Beta Wave Basics, Part 1

If you have done any independent research on neurofeedback, you may have come across the following terms: “beta waves,” “alpha waves,” and “theta waves.” You may also be wondering what these waves even mean, what they are, and what they have to do with neurofeedback. This entry will look to focus specifically on beta waves and its relationship to neurofeedback. If you would like more information on “alpha waves” and “theta waves,” check out our blog entry on Alpha-Theta Training.

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As described in a previous blog entry What Exactly IS Neurofeedback, part of the process of neurofeedback is to utilize an EEG to monitor brain activity. The EEG will produce a picture of an individual’s brain activity via what looks like squiggly lines. These lines are in fact an individual’s brain waves. Every second of every day, millions of cells, or neurons, in the brain are communicating to one another simultaneously via electrical signals. It is these signals that make up the picture in an EEG as the device measures an individual’s electrical activity in the brain. Each electric wave, or brain wave, emits an electrochemical impulse. These impulses alter in frequency and each frequency is referred to as a different type of brain wave. Beta waves, for instance, are brain waves with a frequency ranging from approximately 14 hertz to 30 hertz while alpha waves have a frequency ranging from approximately 8 hertz to 13.9 hertz. A brain’s frequency will vary depending on brain activity.

For the purposes of neurofeedback, you can think about brain waves in terms of one’s state of mind. When an individual is engaged in an activity that requires paying attention, utilizing logic, or engaging in analytical thinking, such as at work or school, the brain is using beta waves. When an individual is in a state of pure relaxation, such as during meditation or yoga, the brain is using alpha waves. These waves reflect activities that a person engages in on a daily basis. Both activities and emotional states can change or alter a person’s brain waves. Due to typically busy (and often stressful) lifestyles, individuals’ brain frequency is within the range of beta waves for the majority of the day.

Now that you know the basics behind beta waves, hopefully you have a better understanding of the role beta waves have in your everyday life. To learn more about the frequency of beta waves and how that may be related to current problematic symptoms, tune back to our blog next week! We will also be discussing how neurofeedback may be the solution to these problematic symptoms.

Be sure to stay informed and to learn more information on neurofeedback and its therapeutic applications. Schedule an appointment or contact us if you would like to consult with a neurofeedback technician. See you next week!