In 1913, Nobel Prize winner Ramon y Cayal announced that our brain cannot develop and that our mental and emotional capacities are fixed once and for all. In other words, he authoritatively stated that we are unable to exceed a certain limit set by the resources we were born with.
The scientific discoveries of the late 20th century indicate that Ramon y Cayal was (and fortunately!) wrong. It turns out that our brain is very plastic, it can develop, it can even change its structure throughout our lives!
What’s more — it has been proven that through regular exercise, we can influence its functioning, achieve permanent changes in its network and, as a result, affect our mental, emotional, and spiritual state.
The discovery of Gerald Oster
In 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster published in Scientific American a groundbreaking article entitled “Auditory Beats in the Brain”. This article described the effects of the so-called “binaural beats”, i.e. sounds of different frequencies simultaneously stimulating our brain. How is this possible?
Oster conducted a series of tests where a person was transmitted 200 Hz sound to one ear and 210 Hz sound to the other. Well, it turned out that each time our brain started to generate a frequency that was the delta of the above two!
At the same time, Robert Monroe (Monroe Institute of Applied Sciences) conducted thousands of experiments using EEG tests to monitor the brainwaves of test subjects. He also confirmed that by stimulating the hearing organ with different frequencies, the work of our brain can be stimulated.
Moreover, he confirmed that not only the part of the brain responsible for controlling the sense of hearing adapts to the differential frequency.
Not only one of our cerebral hemispheres, but the ENTIRE BRAIN, both hemispheres simultaneously resonate with waves of the same frequency and amplitude and they are absolutely compatible in their phases.
This led, among others to create the concept of the so-called “Whole-brain functioning”, i.e. a situation in which we can use both hemispheres of our brain equally.
As a rule, in our everyday life, we mainly use one of them.
In a nutshell, the left one is responsible for logical and rational thinking. In the left hemisphere, for example, all mathematicians, engineers, and lawyers “operate”. It allows us to soberly assess the situation, make decisions, and solve common problems.
The right hemisphere is the home of emotion, creativity, imagination, and “non-linear” thinking. Mainly painters, musicians, and dancers, but also writers and inventors work here. It is also the hemisphere of people who display a high level of empathy and intuition.
The importance of the discoveries about brain neuroplasticity
So what was the significance of the discoveries related to “whole brain functioning”, especially for the field of personal development?
Let me quote here another scientist, deceased neurochemist, Candace Pert of the National Institute of Mental Health:
“There’s revolution going on. There used to be two systems of knowledge: hard science — chemistry, physics, biophysics — on one hand, and, on the other, a system of knowledge that included ethology, psychology and psychiatry. And now it’s as if lightning bolt had connected the two. It’s all one system neuroscience … The present era in neuroscience is comparable to the time when Luis Pasteur first found out that germs cause disease.”
These discoveries brought the worlds of science and spirituality closer together. Scientists have studied the work of the brain of “mystics” who, as a result of many years of spiritual practice, achieve states of deep meditation. The results of these studies are extremely interesting.
But I will write about it in the next episode 🙂
What waves does our brain generate?
In the meantime please see below a summary of the waves that our brain generates — depending on what state we are in:
Beta waves — (14–30 Hz) are typical for the state of concentration, problem-solving, and cognitive processes.
Alpha waves — (8–13.9 Hz) are typical for states of relaxation, and rest, but also the so-called accelerated learning and increased serotonin secretion.
Theta waves — (4–7.9 Hz) characterize the phase of sleep, accompanied by dreams, but also the state of intense work of our subconscious.
Delta waves — (0.1–3.9 Hz) is a state of sleep without dreams, but also experiences related to the lack of “corporeality”.