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Isochronic tones are regular beats of a single tone that are used alongside monaural beats and binaural beats in the process called brainwave entrainment. At its simplest level, an isochronic tone is a tone that is being turned on and off rapidly. They create sharp, distinctive pulses of sound.
Brainwave entrainment does not have a long-term effect on the patterns of neural impulses. That is, very soon after the external stimulus stops, the brainwaves return to their normal state. In fact, there is some evidence that brain waves are evenly spaced on a logarithmic scale to prevent entrainment and cross talk. In a paper by G. Karl Steinke and Roberto F. Galán the authors show, by mathematical modelling, that the complexity of these signals is a good indicator of brain fitness. They show that virtual brains modelling diseased states show lower complexity than those modelling healthy states.
Clinical neurologist Steven Novella published an article on brainwave entrainment, saying; 'A number of companies and individuals have then extrapolated from the phenomenon of entrainment to claim that altering the brain waves changes the actual functioning of the brain. There is no theoretical or empirical basis for this, however.' Brainwave entrainment has been claimed to assist with cognition, stress management and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While there have been many small-scale studies done,[which?] there has not yet been a large-scale or long-term study of brainwave entrainment.
In 2015, a company called, Tensai Saundo said that Brainwave entrainment could help with overcoming addiction, they said "By changing our brainwaves we change our current condition and this can be hugely advantageous to bring all types of positive change."
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