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Beta wave

beta waves, beta wave music
Beta wave, or beta rhythm, is the term used to designate the frequency range of human brain activity between 125 and 30 Hz 125 to 30 transitions or cycles per second Beta waves can be split into three sections: Low Beta Waves 125–16 Hz, "Beta 1 power"; Beta Waves 165–20 Hz, "Beta 2 power"; and High Beta Waves 205–28 Hz, "Beta 3 power"1 Beta states are the states associated with normal waking consciousness


  • 1 History
  • 2 Function
  • 3 Relationship with GABA
  • 4 See also
    • 41 Brain waves
  • 5 References


Beta waves were discovered and named by the German psychiatrist Hans Berger, who invented electroencephalography EEG in 1924 as a method of recording electrical brain activity from the human scalp Berger termed the larger amplitude, slower frequency waves that appeared over the posterior scalp when the subject's eye were closed alpha waves The smaller amplitude, faster frequency waves that replaced alpha waves when the subject opened his or her eyes were then termed beta waves2


Low amplitude beta waves with multiple and varying frequencies are often associated with active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration3

Over the motor cortex beta waves are associated with the muscle contractions that happen in isotonic movements and are suppressed prior to and during movement changes4 Bursts of beta activity are associated with a strengthening of sensory feedback in static motor control and reduced when there is movement change5 Beta activity is increased when movement has to be resisted or voluntarily suppressed6 The artificial induction of increased beta waves over the motor cortex by a form of electrical stimulation called Transcranial alternating-current stimulation consistent with its link to isotonic contraction produces a slowing of motor movements7

Relationship with GABAedit

Diffuse beta waves present alongside other frequencies in spontaneous EEG recorded from a 28-month-old child with Dup15q syndrome

Beta waves are often considered indicative of inhibitory cortical transmission mediated by gamma aminobutyric acid GABA, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mammalian nervous system Benzodiazepines, drugs that modulate GABAA receptors, induce beta waves in EEG recordings from humans 8 and rats9 Spontaneous beta waves are also observed diffusely in scalp EEG recordings from children with duplication 15q112-q131 syndrome Dup15q who have duplications of GABAA receptor subunit genes GABRA5, GABRB3, and GABRG310 For this reason, it is possible that, in certain clinical contexts, beta waves could be a general biomarker of GABAA receptor gene overexpression or otherwise aberrant GABAergic transmission

See alsoedit

  • Neural oscillation

Brain wavesedit

  • Delta wave – 01 – 3 Hz
  • Theta wave – 4 – 7 Hz
  • Alpha wave – 8 – 125 Hz
  • Mu wave – 75 – 125 Hz
  • Beta wave – 125 – 30 Hz
  • Gamma wave – 32 – 100 Hz


  1. ^ Rangaswamy M, Porjesz B, Chorlian DB, Wang K, Jones KA, Bauer LO, Rohrbaugh J, O'Connor SJ, Kuperman S, Reich T, Begleiter 2002 "Beta power in the EEG of alcoholics" BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY 52 8: 831–842 doi:101016/s0006-32230201362-8 PMID 12372655 
  2. ^ Buzsáki, György 2006 Rhythms of the Brain New York: Oxford University Press p 4 
  3. ^ Baumeister J, Barthel T, Geiss KR, Weiss M 2008 "Influence of phosphatidylserine on cognitive performance and cortical activity after induced stress" NUTRITIONAL NEUROSCIENCE 11 3: 103–110 doi:101179/147683008X301478 PMID 18616866 
  4. ^ Baker, SN 2007 "Oscillatory interactions between sensorimotor cortex and the periphery" Current Opinion in Neurobiology 17 6: 649–55 doi:101016/jconb200801007 PMC 2428102 PMID 18339546 
  5. ^ Lalo, E; Gilbertson, T; Doyle, L; Di Lazzaro, V; Cioni, B; Brown, P 2007 "Phasic increases in cortical beta activity are associated with alterations in sensory processing in the human" Experimental brain research Experimentelle Hirnforschung Experimentation cerebrale 177 1: 137–45 doi:101007/s00221-006-0655-8 PMID 16972074 
  6. ^ Zhang, Y; Chen, Y; Bressler, SL; Ding, M 2008 "Response preparation and inhibition: the role of the cortical sensorimotor beta rhythm" Neuroscience 156 1: 238–46 doi:101016/jneuroscience200806061 PMC 2684699 PMID 18674598 
  7. ^ Pogosyan, A; Gaynor, LD; Eusebio, A; Brown, P 2009 "Boosting cortical activity at Beta-band frequencies slows movement in humans" Current Biology 19 19: 1637–41 doi:101016/jcub200907074 PMC 2791174 PMID 19800236 
  8. ^ Feshchenko, V; Veselis, R; Reinsel, R 1997 "Comparison of the EEG effects of midazolam, thiopental, and propofol: the role of underlying oscillatory systems" Neuropsychobiology PMID 9246224 
  9. ^ Van Lier, Hester; Drinkenburg, Wilhelmus; Van Eeten, Yvonne; Coenen, Anton 2004 "Effects of diazepam and zolpidem on EEG beta frequencies are behavior-specific in rats" Neuropharmacology Retrieved 4 January 2017 
  10. ^ Frohlich, Joel; Senturk, Damla; Saravanapandian, Vidya; Golshani, Peyman; Reiter, Lawrence; Sankar, Raman; Thibert, Ronald; DiStefano, Charlotte; Huberty, Scott; Cook, Edwin; Jeste, Shafali December 2016 "A Quantitative Electrophysiological Biomarker of Duplication 15q112-q131 Syndrome" PDF PLOS One Retrieved 4 January 2017 

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