States of consciousness

First remark in the scientific literature about Richard Caton, who first discovered measurable electrical potentials produced by the brain, has appeared in 1874. Canton discovered that changes in the brain electrical potential manifest in changes of human consciousness. This method could not be further reasearched until discovery of electroencephalogram (EEG hereinafter). The EEG allowed measurement of brain electrical potential in “high-resolution” and subsequent record of those values to the “voltage – time” based graph.¬† Experimentating with EEG allowed find the cause¬† of certain frames of mind (moods).


Due to the complex bioelectric processes in the brain a weak electromagnetic field is formed. This electromagnetic field can “vibrate”¬† in several frequencies. In the scientific literature these basic frequencies are labeled as:

Beta brain waves (14-40Hz)

The majority of people spend most of their days in this condition. These brain waves appear naturally during the normal human awake state, that can oscilate from sleepy awake state up to concentrated activity. Stress or feeling of pressure are releted to higher frequencies. Those conditions are often also accompanied by anxiety, fear or anger. In this state the logical-analytical thinking and attention is being drawn outside, facing the problems associated with the outer environment. People in primitive societies rested and relaxed more then we do today. They used the stress only for hunting or defense. Therefore those people stayed in the “Beta” state for a relatively short period of time, and their organism could rest more then of today¬īs people.

Alpha brain waves (8-13Hz)

predominates state of relaxation without any mental stress. It is a state of alerted relaxation of mind and body without feeling of being sleepy. It occurs naturally in sensory relaxation (eg eyes closed), deep relaxation or meditation. Alpha state causes feelings of relaxation, safety and well-being. It improves the sleep and academic performance, increases the labor productivity, reduces fear and anxiety and enhances the immunity. The creative geniuses can be awake and at the same time their brains can stay on the border of Alpha waves, which helps them with creative solutions and ideas.

Boundary between Alpha / Theta

corresponds to Schumann resonance  frequency in the range of 7-8 Hz. Feeling of revelation and reportedly act of personal transformation are associated with this level. From the deep sleep with up to 7 Hz frequency we slowly pass to Alpha stage, in which physical and mental self-healing processes are triggered.

Theta brain waves (4-8Hz)

present a state of deep relaxation, meditation or low form of REM sleep (rapid eye movements and dreaming). At these brain wavelengths we observer improvement of memory (particularly long term). We are in contact with the unconsciousness. Intuition, creativity and insight into complex issues with ability to find unusual  solution are enhanced.

Delta brain waves (1-4Hz)

occurs mainly in the deep sleep state, during deep relaxation or unconsciousness. These are the lowest brain wave frequencies which accompany processes of physical regeneration. Those are only the most basic states of the human brain as there are many intermediate stages. The frequencies are in fact merely the result of an intellectual process, but certain states of mind can be also artifically induced by modulating brain waves frequencies. The public interest in the possibility to modify state of consciousness is growing recently and thus new science field has evolved: “Neurotechnology”.¬† The Neurotechnology tries to examine possibilities to artificial harmonization of brain electromagnetic field and thus backwardly influencing human consciousness. Changes in a mental state influence¬† the type of¬† brain waves. (Zen Meditation Therapy, prof. Tomio Hirai, Cad Press, 1997)