Auditory Binaural Beats Stimulation on Working Memory Functions of Adult and Aging Groups: A Literature Review


  • Onouma Thummapol Faculty of Nursing Science, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand 10245
  • Pannawit Sanitnarathorn Faculty of Music, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand 10245


auditory stimulation, attention, binaural beats, cognitive function, working memory


Advancing age is associated with various changes in cognitive capacities, including a decline in working memory functioning (WMF) and some aspects of attention. There has been a growing interest in the use of auditory binaural beats (BB) stimulation for a wide array of applications, ranging from investigating behavioral changes to treating certain health conditions. BB is an auditory illusion perceived when two slightly different frequencies are played separately into each ear. This phenomenon is believed to influence brainwave activity and has been studied for its potential effects on various health aspects. A significant portion of research and application surrounding BB stimulation predominantly explores its psychological effects, with limited attention given to its cognitive implications for individuals susceptible to cognitive decline or impairments. This article aims to review the current body of literature regarding the study of BB stimulation in Western nations, the effects of BB stimulation, the mechanisms underlying BB stimulation and its applications, factors affecting the effectiveness of BB stimulation, the study of BB stimulation within the context of Thailand, and the implications for nursing research and practice. This article brings to the forefront the potential influences of BBs stimulation on the cognitive-behavioral parameters of WMF and attention. The differences in study designs and applications of BBs stimulation and its parameters (e.g., oscillatory bands, frequency range, and stimulation durations), in addition to individual characteristics, can yield different results. Understanding their differential effects and factors associated with the BBs stimulation will enable optimal translation and integration of these modalities to effectively address individual needs and maximize therapeutic outcomes. This knowledge will serve as a guideline for nursing and other allied healthcare professionals, policymakers, and academics in their efforts to improve cognitive performance and potentially delay cognitive decline in later life.


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