Understanding Brain Waves
What are Brain Waves and What is Their Role in Neurofeedback?
Brainwaves are electrical impulses in the brain. They are the root of all our emotions, behaviours and thoughts which are communicated between neurons within our brains.
How Are Brainwaves Produced?
These waves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other and are detected by placing sensors on the scalp.
How Do They Work?
Brainwaves occur at various frequencies, ranging from slow to fast. They are divided into bandwidths. Each bandwidth has a different function and unique state of consciousness. Each frequency is measured in cycles per second (Hz).
What is a Frequency?
A frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself within a second. If there are too many or too few of the frequencies it greatly affects our mental health and the ability of our bodies to rejuvenate. As a result, neurofeedback can help.
When Do Brainwaves Change?
Our brainwaves change according to our actions, emotions and ongoing events. In particular, too many or too little bandwidth indicate a variety of emotions, behaviours, energy levels and mental clarity, etc.
Ideally, each bandwidth or frequency is synchronized, working with each other.
These are only broad descriptions, providing a basic understanding:
Delta Waves (1 to 3 Hz)
- Too little: Inability to rejuvenate our body,(affecting the immune system), inability to revitalize the brain, and poor sleep
- Too much: maybe a brain injury, learning difficulties, inability to think or severe ADHD
- Healthy level: prominent during deep sleeping
- The strong immune system, natural healing, restorative/deep sleep
Theta Waves (3.5 to 8 Hz)
- More more active when experiencing very deep emotions
- Too much: Possible ADHD, depression; hyperactivity; impulsivity and inattentiveness
- Too little: anxiety, stress and low emotional self-awareness
- Traumatic experiences and depressive thoughts are stored in Theta
Alpha Waves (8 to 13 Hz)
- Alpha waves arise in those in-between twilight times when we’re calm but not asleep
- Too much: inability to focus, daydreaming and low energy
- Too little: anxiety, high stress and insomnia
- Healthy level: positive mental state where ideas flow naturally without censorship or self-doubt
Beta Waves (12 to 33 Hz)
- Involved with logical thinking, accomplishing tasks
- Too much: Anxiety, high arousal, inability to relax,
stress and adrenaline
- Too little: ADHD, depression, daydreaming and
poor cognitive thinking
- Healthy level: conscious focus, memory and
Gamma Waves (25 to 100 Hz)
- Associated with high-level cognitive processing tasks
- Always complimented by other brainwaves
- Too much: Anxiety, high arousal and stress
- Too little: ADHD, depression and learning disabilities
- Healthy level: binding senses, cognitive thinking, information processing, learning, perception and REM sleep