Are you ready to dive into your own brain chemistry? Read on to discover everything you need to know about gamma brain waves.
What Are Gamma Brain Waves?
Gamma brain waves are a frequency pattern of normal brain activity that measures between 25 and 100 Hz, with around 40 Hz being typical in humans.
Gamma waves were essentially unknown before the development of digital EEG (electroencephalography) recorders since analog electroencephalography could not measure brain waves at that high frequency (their upper limit is about 25 Hz).
Now, neuroscientists are beginning to discover the marvelous properties of the brain when it produces the gamma frequency.
Don’t confuse gamma brain waves with gamma rays. If you’re picturing a lab experiment gone bad – as in the Incredible Hulk – rest assured, gamma rays and gamma brain waves are not the same thing.
Gamma rays are the most energetic waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. On Earth, nuclear explosions and lightning produce gamma rays.
The only similarity between a gamma ray and a gamma brain wave is that their frequency is extremely fast, with a small amplitude.
What do gamma waves do?
Gamma brain waves are the fastest brainwave frequency with the smallest amplitude. They are associated with the “feeling of blessings” reported by experienced meditators, such as monks and nuns. Gamma waves are associated with peak concentration and high levels of cognitive functioning.
Neuroscientists believe that gamma waves are able to link information from all parts of the brain.
The gamma wave originates in the thalamus and moves from the back of the brain to the front and back again 40 times per second. This rapid “full sweep” action makes the gamma state one of peak mental and physical performance. Gamma is the brainwave state of being “in the zone.”
Everyone has gamma brainwave activity, but the number of gamma waves produced varies. Low amounts of gamma brainwave activity have been linked to learning difficulties, poor memory, and impaired mental processing.
What do gamma binaural beats do?
Gamma binaural beats are shown to positively affect our memory, and can even slow certain medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
How? Well, Alzheimer’s disease is the result of plaque (beta-amyloid) building-up between our neurons. Scientists believe that gamma waves positively affect our immune system, and tells it to attack this disease-causing plaque.
In fact, Nobelist Sir Francis Crick explains that 40 Hz of frequency may be the key to the act of cognition.
What Are The Different Brain Waves?
So, besides gamma brain waves, what different types of brain wave states are there?
Here are the 5 different brain wave states:
- Delta waves (Up to 3Hz)
- Theta waves (From 3 to 8 Hz)
- Alpha waves (From 8 to 12 Hz)
- Beta waves (From 12 to 38 Hz)
- Gamma waves (From 38 to 42 Hz)
What do alpha waves do to the brain?
We’ve taken a look at gamma wave, but how to alpha waves work?
Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning. They are the most dominant during some quiet states of the mind. Some “quiet” thinking, or meditative state.
What Are The Benefits Of Gamma?
People with very high levels of gamma activity are exceptionally intelligent, compassionate, and have strong self-control. IQ scores of people with high gamma wave activity are correspondingly high.
High gamma activity also corresponds to a state of peak performance.
Elite athletes, top-notch musicians and high achievers in all fields produce far more gamma waves than average.
The benefits of producing the gamma frequency are:
- Increased memory recall. People with high gamma activity have exceptionally vivid and rapid memory recall.
- Increased sensory perception. When the brain produces gamma waves, the senses are heightened. Food tastes better; vision and hearing sharpen; sense of smell becomes more powerful, and your brain becomes far more sensitive to all sensory input. This makes for a much richer sensory experience and a better perception of reality.
- Increased focus. In the gamma state, your brain is able to process all sensory information faster and more fully with greater sensitivity; and combine the whole scenario into a highly memorable experience. People with high gamma activity can recall everything about any memorable event – the food they ate, the music they heard, the conversations, the names of people they met, the air temperature, etc.
- Increased processing speed. One of the most remarkable properties of the gamma state is the processing speed: the brain is able to process incredible amounts of information very quickly, remember it, and retrieve that memory later.
- Increased happiness. People with high gamma activity are naturally happier, calmer and more at peace. This is Nature’s best anti-depressant (people suffering from depression typically have very low gamma activity).
- Increased creativity. Gamma waves are present during REM sleep and visualization.
How To Produce More Gamma Brain Wave Activity
You are probably wondering how you can experience increased mental processing, happiness, better perception of reality, incredible focus, better self-control and richer sensory experience that comes with being in gamma? The answer is simple: meditate.
Neuroscientists believe that people can train themselves to produce more of the gamma frequency. In fact, by focusing on compassion and love, we can increase our gamma output.
When you look at elite athletes, you can see how love creates the gamma state — they love what they’re doing, and they’re immersed in what they love — so gamma is a natural state of consciousness for them!
Meditation sharpens your mental abilities, but by learning to produce more gamma brain waves, you will use your brain in its greatest capacity.
It’s as simple as putting on your headphones and using your favorite meditation audio to gently guide you into a relaxed state. Once your brain and body are relaxed, focus on love and compassion.
Scientific studies on Gamma Brain waves
One of the most famous studies on meditation was performed with Tibetan Buddhist monks and Celestine nuns. Both groups demonstrated the ability to produce gamma waves during meditation.
The studies showed a significant increase in brain activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with self-control, happiness and compassion. It also showed reduced activity in the amygdala — the brain’s fight or flight center. This suggests that meditation can actually make you a happier and more compassionate person.
Something remarkable happened when the monks in the study were asked to focus on feelings of compassion. Their brains immediately moved into the gamma frequency in a rhythmic and coherent pattern.
As you meditate with the help of meditation music, you may begin feeling that wonderful warmth of oneness where you lose the sense of self and “melt” into universal consciousness.
Hang on to that feeling. Focus on it. Expand on it. Embody it.
Feel love emanating from you and permeating you. Focus on love…and you will soon feel the ecstasy and bliss of gamma!
Supporting Your Spiritual Growth
We hope this guide has supported you in understanding the incredible benefits of gamma brainwaves. By becoming aware of your own consciousness, you may be feeling like you’re headed towards a potential spiritual awakening.
That’s exciting! But here at Mindvalley, we know that any kind of personal growth can also feel daunting, especially if you’re transforming alone without the support of those closest to you. Spirituality is all about embracing the challenge to go within ourselves for the answers we seek, and it’s more often than not a solo trip.
But it’s often helpful (and necessary) to receive some support from trustworthy individuals who have already walked the path.
That’s why we hooked up with the best, most celebrated spiritual teachers on the planet to help guide the way and provide free content to support all of our Mindvalley Tribe. That’s you!
So if you’re starting out your own path to self-discovery and are eager to have your spiritual growth supported in the best way, check out Mindvalley’s Top 3 Free Spiritual Growth Masterclasses next.