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What are Brainwaves?

When a neuron is fired in the brain it emits a charge of electricity for about a millisecond. Since billions of neurons are constantly firing on and off in the brain, this tends to produce a "wave" effect that has been popularly referred to as brainwaves. Sensitive medical equipment (EEG, electroencephalography) is used to detect brainwaves by measuring the electricity levels over areas of the scalp.

With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery of various bands and subcategories of brainwaves (measured in hertz or "frequencies" ranging from .3 - 40). Depending on what is going on in a person's head, the brain emits a large variety of brainwaves. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake.

Over the years, brain observation equipment has allowed us to discover exactly what various brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person's health and state of mind.

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