The Effect of Brainwave Synchronization Using Binaural Beats on Improving Working Memory and Reducing the Severity of Symptoms in Women With Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Binaural beats are one of the new methods of brainwave synchronization. However, there is little knowledge about its clinical applications. The positive effect of this method on executive functions, such as attention and working memory, in the γ band has been mainly confirmed in healthy individuals. Still, its effectiveness on disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), with a prominent cognitive profile, has not been established. Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine the effect of binaural beats on working memory and the severity of OCD symptoms in the γ band in the affected women.a


Twenty-nine OCD women aged 25-40 years referring to psychological clinics in Tehran City, Iran, were selected by convenience sampling. After completing the symptom checklist 90 (SCL90) and the Yale-Brown severity scale (SS), the participants were given the Wechsler memory scale (WMS) digit repetition subtests. Then, they were randomly assigned to the experimental (n=15) and control (n=14) groups. The audio file of the binaural beats in the γ band was provided to the experimental group. The participants in the control group listened to the normal (no-wave) audio file. Both groups listened to the audio files for two weeks, three times a week, for 30 minutes each time. The Yale-Brown SS and digit repetition in post-test and one-month follow-up periods were obtained from both groups.


According to the results, the severity of OCD symptoms was significantly reduced in the post-test and follow-up stages by the γ binaural beats (P<0.05). Also, the working memory function was improved, although it was not statistically significant (P>0.05).


The results of this study show that binaural beats can be used as a complementary treatment to reduce the severity of OCD symptoms. Also, it seems that the patients’ working memory is strengthened with this method.

Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Volume:15 Issue: 2, Mar-Apr 2024
233 to 246  
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