Improving Trader Psychology Through Neuro-Feedback

I was planning on continuing with part 2 of the Best Support & Resistance levels article, but someone came to me with the following question just yesterday;

“Dear chris,

Do you know about ‘binaural beats’ and if so, would you comment on their possible uses regarding performance/trading.  thanks”

First off,  many of you are probably asking ‘What are Binaural Beats‘?

Ironically, I’ve been working with these for over a decade as my specialty in Neuroscience at the University was Human Learning & Memory.  I was studying methods how to improve memory performance, but also the learning process and how to accelerate it.

Binaural Beats are also known as Binaural Tones.  They are sounds/tones which produce specific stimuli in your brain, but that will not suffice so lets dive into them more deeply.

How Do Binaural Beats Work?
Basically, your brain when perceiving two tones with subtle differences between them (or with frequencies slightly different than each other) will pick up the difference between the two frequencies when the difference is  <  or = to 30Hz.
When this happens, the brain will hear this difference as a binaural tone/beat.

binaural beats trader psychology 2ndskiesforex.com

But this is where they effect the brain.

You have probably heard of all the different brain waves which tend to correlate to different patterns of thinking.  The breakdown is below;
Gamma Waves (> 40Hz) are usually associated with fear, perception, problem solving and strong mental activity
Beta Waves (13-39Hz) are associated with busy/anxious or nervous thinking, active concentration, paranoia and arousal
Alpha Waves (7-13Hz) are associated with a state of relaxation while being fully awake.  Possible pre-sleep, REM sleep, & Dreams
Theta Waves (4-7Hz) are associated with deep meditation, relaxation and NREM sleep
Delta Waves (<4Hz) are the product of deep sleep, loss of body awareness

How does this relate to Binaural Beats?
Remember the part about the difference between the two frequencies creating the binaural beat you hear in your brain?  Well, if the difference created from two frequencies is say 10Hz, then your creating a binaural beat which will help to stimulate Alpha Waves in your brain.  These waves are associated with being in a state of relaxation while being awake.

Basically, the brain (through a frequency following response mechanism) when it receives a stimulus such as a binaural beat that has a frequency associated with a particular brain wave (i.e. alpha, delta, theta, gamma, beta), your brain will adjust its frequency towards the one it is hearing.

This is where Binaural Beats become useful and is called by neurophysiologists as Entrainment.

Entrainment (also known as Brainwave Synchronization) is using frequencies (and the frequency following mechanism) to stimulate your brain into a particular dominant frequency.

How does this help me as a trader?  
By using binaural beats, you can train your brain to be in a more optimal state for trading (Alpha or Theta Waves) which are associated with a more relaxed state and meditative state.  Being anxious, fearful, unfocused, paranoid, etc. will obviously cause you to make more emotional decisions (fear of losing so you close your trade early), more irrational decisions (I just lost and have to make it up, so i’m doubling my position size), essentially clouding your mind which needs to be clear, alert and sharp when trading.

binaural beats benefits to trading psychology 2ndskiesforex.com

Your mind is your main tool for trading, so the sharper it is, the better decisions you will make.  The worse the state its in, the more likely you will make poor trading decisions, along with repeating negative patterns which are accompanied by certain brain waves and neurological states.

Binaural beats are a neuro-feedback technique to train your brain to be in an optimal state while trading. From my experience, this is far superior to biofeedback, such as strictly monitoring HRV (heart rate variability) which can often be a secondary effect from your mental state.

On top of it, using just biofeedback only informs you when your not in an optimal state.  Although this is useful, you are still left with the work to get yourself back into optimal state.  Try going from being really angry or frustrated (about a big loss, or anything) to optimal thinking in a short period of time.  Not easy is it, especially when your trading and money is changing hands fast, or you have to make quick decisions.

This is why I prefer neuro-feedback as a far more valuable tool, particularly binaural beats and isochronic tones because they are training your mind to be in that state through the frequencies which create a neurophysiological pattern of thinking more conducive to trading.

Where Can I Listen to Binaural Beats?
Many of you may be asking, where can I get these binaural beats?  The easy way is YouTube where you can search for them and find plenty of samples.  I use much more tailored binaural beats through a company called Entheos which you can find here.

The product line is through their ‘Daily Mojo‘ section.

I listen to about 20-30mins a day of these tracks before I start my trading day, but after I’ve done my morning yoga and meditation.

I also have another training program I use called LimitlessIQ which has a large suite of products for tailored states you are wanting to create (zen like focus, stress relief, faster brain cognition, etc).  I also listen to 20-30mins of these before starting my trading day, so a total of 40mins to an hour of preparation each day just using these techniques.  If you think about it, all professionals prepare before they perform, and usually, the level of preparation they engage in is related to their level of skill or challenge.

It should be noted LimitlessIQ uses a slightly different technology called Isochronic Tones.  The difference is instead of creating the desired brain frequency through two tones with the brain picking up the difference between them, Isochronic tones are evenly spaced that turn on and off rapidly.  So they are not relying upon a combination of two tones, yet create the intended frequency through the on/on effect.

Eyes Wide Shut
I personally find both highly effective and can literally feel the physiological changes in my brain when listening to these in seconds.  You can play them while trading, but ideal is to do so for 20-40mins before you start your trading day, with your eyes closed just listening to the beats.

Why eyes closed?  

improving trader psychology through binaural beats 2ndskiesforex.com
Your brain is wired to take in more data through your eyes than anything else (about 70% of all data your central nervous system takes in).  So when your eyes are open, you will be reducing your bandwidth by taking in visual stimuli.  By having your eyes closed, you are, in effect directing all your energy into creating the dominant brain waves which will help to produce a more optimal neurological state for trading.  It should also be noted binaural beats are best listened to through headphones so you can easily isolate the difference in the sounds.

Summary
Binaural Beats are a tool to help improve your trader psychology simply by altering your neuro-physiological patterns which underlie your thinking.  By training (or entrainment), you can stimulate your brain and thinking patterns to match a more relaxed state which will ultimately improve your trading.

Neuro-feedback is more preferable than bio-feedback as it offers you more information, but actually helps to train your brain to create more beneficial thinking patterns, while bio-feedback means you have to adjust your state.  By listening to binaural or isochronic tones per day, you can help to create a more optimal neurological state prior to trading so you can make the most clear and relaxed decisions while trading.

Keep in mind though, these are not tailored states for trading – just associated states which will most likely improve trader performance through more optimal thinking patterns.

I will have more to say around this come mid-late July, as I am working directly with a Neuroscience lab in California that I’ll be meeting with soon.  But imagine what it would be like if you could train your brain to work in the most optimal way for trading.  Imagine being less harangued by emotions, fear, distraction, etc.  Then imagine what this could do for your trading.

To be continued…

Make sure to leave a comment and click the like buttons below to share it :-)

Other Related Articles:
The Mindset of A Successful Forex Trader
Do You Have The Willpower To Trade Successfully?

5 Mantras for the Developing Forex Trader

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

Related Article

  • Nel

    Hi Chris,

    This is a very informative article about binaural beats and its potential application to optimize trading performance. Since you have been working on this for quite some time, may I ask what is the ideal frequency we should be listening to improve the brain function while trading?

    Regards,

    Nel

    • Great Question Nel,

      Generally, the most ideal frequencies to be targeting are the alpha waves as they denote a state of relaxation but also strong concentration which are both ideal for trading.

      Luckily, most binaural beat programs target these already so very little tweaking has to be done.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris

  • Mantas

    Hello Chris,

    Just tried it before lumosity training session today and this stuff really works. I made new records on 3 games in a raw.

    Thanks for the great article.

    Kind Regards
    Mantas

    • Hello Mantas,

      Yep, these things really worked.

      Which one did you try – LimitlessIQ or the DailyMojo?

      Glad you enjoyed this though.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris

      • Mantas

        I found one on youtube- Alpha Binaural Beat. Also tried the rainfall sample from DailyMojo, but that one makes me sleepy :)

        I didn’t find any samples on LimitlessIQ, so don’t know which site to choose. Can you recommend any of these two?

        Btw I think we need a good quality headphones for this stuff.

        Kind Regards
        Mantas

      • I’m adding one to the course which you can use.

        In terms of limitlessIQ, their entire package works using binaural beats. I use the Zen Like Focus, Faster Brain Cognition, Meditation & Genius Creative Brain Power which is about 1hr of tunes to listen to all day. You have to buy them to get them.

        DailyMojo has several tunes which are useful for this that you have to buy, but also best if you add the subliminal affirmations as well.

        Yes, as I said in the article, headphones are needed and of good quality. I prefer the Bose headphones for this. Bang & Olaffson has a good set as well.

        Hope this helps

        Kind Regards,
        Chris

  • Jewell

    I really enjoyed this article.. it is full of insight and inspiration. No one talks about the mind part of trading as much as you do Chris. I am incorporating stuff from this articles in my life and in my trading. Keep up the good work sir!

    J

    • Hello Jewell,

      Am glad you like it. Yes, i’ve spent a lot of time working/training with my mind in this arena so hopefully I can bring out some good material on this.

      But glad it is helping.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris

  • Nazaar

    Hi Chris, how are you?

    Another excellent article! I hope this is not off topic but I would like to ask about other forms of music used to motivate and energize and is it related to binaural tones. I watch a lot of sports and noticed a lot of athletes will listen to music while walking into the arena and while getting ready to play. I often find a good song to be uplifting myself. How does music differ from binaural tones?

    Thanks.

    • Interesting question Nazaar.

      Yes, music and songs can be inspirational on a psychological level. However, unless the music is classical, or works similar to binaural/isochronic tones, it will not have the same effect. Why? Because those types of sounds are specifically causing a neurological reaction in your brain to change its dominant waves to a state of relaxation and concentration. However most music/songs will not. Classical music has been known to have tremendous calming/relaxation effects on the brain because the frequencies and beats per minute they often play at. But most music or songs do not even come close to this.

      Songs moreso on their own have a psychological effect, but once the psychological effect is gone, so is the brain state. However, binaural/isochronic tones tend to create much longer lasting effects so hopefully this highlights the difference.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris

  • ayex

    Hello,

    Updated last.fm’s page regarding binaural beats (http://www.last.fm/music/Binaural+Beats) with parts of your text. Of course your site is posted as a reference link. Hope you don’t mind. If you do please let me know to delete it.

  • luis

    Hello Chris,
    I really appreciate your effort delivering this kind of articles, this is pure bless of knowledge.
    What I do is mixing Binaural Beats and nature sounds (rainforest, birds, ocean waves, dolphins, whales, etc).
    There are some pages talking about this subject, but with some lacking of information. Do you have any resources to go to or perhaps you have info you may want to share?
    Thanks Amigo
    Luis

  • mohamed

    Chris this is amazing information , I think if any one want to be successful in trading should work and learn many thing beside trading tactic

  • Raymond

    Hi Chris:

    Can you post the link to the LimitlessIQ program? I am not sure the one I found online is the one you mentioned.

    thanks!

    Raymond

  • Manoj

    I am trying to use biofeedback to change stop profit (exiting working profit positions much ahead of targets) and talking myself out of entering trades saying lets wait to see if its about to hit my stoploss and then safely enter and then watching the trade go its targets without me in it.

    My research told me to go for GSR & EEG. Since the actions are fear based HRV may come at 3rd. I presume an AVS or light sound or mind machine activated when the GSR and/or EEG crosses a preset threshold is ideal for my situation.

    My objective is to go through practice sessions with this biofeedback/restorartion mechanism and then transfer to live trading if required.

    Please guide if I am on the right track.

    Thanks
    Manoj

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Manoj,

      This is the kind of assistance I only offer to my members which you are welcome to become one.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Manoj

    Hi Chris

    How do I become a member? I checked around but couldn’t find. Please let me know.

    Thanks

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Manoj,

      Are you talking about for the Advanced Price Action Course?

      If so, just click on the link, scroll down to the bottom, pay/order and voila! You’ll be a member who can access the course lessons, members area, members trade setups forum, my member webinars, trader quizzes & more.

      Any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • graham

    Hi Chris, Great piece…Ive been a binaural fan for years and can testify to its benefits to traders.