Theta (Waves) Rhythms Are Mentioned in Meditative Programs, But What Are Theta Rhythms?

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The human brain emits various wave frequencies that can be measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG).
The EEG measures the electrical activity from the brain.
The brain emits several kinds of wave frequencies that are measured in Hertz (Hz).
The frequency range of human hearing is between 16-20,000 hertz (Hz)).
The types of waves emitted by the brain are: alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (13-30 Hz), delta (0.
5-4 Hz) and theta (4-9 Hz).
Theta waves are associated with sleep and wakefulness.
The Theta rhythm is identified as slow, large amplitude oscillating waves.
The Theta waves are mainly derived from the hippocampus in the brain.
The Theta wave appears to be active during alertness and during REM (dream) sleep.
What does the theta rhythm do? Theta rhythms have been associated with forms of behavior, learning, memory and with spatial navigation (the ability to know how to get home or go somewhere).
The Theta pattern was first observed in 1933, but described in 1938 by Jung and Kornmuller.
Scientific interest on Theta wave really began in 1954, after Green and Ardini published their research on the theta rhythm in cats, rabbits, and monkeys.
Where in the brain are theta waves? Most of the largest EEG brain signals are produced from the hippocampus.
Theta waves are mainly derived from the hippocampus, though it can be observed in many parts of the brain.
Derivation for Theta rhythm is derived in the medial septum, an area located next to the hippocampus, and is linked to the hippocampus by neurons.
Destruction of the medial septal area appears to eliminate Theta activity throughout the brain.
Separately though, a small area in the hypothalamus known as the supramamillary nucleus, appears to act independently and can produce theta activity not associated with the medial septum.
Theta rhythm is activated during times of alertness, REM sleep, memory, and informational processing.
Humans have two hippocampi, one on each side of the brain, and they are located forward and center of the brain.
The term hippocampus was first used by anatomist Giulio Aranzi (1564) due to the resemblance of a sea horse.
Hippocampus is a Greek derivation for seahorse (hippos = horse, kampos = sea monster).
What does this part of the brain do? In early 1900, Vladimir Bekhterev observed profound memory disturbances from a patient due to the damage of the hippocampus.
The importance of memory in the hippocampus was brought to the attention of researchers when part of the hippocampus was removed to alleviate epileptic seizures.
After the surgery, memory impairments were observed that included severe amnesia.
Other patients observed with hippocampus removal or damage was also reported to show memory loss.
The hippocampus is one of the first regions in the brain to suffer damage in Alzheimer's disease.
Memory problems and disorientation, associated with hippocampus and Theta waves, appear among the first symptoms of this disease.
Encephalitis and oxygen starvation are a couple of other ways that the hippocampus can become damaged.
The hippocampus is one of the most electrically volatile parts of the brain.
New neurons continue to be created throughout life in the hippocampus.
How do we create theta waves? Theta rhythms are induced by electrophysiological or pharmacological stimulation of the medial septum .
Theta waves are created during deep sleep (REM), alert activity, and in the learning process.
What does Theta have to do with meditation? Meditation seems to have a calming effect where stress is released, positive moods are enhanced, and immunity from diseases is increased.
In studies on alpha and theta waves during meditation, Aftanas and Golosheykin (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005), observed that alpha and theta waves are increased during meditation.
Throughout meditation there is also a fluctuation of hormone release with an increase of serotonin (positive emotions), increased melatonin (sleep, strengthening the immune system, positive emotions), and decreased cortisol (stress) in the body.

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