Rhythmic patterns of neural activity in the central nervous system, brain waves can also be called neural oscillations.
At the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviours is the communication between neurons within our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronised electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. Brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the scalp. They are divided into bandwidths to describe their functions but are best thought of as a continuous spectrum of consciousness; from slow, loud, and functional - to fast, subtle, and complex. Recent research suggests that similar abnormalities occur in brainwaves of those with tinnitus, depression, neuropathic pain, and Parkinson’s disease.
Find out more about the brain waves in your brain
Check out some of the research that's been done to help us understand brain waves.
Alpha brain waves
Alpha brain waves related to selective attention and working memory may stem from two different processes in …
Musicians' brain waves dance to…
Musicians get more out of music because their brain waves are better able to synchronise with musical rhythms…
Controlling attention with brain waves
Study shows that people can boost attention by manipulating their own alpha brain waves.