Sunday, May 22, 2022

Which Type Of Brain Activity Is Associated With Wakeful States

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The Thalamus Drives Network Oscillations Via Cortical Projections

Exploring Histamine in Sleep-Wake State Stability Dr. Thomas Scammell

The thalamus plays a major role in orchestrating the change in the discharge pattern of cortical neurons that underlies the EEG differences between wakefulness and NREM sleep. This is because thalamic neurons, like cortical pyramidal neurons, have intrinsic membrane properties that cause their discharge pattern to change as a function of the level of depolarization of the cell. When depolarized these neurons discharge in a single-spike mode, but when hyperpolarized they display a bursting pattern. Since their level of depolarization is dependent on AAS projections to the forebrain, the discharge patterns of thalamic cells will thus be modulated by the varying levels of the AAS neurotransmitter levels, as wakefulness alternates with the states of sleep.

Is Acupuncture Good For Depression

Despite these limitations, there is some research supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for depression and related symptoms. Decrease in severity of depression. In an 8-week acupuncture study of 151 men and women, researchers found that depressive symptoms improved significantly.

Types Of Brain Waves Frequencies: Gamma Beta Alpha Theta Delta

It is important to know that all humans display five different types of electrical patterns or brain waves across the cortex. The brain waves can be observed with an EEG a tool that allows researchers to note brain wave patterns. Each brain wave has a purpose and helps serve us in optimal mental functioning.

Our brains ability to become flexible and/or transition through various brain wave frequencies plays a large role in how successful we are at managing stress, focusing on tasks, and getting a good nights sleep. If one of the five types of brain waves is either overproduced and/or under produced in our brain, it can cause problems. For this reason, it is important to understand that there is no single brain wave that is better or more optimal than the others.

Each serves a purpose to help us cope with various situations whether it is to help us process and learn new information or help us calm down after a long stressful day. The five brain waves in order of highest frequency to lowest are as follows: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta.

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What Are Theta Brain Waves

Theta brain waves occur when youre sleeping or dreaming, but they dont occur during the deepest phases of sleep. They may occur when youre drifting off to sleep or suspended in that light phase of sleep, just before you wake up.

Theta brain waves can also occur when youre awake, but in a very deeply relaxed state of mind a state that some may describe as autopilot. However, if you experience high levels of theta waves while youre awake, you might feel a little sluggish or scattered.

Experts believe that theta waves are important for processing information and making memories. And, as researchers learn more about how they work and how theyre linked to different types of learning, this knowledge may come in handy when determining the best way to help people learn.

A test called an electroencephalogram can evaluate the electrical activity in your brain and record the waves, which are measured in cycles per second, or Hertz .

Different waves occur at different times, based on what youre doing and how youre feeling.

Different Types Of Brain Waves And Their Benefits

Altered Oscillations: The Modulatory Effect of DMT on ...

Our brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons. The combination of neurons sending signals at once, produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain. These synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other produces Brainwaves. Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz and they are divided into bands describing slow, moderate and fast waves.

Brainwaves are generally broken down into five main frequencies: Beta waves, Alpha waves, Theta waves, Delta waves and Gamma waves. Not only do brainwaves vary in frequency , they also vary in amplitude .

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Neurological Disorders And Eeg

As mentioned earlier, brain waves can be used as an index of the consciousness level . Coma is a state of decreased consciousness in which the frequency of brain waves is similar to the alpha rhythm, and is regarded as the alpha-coma pattern. It seems that the pattern of EEG waves is mostly theta-coma in the elderly population. The theta-coma pattern ultimately changes to the delta rhythm, leading to death . Brain death is defined as the irreversible loss of all brain functions and bioelectrical activity. As mentioned earlier, EEG can be, to some extent, recorded in a patient in deep coma, while no electrical activity is recorded in brain death patients and the EEG shows an isoelectric line .

Brain tumors also affect the EEG pattern. An increased delta rhythm during wakefulness is usually a characteristic of brain tumors. Polymorphic delta activity in different parts of the brain and intermittent rhythmic delta activity in frontal regions of both hemispheres are very common in patients with brain tumors. Increased alpha activity in the posterior part of the involved region and/or disturbance theta is also observed in some brain tumors. However, some brain tumors have no electrical activity .

What Are Binaural Beats

One possible way to influence your brain and its production of theta waves is by listening to binaural beats.

Picture yourself wearing a headset. In your left ear, you can hear a sound thats one particular frequency, but the sound that you hear in your right ear is slightly different, perhaps a slightly faster or slower frequency.

Your brain has to adjust to hearing these two competing frequencies at the same time, so eventually you begin hearing a separate tone created from the difference of those two frequencies.

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Can You Manipulate Your Theta Brain Waves

Were still learning about how theta waves work and how it may be possible to boost their activity, and why that might be appropriate or beneficial.

Although research is limited, there is some information thats come to light about theta brain waves in recent years.

Consider the results of a small 2017 brain wave study. The researchers analyzed the results of wireless implants that recorded brain wave activity in four volunteers.

They found that theta wave oscillations increased when the participants were trying to move around in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, the researchers learned that theta wave activity tended to speed up when the study participants moved faster.

Another 2017 study explored the way that theta wave activity seems to be linked to one particular type of learning. This type of learning occurs when youre doing something that you may not have conscious access to, like learning to ride a bike. This is known as implicit learning.

This research suggests that examining brain wave activity could be helpful in figuring out how to teach people to learn certain kinds of information, or to perform certain tasks.

The researchers also noted that they may be able to use the evidence of theta wave activity to detect disorders like Alzheimers disease.

Additionally, earlier research suggests that finding ways to boost certain alpha and theta wave activity could also help reduce anxiety in people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder .

Altered Functional Integration In The Cerebral Cortex During The Sleep

Types of Brain Waves and Their Functions

Overall, there was a widespread increase in correlation values between cortical parcels from RW to SD . This coincided with an increase in the measured across the entire cortex. Fig 2B illustrates the changes in functional integration across distinct levels in the hierarchical model of the cortex. At the level of 7 cortical networks, there was an increase in integration within 6 of the 7 networks, with the exception of the limbic network . At the 17-network level, 12 networks demonstrated increased integration, while 1 of the ventral attention and 2 of the frontoparietal control and limbic networks showed no change . At the cluster level, there was more of a variety of change in integration, and 2 clusters within the limbic network demonstrated a substantial decreased integration from RW to SD. This pattern of change indicates that while increases in total integration were detectable when measured across the entire cortex, this was not uniform and preferentially affected certain networks and regions at lower, more localised, levels of the hierarchy .

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How Can I Listen Better With Adhd

5 Ways to Be a Better Listener

  • Keep Your Advice to Yourself. Sometimes people just need to be heard.
  • Put Down the Gavel. True friends dont judge.
  • Empathize Instead of Minimize. If you think thats bad, let me tell you what happened to me. Minimizing someones feelings is a poor way to foster friendships.
  • Focus.
  • Understanding The Benefits Of Altering Your Brainwaves

    Research has shown that although one brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on the activity level of the individual, the remaining four brain states are present in the mix of brainwaves at all times.

    Knowledge of brainwave states enhances a persons ability to make use of the specialized characteristics of those states: these include being mentally productive across a wide range of activities, such as being intensely focused, relaxed, creative and in restful sleep.

    You can thus train your brain to change brainwaves by learning meditation and relaxation techniques.7

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    What Are The Benefits Of Alpha Waves

    You may be wondering why alpha waves are so important. When your brain is producing these waves, its responding to activities like meditation and rest that can reduce your stress levels and help you feel calmer.

    If youre able to produce alpha brain waves, youre probably able to tap into a state that can help you get some rest and relaxation.

    Boosting your alpha waves might also increase your creativity levels. In a 2015 study, researchers found evidence that they could trigger a surge in creativity if they specifically focused on enhancing alpha waves.

    The study was small only 20 participants but as a randomized trial, it could hold promise for the use of noninvasive brain stimulation to rev up your brains production of alpha brain waves.

    Maintenance Of Wakefulness Test

    Electrical Activity of the Brain, SleepâWake States ...

    The maintenance of wakefulness test is an assessment of alertness. The main utility of the MWT is to assess treatment response in patients with narcolepsy or IH and the ability to sustain wakefulness in individuals whom decreased arousal may pose a safety hazard. Similar to the MSLT, the MWT is influenced by various factors including age, sleep deprivation, drugs and the presence of comorbid medical or sleep disorders . Furthermore, a normal MWT does not absolutely ensure safety nor exclude the possibility of sleepiness in the patient’s occupational environment .

    Sarah Laxhmi Chellappa, … Christian Cajochen, in, 2011

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    Impact Of Alpha Waves

    Interest in the use of alpha waves grew after the development of biofeedback, a technique that involves using feedback from a tool that measures brain activity to learn how to consciously create alpha waves. Research has shown that alpha waves may have a number of positive benefits, which might include the following:

    Wakefulness Alertness Sleep And Dreams


    Through out the centuries, dating back to Aristotle, humans havebeen interested in explaining the functions and mechanisms ofsleep. Much research has been devoted to answering questions suchas why we sleep and why we spend one third of our lives in sleep. However, the explanation behind wakefulness and sleep is still inits infancy. What is certain about wakefulness and sleep is thatthey both involve complex physiological and psychologicalmechanisms. Off course, these functions and mechanisms vary indifferent species, but to define sleep in humans, certain criteriaare used:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Electrophysiological changes measured byelectroencephalogram , electrooculogram , andelectromyogram .
  • Physiological changes .
  • Consciousness or awareness of the external environment is theline drawn between wakefulness and sleep. Falling asleep andlosing consciousness involves a gradual progress of stages. Afully alert and awake individual is in stage 0. Stage 1 isaccompanied by being drowsy and drifting in and out of sleep. Thenthe individual enters stages 2, followed by 3, and eventually 4. After stage 4 he/she will reverse the sequence by returning tostage 3, followed by 2, then 1-REM . Thiscycle takes between 90 to 120 minutes, due to individualdifferences, then repeats itself. Therefore, in 7 to 8 hours ofsleep, this cycle repeats about 5 times .

  • Environmental arousal – certain factors cause a state ofarousal. When humans are in this state, sleep tends to bedisrupted .
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    Good Vs Bad Alpha Activity

    Increasing alpha activity is a good thing. It offers several benefits, according to research. It has been found to:

    • Boost creativity
    • Reduce symptoms of depression
    • Manage chronic pain

    Sometimes alpha waves occur when they’re not wanted. Your brain shouldn’t produce alpha waves while you’re asleep, and when it does, the inappropriate alpha activity can lead to sleep disorders.

    Can Binaural Beats Put You In A Theta State Of Mind

    What Do Different Brainwaves Mean?

    Some people believe that listening to binaural beats can help you calm down and relax. Some even propose that binaural beats could help you sleep better.

    A 2017 study found that a certain type of binaural beat helped some people achieve a meditative state. More research is need to learn about how it could be adapted for relaxation and stress reduction in the future.

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    Can You Regulate Your Brain Waves

    Yes, you can! The frequency of your brain waves changes when you change your consciousness and patterns. You can even regulate your neurological activity through training. Simple movement, for example, shaking your head from side to side, can immediately alter the state of your brain waves.

    Brain waves can also be self-regulated through neurofeedback, using equipment connected to an individual with sensors that are placed on the scalp and ears. Once connected, a persons neurological activity can be observed on a computer monitor. They are then taught to play computerized games using their brain wave activity. Changes in neurological activity are then fed back to the individual through visual or auditory information by a computer. Gradually, subjects can learn how to regulate their brain waves.

    Researchers have long recognized that certain illnesses, such as epilepsy, produce distinctive neurological patterns. It is theorized that neurofeedback can be utilized to reset these patterns so that your brain can perform at optimal levels.

    These days, there is a lot of research being done on interfaces between the brain and computing technology. Researchers are developing systems that allow you to play games and musical instruments or even type a keyboard with your brain waves. You can even buy games powered by your brain waves at many toy stores.

    This article is updated from its initial publication in Brain World Magazines print edition.

    When Alpha Activity Is Disrupted

    When your alpha activity is disrupted, it can make you unable to relax and reduce the quality of your sleep. That can leave you tired and low on energy the next day. If the disruption is chronic, the fatigue can be as well.

    One example of chronic alpha activity disruption is something called the alpha-EEG anomaly, which is an abnormal sleep pattern that occurs most often in people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.

    During deep sleep, the brain should be producing delta waves. In people who experience the alpha-EEG anomaly, the brain mistakenly produces alpha waves during these periods instead. This can lead to restlessness and sleep that is not refreshing.

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    Eeg Activation And The Block Of Delta Waves

    Neurotransmitters that depolarize thalamocortical and cortical cells will therefore prevent the appearance of delta waves. During wakefulness, components of the AAS, including cholinergic BF and LDT/PPT plus brainstem noradrenergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic projections, maintain this depolarized state and are thus critical for the suppression of slow wave activity. At this time, depolarized thalamocortical relay cells show the single-spike discharge mode, which allows the transfer of sensory input through the thalamus to the cortex. During REM sleep, in contrast, the cholinergic and glutamatergic influence provide the depolarizing input without a contribution from the monoaminergic cells which are quiescent.

    Tips For Increasing Alpha Waves

    What are the Stages of Sleep? The 4 Essential Sleep Cycles

    Biofeedback training is one way to learn how to consciously induce alpha waves. While researchers continue to explore this as a therapeutic treatment for depression and anxiety, there are things that you can do to help improve your ability to experience this type of brain wave. Increase alpha wave activity by:

    • Meditating: Meditation has a number of health benefits and has been linked to increased alpha waves.
    • Deep breathing: Deep breathing can be an effective way to combat feelings of anxiety. Research also suggests that it may help boost alpha activity in key areas of the brain.
    • Practicing mindfulness: Studies have shown that mindfulness training can lead to increased alpha wave activity, and some research has suggested that this practice may help people who are experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, or depression.
    • Yoga: The relaxed state associated with alpha waves may increase when performing yoga and some research has suggested that regular yoga practice may enhance alpha activity in the brain.
    • Aerobics: Some researchers suggest that aerobic exercise can also increase alpha wave activity.

    While alpha waves have promise for reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, they can also cause problems if they happen when they are not supposed to. For example, while alpha waves are often present right before you fall asleep, they should not happen while you are asleep. When alpha waves do occur during sleep, they can contribute to sleep disorders.

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