High-Frequency Binaural Beats Increase Cognitive Flexibility: Evidence from Dual-Task Crosstalk

Interesting paper in Frontiers of Psychology. Below is their abstract but my abstract of their abstract is binaural beats in the Gamma range increase mental flexibility and creativity.


Increasing evidence suggests that cognitive-control processes can be configured to optimize either persistence of information processing (by amplifying competition between decision-making alternatives and top-down biasing of this competition) or flexibility (by dampening competition and biasing). We investigated whether high-frequency binaural beats, an auditory illusion suspected to act as a cognitive enhancer, have an impact on cognitive-control configuration. We hypothesized that binaural beats in the gamma range bias the cognitive-control style toward flexibility, which in turn should increase the crosstalk between tasks in a dual-task paradigm. We replicated earlier findings that the reaction time in the first-performed task is sensitive to the compatibility between the responses in the first and the second task—an indication of crosstalk. As predicted, exposing participants to binaural beats in the gamma range increased this effect as compared to a control condition in which participants were exposed to a continuous tone of 340 Hz. These findings provide converging evidence that the cognitive-control style can be systematically biased by inducing particular internal states; that high-frequency binaural beats bias the control style toward more flexibility; and that different styles are implemented by changing the strength of local competition and top-down bias.