Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Electroencephalographic Changes after Brain Brightening Audio Visual Entrainment for Memory Enhancement: An Archival Investigation
by Kerson, Cynthia, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2018, 72; 10747279
Abstract (Summary)

Audio Visual Entrainment (AVE) utilizes flickering lights and coordinated pulsing sounds to entrain the brain's electrophysiological rhythms. In 2014, a double-blind, sham-controlled study was performed in which audio-visual entrainment (AVE) was performed on 42 aging (55 to 82-year old) adults to discern changes in memory and the electroencephalogram when experimental subjects were exposed to sine wave AVE and controls were exposed to a white noise generated flicker placebo. The results of this study have been partially published as a dissertation in fulfillment of the doctoral degree by Christine Palmquist (2014) at Argosy University. In addition to statistically significant immediate and delayed memory improvements, Palmquist found clinical significance in increases in the EEG (electroencephalogram) peak alpha frequency (PAF) and alpha amplitude at Pz (the mid-point or vertex of the parietal region in the 10-20 international EEG system for cortical localization). This new dissertation study investigated additional EEG changes, specifically in connectivity measures including coherence, symmetry, and phase values, as well as changes in the occurrence of sensory motor rhythm spindles (SMRs) at C3 and C4 (left and right locations in the central area in the 10-20 system).

This author served on the Palmquist dissertation committee and performed all tasks that required being unblinded. The study employed pre- and post-intervention quantitative electroencephalograms (QEEGs) to provide the above-mentioned outcome changes in alpha peak frequency and amplitude, as well as the CANS-MCI memory instrument to measure two types of memory (immediate and delayed) and the WAIS to report on working memory changes.

The EEG parameters reported on in the current study are important to the study of AVE entrainment and the understanding of SMR training. No results were found to be significant. This included connectivity (coherence, symmetry and phase) values as well as SMR spindle occurrences. However, considering the highly educated, mildly memory-impaired population, this lack of significant changes is not surprising. The most important finding is that the SMR spindle occurrences did not correlate positively with 12-15Hz power changes. This finding is important because the current clinical method for SMR training is to increase 12-15Hz amplitude. While increasing 12-15Hz amplitude may be successful, it does not translate to increases in SMR spindles, which is the premise of the training method.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moss, Don
Commitee: Palmquist, Christine, Wilmarth, Eric
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health sciences, Physiological psychology
Keywords: Audio visual entrainment, Brain brightening, EEG coherence, EEG symmetry, Electroencephalogram, Sensory motor rhythm
Publication Number: 10747279
ISBN: 978-0-438-19616-2
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