Understanding the neurological mechanism involved in enhanced memory recall task following binaural beat: a pilot study

Binaural beat (BB) is a promising technique for memory improvement in elderly or people with neurological conditions. However, the related modulation of cortical networks followed by behavioral changes has not been investigated. The objective of this study is to establish a relationship between BB oscillatory brain activity evoked by stimulation and a behavioral response in a short term memory task. Three Groups A, B, and C of 20 participants each received alpha (10 Hz), beta (14 Hz), and gamma (30 Hz) BB, respectively, for 15 min. Their EEG was recorded in pre, during, and post BB states. Participants performed a digit span test before and after a BB session. A significant increase in the cognitive score was found only for Group A while a significant decrease in reaction time was noted for Groups A and C. Group A had a significant decrease of theta and increase of alpha power, and a significant increase of theta and decrease of gamma imaginary coherence (ICH) post BB. Group C had a significant increase in theta and gamma power accompanied by the increase of theta and gamma ICH post BB. The effectiveness of BB depends on the frequency of stimulation. A putative neural mechanism involves an increase in theta ICH in parieto-frontal and interhemispheric frontal networks.