Worry and Academic Performance

Wolitzky-Taylor Study – Worry and Academic Performance -By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Stress causes a shunting of cerebral blood flow away from the brain and into the body as the brain prepares for fight or flight (Everly & Lating, 2002). This, in turn, increases impulsiveness, impairs flexible thinking and hampers the retrieval of memories during critical times, such as exams. So being able to avoid worry is essential for good academic grades as well as overall health, a happy disposition and increased socialization.

A Texas-based study by Wolitzky, et al., (2010) found that AVE from the DAVID AVE devices was more effective in reducing worry than traditional psychological worry-reduction techniques. Wolitzky used the patented Mind Alive Inc., dual-frequency eyesets, which stimulated a beta frequency into the left hemisphere of the brain and an alpha frequency in to the right hemisphere of the brain. This has been reported to reduce anxiety and depression (Siever, 1998; 2004; 2007). The study was four weeks in duration and the students received their respective therapy three ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012
times per week. Compared to a Waiting List Control group, a Worry Exposure Therapy group and an Expressive Writing group, AVE was the most effective technique for reducing worry.

Sticking to a particular therapy is always of concern to health professionals, because if their patients don’t keep to the therapy, the patient may not improve and the clinician may lose faith in the treatment due to increased failures. The benefit of DAVIDTM AVE, is that unlike Worry Exposure and Expressive Writing, which require a moderate amount of effort, the DAVID AVE provides an effortless treatment for improving academic ability and therefore adherence/compliance is easy to maintain.

If the treatment is easy to implement and adherence is high, then it is likely that the client will stay vigilant with the therapy. Figure 11 shows that most students using AVE kept to it and completed the study. This is due to the ease of use of the DAVIDTM AVE devices. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012


These studies show that audio-visual entrainment using the DAVID AVE device and patented Omniscreen eyesets provides a useful tool for boosting concentration, memory and grade-point average, while simultaneously reducing worry. AVE is easy to use, inexpensive, and doesn’t require a prescription. The benefits in concentration, memory and improved well-being are educationally significant and may be enjoyed almost immediately. The implementation of the DAVIDTM, in an educational setting will allow students to achieve better grades with less stress, while having more time for socializing and enjoying family, friends and life.

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.

Studies of Audio-visual Entrainment In Relation to University, College and High School Students.

Studies of Audio-visual Entrainment In Relation to
University, College and High School Students. -By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Budzynski Study – Using AVE to Improve Cognition and Academic Performance in College Students
Tom Budzynski and colleagues (1999) divided the typical alpha band into three separate bands: A1 represented 7 to 9 Hz; A2 represented 9 to 11 Hz; and A3 represented 11 to 13 Hz. They examined the A3/A1 ratio. If, for example, there was 15 v of A3 activity and 12 v of A1 activity, the ratio would be 15/12 = 1.25. Based on previous findings, a ratio exceeding 1 was considered to equate with better than average mental performance and a high PAF, while a score below 1 equated with poorer than average mental performance.

A group of students from Western Washington University (n=8), who were struggling academically and receiving tutoring, were chosen for the study. EEGs were collected and the A3/A1 ratios were calculated while the students were completing a variety of mental tasks. Average alpha slowing (as indicated by the negative ratio) was apparent across all measures and in particular the Digit Span task. This is an indication of impaired attention and memory. The Digit Span task requires remembering progressively longer strings of numbers until they can no longer be remembered. Following 30 sessions of repeating cycles of 14 and 22 Hz AVE, mean alpha frequency (positive ratio) increased. The positive alpha ratio continued across all tasks (Eyes-open at Rest, Eyes-closed at Rest, Digit Symbols, Eyes-open Recall, Eyes-closed Recall) indicating heightened mental performance (a reversal of the control group) and improved performance. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012

The 30 AVE sessions were completed in the fall of 1997 and the students’ marks from their spring exams were recorded and compared against a control group. Notice the AVE group showed improvement in grade-point average (GPA) over the course of the year while the controls showed a decrease in GPA. This study demonstrates that the carry-over effect following the cessation of AVE treatment continued for at least four months.

Wuchrer Study – Memory and Concentration – 2009

This study, by Viktor Wuchrer (2009), examined the memory and concentration ability of 78 students from the Psychological Institute of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. The selected students were randomly assigned to one of three groups: an Alpha AVE group; a Beta/SMR AVE Group; and a Control Group. The students in the Beta/SMR AVE Group were given one AVE session using the Mind Alive Inc., patented dual-frequency eyesets, which stimulate a beta frequency into the left hemisphere of the brain and an SMR frequency ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012
into the right hemisphere of the brain. This combination has been shown to boost attention (Siever, 1998; 2004; 2007). The Alpha AVE Group received one AVE session at a randomized alpha frequency of roughly 10 Hz.

At the beginning of the experiment each participant was subjected to a Pre-Test in order to measure his/her memory and concentration-performance. To measure memory performance, the sub-test objects from the Baeumler Memory Test (1974) had been administered to each participant. Also, each participant had to undergo the Brickenkamp d2 Concentration Test (2002) in order to evaluate his concentration-performance.

Following the Pre-Test, each participant was randomly assigned to the respective Treatment:
The participants in the Alpha group received 20 minutes of AVE with a stimulation frequency of 10 Hz (Healthy Alpha session) from a DAVID AVE device.
The participants in the Beta/SMR group received 20 minutes AVE with dual frequency stimulation to the brain (Brain Brightener Protocol). The left brain-hemisphere was stimulated with a pulse rate of 18 to 20 Hz and the right brain-hemisphere was stimulated with a pulse rate of 13 to 14 Hz.

The participants in the Control Group received no stimulation. Instead they read a relaxing prose text for a fantasy journey and wrote a short essay afterwards, which represented the placebo treatment.

A experimental hypothesis was that the higher stimulation frequency within the Beta range for the left brain hemisphere would cause a corresponding activation of logical-analytic thinking. The Brain Brightener protocol in theory should according produce better concentration-performance for the Beta/SMR group of students. Similarly, it was hypothesized that the Alpha Group would should the best improvements in memory. The participants of the control group received no stimulation. Instead, they read a relaxing prose text for a fantasy journey and write a short essay afterwards, which represented the placebo treatment.
Figures 7 and 8, show the results with respect to the placebo control group. The charts clearly indicate that the DAVID AVE device produced exceptional results for both concentration and memory. Surprisingly, the controls actually performed worse on the post trial, whereas the AVE groups excelled. The poor performance of the controls might be attributed to mental fatigue from the testing, whereas the AVE group had sustained endurance.

As hypothesized, the Beta/SMR brain wave frequencies produced better results for concentration and the alpha frequency produced better results for memory. There were immediate improvements in academic ability following the use of the DAVID AVE for bot experimental groups. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.

About Stress, Memory, and Performance

About Stress, Memory, and Performance – By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Stress has profound effects on academic performance. Stress affects both the way we retrieve memories and cognitive flexibility. The parts of the body that are most likely to succumb to the wear and tear effects of stress over time are those areas which are mobilized during the stress response, including memory (Bremner, 2002).
It has been long known that there are impairments in memory during a moment of stress. In 2006, a research team led by Marian Joels at the University of Amsterdam, (Schmidt & Schwabe, 2011) ran a series of studies which showed that during a stressful event, cortisol (our primary stress hormone) alters the memory circuits so that the details of the event are well remembered, and roughly an hour afterwards, the memories of that event are consolidated to make sense of what just occurred. This is an important survival strategy, as having well-established memories of a stressful event (an event considered dangerous by the brain) was essential for survival throughout human evolution. Our ancestors would, by and large, have only experienced stress during serious threats to their lives, and didn’t encounter the stress of writing exams back then. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012

In a school setting, the memories that were formed during the long hours of study are all but forgotten during an exam if the individual is stressed (our evolutionary brain would not have evolved for this). Unfortunately, the student often will remember all of the details surrounding the exam, such as the room, the facilitator, other students, sounds, and exam questions, but not the information that was relevant for the test itself until the day after the exam is over.

Semantic memories involve basic facts and figures (which are prevalent in a college setting). There are two types of semantic memories; generic and specific. Generic memories involve shared properties of whole classes of things. Generic memories are used often, involve several brain regions, and are retained well under stress (Goldberg, 2005). For instance, we would know the difference between sandals and runners, even under stress. But we might not know that the island of Giglio is part of Italy, because we don’t have a contextual attachment to that island, unless we have a fascination with cruise-ships, or had a close relationship with someone who almost died on the Costa-Concordia when it sank this past winter (now rendering a contextual relationship). Under stress, I might easily remember that operating a toaster and coffee-maker simultaneously will flip the breaker, but I would have a much tougher time remembering exceeding an electron flow of 9.36 x 1019 electrons / second will flip the breaker. So under stress, general contextual semantic memories and skill-based memories, such as using a tool or riding a bike are barely affected. “Doing” type of actions were much more essential to survival with our ancestors. Therefore, the brain has learned to preserve these memories under stress. The best way to recall specific facts and figures is to be relaxed while writing exams.

Another study at the University of Trier in Germany (Schmidt & Schwabe, 2011), demonstrated that students lost mental flexibility and succumbed to simple-minded learning instead of a more mentally-taxing spatial learning strategy following exposure to a social stress test. As a result, the students who were not stressed outperformed the stressed students in solving a spatial challenge.

The Brain Blood-Flow Connection

During cognitive tasks, the brain’s demand for cerebral blood flow (CBF) is increased. Vinpocetine, an extract from the periwinkle plant has been shown to increase CBF (Gold, et. al., 2003). In studies of seniors with memory problems or dementia-related disease, the use of vinpocetine produced improvements in attention, concentration and memory.

Everything we see is routed into the occipital lobe where the visual cortex resides. This is our first line of visual processing. When the task of seeing is handled well, the faster and better we can make sense of what we see, and the faster and better we can grasp new concepts and jot down notes. Good visual processing for reading, interpreting charts, graphs and mathematical expressions is fundamental for good academic achievements.

Photic stimulation also boosts CBF (Fox & Raichle, 1985; Sappy-Marinier et al., 1992). Fox and Raichle showed that flashing a wide variety of frequencies through the eyes increased CBF substantially at all frequencies above 4 Hz in the occipital cortex. The entire brain also showed increased metabolism by 5%. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012

Academic Performance and the Alpha Brain Wave Rhythm
Several studies have been completed showing the relationship between peak alpha frequency (PAF) and intelligence. In 1996, Anoukhin and Vogel observed 101 healthy males ranging from 20 to 45 years of age. They discovered that those who scored well on the Raven’s IQ tests had a scant 1 Hz faster alpha rhythm than did the poor performers. In 1971, Eeg Olofsson reported that healthy human alpha production was in the range of 9.3 to 11.1 Hz. A 1990 study by Markand showed that a dominant alpha frequency of 8.5 Hz or lower reflected a state of mental dysfunction. Other studies by various research teams; Vogt, Klimesh and Doppelmayr (1997), Jausovec (1996), and Giannitrapini (1969) showed a distinct relationship between mental performance and peak alpha frequency. Peak alpha frequency at less than 9.5 Hz is associated with poorer than average academic performance, while dominant alpha production at higher than 10 Hz is associated with better than average academic performance. Several professors of neurophysiology have found that their brightest graduate students have a peak-alpha frequency (PAF) close to 10.5 – 10.7 Hz. Those with a PAF above 11 Hz are mentally sharp, but have a tendency to struggle with anxiety.

Back in 1998, Budzynski and Tang conducted a peak alpha experiment with AVE. Fifteen minutes of photic stimulation at 14 Hz was given to 14 people. (Budzynski, et al, 1999) Peak alpha frequency increased following the cessation of photic stimulation (Figure 4). The pre-stimulation dominant alpha average frequency was 9.8 Hz, which increased continuously to 10.4 Hz., 20 minutes post stimulation, and continued moving upwards thereafter. ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.


Neurotransmitters – By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Serotonin and Behavior
Serotonin acts as the brain’s brakes, keeping basic drives and emotions (such as sex, mood, appetite, sleep, arousal, pain, aggression, and suicide ideation) in check. Serotonin also boosts happiness and social dominance. Serotonin levels were shown to be high in salesmen with exceptional sales performance, averaging 180 ng/ml whole blood serotonin (WBS), whereas the poorer performers had average WBS levels of 140 ng/ml (Walton, et al., 1992). A study by Raleigh (Kotulak, 1997) found that when subordinate monkeys were given a serotonin reuptake inhibitor like Prozac, they became dominant through friendship and alliances with females, whereas dominant monkeys deficient in serotonin, ruled with aggression. Females have 20% to 30% more serotonin than men, which contributes to their reduced impulsiveness and aggression (Kotulak, 1997). College students with the most friends had serotonin levels 20% to 40% above the norm. People with higher than normal levels of serotonin connect better socially and have improved ability to perceive the thousands of facial expressions that really allow them to appreciate others (Harmer, et al., 2003).

Neurotransmitters, Alertness and Efficient Processing of Information

Once we have perceived an event (eg. seeing something on the blackboard), the frontal lobes must engage to interpret the visual information that our senses have brought to it. The frontal lobes regulate attention, executive decision making and mood. Cerebral blood flow and the appropriate neurotransmitters such as serotonin (which maintains calmness) and norepinephrine (which maintains alertness) must be present frontally to process out sensory information.

Norepinephrine (NE) is the neurotransmitter that regulates alertness and mental sharpness. A good example of this comes from playing a video game. As the level of difficulty increases so must NE in order to stay in the game. NE increases on an as-needed basis along with cognitive demand. As stress increases, there is a point where the stress becomes a “threat” of sorts, causing a plunge in serotonin and a burst of NE, expressing itself as agitation and aggression. Students consume plenty of caffeine during the school year and particularly at exam time. This is because caffeine exerts its effects on the brain by increasing NE and therefore helping the student to meet the academic challenges as they increase.

Given that the school year typically runs through the winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012
can impair performance, as melatonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for producing SAD (Rosenthal, 1993), increases drowsiness and foggy-headedness. Many students who experience this will consume more caffeine or get more stressed (and thus produce more NE) from getting behind in their school work.
A study by Shealy et al (1989) found that blood serum levels of serotonin, endorphin, and norepinephrine all rose considerably following 30 minutes of 10 Hz, white-light AVE (Figure 2). This correlates to being relaxed, but mentally sharp. Increases in endorphins lead to an increased sense of well being and increased tolerance to pain (which can be helpful when experiencing a stiff neck, shoulders and back from sitting and studying for extended periods of time). AVE reduces daytime levels of melatonin, which increases alertness.

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.

About the Zone

About the Zone – By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Socialized mammals, and particularly humans, have two performance zones (Figure 1). There is one zone requiring higher arousal for simple tasks and the other requiring lower arousal for complex tasks. So what would be a simple task? Running fast, climbing a tree, spearing some food, and punching an attacking animal or enemy in the nose are examples of where we show peak-performance under high arousal. This high arousal is generally accompanied by excitement and often anxiety. As the demands of a challenge increases, mental arousal must increase to meet those demands and this involves the production of norepinephrine (NE), the brain’s adrenalin (Bremner, 2002). There is a point at which stress gets so high that there is an over-production of norepinephrine which causes increased anxiety and distraction (Aston-Jones, 1991). It is important to manage stressors, assignment timelines, and so on to avoid crisis situations that will spike NE production and ultimately impede performance. Caffeine has been shown to increase NE which is why students often do better under the influence of caffeine Robertson (1978).

Complex tasks, on the other hand, typically involve challenging the mind on a much grander level than simple tasks. Paradoxical as it may seem, complex tasks require that the body/mind be more calm than with simple tasks. Complex tasks involve calculating a math formula, learning new concepts, and driving a car in busy traffic, but the most important aspect of calm arousal is connecting as humans – meaning socialization.

By living in tribes over the past two million years, our ancestors came to rely on socializing for all aspects of living. Socializing promotes group formation and it has been demonstrated that animals living in packs have increased chances survival because of greater ability to fight off predators and increased success in hunting. Tribal living also provides an effortless supply of ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012 mates to procreate with, as offspring are essential for the continued existence of the tribe. Given that humans are quite particular about whom they mate with, socialization plays a vital role in mating.

Socialization also spawned the development of both oral and written language, and as a result, information could be shared and good, high-level decisions could be made for the tribe. Socialization has also brought about a rich variety of expressiveness. We have roughly 4000 facial expressions (Ekman, 2007, 2009), over a thousand body-language positions and movements (Navarro, 2008) and a vast repertoire of verbal expressions and intonations. This has further led to artistic skill-sets in drawing and sculpting.

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.

Audio-Visual Entrainment

Audio-Visual Entrainment: A Novel Way of Boosting Grades and Socialization While Reducing Stress in the Typical University and College Student

By Dave Siever, Nov 2011

Abstract: Attention, concentration, memory, grade-point average and stress/worry are all primary concerns of the modern university and college student. Also, young adults are concerned about having a somewhat active social life in between exams, essays and deadlines. The stress of school shunts cerebral blood flow away from the cortex (during stress the brain assumes the body needs blood in the core to prepare for flight or battle which is just the opposite of what the present day student needs). This slows brain wave activity down into greater alpha and theta brain wave frequencies, similar to what is seen in those with ADD and ADHD, leaving the student more distractible, impulsive and hyperactive. This behavior in turn impairs the student’s ability to study and write exams, thus increasing stress and using valuable social time needed to shake off stress and the potential of falling into depression. Audio-visual entrainment (AVE) has been shown to produce dramatic increases in cerebral blood flow, efficient brain activity and sound mental health. Several studies involving the use of AVE for enhancing academic performance have been completed. AVE has proven to be an effective and affordable aid to better grades and improved socialization.


All mental functioning involves an element of cortical (neuronal) arousal, that is, the alertness of the brain. The degree of the brain’s arousal dramatically affects how well a particular function can be performed. For instance, it is almost impossible to pay attention if the brain is producing an excess of alpha or theta brain waves (Oken & Salinsky, 1992), just as it’s difficult to fall asleep with a high beta to alpha ratio (alert mind) in an eyes closed condition.

About Our Schools

Practically all of our learning is visual and auditory based. Therefore, learning demands a great deal of mental processing from the visual and auditory circuits of the brain. College and university students receive a tremendous amount of information over short and often unrealistic periods of time. To further the stresses of learning, a problem of most universities is that the teaching style is largely semantic, the presentation of facts and figures without practical application. Being that semantic learning is not hands-on, nor tied to an event, it is the poorest form of learning. Remembering what was taught can be very difficult. So one’s mind has to be sharp.

The heavy assignment loads, exam schedules and social stresses often cause psychological instability and anxiety when students try to cope with the pace of college learning. This shuts down mental functioning, which may lead to burnout and illness. Many university students experience an increase in the number of bacterial and viral infections throughout the school year, particularly at exam times. Many students also develop seasonal affective disorder (Berg & ©Mind Alive Inc, 2012 ) or become deficient in vitamin D, a hormone essential to mental performance (Welland, 2009).

Copyright: Dave Siever, CEO of Mind Alive Inc., Reposted by Mindmachines.com with permission. 2013. All rights reserved.

Your Amygdala: Putting the brain’s “overactive security guard” to work for you

Your Amygdala: Putting the brain’s “overactive security guard” to work for you


By Nicky VanValkenburgh



Did you know that there is a part of the brain that acts like Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show? I’m sure you remember Deputy Barney (played by Don Knotts.) He always went overboard, trying to protect the sheriff and the town of Mayberry. Your brain is like that!


It sounds crazy, but it’s true. There is a part of your brain called the amygdala (pronounced amig-u-la.) It acts like an overactive security guard, and is always trying to protect you from getting hurt. The amygdala has been called the “limbic brain” or emotional brain. It processes all the emotions that you have ever experienced, good and bad. It remembers the euphoria of a romantic kiss, but your amygdala also remembers the agony of breaking up with your beloved.


What’s wild about the amygdala is that it has no language processing skills. Your emotions are stored as raw feelings in this part of the brain. That is why we don’t always make connections between the past and present. Why do we feel the way we do? It doesn’t make sense! We can’t figure it out immediately because that part of the brain has no language processing capacity.


For example, you might be afraid of dogs. As a child, you were bitten by a dog, but don’t consciously remember it. Of course, your amygdala remembers this event, and has recorded the raw emotions in your brain. That’s why you’re afraid of dogs. But you might not put two and two together. You may not realize that you’re afraid of dogs because you were bitten as a child. The only thing that you’re aware of is the intense emotional feeling and fear of dogs.


Of course, we do figure things out sometimes, with a flash of insight, but that takes place in a different part of the brain. It takes a “light bulb” moment for us to figure things out. The crazy thing is that something that happened to us in the past may not fit who we are today. We may have outgrown certain experiences… but the amygdala is still trying to protect us.


If we were bitten by a dog as a baby, we store that experience in our amygdala, and are still afraid of dogs to this day. We may be an adult, fully capable of protecting ourselves. However, we still have those raw emotions (fear of dogs) and don’t know why. Sometimes, we do have a flash of insight and we realize the connection. This gives us a new perspective, so that we can move on, and put these feelings behind us.


Why am I telling this long story? To increase your awareness. Sometimes we experience a rush of emotions, and have no idea why. It can be a good rush (happiness, euphoria) or a bad rush (fear, withdrawal, anxiety, etc). Whenever you experience a rush of emotion, remember your amygdala. Your brain is trying to protect you from feeling a certain way. The rush of emotions always takes place in your amygdala, or limbic brain. Actually, you have two amygdalae’s: on the left and right side of the brain. It stores every raw emotion that you have ever experienced.


The amygdala brings these past emotions back into your present existence, in an attempt to protect you from getting hurt again. However, there is also a positive emotional response of the amygdala.


Have you ever fallen in love? Most of us have. Remember those romantic, passionate, I-wannabe-with-you feelings? These feelings are stored in the amygdala. Amazingly, your amygdale can bring these old feelings into your present experience.

Have you ever liked someone instantly? That is your amygdala at work! You may be meeting someone for the first time, and there is an instant connection. You feel comfortable with them. You feel like you can trust them and let down your guard. Why? They remind you of a loved one. All those wonderful euphoric feelings come back, and you’re instantly hooked.


Funny thing is that all of this is on an unconscious level. As was mentioned before, the amygdale has no language processing capacity. That’s why you can’t reason and figure out why you feel the way you do. It takes a flash of insight to put the pieces together.

You see, the brain is a pattern maker. It is constantly looking for patterns, associations, common ground in order to make sense of your world. We are always looking for friendly, kind and trustworthy people. Your amygdala is at work trying to make this happen for you.


Writer Nicky VanValkenburgh welcomes your feedback at nickyv@bellsouth.net Check out her free e-books: “7

Things That Turn On Your Brainpower” & “6 Myths about Stress” at http://www.20minutestolessstress.com/

Article copyright Nicky VanValkenburgh.



How to Stop Brain Chatter

Being aware of constant thoughts while trying to concentrate on a particular activity can greatly interfere with and reduce the productivity of your effort. Getting thoughts stuck in your head can be annoying as well as distracting, inhibiting your ability to relax and focus.

When an outflow of creative ideas are sought the intensity of brain chatter must be turned off. People with stress caused by constant brain chatter use the pROSHI neurodynamic activator. Users achieve deep, timeless brainwave states of meditative awareness. The pROSHI calms the mind via pulsed visual frequency patterns. This light stimulation instantly catches the attention of the conscious brain.

What occurs is a gentle shift of awareness, away from constant thought. The light stimulation is the object of attention producing visuals of three dimensional quality.

A sense of mental release happens during a pROSHI meditation exercise. The brain is no longer filled with chatter. The brain becomes quiet. During a pROSHI meditative session the brain starts listening.

No more brain chatter.





One of the most common questions I get about light and sound machines is about the light show. Where do all the colors come from? How come I don’t see all those colors any more? Why do I see just one color?…

To answer these questions, there are many factors to consider. The first consideration is the quality of the light. If you are using dim light, you probably won’t see much of anything except a flicker effect. This means that all you see is a slightly pulsing field of light. When you use the newer ultra bright LEDs, you get rich colors and patterns.  White usually produces the greatest array of colors. Red is otherwise the most energetic color, and you see lots of different colors using red. With other colors, you tend to see colors of the rainbow on either side of that color.

When using yellow for example, you generally see orange, yellow, and green. With blue, you see green, blue, and violet. White incandescent light also produces spectacular visuals.

The Synchro Energizer, made in the early 1980′s, was tops in generating a fabulous color and visual display. It used white incandescent light shinned through a clear “round shaped” piece of plastic. This diffused the light all around the eye. Some light glasses use a “milk white” filter which diffuses the light throughout the eye, refracting the light towards the center of the eye because of the curve of the plastic filter. The color display is thus subdued. Of course not everyone cares about seeing a wonderful color show when they use light and sound. At the same time, when I bought my first machine for $8,000, I would never have spent that kind of money if the light show were not extraordinary. I find that people tend to use their machine more frequently when the light show is spectacular, and therefore will consequently derive more benefits.

A newer generation of light glass colors been initiated using two colors, or bi-color. Blue and red combo is one, and another is red and green. Red and green, for some reason produces some very interesting colors. The color show is more hallucinagenic-type colors versus when white is used. People comment quite a lot using red and green combo, they truly like it.

Yet another factor in the light show is using true sine waves, not sinusoidal, also produce some very fluid visuals. Machines typically are manufactured in a fashion that turns the light on, then off. This is called a square wave. Sine waves, on the other hand, gradually increase in intensity to full illumination, then gradually decrease. Sine waves are what occur in nature, but are also much gentler on the eye when doing a program. You may have noticed when doing a sleep session where the light flicker is very slow, it can be uncomfortable at times, especially if the light is too bright. With sine waves, the eye remains more comfortable as the sine wave action is more fluid and gentle. Sine waves also produce a more fluid visual effect which is hard to describe. The new Innerpulse allows you to select sine waves. Also the Future Mind utilizes sine waves.

The time of day you use a session also impacts the light show. You will see more colors doing a session during daylight hours versus at night. This happens because the light receptors in the eye shift function from daylight to night. The cones which occur in the center of the eye process colors and are most active during daylight. When the sun sets, the cones are not active, and the rods which occur outside of the center of the eye more in the periphery become active. They do not process color, but instead process intensity of light.

You can produce greater colors and patterns at night and a greater sense of dimensionality in the light show during the day by doing eye exercises at the beginning of your session. All you need to do is move your eyes clockwise several times, then counterclockwise several time right at the beginning of your session. You will be very impressed at the results. The color display will not only be enhanced, but also the visuals appear much more 3-D!

Another important element in the visuals comes vis a vis the music you select to listen to when doing a session. Music directs the visuals you actually see in an extraordinary way. Your eyes are not the actual agent that produces visual, but instead it is your brain that produces the visuals. When you select any particular music which “pushes your buttons,” the visuals change dramatically. It is irrelevant which style of music you choose, except that higher frequencies of sound have a more energizing effect on the brain. The third octave above middle C on the piano is where the ear is the most sensitive. Higher frequencies that that produce more overtones, and even though the ear actually hears frequencies up to 20,000 to 24,000; the ear is sensitive to frequencies as high as 40,000 Hertz. So, you may not hear the sound, but your ear is still processing the sound in those higher realms.

Using standard headphones however limits the frequency range, because the electronics inside the headphones can’t process the lower and higher frequencies in the first place. You can spend up to $10,000 on headphones, however check out Sennheiser because they have a good frequency range, and are also very comfortable.

An even better technology for increasing the high frequency range is vibrational transducers. Separate from headphones, you put two transducers on the forehead with a runner’s-style headband.

Tactile information is processed by a completely different part of the brain, and brings a more engaging focused experience to your session. Vibration also increases the harmonics you experience in the higher frequency range. Specifically you get more of the frequencies generated above 20,000 Hertz! The Neurophone and also the Echofone are great delivery systems for this technology.

When you introduce higher frequencies into the light and sound experience, you begin to enter an arena called “synaesthesia.” Synaesthesia is a mixing of the senses. You might start to see colors from hearing sounds, or hear sounds by being introduced to colors.

AudioStrobe CDs were created specifically to amplify the synaesthetic experience. Not all machines are configured for AudioStrobe, but you truly enjoy these CDs because the light show follows the music.

An incredible synaesthetic experience can easily be induced by introducing aromatics to your session. Studies using the Mind Mirror have shown that aromas very quickly and effectively influence your brainwave state. Try smelling any aroma during your session, and the colors and patterns will immediately change and take you on a very different type of experience.

The music you choose distinctly impacts the light show. When it comes to introducing music you can use popular music to induce “flash-back” memories of eras gone by. Gregorian chants work well to put you in a religious or contemplative mood. Baroque music helps organize your mind and gives you lots of energy. Classical, Impressionistic, and Romantic music are great for drifting and bring forth imaginative states.

Not all aromas are created equally. High quality aromas smell like having that fruit or flower right in your hand, as if you were smelling it fresh. No chemical smell should be present either.

Quality aromas also last a very long time the effect lingers for quite some time because they are concentrated. If you smell the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon, the effect lasts only about 30 seconds. If you smell a quality lemon aroma, the effect lasts for up to five minutes!

You will find hundreds of different scents available, so how do you choose? It is best to stick with “single tone” aromas and not use blends. Men tend to prefer aromas created from the lower part of plants such as barks; while women tend to prefer the aromas generated from efflorescences of plants and trees such as flowers. Citrus is generally energizing while lavender is used for relaxation. There are aromas which induce romantic states such as gardenia, rose, and ylang ylang. For focus, peppermint is often used. You can even induce joy with aromas such as blood orange.

Try lining up several aromas to use during your light and sound adventure. Here is an example of how to proceed for a “romance-type” session. Line up the aromas in a precise order that you have pre-determined for a specific effect and where you can easily reach them while hooked up to your machine. Smell each aroma in the order you have set them up and wait about five minutes before smelling the next aroma. For a romance session, first use lavender to relax and let go, then use pepperment to focus on the type of person you would like to meet, then use ylang ylang to generate a romantic response to that person, finally use frankincense to meditate on achieving that goal. You can set up many different types of sessions by being creative. Also pick romantic music to set the mood for your session and finally the type of light and sound program which best represents the brainwave state appropriate for you.

Finally you can use foods to help enhance your experience. So how can eating an orange, or drinking a cup of coffee impact the visuals? You will never know unless you try of course, but this helps the synaesthesia overall.

Foods have very different effects on different people. But here are a few examples based on my personal experience and how foods effect me. You will have to find out for yourself what works the best, however, whole foods, picked when ripe, unprocessed are the best ones to use.

For a focus session, try drinking a cup of expresso! For romantic sessions try tropical fruit. Freshly picked ripe apricots are an aphrodesiac for me. When I drink orange juice freshly squeezed picked ripe from local trees, I feel suddenly extremely alert.

Well that just about wraps it up on ideas for you to increase the visuals while using light and sound machines.

Enjoy your sessions!

Copyright: AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, Publisher (2002) CA. All rights reserved.

Best of The Best Mind Machines

There are a lot of mind machines out there for sure, but they are not all created equal.  Like anything else in life it is about budget and performance.  However, at BEST Mind Machine we focus on the BEST, bar none.

Our #1 recomendation is the DAVID Delight Pro with CES.  Bear in mind that this is a top recomendation for the best light and sound instrument.

If meditation is what you seek then nothing beats the pROSHI neurodynamic activator.  This is a very specialized device directed solely for meditation and achieving the no-time state.