What are Brain Waves and the Purpose of them


Brain waves, also known as neural oscillations, are performed in the central nervous system by neurons. Because neurons are the building blocks of the brain, neurons can work independently or cooperatively.

neurons or nerve cells

Brain waves

The human brain is an electrochemical organ. Scientists say that a well-developed brain can generate nearly 10 watts of electrical power. But we can’t use this electrical power for our day to day activities. Hans Berger first studied brain waves in 1924. Scientists studied Vibratory neurons, but still, we are beyond the understanding of their functions. Our brain is always buzzing with something, whether we are sleeping or performing daily life chores. However, scientists are working on a specialized system to integrate electrodes on the scalp. And that system is known as Electroencephalography or EEG. Brain waves vary in amplitude, frequency, and measured in several cycles, or the number of times the wave occurs.


Furthermore, we perform different daily functions, such as playing sports, eating, or something as simple as blinking eyes. Different patterns of our brain perform all these functions. Thus, neurons from our brain form these patterns. And they are recorded as upside-down electrical waves and are called brain waves.

Types of Brain Waves

We have four types of waves, and each wave has a different frequency and different brain state.

Type Frequency
Beta 12–35 Hz
Alpha 8–12 Hz
Theta 4–8 Hz
Delta 0.5–4 Hz
Gamma 38-42 Hz

Beta waves

When our attention focuses on cognitive processes and the outside world, beta waves dominate our regular waking state of consciousness. Beta is a ‘fast’ ongoing phenomenon when we are aware, attentive, problem-solving, judging, making decisions, or engaging in focused cognitive processes. These waves are just below the gamma waves. There are three bands of Beta waves:

1) Lo-Beta (Beta1, 12-15Hz).

2) Beta (Beta2, 15-22Hz).

3) Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz).

Delta waves

Delta brainwaves are a sluggish and loud form of brainwave (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drumbeat). Our brains generate them during deep sleep and meditation. However, Delta waves are the wellspring of empathy and suspend consciousness of the outside world. Thus, they stimulate healing and regeneration in this state. Therefore, the healing process needs a deep sleep. These low, sluggish waves are located right below the theta waves.

Alpha waves

Alpha waves are more active when an individual is in a physically resting state. They help to mentally coordinate, alert, calm, and integrate consciousness in the body and learning overall. They are found right in the middle of the wave spectrum.

Theta waves:

When a person is sleeping or meditating, theta waves are more active. In simple terms, these waves are dominating when the mind is at rest. One experiences nausea when she/he is fully awake and not meditating, yet the brain experiences high amounts of theta waves. Theta waves are faster than delta waves but slower than alpha waves.

Gamma waves

Gamma waves are known to be the fastest waves on the wave spectrum. They were rejected initially as “spare brain sound.” However, scientists discovered that they were particularly active in a state of love, generosity, and higher virtues.

Furthermore, It is above the frequency of neural activity. However, their productivity remains a mystery. It modifies our perception and awareness. And a higher level of gamma presence is linked to a higher level of consciousness and spiritual activity.

Can brainwaves be altered?

Your brainwaves shift as you adjust your perception or force yourself out of a state.

“Brainwave altering” refers to medicines or dangerous drugs that modify your mood or chemically tamper with your brain. However, brain training, such as Meditation or Yoga, is a more acceptable and advised method of modifying brainwaves. Unlike medicines, these workouts can temporarily alter your brain waves without causing any adverse side effects.

The Bottom Line

Four states of brainwaves range from high to low amplitudes, high-frequency betas, low-frequency delta, and low amplitude. These brain states range from deep sleep to great excitement. These five types of brain waves are the same for all people. In every gender of every age, brain waves are of the same characteristic. These waves, which range from sleep to physical activities, result from waves in our brains. Nevertheless, a lot of information is still not available about the waves that scientists have to discover. Maybe someday, we will know more about these waves and improve our understanding of these waves.

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