Gerald Oster, binaural beats, and New Agers

Xochi Zen x at
Wed Mar 8 22:08:13 EST 1995

	Is Gerald Oster still alive? If so, does he have an e-mail address?
I'd like to interview him for a book I'm writing about so-called 
"mind machines." It seems that many new agers believe that presenting 
binaural beats (say, a 100 HZ tone to the left ear, and a 104 HZ tone to
the right ear - with headphones) will induce "altered states of consciousness"
in the human brain. As far as I know, poor Gerald never claimed that binaural
beats could do _this_... yet many new agers cite him in their books 
and/or product literature, as if he supported this weirdness. 

	Apparently, it is true that such stimulation can entrain neurons 
in portions of the cortex, but so what? As far as I know, this sort of 
"synchronization" doesn't do anything special to consciousness and/or
cognition. The new agers claim that being in a "4HZ or 7HZ theta state"
thereby makes someone hyper-suggestible, allowing a person to learn large
quantities of information, and so forth. The new agers also love theta 
because they claim it is some sort of key to the "unconscious" - a state 
in which creativity is boosted, hypnogogic imagery occurs, and so forth.

        Please reply by private e-mail, or at least send me a copy of 
your response if you decide to reply publically.



							  x at


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