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The Alpha State

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Alpha Waves:


Research on Alpha Waves and Brainwave Synchronicity

GAROUTTE B, AIRD RB. "Studies on the cortical pacemaker: synchrony and asynchrony of bilaterally recorded alpha and beta activity. "Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1958 May; 10(2):259-68. [READ ARTICLE]

Garoute and Aird found that in 75% of the symmetrical EEG locations for both brain hemispheres, Alpha waves were characterized by high levels of synchronization. Studies on the cortical pacemaker: synchrony and asynchrony of bilaterally recorded alpha and beta activity.

Levine HG, Forman PM. "A study of retention of knowledge of neurosciences information." J Med Educ. 1973 Sep;48(9):867-9. [READ ARTICLE]

Banquest (later Levine at al. too) uncovered significantly higher synchronization of Alpha waves in both hemispheres of people immersed deeply in meditation

.DAVID N. NEUBAUER, M.D. "Sleep Problems in the Elderly." Am Fam Physician. 1999 May 1;59(9):2551-2558.
[READ ARTICLE]

Neubauer suggests that, for more intelligent people, synchronization occurs in the high frequency Alpha waves under the influence of stimuli.

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Your brain is electric. The electricity is produced by chemicals in your nerve cells in much the same way electricity is produced by chemicals in a battery, and it runs down your neurons like electricity in a wire. And like the electricity in your house wiring, your brain's electricity generates a frequency measured in cycles per second - aka Hertz. Your house runs at 60 cycles per second. Your brain, depending on what it's doing, runs at .5-40 Hertz. The machine used to measure brainwave frequency is an ElectroEncephaloGraph (EEG). As we just mentioned, your brain generates frequencies that range from .5 to 40 Hz depending on what it's doing.  Alpha waves appear when you are still awake, but in a state of relaxed and effortless alertness. Alpha waves are associated with relaxation, meditation, and daydreaming. More importantly, the alpha state is associated with creativity, super learning, and "being in the zone."  The best professional athletes often function from alpha in their biggest games, totally unfazed by critical situations and coming up with one spectacular play after another. Navy SEALS train to function in alpha on missions so that stress and danger do not compromise their decision making.

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The best competitive video game players play from alpha, which allows the input to go directly from their eyes to their hands so that "normal" thinking doesn't slow things down. Being able to access alpha at will obviously carries some interesting advantages.

Brain researchers have further broken that down into 4 categories:

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