists of the sounds of ocean waves and Hemi-Sync with no verbal instructions. It was predicted that after listening to this Hemi-Sync tape in Session II, subjects would show the best performance when evaluated for creativity.

Design of Study

College students from an introductory psychology course were randomly assigned to an experimental (Hemi-Sync, n = 10) or a control group (n = 9). The subjects presented themselves in the sleep lab in two sessions separated by a week in time. The Hemi-Sync Group listened to the tapes described above. The Control Group listened to the same tapes without the Hemi-Sync tones. Both groups listened to Deep 10 Relaxation in Session I and a combination of partial Deep 10 (for the first 6.5 minutes) followed by the entire Surf tape in Session II.

Evaluation Measures

After listening to the tapes, subjects were evaluated in several ways. In Session I, a Subjective Experience Questionnaire was completed to assess how subjects felt about the experience. The Guilford Test of creativity was then administered. Common objects were named (e.g., pencil, shoe, button, etc.) and subjects responded by listing as many alternate uses for these objects as possible. Three objects were presented prior to listening to the tape (Prime items), and three others were presented after the tape (Unprimed items).

In Session II, the same tests were administered with the addition of a Doodles Test. Subjects were asked to draw a doodle representing what they were thinking about while listening to the tape.


The items in the Subjective Experience Questionnaire were rated by subjects on a seven-point scale. In the Guilford Test, responses were coded in three ways:

  1. Alternate Uses: Refers to the frequency of acceptable alternate uses for each object. Inappropriate and redundant uses were not counted.
  2. Fluency: Refers to the total responses, including redundant responses. It is a measure of the speed of producing responses.
  3. Flexibility: Refers to the frequency of creative shifts in the different use categories for each object.

The Doodles Test in Session II was coded by rating each doodle in terms of its degree of divergence from a single theme, i.e., how different was the drawing from the original theme or experimental situation. In this case, the situation was a subject lying on the floor listening to the sounds of ocean waves. Other dimensions, such as complexity, abstractness, and artistry were ignored. A five-point rating scale was used to code for the degree of divergent thinking.

Results 1. Subjective Experience Questionnaire

In general, subjects in both sets of conditions and both sessions found the tapes to be positive experiences as well as highly relaxing. However, the Session I Deep 10 tape (regardless of the presence or absence of Hemi-Sync tones) was significantly more positive and more relaxing than Surf. Within each session, no difference was found between the Hemi-Sync and the Control subjects. For an item rating whether they slept during the tape, Session II subjects listening to Surf were more likely to feel that they were awake than when listening to Deep 10 in Session I. Overall, these findings suggest that Session II subjects listening to the Surf tape were awake but relaxed prior to the creativity tests.

2. Guilford Test of Creativity

Subjects’ responses were rated by two raters (with one being totally blind to the conditions), and the inter-rater agreement for the various groups ranged from .89 to .96. The Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was conducted using a General Linear Models procedure with Repeated Measures to test the hypothesis. The significant findings were:

(a) Alternate Uses: There was a significant Sessions effect with subjects improving from Session I to II [F(1,10.34) = 5.70, p .03]. The Groups Main effect was also significant for the number of acceptable responses [F(1,26.23) = 5.03, p .04], indicating that Hemi-Sync subjects were generating more uses than the Control subjects. For Prime versus Unprimed scores, a highly significant Groups x Priming interaction was found [F(1,8.38) = 11.75, p .003]. For both Prime and Unprimed items, the Hemi-Sync subjects were generating more responses compared to the Control subjects.

(b) Fluency: The total number of responses (ignoring repetitions of similar uses) did not show a significant difference. This implied that in terms of speed of production of creative responses, the Hemi-Sync subjects were no faster than the Controls.

(c) Flexibility: There was a significant Groups Main effect [F(1,11.20) = 9.48, p .006], with the Hemi-Sync Group showing a higher number of creative “shifts” in categories of uses than the Controls. Furthermore, there was a Groups x Sessions interaction [F(1,49.32) = 9.71, p .006]. Here, Hemi-Sync subjects generated more “shifts” or a greater degree of flexibility from Session I to Session II, whereas the opposite trend was found for the Control Group.

Basically, the Hemi-Sync tones predictably increased the generation of alternate uses and category shifts (but not the speed of production) according to the Guilford creativity measures.

3. Doodles Test of Creativity

Please note that the coding scheme for evaluating doodles was developed post hoc, after conducting the study. However, the rating scheme was highly reliable since there was almost perfect agreement between the author and another rater blind to the conditions (r = .90).

It was clear that the doodles from the Hemi-Sync subjects were on themes that differed distinctly from the experimental theme (listening to ocean waves). In contrast, the doodles of most subjects in the Control Group focused predominately on a single theme, i.e., drawings of waves with sun and clouds and/or bodies lying on the ground/beach.

During the presentation of this study at The Monroe Institute’s 1994 Professional Seminar, twenty participants from the audience were co-opted as raters and all had mean scores that were consistently greater in divergent thinking for Hemi-Sync subjects than the Controls.


This exploratory study confirmed the prediction that not only do Hemi-Sync tapes (specifically Deep 10 Relaxation) produce a deep state of relaxation in the users but also a unique quality of Hemi-Sync (specifically Surf) is the enhancement of a creative state. The Doodles Test demonstrated that when listening to Surf with Hemi-Sync tones embedded, subjects apparently thought about matters far removed from the actual physical and auditory situation. Their thinking was highly divergent. This state subsequently seemed to produce improved performance in creativity. Performance during the Guilford Test showed that they were indeed more creative in the sense of responding with more alternate acceptable uses. In addition, they reliably generated more creative “shifts” in the number of unique categories of uses after listening to the Surf tape.

While these results provide some evidence of the impact of Hemi-Sync on creativity, this first study is exploratory in nature. Further research is planned with a larger sample of subjects. It will incorporate baseline measures of creativity prior to Hemi-Sync intervention together with other measures of creative problem-solving.

[Dr. Hiew expresses his heartfelt thanks to his colleague Dr. Donald Fields for making this study a reality through his “C-1” support and supervision of Julie MacPherson in data collection and also to Dan Hare for his assistance in data analysis. A replication of this study incorporating METAMUSIC Remembrance is in progress]