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Chapter 10. Psychotechnologies > Light and Sound Technology

Light and Sound Technology

Sound and light machines that alter brainwave activity via a combination of stroboscopic lights and synchronized rhythmic tones may seem new, but the knowledge that flickering lights and rhythmic tones can lead to profound relaxation, altered states of consciousness, and visual images is something humans have known since the discovery of fire. Can you remember staring into a campfire or fireplace and feeling a sense of calm and tranquility pervade your body? Meanwhile, you may have found yourself watching images dance in the glowing embers. When you first see a sound and light machine it may appear bizarre, like something out of a science fiction movie. But while the hardware is new, the techniques being used are ancient.

Human Brainwaves

To understand how light and sound machines work, you must first learn a bit about human brainwaves, which were first discovered in 1922 and can be measured by an EEG. Human brainwaves range from 0 to approximately 40 cycles per second (cps). They can be divided into four categories based on distinct changes in consciousness associated with different frequency levels. The following relationships can be observed between brainwave ranges and subjective states:


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