The Marvelous Properties of Gamma Brain Waves

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Alexandra Tudor
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Gamma brain waves
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Summary: Gamma brain waves are a frequency pattern of normal brain activity. Here's everything you need to know about this marvelous brainwave state.

Your brain is bustling with electrical activity. That’s due to the neurons sending electrical signals to each other to communicate. And these signals are called brain waves.

There are five types of brain waves ranging from slow to fast. And the most recently discovered ones are the gamma brain waves.

Understanding the complexity of your brain activity and how to maximize its effects will enhance the quality of your life. It’s all about learning how to access the tools that you already have and make the most out of them.

What Are Gamma Brain Waves?

Gamma brain waves are the fastest brainwave frequency with the smallest amplitude. They are responsible for learning, memory, information processing, and cognitive functioning.

Neuroscientists believe that gamma waves are able to link information from all parts of the brain. 

You can hack your brain through the right techniques to train your brain to make you be enough. — @Vishen Click To Tweet
Vishen on gamma brain waves
Vishen, founder of Mindvalley

What are the different brain waves?

There are five brain wave states with different frequency components:

  • Delta waves (below 3 Hz)
  • 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 80 Hz)

There’s also the frequency of high-gamma, or high-frequency activity, which is anything above 80 Hz.

As mentioned, the frequency of gamma waves measures between 38 and 80 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 gamma frequency.

Gamma waves or gamma rays?

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 things.

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?

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 in a rapid “full sweep” action. This makes the gamma state one of peak mental and physical performance. Gamma is the brainwave state of being “in the zone.”

Gamma brain waves are associated with the “feeling of blessings” reported by experienced meditators, such as monks and nuns. This study suggests that gamma waves are associated with peak concentration and high levels of cognitive functioning.

Everyone has gamma wave activity in the brain, 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.

Human beings are not taught how to tap into altered states of awareness to make an impact in the world.

— Vishen, founder of Mindvalley
Vishen, founder of Mindvalley

Gamma Brain Waves Benefits

The benefits of producing the gamma wave frequency are:

  • Memory recall. People with high gamma activity have exceptionally vivid and rapid memory recall.
  • Sensory perception. When the brain produces gamma waves, the senses are heightened. Food tastes better; vision and hearing sharpen; a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Creativity. Gamma waves are present during REM sleep and visualization. And according to studies, “REM enhances the integration of unassociated information for creative problem solving, a process, we hypothesize, that is facilitated by cholinergic and noradrenergic neuromodulation during REM sleep.”

People with very high levels of gamma frequency are exceptionally intelligent, compassionate, and have strong self-control. Additionally, their IQ scores are correspondingly high.

Elite athletes, top-notch musicians, and high achievers in all fields produce far more gamma waves than average.

Let’s celebrate our extraordinary ability to evolve emotionally, mentally, and spiritually throughout life, taking on new ideas, thoughts, philosophies, and ways of being and living. — @Vishen Click To Tweet

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 make you happier and more compassionate.

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.

Gamma brain waves

How to Access and Increase Gamma Brain Waves

According to neuroscientists, people can train themselves to increase their 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.

So how can you 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.

Meditation sharpens your mental abilities, but by learning to produce more gamma brain waves, you will use your brain at its greatest capacity.

It’s as simple as putting on your headphones and using your favorite meditation audio to guide you into a relaxed state gently. Once your brain and body are relaxed, focus on love and compassion.

What do gamma binaural beats do?

Gamma binaural beats are shown to affect our memory positively 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 tell it to attack this disease-causing plaque.

In fact, Nobel Prize winner Sir Francis Crick explains that 40 Hz of frequency may be the key to the act of cognition.

Learn more: How to Use Binaural Beats to Benefit Your Brain

To start your journey with binaural beats, press play on the 6 Phase Guided Binaural Beats Meditation by Vishen:

6 Phase Guided Binaural Beats Meditation | Vishen Lakhiani – Video

Great Change Starts With Your Brain Potential

Learning how to access the powerful tools that your brain has to offer is one of the most important skills to master in this life. That’s where Mindvalley can in to support you along your journey. 

With the expertise of Vishen, Mindvalley’s founder, you can discover how to embody higher states of consciousness in The Silva Ultramind System Quest.

Watch the first lesson from this program for free and instantly experience the power of active meditation.

Welcome in. 

Watch the First Lesson of the Silva Ultramind System Quest

Dynamic Meditation with Vishen Lakhiani - Founder of Mindvalley

Feel sleepy while you meditate? That’s because you’re practicing ‘passive’ meditation. Dynamic meditation does the opposite of this - it actively exercises our brain waves to achieve crystal clarity, deep calmness and more energy on command.Watch it now for free

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Written by

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.

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