The Theory of AudioStrobe
What is AudioStrobe?
We had used the concept of the audio-visual stimulation (AVS) known from the “Mind Machines” and we found these stimuli to be very powerful but somehow too monotonous.
The question was how to create a form of audio-visual stimulation being not only effective but also fascinating as a piece of art and at the same time easy to use?
In the beginning of 1990-ties in our Tamas Lab. an idea was born to synchronize music with visual impulses and to combine them in a high-quality sound medium such as the CD or MP3/MP4. This triggered the development of the AudioStrobe® System which not only stores music on an ordinary CD/DVD/MP3 but also the corresponding optical signals. These signals are transferred to the light glasses using light emitting diodes via the AudioStrobe® Decoder; a handy device that can be connected to any CD/MP3 player, PC, laptop, tablet or phone. The light signals can be modulated very subtly, reacting to the finest of nuances; an audio-visual art is created.
Deepak Chopra on the Dream Weaver using our AudioStrobe technology.
Light and Sound Stimulation (AVS)
What are Brainwaves?
Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG), measuring electricity levels over areas of the scalp.
The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a Brain Wave pattern, because of its cyclic, “wave-like” nature.
Below is one of the first recordings of brain activity.
Brain research took a big step forward when “brain waves” were discovered in 1929 by the German doctor Hans Berger. Brain waves are measured via an electroenzephalogram (EEG) at the scalp. Each of the countless electrochemical discharges of the nerve cells inside the brain produce a minute electromagnetic field with a frequency between 1 and 30 hz (oscillations per second). The sum of these electrical activities results in so-called brain waves.
Here is a more modern EEG recording
With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake. Over the years, more sensitive equipment has brought us closer to figuring out exactly what brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person’s health and state of mind.
One differentiates between four groups of brain waves, the Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta waves. Different brain waves may occur in different brain areas simultaneously, thus changing the wave pattern second by second.
Here is a list showing the known brainwave types and their associated mental states:
Beta (30-12 Hz)
Attentive and alert state of mind. A high concentration of Beta waves is related to an increased production of stress hormones. Attention is focused outwardly. In extreme cases they mark anxiety, worry and sudden fear.
Many people lack sufficient Beta activity, which can cause mental or emotional disorders such as depression, ADD and insomnia. Stimulating Beta activity can improve emotional stability, energy levels, attentiveness and concentration.
Alpha (12-8 Hz)
These waves are dominant during relaxation, quietly flowing thoughts, a positive attitude (Alpha state). It is the preferred state for “Superlearning”.
Awake but relaxed and not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep, you are naturally in this state. When you close your eyes your brain automatically starts producing more Alpha waves.
Alpha is usually the goal of experienced meditators, but to enter it using AVS is incredibly easy. Since Alpha is a very receptive, absorbent mental state, you can also use it for effective self-hypnosis, mental re-programming and more.
Theta (8-4 Hz)
These waves occur during sleep and deep meditation. They mark the ability for vivid visual imagination, sudden creativity, as well as an increased ability to learn and memorize.Theta can also be used for hypnosis and self-programming using pre-recorded suggestions.
Delta (0.2-4 Hz)
They accompany a deep sleep. These waves are of great importance for the healing process and the functioning of the immune system.
The Significance of Brainwaves
You can tell a lot about a person simply by observing their brainwave patterns. For example, anxious people tend to produce an overabundance of high Beta waves while people with ADD/ADHD tend to produce an overabundance of slower Alpha/Theta brainwaves.
Researchers have found that not only are brainwaves representative of of mental state, but they can be stimulated to change a person’s mental state, and this in turn can help with a variety of mental issues.
There are other sorts of brainwaves, which we will not cover here.
Brain’s following the stimulated frequency is called Frequency Follow Response (FFR).
If you want to learn more about effects of and scientific studies on AVS please read some of the publications listed below.
Beyond Brainwaves – Synesthetic Experience
The first encoding were “table like”, ramping down down or up to a specific frequency, staying there for some time and then ramping back, which can be described with only 4 “Que Points”.
But now, gathering 25 years of encoding experience, we can say that FFR is making just about 10 – 25% of the AVS experience. The rest is an “evoked synesthetic experience ” by stimulation of several senses at once.
The encoding of the lights is a scientific and at the same time an artistic/shamanistic process.
The lights are literally composed to the music or vice versa in order to provide a consistent and profound experience.
There are other parameters as frequency of the blinking lights and sound to control.
The work is very intensive, we had to learn to be “in the encoding process” and “encoding effect” at the same time.
Something you have to learn as a craft.
In some encodings you can have more than 1000 Que Points, and to get there we spend weeks in studio.
In a way you can compare the encoding process to a creating a choreography in dance.
Stimulating different senses, we stimulate different areas in your brain.
And then you are the one who creates the experience itself, like a dance in a dream!
In MuSES we expand the sensory stimulation to new levels.
Explore our AudioStrobe Encoding service for private and other uses.
How does the AudioStrobe function?
The AudioStrobe converts pre-programmed (encoded) control signals from a digital media into light impulses. Glasses and headphones are connected to an interface called AudioStrobe decoder and an audio player like MP3-Player, phone, PC, tablet, CD/DVD-Player etc.
Glasses and headphones are part of the audio-visual stimulation with the goal to effectively increase the brain´s performance and learning abilities. This enhances grasping and memorizing of study material. The most important part of the AudioStrobe is a “AVS program” with music and/or spoken language.
How to make the best use of your AudioStrobe?
Find a quiet place and make sure you will be undisturbed for the next half an hour or however long your session will last. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down.
For relaxation exercises and superlearning, etc. we recommend tha you lie down.
Loosen your cloths such as belt, tie or tight buttons. Take off your glasses or contact lenses. Close your eyes – the light impulses will penetrate your closed eyelids. Choose a pleasant sound volume and light intensity. A slow fading out of the session is as important as its preparation. Do not immediately resume your daily activites. Take some time to reorient yourself.
Following persons should not use AVS systems:
Approximately one quarter of all epileptics suffer from photosensitivity. This means that seizures may be triggered by the rhythmical light impulses.
Persons with psychosis or brain damage
or other patients under steady psychological or medical care or, who use prescription medicine on a regular basis. We also advise against its use in combination with drugs of any kind.
even though there are no definite medical reasons, we advise against its use as a precautionary measure.
any and all techniques that effect the psyche, such as fantasy journeys, psychoactive tapes, breathing therapy, meditation, etc., as well as AVS may cause unresolved emotional experiences to surface. This equipment is not a therapy substitute. It is for people, who feel emotionally and psychologically strong and stable.
Make sure that during your first session with the AudioStrobe you are in a safe environment and in the company of a trustworthy person. The AudioStrobe is an experimental stimulation system. The responsibility for its application lies solely with the user. Neither manufacturer nor sales or trade agents can be held liable for any problems or damages related to the use of this equipment.
Smythies, J. R. (1959). “The Stroboscopic Patterns.” Brit. J. Psychol., (1959), 50, 106-116 (a) 305-324 (b) und Brit. J. Psychol. (1960), 51, 3, 247-255 (c)
Oster, G. (1973) “Auditory beats in the brain.” Scientific American, 229, 94-102
Atwater, F. H. (1988): “The Monroe Institute´s Hemisync process: A Theoretical Perspective.” Faber, Va: Monroe Institute
Hobson, J. A. (1990) “Schlaf: Gehirnaktivität im Ruhezustand” Spektrum der Wissenschaft” Heidelberg S. 90-91; Eine Aktivierungstheorie der Hirnentwicklung
Brauchli, Peter (1993). “Vergleichsuntersuhung der psychophysiologischen Entspannungseffekte einer optisch-akustischen Mind Machine mit einer Entspannungsmusik” In Zeitschrift für experimentelle und angewandte Psychologie 1993, Band XL, Heft 2, S. 179-193
Brauchli, Peter (1994). “Electrocortical, autonomic, and subjective responses to rhytmic audio-visual stimulation” In International Journal of Psychophysiology 19 (1995) 53-66
Landeck, Klaus-Jürgen (1994). “Einschalten zum Abschalten” In RAABE Fachverlag für Wissenschaftsinformation (Hrsg.): Handbuch Hochschullehre, Bonn 1996
Schenk, Christoph (1989) “Biofeedback. Grundlagen zum Verständnis, zur Indikation, Durchfürung und Wirkungsweise der Biofeedbacktherapie” Perimed Band 12
Zeier, Hans (1997) “Biofeedback. Physiologishe Grundlagen – Anwendungen in der Psychotherapie” Verlag Hans-Huber
Article on AVE (Audio-visual Entrainment) in Wikipedia.