Brain Waves & Learning Disabilities: A Look at Gamma Waves

July 9, 2013 by DrDonna

How Brain Waves Affect Children

Gamma brain waves – it sounds like a technical subject, but we’ll start with the basics. A brain wave is a coordination of billions of nerve cells that perform specific tasks. They are categorized by their frequency, and depending on their categorization, brain waves can affect children with learning disorders.

You may have heard of brain waves called alpha, beta, delta and theta waves. You can learn more about these brain waives in our previous post titled, “What Are Brain Waves and How Do They Affect Me?” This post also introduces the idea that children negatively affected by alpha brain waves can learn to control their attention spans through biofeedback machines and brain wave awareness. Now you can learn more about how brain waves affect children with learning disabilities.


What Tibetan Monks Teach Us About Gamma Brain Waves

Gamma brain waves are the predominant brainwave in Tibetan monks and those prone to seizures. It’s thought that these gamma waves integrate subliminal stimuli with visual cues seen by the eye. Gamma brain waves oscillate at 29-52 Hz in the auditory cortex, and scientists generally believe their frequency is 25-100 Hz in the entire brain.

Monks asked by researchers to meditate on compassion displayed electrical brain activity that fired in a coherent rhythm. This suggests that the neurons were firing harmoniously. These same monks had greater levels of gamma brain waves.


What Happened When Monks Had to Focus?

When the monks underwent the coherent gamma oscillations, they associated a visual sight with other thoughts and notions. The gamma brain waves allowed them to combine brain actions into one act: perception. Keep in mind this important step for later.


Gamma Waves Affect Language Skills

Gamma waves are also important for the process of parsing words into sounds. Children have to use parsing to identify individual sounds and string them together to pronounce a word. Without parsing, your child can’t learn a language, read, or in most cases speak the English language.

When children’s gamma brain waves were tested, researchers found that those with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and other language learning disorders, had lower levels of gamma brain waves than children without these disorders. This allowed for the possibility that brain waves could affect language learning skills.


How Fast ForWord™ Helps Improve Gamma Waves

Neuroscientists at Rutgers University studied 21 children using the Fast ForWord™ language training program. The children had language learning disorders and used the program for 32 days.

The results were spectacular. The children experienced increased levels of gamma waves and better language skills. When the gamma brain waves increased, their core language skills increased. Their expressive language skills increased. And their receptive language skills increased.

Going back to Wikipedia’s description of what happened to monks, we can see a possible similarity between children on Fast ForWord™ and the monks. The Fast ForWord™ program instigated the synchronized firing of the brain (and increased gamma waves). When all the neurons of the brain were engaged in one purposeful action, the memories and associations previously laid down in the brain all come together to generate a new perception – language. Those who learn how brain waves affect children with learning disabilities can use Fast ForWord™ to help develop functional and effective young minds.