A comparison of alpha brainwave entrainment, with and without musical accompaniment

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Doherty, Cormac
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Brainwave entrainment (BWE) studies have measured the effectiveness of manipulating brainwave frequencies as an alternative to medicinal therapy. Isochronic tones are used to entrain; through monotonous, repetitive, pulse like qualities. This study compared the effectiveness of accompanying an isochronic tone with a musical composition; and an isochronic tone only. In this double blinded experiment, participants (N=31) were randomly assigned to a test group (musical composition with an isochronic tone) or control group (isochronic tone only). Both groups were measured by EEG, and the PANAS questionnaire was employed to measure mood. Data showed there was no significant difference between achieving BWE with musical composition or isochronic tone by itself; and pairing with music scored higher for comfort and positive affect