Last week, scientists at Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University released the promising results of a study, entitled, Selective Entrainment of Theta Oscillations in the Dorsal Stream Causally Enhances Auditory Working Memory Performance. Building off the commonly accepted neurological “Two-stream” hypothesis for the mechanism of visual and auditory mental processing, the scientists used forms of TMS (Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation) to engage and examine the theta brain wave oscillations and their potential relationship to the neurological mechanisms of visual and auditory mental-data processing.
The study’s Abstract reads as follows,
“The implication of the dorsal stream in manipulating auditory information in working memory has been recently established. However, the oscillatory dynamics within this network and its causal relationship with behavior remain undefined. Using simultaneous MEG/EEG, we show that theta oscillations in the dorsal stream predict participants’ manipulation abilities during memory retention in a task requiring the comparison of two patterns differing in temporal order. We investigated the causal relationship between brain oscillations and behavior by applying theta-rhythmic TMS combined with EEG over the MEG-identified target (left intraparietal sulcus) during the silent interval between the two stimuli. Rhythmic TMS entrained theta oscillation and boosted participants’ accuracy. TMS-induced oscillatory entrainment scaled with behavioral enhancement, and both gains varied with participants’ baseline abilities. These effects were not seen for a melody-comparison control task and were not observed for arrhythmic TMS. These data establish theta activity in the dorsal stream as causally related to memory manipulation.”
Essentially, this means that scientists have further found evidence pointing to vast implications that forms of magnetism can have on human consciousness, but beyond this grandiose idealism, the elaboration on the theta-wave’s relationship to a working and functional brain is made even clearer. For those unfamiliar, theta-waves are the aspect of the brain’s output that is conducive to meditation, deep hypnotic states, and pre-REM phases of sleep. It is also alleged to be the brain’s “motivator” for lucid dream-states.
Other recent studies clearly demonstrated the hippocampus’ regulatory function of theta-waves in both rodents and humans (the mechanisms being significantly more complex with humans, obviously), and it may be of interest to note that while cannabis is often associated with the alpha-wave, depressants are a known facilitator of theta-wave function, and even more studies have recently elaborated on the specific regenerative properties that cannabis has for the hippocampus.
It is also important to clarify that brainwaves are not exclusive or one-size-fits-all, and a variety of them are active at any given time, but certain brainwaves are more conducive to certain mindsets than others—this much is a given. Overall, the details and subtleties of brain wave phenomena are hardly understood by modern science, and the results of this recent study and others like it, proves, if nothing else, the far-reaching potential of such research, and lends more credibility to technologies like the TMS helmets for sale to the public (for a high, but reasonable price) developed by behavioral neuroscientists Todd Murphy and Michael Persinger, and other more esoterically inspired notions.
Source: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/36/12477, https://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509, http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/04/15/5-types-of-brain-waves-frequencies-gamma-beta-alpha-theta-delta/, http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(17)30198-8, http://www.selfhypnosismadeez.com/learn-hypnosis/how-hypnosis-works.html#.WOAXMKK1vBQ, https://www.god-helmet.com/