Alpha (8-12 Hz)

Alpha waves are those between 7.5 and 13(Hz). Alpha waves will peak around 10Hz. Good healthy alpha production promotes mental resourcefulness, aids in the ability to mentally coordinate, enhances overall sense of relaxation and fatigue. In this state you can move quickly and efficiently to accomplish whatever task is at hand. When Alpha predominates most people feel at ease and calm. Alpha appears to bridge the conscious to the subconscious.

It is the major rhythm seen in normal relaxed adults - it is present during most of life especially beyond the thirteenth year when it dominates the resting tracing.

Alpha rhythms are reported to be derived from the white matter of the brain. The white matter can be considered the part of the brain that connects all parts with each other.

Alpha is a common state for the brain and occurs whenever a person is alert (it is a marker for alertness and sleep), but not actively processing information. They are strongest over the occipital (back of the head) cortex and also over frontal cortex.

Alpha has been linked to extroversion (introverts show less), creativity (creative subjects show alpha when listening and coming to a solution for creative problems), and mental work.

When your alpha is with in normal ranges we tend to also experience good moods, see the world truthfully, and have a sense of calmness. Alpha is one of the brain's most important frequency to learn and use information taught in the classroom and on the job.

You can increase alpha by closing your eyes or deep breathing or decrease alpha by thinking or calculating.

Alpha-Theta training can create an increase in sensation, abstract thinking and self-control.

In our car scenario, Alpha would represent neutral or idle. Alpha allows us to shift easily from one task to another.

Distribution: regional, usually involves entire lobe; strong occipital w/eyes closed
Subjective feeling states: relaxed, not agitated, but not drowsy; tranquil, conscious
Associated tasks & behaviors: meditation, no action
Physiological correlates: relaxed, healing
Effects of Training: can produce relaxation
Sub band low alpha: 8-10: inner-awareness of self, mind/body integration, balance
Sub band high alpha: 10-12: centering, healing, mind/body connection