What I mean to ask by this particular question is that, are the effects resulting from neural interactions in the brain that cause the emergence of certain behaviours, with the neural frequencies in brain waves being a side-product of this or is the synchronization of neurons in the brain necessary to achieving these altercations? To give a more specific example, when individuals show high levels of gamma waves in MEG's, it is correlated to increased sensorial perception. Hence, would inducing the same brain wave/frequency have the same resulting increase in sensorial perception?

As requested in the comments, I will be adding a link to the Gamma waves link to sensorial perception.


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    $\begingroup$ I think my answer to psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/20075/… would pretty clearly argue for "no", at least not generally. A "brain wave" is really just a signal processing abstraction of brain activity. Beyond that, it's not really within our technology to induce specific activity in the brain to match some observed pattern, except in very crude ways. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 20, 2021 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ Almost sounds like a duplicate to me, @BryanKrause. Your excellent answer there goes a long way towards answering this. Replace "inducing" with "magically changing" and I would consider it a dupe, at least. If you agree, ping me, and I'll close. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Sep 27, 2021 at 8:43
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenJeuris Works for me. The answer I would give would be similar enough that I'd probably be copying much of that other answer. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 27, 2021 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


I think this is just a question of causality. Most cognitive neuroscience has traditionally been correlational. Using your example, when gamma power is higher, sensory perception is increased. But does gamma power cause higher sensory perception? That's what the researchers have really always wanted to know, but only now have methods like transcranial stimulation methods (TMS, tACS, tDCS) been able to try and answer this question.

Critically, this question has to be asked for each phenomenon individually. It could be that gamma power is causal for sensory perception, but other relationships not so much.

I also agree with Bryan Krause's view/comment of "probably no" in the more specific sense that the underlying neuroscience is far more complicated and the "brain-wave" isn't really what you're after, but I am running with the abstract here.

tl;dr - This is a critical question in cognitive neuroscience, and always has been, but only recently have methods been developed to try and answer it. So look out for answers!


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