Sine Of The Times

The latest tempest in the media teapot appears to be something called “i-dosing“, in which hellbound teens listen to brain-addling audio signals to get high. From what I have learned so far, it appears that the audio plays various tricks with what we audio weenies call “binaural beats”, a pulsating perceptual phenomenon that occurs when tones of slightly different frequencies are played into each ear (this is the same “beating” that musicians sometimes use to tune their instruments).

It is true that the brain is susceptible to various sorts of rhythmic stimuli: strobe lights, for example, can cause seizures, and binaural beats where the beat frequency is around 10 Hz can resonate with the brain’s alpha waves, with a calming effect. So I won’t immediately dismiss the whole thing as nonsense, but it is almost certainly nothing to get excited about. That hasn’t stopped the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, however, who are calling for the practice to be banned (good luck with that, as it requires nothing more than an audio oscillator, or even two musical instruments recorded just slightly out of tune).

Meanwhile, if you want to try it out for yourself, and don’t mind spending a little dough, you can cop right here. Do let me know how it goes.

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  1. the one eyed man says

    Personally, I think I’ll stick to psilocybin.

    Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Far too many years ago I was a (miniscule) part of the British army’s interrogation unit and our job was to train troops and airmen in resistance to interrogation. One technique was to put them in the ‘sound room’ where huge speakers blasted out rock ‘n’ roll at brain-scrambling levels. The tale was still told of two SAS men put in there and when eventually the door was opned – they were jiving together!

    We hadn’t thought of water boarding then!

    Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink