Effects of Beta and Delta/Theta Binaural Beats on Stroop Test

Carles Tardío, Borja Sabio, Selin Akcakaya, Xavier Duran, Maria Blancas

Exposure to two tones of mildly different frequencies in each ear produces a phenomenon known as binaural auditory beats. Binaural beats are low-frequency pulsations in the amplitude and sound localization of a perceived sound. The resulting frequency of the binaural beat is the difference between the frequencies of both tones. Some reports suggest binaural beats can entrain EEG activity affecting states of consciousness, although few robust scientific studies have been published on the matter. In this study, the effects of binaural beats in beta and delta/theta range frequencies, associated with alertness and drowsiness states respectively, were examined through the Stroop test which has become over the years a reliable tool to measure reaction time and accuracy. The hypothesis of the study may be formulated as: “Exposure to binaural auditory beats in the EEG beta frequency ranges in comparison to delta/theta frequency ranges improves significantly performance in Stroop test”. In the experiment 20 healthy subjects were exposed to beta and delta/theta BB for 15min each sound. No statistically significant difference between the two conditions was found, neither in reaction time ((F)(1,19)=2.19, (p)\textgreater.1) [delta/theta ((M)=0.18, (SD)=0.15), beta ((M)=0.20, (SD)=0.17) ] nor in accuracy [(F)(1,19)=1.17, (p)\textgreater.1 ]. We suggest further studies could be performed extending the duration of the exposure to the binaural beats.