Delta, Alpha and Gamma Waves Explained
When you’re in a deep sleep then you’re very likely in Delta. When we’re born we spend the first few years of our lives in Delta. Because we haven’t developed an analytical mind the information we receive goes straight to our subconscious. In time we begin to begin to create associative memories whereby we make connections between external stimuli and changes to our internal chemistry. A classic example of this is when a baby cries in order to get fed.
When you close your eyes you begin to block out the external world and enter Alpha. We are generally more relaxed in Alpha which allows the brain to slip into a light meditative state. The development of these types of brain waves allows for the creation of the analytical mind. It is here where we first being to draw deeper conclusions about how the world works and the cause and effect of behavior.
Gamma waves are associated with higher brain function. In this heightened level of consciousness you are happier and more compassionate. Gamma waves allow us to make sense of the world around us help us to remember.
Brain-Wave Development in Children: From Subconscious to Conscious Mind Delta.
Delta. Between birth and two years old, the human brain functions primarily in the lowest brain-wave levels, from 0.5 to 4 cycles per second. This range of electromagnetic activity is known as Delta waves. Adults in deep sleep are in Delta; this explains why a newborn usually can’t remain awake for more than a few minutes at a time (and why even with their eyes open, young babies can be asleep). When one-year-olds are awake, they’re still primarily in Delta, because they function principally from their subconscious. Information from the outside world enters their brains with little editing, critical thinking, or judgment taking place. The thinking brain—the neocortex, or conscious mind—is operating at very low levels at this point.
Theta. From about ages two to five or six, a child begins to demonstrate slightly higher EEG patterns. These Theta-wave frequencies measure 4 to 8 cycles per second. Children functioning in Theta tend to be trancelike and primarily connected to their internal world. They live in the abstract and in the realm of imagination, and exhibit few of the nuances of critical, rational thinking. Thus, young children are likely to accept what you tell them. (P.S. Santa is real.) At this stage, phrases such as the following have a huge impact: Big boys don’t cry. Girls should be seen and not heard. Your sister is smarter than you. If you get cold, you’ll catch a cold. These types of statements go straight to the subconscious mind, because these slow brain-wave states are the realm of the subconscious (hint, hint).
Alpha. Between ages five and eight, brain waves change again, to an Alpha frequency: 8 to 13 cycles per second. The analytical mind begins to form at this point in childhood development; children start to interpret and draw conclusions about the laws of external life. At the same time, the inner world of imagination tends to be as real as the outer world of reality. Children in this age-group typically have a foot in both worlds. That’s why they pretend so well. For instance, you may ask a child to pretend that he is a dolphin in the sea, a snowflake in the wind, or a superhero coming to the rescue, and hours later, he is still in character. Ask an adult to do the same, and well … you already know the answer.
Beta. From ages 8 to 12 and onward, brain activity increases to even higher frequencies. Anything above 13 cycles per second in children is the frontier for Beta waves. Beta goes on and up to varying degrees from there throughout adulthood, and is representative of conscious, analytical thinking. After age 12, the door between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind usually closes. Beta is actually divided into low-, mid-, and high-range Beta waves. As children progress into their teens, they tend to move from low-range Beta up into mid-and high-range Beta waves, as seen in most adults.
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