Binaural Beat Induced Theta EEG Activity and Hypnotic Susceptibility: Contradictory Results and Technical Considerations

Larry Stevens, Zach Haga, Brandy Queen, Brian Brady, Deanna Adams, Jaime Gilbert, Emily Vaughan, Cathy Leach, Paul Nockels, Patrick McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The present study offered a constructive replication of an earlier study which demonstrated significant increases in theta EEG activity following theta binaural beat (TBB) entrainment training and significant increases in hypnotic susceptibility. This study improved upon the earlier small-sample, multiple-baseline investigation by employing a larger sample, by utilizing a double-blind, repeated-measures group experimental design, by investigating only low and moderate susceptible participants, and by providing 4 hours of binaural beat training. With these design improvements, results were not supportive of the specific efficacy of the theta binaural beat training employed in this study in either increasing frontal theta EEG activity or in increasing hypnotic susceptibility. Statistical power analyses indicated the theta binaural beat training to be a very low power phenomenon on theta EEG activity. Furthermore, we found no significant relationship between frontal theta power and hypnotizability, although the more hypnotizable participants showed significantly greater increases in hypnotizability than the less hypnotizables. Results are discussed within the context of participant selection and classification factors, technical considerations in the presentation of TBB training, and theta bl ocking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Hypnosis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Activity
  • Binaural beat
  • Brainwave
  • EEG
  • Hypnosis
  • Hypnotic susceptibility
  • Hypnotizability
  • Theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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