Can anyone tell me how binaural beats of 10 Hz can cause a person to calm down and one of 40 Hz to cause someone to heighten their attention. All I know is that they work on the principal of Brainwave Entrainment. I am confused as to how can a 10-Hz difference in 2 sounds cause the brain to change its state of mind! A detailed but simple explanation would be great.

Binaural Beats

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2 Answers 2


It is thought that binaural beats entrain the brain in the frequency of the binaural beat. These beat frequencies show up in the EEG.

The EEG in turn represents synchronous activity in the cerebral cortex (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. EEG frequency bands and their associate mental states. source: Conor Russomanno

Now if you look at where 10 Hz EEG waves show up it is in the alpha frequency band associated with a relaxed mental state. The 40 Hz band on the other hand is associated with beta activity associated with an alert state.

Indeed, presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats have shown to improve the performance on psychophysical tasks and performances were better than when binaural beats were presented in the theta-delta range (Lane et al., 1998).

- Lane et al., Physiol Behav (1998); 63(2): 249–52


I will put here a link that I think explained this phenomenon more fully by looking at a huge number of different scientific studies done on the matter... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428073/#!po=11.3861

If you find the article too long, read the last paragraphs to find their conclusions. 😉

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    $\begingroup$ Please summarize the major points of the link here. It's also good to provide a citation in your answer. Both ensure that your answer remains useful in the future if your link dies. Thanks $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2019 at 5:24

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