However, the longer you sit on that grassy knoll, the more “in sync” these bursts of light will become.
If you’ve ever seen fireflies in action, especially at the start of the eve, you know firsthand that the little blips of light pulse on and off with no seeming pattern or sequence.
Eventually, many of the fireflies will begin to light up at the exact time.
So, what does this have to do with your brain? Keep reading to find out…
The year was 1665 and Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens was about to identify what is known as “entrainment.”
It was the end of a long day. In his laboratory, Huygens set two pendulum clocks next to one another. Then, he set them in motion. The pendulums were not sync.
However, when he came back the next morning, the pendulums were swinging in perfect harmony with one another. Back and forth. Back and forth.
How did this happen? It’s a phenomenon known as entrainment.
Entrainment is the process by which tiny amounts of energy move between two nearby entities that are “out of sync.”
The result is a kind of “negative feedback” that works to self-correct the dissonance until both entities are in sync and aligned.
When we’re talking about inorganic entities, like these clocks and even electric clothes driers, this is known as mechanical entrainment.
With the firefly example, we see an example of what is known as biological, or organic, entrainment.
So, what do fireflies and clocks teach us about the human brain?
For the answer, we need to take a look at your brainwaves.
Brainwaves, or neural oscillations, are the electrical pulses in your brain that correspond to what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and how you’re feeling.
Every one of your mind states has a signature brainwave pattern.
If you’re happy, you have one pattern. Focused, another relaxed, still another.
Researchers have been able to identify and duplicate the exact patterns of many of our most common mind states using soundwaves rather than electrical pulses.
It turns out that brainwaves share the same basic structure as that found in acoustics (e.g., frequency, amplitude, and periodicity).
Putting It All Together: Unlocking Your Brain
Now, imagine you’re feeling unfocused and foggy.
You have a big presentation and need to be at your best. What do you do?
If scientists know how to replicate brainwave patterns using sound waves (they do) AND biological entrainment is a real thing (it is), you’rein luck.
Hypothetically, you should be able to listen to sound waves patterns for mental clarity and – through the process of brainwave entrainment– switch on your desired mind state.
Just like placing two clocks together or having fireflies circling in the same space, your brain will begin to sync with the brainwave“music” you’re listening to.
As a result, the dissonance between your existing state (foggy, unfocused) will be overwritten by the more dominant soundwave (clear, on target, focused).
The negative feedback will stop and you’ll be ready to give that winning presentation.
Researchers are just now beginning to see all the possible implications of these amazing findings, and brainwave entrainment products are already on the market.
You can check out sites like BrainwaveShots.com to get a nice overview of the science and uncover an interesting consumer application of this technology.
A Final Note:
We’re entering a new phase of human possibility. Science and nature are meeting and merging in exciting and dynamic ways. The future looks bright, and it’s a great time to be alive!