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What is a Beta Brainwave?

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/17/2007 | Health

Many of us are familiar with the fact that the human brain is in many ways like a small electrical generator. A brain that is functioning at full capacity can produce as much as ten watts of power.  When analyzing the way the brain functions, we come to understand and categorize the varying types of electrical activity that is generated. These categories are referred to as brainwaves. One such type of brainwave is the Beta.

Beta brainwaves are the first and most basic category of brainwaves. It is in this state that the brain is actively engaged and focused on a mental activity that may also result in some sort of physical expression.  And an example, if someone is carrying on a casual conversation, he or she would be transmitted Beta brainwaves at that moment. 

The frequency of the Beta brainwaves will increase, based on the level of activity that is taking place in the brain. A casual discussion will generate a consistent but relatively low amount of Beta brainwaves.  If one is engaged in a more focused discussion, such as a debate, then the Beta activity will increase into what is sometimes referred to as a high Beta state. Prolonged activity such as making a speech, acting in a play, or teaching a class will result in the highest output of Beta waves.

The range of frequency of Beta brainwaves usually varies from fifteen to forty cycles per minute. The more intense the activity, the higher the frequency that will be engaged. Of course, the body will produce chemicals as a reaction to someone being in a Beta state, so that the combination of electrical and chemical reactions in the brain will in effect maintain the ability to keep up the pace until the activity ceases to be pursued. At that time, the brain will shift into a different brain wave frequency, until stimulated to activity at Beta level again. 

Beta activity is also engaged when we perform such focused tasks as writing a paper or preparing other written documents, recitation of information that has been assimilated or learning a new task. For instance, if you go through a class designed to teach you how to use a new operating system for your work, your brain will be in Beta wave mode when you begin to articulate that information and actually begin the physical activity of working the new system. Any activity that requires a focused effort to call up previous information learned and give it physical expression will result in Beta brain waves being produced.

Today there are many excellent resources available to help us learn more about brainwaves and their functions. A great deal of information about Beta brainwaves can be found on the Internet. Your doctor may also be able to recommend books that are written with an eye toward the general public that will help you understand the workings of the brain a little better. If you are interested in learning more about the brain and in the Beta state in general, try an Internet search. You should be able to locate a number of resources that will tell you more about brainwaves.