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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

Sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) mid-relaxation predicts 43% of variance in self-reported ratings of perceived relaxation in binaural-beat but not placebo condition.
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Figure 6: Sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) mid-relaxation predicts 43% of variance in self-reported ratings of perceived relaxation in binaural-beat but not placebo condition.

Mentions: In the binaural-beat condition (but not in the placebo condition), LF/HF during the middle of relaxation was negatively correlated with, (r= -0.695, p< 0.001), and significantly predictive of, [F(1,20) = 17.786, p< 0.001], reported relaxation at the end of the session (Figure 6). This was the case for LF, (r= -0.640, p = 0.002; F(1,20) = 13.204, p = 0.002) as well; whereas HF was positively correlated with (r= 0.699, p < 0.001), and predictive of [F(1,20) = 18.203, p < 0.001], relaxation at the end of the session. To rule out the possibility that baseline LF/HF was responsible for the observed differences in perceived relaxation, a regression model was performed for each condition between baseline LF/HF, RELAX-2 LF/HF, and perceived relaxation. While both conditions’ baseline LF/HF values were significantly predictive of LF/HF mid-relaxation [F(1,20) = 8.409, p = 0.006 and F(1,20) = 12.566, p = 0.002, respectively], neither conditions’ baseline LF/HF values were significantly predictive of self-reported perceived relaxation at the end of the study (all p > 0.05). Partial correlations remained significant after controlling for age, sex, VO2max, and delta HRV regressor (all p< 0.05). Changes in self-reported relaxation between conditions were not correlated with changes in HRV between conditions or with changes in HRV from the beginning to the end of the relaxation sessions (all p > 0.05).


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)

Sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) mid-relaxation predicts 43% of variance in self-reported ratings of perceived relaxation in binaural-beat but not placebo condition.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 6: Sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) mid-relaxation predicts 43% of variance in self-reported ratings of perceived relaxation in binaural-beat but not placebo condition.
Mentions: In the binaural-beat condition (but not in the placebo condition), LF/HF during the middle of relaxation was negatively correlated with, (r= -0.695, p< 0.001), and significantly predictive of, [F(1,20) = 17.786, p< 0.001], reported relaxation at the end of the session (Figure 6). This was the case for LF, (r= -0.640, p = 0.002; F(1,20) = 13.204, p = 0.002) as well; whereas HF was positively correlated with (r= 0.699, p < 0.001), and predictive of [F(1,20) = 18.203, p < 0.001], relaxation at the end of the session. To rule out the possibility that baseline LF/HF was responsible for the observed differences in perceived relaxation, a regression model was performed for each condition between baseline LF/HF, RELAX-2 LF/HF, and perceived relaxation. While both conditions’ baseline LF/HF values were significantly predictive of LF/HF mid-relaxation [F(1,20) = 8.409, p = 0.006 and F(1,20) = 12.566, p = 0.002, respectively], neither conditions’ baseline LF/HF values were significantly predictive of self-reported perceived relaxation at the end of the study (all p > 0.05). Partial correlations remained significant after controlling for age, sex, VO2max, and delta HRV regressor (all p< 0.05). Changes in self-reported relaxation between conditions were not correlated with changes in HRV between conditions or with changes in HRV from the beginning to the end of the relaxation sessions (all p > 0.05).

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