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Auditory driving of the autonomic nervous system: Listening to theta-frequency binaural beats post-exercise increases parasympathetic activation and sympathetic withdrawal.

McConnell PA, Froeliger B, Garland EL, Ives JC, Sforzo GA - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: As compared to the placebo visit, the binaural-beat visit resulted in greater self-reported relaxation, increased parasympathetic activation and increased sympathetic withdrawal.By the end of the 20-min relaxation period there were no observable differences in HRV between binaural-beat and placebo visits, although binaural-beat associated HRV significantly predicted subsequent reported relaxation.Findings suggest that listening to binaural beats may exert an acute influence on both LF and HF components of HRV and may increase subjective feelings of relaxation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Ithaca College Ithaca, NY, USA ; Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC, USA.

ABSTRACT
Binaural beats are an auditory illusion perceived when two or more pure tones of similar frequencies are presented dichotically through stereo headphones. Although this phenomenon is thought to facilitate state changes (e.g., relaxation), few empirical studies have reported on whether binaural beats produce changes in autonomic arousal. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of binaural beating on autonomic dynamics [heart rate variability (HRV)] during post-exercise relaxation. Subjects (n = 21; 18-29 years old) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study during which binaural beats and placebo were administered over two randomized and counterbalanced sessions (within-subjects repeated-measures design). At the onset of each visit, subjects exercised for 20-min; post-exercise, subjects listened to either binaural beats ('wide-band' theta-frequency binaural beats) or placebo (carrier tones) for 20-min while relaxing alone in a quiet, low-light environment. Dependent variables consisted of high-frequency (HF, reflecting parasympathetic activity), low-frequency (LF, reflecting sympathetic and parasympathetic activity), and LF/HF normalized powers, as well as self-reported relaxation. As compared to the placebo visit, the binaural-beat visit resulted in greater self-reported relaxation, increased parasympathetic activation and increased sympathetic withdrawal. By the end of the 20-min relaxation period there were no observable differences in HRV between binaural-beat and placebo visits, although binaural-beat associated HRV significantly predicted subsequent reported relaxation. Findings suggest that listening to binaural beats may exert an acute influence on both LF and HF components of HRV and may increase subjective feelings of relaxation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Differences in the trajectory of low-frequency (LF) power (representing a combination of sympathetic and parasympathetic influences) over the course of relaxation between binaural-beat and placebo conditions. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the marginal mean. *Condition × Time interaction is significant at p< 0.05. ηMarginal means are significantly different at p< 0.05. †Simple main effect of time is significant at p < 0.05 (for binaural-beat condition only). **Within-subjects contrast from RELAX-2 to RELAX-3 is significant at p< 0.05.
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Figure 3: Differences in the trajectory of low-frequency (LF) power (representing a combination of sympathetic and parasympathetic influences) over the course of relaxation between binaural-beat and placebo conditions. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the marginal mean. *Condition × Time interaction is significant at p< 0.05. ηMarginal means are significantly different at p< 0.05. †Simple main effect of time is significant at p < 0.05 (for binaural-beat condition only). **Within-subjects contrast from RELAX-2 to RELAX-3 is significant at p< 0.05.

Mentions: 2 × 3 RM ANCOVA showed a significant Condition × Time interaction for LF, F(2,30) = 7.202, p = 0.003, η2 = 0.324 (Figure 3). LF/HF ratio increased in the placebo condition but decreased in the binaural-beat condition from the beginning to the middle of the relaxation protocol (i.e., after 10-min of stimulus exposure), F(1,15) = 5.427, p = 0.044, η2 = 0.245. No significant interactions between conditions were observed from the middle to the end of the relaxation protocol. There was a significant Condition × Time × VO2max interaction observed for LF, F(2,30) = 4.806, p = 0.015, η2 = 0.243. The interaction of Time × VO2max was not significant in either condition (p > 0.05). When VO2max was regressed against delta (RELAX-3–RELAX-2) for the binaural-beat condition, β = -0.267; in the placebo condition, β = 0.272.


Auditory driving of the autonomic nervous system: Listening to theta-frequency binaural beats post-exercise increases parasympathetic activation and sympathetic withdrawal.

McConnell PA, Froeliger B, Garland EL, Ives JC, Sforzo GA - Front Psychol (2014)

Differences in the trajectory of low-frequency (LF) power (representing a combination of sympathetic and parasympathetic influences) over the course of relaxation between binaural-beat and placebo conditions. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the marginal mean. *Condition × Time interaction is significant at p< 0.05. ηMarginal means are significantly different at p< 0.05. †Simple main effect of time is significant at p < 0.05 (for binaural-beat condition only). **Within-subjects contrast from RELAX-2 to RELAX-3 is significant at p< 0.05.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231835&req=5

Figure 3: Differences in the trajectory of low-frequency (LF) power (representing a combination of sympathetic and parasympathetic influences) over the course of relaxation between binaural-beat and placebo conditions. Error bars represent ±1 SE of the marginal mean. *Condition × Time interaction is significant at p< 0.05. ηMarginal means are significantly different at p< 0.05. †Simple main effect of time is significant at p < 0.05 (for binaural-beat condition only). **Within-subjects contrast from RELAX-2 to RELAX-3 is significant at p< 0.05.
Mentions: 2 × 3 RM ANCOVA showed a significant Condition × Time interaction for LF, F(2,30) = 7.202, p = 0.003, η2 = 0.324 (Figure 3). LF/HF ratio increased in the placebo condition but decreased in the binaural-beat condition from the beginning to the middle of the relaxation protocol (i.e., after 10-min of stimulus exposure), F(1,15) = 5.427, p = 0.044, η2 = 0.245. No significant interactions between conditions were observed from the middle to the end of the relaxation protocol. There was a significant Condition × Time × VO2max interaction observed for LF, F(2,30) = 4.806, p = 0.015, η2 = 0.243. The interaction of Time × VO2max was not significant in either condition (p > 0.05). When VO2max was regressed against delta (RELAX-3–RELAX-2) for the binaural-beat condition, β = -0.267; in the placebo condition, β = 0.272.

Bottom Line: As compared to the placebo visit, the binaural-beat visit resulted in greater self-reported relaxation, increased parasympathetic activation and increased sympathetic withdrawal.By the end of the 20-min relaxation period there were no observable differences in HRV between binaural-beat and placebo visits, although binaural-beat associated HRV significantly predicted subsequent reported relaxation.Findings suggest that listening to binaural beats may exert an acute influence on both LF and HF components of HRV and may increase subjective feelings of relaxation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Ithaca College Ithaca, NY, USA ; Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC, USA.

ABSTRACT
Binaural beats are an auditory illusion perceived when two or more pure tones of similar frequencies are presented dichotically through stereo headphones. Although this phenomenon is thought to facilitate state changes (e.g., relaxation), few empirical studies have reported on whether binaural beats produce changes in autonomic arousal. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of binaural beating on autonomic dynamics [heart rate variability (HRV)] during post-exercise relaxation. Subjects (n = 21; 18-29 years old) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study during which binaural beats and placebo were administered over two randomized and counterbalanced sessions (within-subjects repeated-measures design). At the onset of each visit, subjects exercised for 20-min; post-exercise, subjects listened to either binaural beats ('wide-band' theta-frequency binaural beats) or placebo (carrier tones) for 20-min while relaxing alone in a quiet, low-light environment. Dependent variables consisted of high-frequency (HF, reflecting parasympathetic activity), low-frequency (LF, reflecting sympathetic and parasympathetic activity), and LF/HF normalized powers, as well as self-reported relaxation. As compared to the placebo visit, the binaural-beat visit resulted in greater self-reported relaxation, increased parasympathetic activation and increased sympathetic withdrawal. By the end of the 20-min relaxation period there were no observable differences in HRV between binaural-beat and placebo visits, although binaural-beat associated HRV significantly predicted subsequent reported relaxation. Findings suggest that listening to binaural beats may exert an acute influence on both LF and HF components of HRV and may increase subjective feelings of relaxation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus