The brain frequencies of search for knowledge guided by musical tunes

Last year, I started a passion side project, playing around with electronic music and ended up composing a few tracks aimed at using music to guide brainwaves towards specific brain frequencies. These specific brain frequencies were based on some of the findings of my thesis on information/knowledge search.

A few days ago I shared a link to one of these tracks on Neuromatch Academy discord channel and a few students asked for details. So here is a summary video and a quick writeup:

The Information Search Process (ISP) Model is one of the most cited theoretical frameworks in the field of information science, as it identifies the affective, the cognitive, and the physical realms when we search for information over the span of six stages that include feelings, thoughts, and actions for each stage. Table below illustrated the ISP model (Kuhlthau, 1991).

Information Search Process | Carol Kuhlthau

My thesis, among other goals, aimed at examining, discovering, and mapping the brain frequencies of the ISP model (exploration, formulation, collection) and connected these as seen below:

Looking closer at the ISP model, it becomes quite clear that the collection stage includes a sense of direction and confidence. If we assume that the results of my thesis somewhat represents the brainwaves of the ISP model, then we can assume that, on average, the brainwaves during the collection stage are lower beta and higher alpha bands around the upper left quadrant of the brain.

Based on the above assumption, I thought to myself what if we could compose tracks that helped put the brain within that frequency range and around that part of the scalp. This is important mainly because the collection stage is a stage where users appear to feel the most positive and most purpose.

Hence, I attempted to compose a track to do just that and called it Purpose. Obviously, this track does not put the listener’s mind in those frequency all the time but it does most of the time. At least that is what my tests with my neuroheadset (on myself and others) showed.

And here is a sample of the track. If you have a neuroheadset and can test your brainwaves while listening to this track, I would love to hear from you! Please let me know. Thanks 🙂


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