Audio Visual Entrainment (AVE) is a form of cognitive stimulation that utilizes sight and sound to provide an optimized user experience. Learn more about how it works today.

What Is Audio Visual Entrainment or AVE?

AVE is a type of brainwave entrainment technique that uses audio visual stimulation to ease symptoms of certain cognitive, mental, and physical disorders. Using light pulses and varying sound frequencies between 1 and 25 Hz with audio visual entrainment equipment, it stimulates the brain’s neurotransmitters and helps guide or alter brainwave activity. These light and sound pulses occur in organized and specific periods, influencing brainwave activity that can be observed in an electroencephalography (EEG). Brainwave activity speeds up or slows down according to the rate of AVE stimulation.

Stimulating neurotransmitters in this manner can increase blood flow to the brain and have a meditative effect. It can also result in calming of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating physiological functions like heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure.

Stimulating neurotransmitters in this manner can increase blood flow to the brain and have a meditative effect. It can also result in calming of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating physiological functions like heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure.

  • Increased cognitive function such as memory, learning, and focus
  • Regulated sleep patterns
  • Reduced stress
  • Enablement of peak-performance
  • Eased symptoms of emotional distress
  • Reduced hyperactivity
  • Eased symptoms of ongoing physical pain
What is Audio Visual Entrainment (AVE)

How Does Brainwave Entrainment Work?

Brainwave entrainment, also called neural entrainment, refers to the observation of brainwaves in response to external stimuli such as pulsing lights, varying sounds, and speech. Different levels of entrainment are associated with respective brainwave states, such as relaxation, meditation, or sleep. These various levels of brain activity are called:

  • Alpha (8 to 10 Hz): Wakeful relaxation, meditation, and creativity
  • Beta (12 to 40 Hz): Wakeful alertness, focus, and problem-solving
  • Delta (1 to 4 Hz): Deep sleep, cognitive development, and physical recovery
  • Theta (4 to 7 Hz): Occurs during waking and sleeping and stimulates creativity and deep reflection
  • Gamma (40 to 70 Hz): Wakeful, engaged, and happy

Some people can have predominant types of brain waves, which in certain cases is associated with increased negative side effects. For instance, an excess of problem-solving Beta waves is correlated to increased stress and anxiety, while excessive Delta waves are linked to reduced cognitive function and learning problems.

Brainwave entrainment aims to influence brainwave activity to induce specific states by using various types of external stimuli. By applying external stimuli techniques, brainwaves can match or synchronize to the stimuli frequency, yielding a specific Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta, or Gamma brainwave state.

Types of Brainwave Entrainment

Brainwave entrainment devices take a few forms, primarily as audio entrainment and visual entrainment. Audio entrainment manipulates brain waves using sounds, while visual entrainment uses lights.

Audio Entrainment

The most common form of brainwave entrainment, audio entrainment uses sound frequencies to alter, influence, or enhance brainwave activity. Forms of audio entrainment include:

  • Binaural beats: Uses headphones with mismatching frequencies to influence the brain to match the difference between the two frequencies
  • Monaural beats: Delivers two frequencies to create a single beat, influencing the brain to match the difference between the two and stimulating the cortex more potently than binaural beats
  • Isochronic: Plays a single tone or frequency in pulsating patterns to entrain brainwaves to specific frequency
  • Music modulation: Adjusts common music to incorporate frequency-altering entrainment tones
  • Pitch panning: Uses binaural beats as a single tone with an overlaid filter that adjusts and pans the pitch
  • Harmonic box: Combines different forms of audio entrainment

Visual Entrainment

Also called photic stimulation, visual entrainment is a less common form of brain entrainment. Since a significant degree of the brain is involved in visual processing, it may be able to influence certain brainwaves. It’s often combined with audio entrainment to enhance the overall effect.

Typically, users wear glasses, goggles, or other devices that deliver flashing, flickering, or pulsing lights to the eyes and brain. These lights may occur at random or specifically organized intervals depending on the method.

People often wear LED glasses to receive visual entrainment. While wearing these glasses, users typically close their eyes, as the glasses generate pulses of light that penetrate through the eyelids. In other methods, users may use certain programs that generate flashing or pulsing screens or other kinds of visual stimulation through conventional devices like phones or computers.

Electromagnetic Entrainment

Some devices deliver electromagnetic stimulation or pulsations for electromagnetic fields. This is called electromagnetic entrainment and can influence the brain’s electrical activity. These pulses are delivered transcranially through electrodes applied to the scalp.

Electromagnetic entrainment is generally administered by professionals. Using different methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial alternating stimulation, they’ll typically observe brainwave activity through an EEG.

What Is an AVE Device?

While the only option for brainwave entrainment used to involve a professional hooking you up to a complicated machine, brain entrainment devices can now be delivered in convenient forms. An audio visual entrainment device is one of the current market options. As a relatively inexpensive alternative therapy option, an AVE therapy device can deliver audio-visual entrainment to improve mental performance and reduce symptoms of stress or mood disorders.

How Do AVE Devices Work?

AVE devices use AVE techniques to deliver brainwave-influencing light pulses and sound frequencies. These devices come with different programs and sessions for respective uses, such as energizing or brain boosting, each lasting from about 20 to 40 minutes. Using these sessions, AVE devices help brain waves synchronize to the lights and sounds, stimulating specific brainwave states.

These devices come with stereo headphones and eyesets. The headphones can deliver a variety of audio entrainment methods at specified rates, including isochronic pulsed tones, binaural beats, and monaural beats. The eyesets are equipped with mounted LED lights with a translucent screen that evenly disperses lights to your eyes.

To ensure that sessions are seamless and relaxing, settings buttons are easy to find even with your eyes closed and sessions gradually reduce lights and sounds to prevent users from being startled by abrupt sensory changes.

Different Uses of AVE Devices

AVE devices come equipped with pre-programmed sessions in distinct categories. These include:

  • Energize sessions: Stimulates Beta brainwaves to improve energy, focus, and problem-solving.
  • Meditate sessions: Uses a combination of Alpha, Delta, and Theta waves to promote meditative states.
  • Brain Booster sessions: Improves mental functioning, focus, memory, and other cognitive functions — ideal for academic needs or to ease symptoms of disorders.
  • Sleep sessions: Can help regulate and improve sleep quality by targeting either hyperactive psychology or physiology.
  • Mood Booster sessions: Can reduce symptoms of stress, improving overall emotional wellness and daily moods.

There are an assortment of treatment and audio visual entrainment therapy implications.

Across 34 students that received AVE treatment, overall inattention, impulsivity, and variability were all increased. Teachers and parents reported that children were calmer and more focused. AVE device sessions targeting low arousal brain disorders like ADHD could potentially help reduce associated issues like learning difficulties and academic performance.

In another study, photo-stimulating goggles were used for patients suffering from migraines. Across 50 patients, 49 reported symptom reduction with 36 patients reporting migraines going away altogether. With proper use of AVE, users could potentially reduce the symptoms of migraines easily and effectively from home.

FAQ About Entrainment and AVE Devices

How effective is brainwave entrainment?

Studies show that brainwave entrainment using auditory or visual stimulation can be used effectively as a therapeutic tool for psychological conditions. Among children and adults, individuals reported reduced stress, pain, and headache as well as improvements in behavioral and other symptoms. Many use audio visual entrainment for certain mood disorders. Other studies show significant treatment benefits for insomnia or other sleep issues.

Are there risks associated with AVE?

While most people don’t experience any negative effects, certain audio visual entrainment side effects are associated with overuse of AVE, often from starting with sessions that are too long or intense. It may evoke seizures in people who are classified as photo-epileptic. Some individuals may also be more sensitive to AVE sessions and experience uncomfortable or overwhelming symptoms, in which case AVE should be halted until consulting with a medical professional. Using AVE that stimulates already hyperactive brainwaves may exacerbate associated issues.

What should you expect during an AVE session?

For your AVE session, you should plan for a comfortable and distraction-free environment. This can mean lying down in bed with your eyes closed or sitting upright with eyes open.

Once you start an AVE session, you can expect to see pulsing lights and hear different sound frequencies. During the session, the AVE frequency begins to alter your EEG activity. You may experience a disconnection or dissociation from your loose thoughts and body awareness about four to eight minutes after beginning a session. Throughout the rest of the session, you may experience muscular relaxing, calmed breath, and boosted feelings of well-being.

Conclusion and Considerations

AVE can be a useful therapeutic tool to alleviate and manage the symptoms of conditions like migraines and mood disorders. This can promote quality of life by improving focus, motivation, rest, and relationships. AVE devices and programs can be customized to individual needs to best support symptom management.


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