Binaural Tone, I-Doser, Made Me Crazy

By Xah Lee. Date:

There's a craze that goes by the name of I-Doser. Basically, it's a website, you go and download sound files. (about $3 each) The sound is supposed to have the same effect as drugs, such as opium, ecstasy. Apparently, lots of kids are doing it. Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

I-Doser is an application for the playback of proprietary audio content. This separately purchasable content has attracted media attention as it aims to simulate specific mental states through the use of binaural beat technology, and many of the simulations available take their names from prohibited recreational drugs. The I-Doser player has been downloaded more than a million times and is based on the audio technology of a freeware binaural beat generator, SBaGen.

Research into the neurological technology behind I-Doser is sparse. Peer-reviewed studies exist suggesting that some specific binaural beat mixes can affect aspects of mental performance and mood, act as analgesic supplements or affect perceptions, but there have been no formal studies of any effects of mixes particular to I-Doser. Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University interviewed about I-Doser have expressed skepticism over its scientific basis, citing a four person controlled study of binaural beats that demonstrated no evidence of brainwave entrainment. Other universities have also stated skepticism.

lol. Note that is a website that sells such sounds. It costs some $3 to $4 a pop. Apparently, the site owner is getting very rich.

But, what's binaural beat? Apparently, if you play two pure tones, one for each ear, and if their frequencies are close, then the brain will perceive a “beat”. That is, a sort of wavering sound beating at the rate of 10 or 20 times a second.

Here's some Wikipedia quote on Binaural beat:

Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain for specific physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, and earned greater public awareness in the late 20th century based on claims that binaural beats could help induce relaxation, creativity and other desirable mental states.

The brain produces a phenomenon resulting in low-frequency pulsations in the loudness and sound localization of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject's ears, using stereo headphones. A beating tone will be perceived, as if the two tones mixed naturally, out of the brain. The frequency of the tones must be below about 1,000 to 1,500 hertz for the beating to be heard. The difference between the two frequencies must be small (below about 30 Hz) for the effect to occur; otherwise, the two tones will be heard separately and no beat will be perceived.

Binaural beats are of interest to neurophysiologists investigating the sense of hearing. Binaural beats reportedly influence the brain in more subtle ways through the entrainment of brainwaves and can be used to reduce anxiety and provide other health benefits such as control over pain.

Here's a sample binaural tone. It's 30 minutes long. It does effect you in some weird way, actually.

[Audio Source][2010-10-17 ]

But note here any music changes your mental states, that's why we listen to music, for relaxation, for heightened mental state, for pleasure, and often music make us cry. (some classical piano pieces by Bach or Liszt does that to me easily. [see Classical Keyboard Music]