Although most experts will tell you that people can get through the day without the production of Alpha brainwaves, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any repercussions. For people who have suppressed production of these brainwaves, they can end up developing anxiety disorders and other stress-related diseases, which can lead to the weakening of their immune system.
Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology – CIM14. Berlin, Germany 2014 BINAURAL AUDIO RELAXATION TECHNIQUES FOR PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY AND STRESS Geraldine Molina, Emilia Sainz, Levi Serrano, Santiago Rentería, Diana Urquiza Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe Correspondence should be addressed to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a great development in different studies related to encephalography and the psychological consequences of binaural audio. The objective of this paper is to analyze the effects of binaural audio as a relaxation method for people that suffer anxiety and stress. The study took place at ITESM, Santa Fe Campus, where twenty participants around 21 years old took part of the study. They were divided into two groups, Experimental and Control. The first one listened to the Theta binaural stimuli and the second one listened to a stimulus with nature sounds (birds and wind). The results show that the experimental group got to conscious relaxation. The control group had an unconscious relaxation (sleep), but when the stimuli stopped they recovered their stress level, for some participants it increased. 1. BACKGROUND At the end of the 19th century, Pierre Janet, a French psychologist, discovered that his patients relaxed when they were exposed to rhythmic light patterns. Hans Berger showed in 1924 that brainwaves could be read and studied through an encephalogram . The first studies were done using visual stimuli, while later studies were done using sounds . Brainwaves are caused by changes in the electric tension between two points in the brain cortex. The electroencephalogram has been used to analyze neurophysiological relations that exist between mental states and brainwave frequencies. When somebody’s mental state changes from alert to somnolence, low amplitude and high frequency brain waves turn into high amplitude and low frequency . 2. BINAURAL AUDIO Giuseppe Tartini discovered combination tones. These occur when two tones are heard at the same time and the listener perceives a third tone. The frequency of the third tone is calculated by the difference between the first two tones, as shown in equation 1. (∆ )  (1) The superior olivary complex integrates the phase differences, which makes possible the perception of the third tone. For example, if the left ear hears a 400Hz tone and the right ear a 410Hz tone, the listener will perceive a 10Hz tone . This third tone is also known as binaural frequency. The binaural frequency is directed from the superior olivary complex to the reticular formation and the brain cortex, where the electroencephalogram can read its effect. The Frequency Following Response (FFR) phenomenon happens when the frequency read by the encephalogram is equal to the combination tone frequency. When this happens, the frequency resonates in the brain stimulating the reticular formation inducing different psychological states. Brainwave bands and psychological consequences are shown in Table 1 . Table 1: Brainwave Frequencies and Psychological Consequences Brainwaves Frequency (Hz) Amplitude (μV) Mental StateDelta 0.1 - 3 20-200 Consciousness is lost, sleep without dreams Theta 4 - 7 20-100 REM Sleep, meditation, and Creativity Alpha 8 - 12 20-60 Conscious Relaxation Beta 13 - 40 2-20 Concentration, Alert, and cognition (High levels are associated with anxiety) It has been proved that delta sound waves in binaural audio therapy have anxiolytic effects on patients with pre-surgery anxiety . Theta binaural sound waves are also helpful with relaxation and anxiety reduction . According to the results presented by the company Regus, in Mexico, 75% of employed people suffer from stress and anxiety. These cause social, health, and economic problems at the same time that productivity decreases . According to the Mexican National Labor Organization, stress means that the GDP decreases from 0.5 to 3.5%. Stress leads to anxiety, irritability, fear, depression, suicidal thoughts, and lack of concentration. Some other symptoms are headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscular tension, insomnia, and tachycardia . There are different techniques to induce relaxation like meditation. New relaxation techniques with binaural audio have been developed through Neurosciences. 3. OBJECTIVES • Evaluate and analyze binaural audio therapy effects (Theta frequencies) on people that suffer anxiety and stress (Students at ITESM), in order to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety. • Determine if the binaural therapy induced relaxation in the experimental group and compare the results to those from the control group. • Through the STAI test and the electroencephalogram results, determine which stimulus is more efficient. 4. HYPOTHESIS Hi: Frequency Following Response phenomenon will take place, as Delta and Theta bands will share frequencies with the combination tones. Hi: Beta brainwaves will show up when the stimulus begins, as they are related to concentration and alertness. 5. EXPERIMENT Twenty participants were randomly divided into two groups, control and experimental. The first group listened to sounds of
When I am using equisync I feel kind of like it is “pushing me” – I guess this is the right way to say it- to achieve better results, which I really like. I fall asleep quickly, and sleep all night and even wake up before my alarm goes off. I feel noticeably calm during the workday- which is very helpful for what I do. I really like the warm feeling (my whole body gets really warm during my equisync meditation sessions) and I feel kind of like Im floating while listening. The soothing rainfall is also very nice.
Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. “Create a playlist of songs or nature sounds (the ocean, a bubbling brook, birds chirping), and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece,” Benninger says. You also can blow off steam by rocking out to more upbeat tunes -- or singing at the top of your lungs!
On the other hand, natural bioidentical progesterone can be extracted from the wild yam. This is a little bit more complicated and expensive. However, the progesterone from wild yam does not cause the type of side-effects the progestin did. Plus, natural progesterone cream from the wild yam is vegan. Many companies will add vitamin E and other healthy fats that can be absorbed by the body. This benefits not only our hormonal health, but our heart and our whole body.
You might not realize it, but when you’re stressed, every muscle in your body tenses up. Taking a moment to recognize this and actively relaxing each part of your body can help. According to Whitaker, common stress-storing places are the jaw, neck, shoulders, back, and stomach. “The Instant Relaxation Technique is a deliberate tightening of the entire body, starting from the toes to the head region, and letting it go instantly,” Joshi says. “This is an effective way to become self-aware of our muscles and letting go of stress very quickly.” While you do this, picture all the negative emotion and tension leaving your body. Look out for these 8 silent signs stress is actually making you sick.
Stress is a significant individual and public health problem that is associated with numerous physical and mental health concerns. It is estimated that between 75% and 90% of primary care physician visits are caused by stress-related illnesses (2). Cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, immune system suppression, headaches, back and neck pain, and sleep problems are some of the health problems associated with stress (4,8). These conditions are some of the most burdensome health problems in the United States based on health care costs, the number of people affected, and the impact on individual lives. Extreme levels of stress were reported by 22% of respondents from the 2011 Stress in America™ survey, and 39% reported that their level of stress had increased during the past year (3). More than 80% of the survey respondents at the WorldatWork Conference in 2012 reported that stress moderately or significantly contributed to their health care costs (6).
So if you are interested in using brainwave entrainment music in your own recording, do so with the knowledge that it can only help to improve the quality of your work. But please don’t feel as though your recordings will be insufficient without it (some people do worry about this - unnecessarily). My advice is that if you ever find yourself in a situation where the music you love the most is not available with brainwave entrainment frequencies, don’t ignore your intuition and discard that music. When you find that piece of music that brings your recording to life, go with it whether it has brainwave entrainment frequencies or not. The quality and feel of the music itself are the most important factors.
"When you're stressed, there's a battle being fought inside you," Mangieri says. "The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body's response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals." Research has also shown that blueberry eaters experience a boost in natural killer cells, "a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in immunity, critical for countering stress," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor.
Only 4 of the participants reported no change as a result of the stimulation. Four years later in a study (1989) by Anderson analyzed LED photic stimulation for the treatment of headaches. There were 60 patients included in the study which involved Variable Frequency Photo-stimulation (VFP) with specialized goggles that contained light-emitting diodes.
Trump is now and always has been a filthy businessman. He operates above the law and wants to apply those laws to everyone but himself (lock her up!). It's been documented over the years that he recruits foreign workers, so this should be no surprise. Trump is an experienced cheater who will happily work with other people's money and ruin other people's lives just so he can win. Trampling on foreign workers' rights is nothing new or unexpected; he has an exclusive club to run, after all, and the end justifies the means.
It may not seem like it, but taking a few minutes out of your activities several times a day for prayer can help balance your mood and give you peace. Taking a few minutes out for prayer can give you God’s perspective and calm your mind and help you control those automatic negative thoughts.. Even with your hormones causing random thoughts and mood swings, these few minutes of prayer can bring things back into focus and give you balance.
Basically, one frequency of sound plays through one speaker/headphone and a different sound frequency plays in the other speaker/headphone. With these two different frequencies playing in each ear separately, but at the same time, your brain automatically tries to make up the difference in this frequency range and therefore is gently brought into a new, desired brainwave state as described above. An example of this effect would be a 100Hz frequency playing in your left ear and a 105Hz frequency playing in your right ear. Your brain, over several minutes, distinguishes the slight difference in frequencies and automatically adjusts its brainwave state to match this difference – being 5Hz in this example and therefore putting your brainwave into a Theta state. Pretty cool huh?!
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasn't until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress. Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Literally embrace whatever it is you're going through and then let it go. Try doing a tai chi exercise known as "embracing the tiger," where you take your arms, spread them wide, put your hands together and then draw them—and everything around you—toward your navel, the center of your being. Doing this allows you to take the good with the bad. Then reverse your hands and push them out, releasing your tension. When you can control stress, it can no longer control you. (Follow it with this progressive muscle relaxation technique to reduce stress.)
Theta waves also have been observed in moments when a person recalls information from the past, and this may be what links them also to improvement in learning ability. We also experience theta waves when we go into automatic pilot mode, such as when doing a repetitive task like driving a familiar route where the mind become disconnected while you still drive safely toward your destination.
Applying brainwave entrainment in the alpha range may result in benefits similarly found with Zen or Transcendental Meditation. These benefits extend throughout the body and include improved breathing patterns, higher physical energy levels, an improved outlook, increased sports performance, improved relationships, and increased workplace satisfaction and performance … just to name a few.
The brain will entrain to the strongest stimulus. If you combine binaural beats with isochronic tones, your brainwaves will entrain to the isochronic tones. If anything, when you combine the two I believe it makes the track less effective because it makes it harder for the brain to decipher between the two and synchronise to a single beat. There are lots of websites with compelling marketing about the benefits of combining the two together in some funky way, but I haven’t seen any research or lots of anecdotal feedback even to suggest it’s effective to combine them.
All brainwave frequencies are useful and beneficial at certain times – there is no brainwave that is intrinsically better than another. However, by deliberately choosing to attain a particular brainwave state, a corresponding mental state can be brought about at the same time. For example, a working person who has been in an overly alert beta brainwave pattern for many hours can quickly shift their mind and body into a relaxed state by listening to a few minutes of brainwave entrainment music for inducing alpha or theta brainwaves.
In March I started using the CDs that I affectionately call “Meditation for Dummies” and am very pleased with the results so far. My blood pressure has dropped, I am sleeping better and notice that I feel much more calm and less stressed. Instead of feeling that I need to “find the time” in my schedule to meditate, I look forward to that totally relaxing half hour–that peaceful feeling of floating.
Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology – CIM14. Berlin, Germany 2014 nature (birds and wind) while the second group listened to theta binaural sound waves. Both groups listened to the stimulus through headphones. During the experiment, participants were monitored with the Neurosky Mindwave Interface, which was connected through Processing to a Max Patch that saved all the data in a ‘.csv’ file. Before the stimulus, a baseline EEG took place and the participants answered the “Trait” part of the STAI test and a pre-experiment “State” version of the test. After the experiment, participants answered a post-experiment “State” STAI and a post-experiment EEG also took place. Each experiment was developed with one participant at a time in a controlled environment. American Psychological Association Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct 2002 were followed. 6. MATERIALS • Herman Miller chair • Neurosky Mindwave Interface • Maximum Voltage – 1mV • Maximum radiofrequency Range (Bluetooth) 10m • Maximum transference rate through RF – 250kb/s • Sample rate – 512Hz • Battery cycle – 6-8h • MacBook Pro 7. SOFTWARE • Processing 1.5.1 • Microsoft Excel • Max 6 • Braintocsv V1.5: Application developed in Max 6 by Santiago Rentería, which collates data gathered from the Mindwave interface into a ‘.csv’ file. 8. DOCUMENTS • STAI questionnaire (Annex 2) • STAI “Trait”: Measures anxiety as a temporal state. • STAI “State”: Measures anxiety based on how people feel on a daily basis. • Consent Letter (Annex 3) 9. CONTROL ENVIRONMENT Recording Studio Control Room located at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe. Fixed temperature at 22ºC and acoustically isolated. 10. STIMULI • Experimental group – Binaural Theta frequencies • Control group – Nature environmental sounds 11. PROCEDURE • The participant is asked to read and sign a consent letter. • A pre-experimental three-minute encephalogram is taken and the participant is required to answer State and Trait STAI tests. • The corresponding stimulus is played during ten minutes and an EEG is taken. • The State STAI test is answered and a post-experiment EEG is taken. 12. VISUAL DATA ANALYSIS The stimuli took place from second 180 to second 774. (Graphs in Annex 1) 12.1 Theta The significant time range was from second 3 to second 948. The most significant moments were the following: (see annex A1.5) s = 189; p = 0.014; t = 1.025 s = 495; p = 0.002; t = -1.923 s = 780; p = 0.001; t = -2.349 12.2 Meditation The significant time range was from second 240 to second 912. The most significant moments were the following: (see annex A1.3) s = 240; p = 0.042; t = .0.685 s = 522; p = 0.013; t = 0.546 s = 702; p = 0.016; t = 0.897 12.3 Delta The significant time range was from second 12 to second 954. The most significant moments were the following: (see annex A1.10) s = 177; p = 0.046; t = 1.696 s = 627; p = 0.016; t = -1.366 s = 912; p = 0.007; t = 1.758 12.4 Attention The significant time range was from second 243 to second 870. The most significant moments were the following: (see annex A1.11) s = 243; p = 0.021; t = 0.672 s = 513; p = 0.005; t = 0.722 s = 753; p = 0.017; t = 0.383 12.5 STAI Variations were found in STAI-State pre-experiment and post-experiment: • Control group results rose from 19 to 21 • Experimental group results decreased from 20 to 15. Variations between both groups were found in the STAI –Trait: • Experimental group with a score of 32 in STAI-T test outran control group by 4 points 13. RESULT ANALYSIS Samples were analyzed every three seconds. They were later statistically distributed according to the T-student test in order to find differences between both groups. For this experiment, the significant p value was p<0.05, this means that the probability is less than 5% T-student detailed analysis: • The meditation value is similar in both groups, (see graph A1.3). T-student function shows less significant points for this parameter. This means both stimuli induced relaxation to the participants. • Theta values are higher in the control group, especially after second 510 (see graph A1.5) almost at the middle of the stimulus. • STAI “State” post-experiment results from the experimental group are higher than the control. Therefore, theta binaural frequencies were more effective as an anxiolytic stimulus. (see graphs A1.1 and A1.2) • Delta values are higher after second 285 in the control group (see graph A1.10). This indicates deep sleep and losing of consciousness over the body (unconscious relaxation). It is highly possible that the participant fell asleep or got to the first stages of sleep. • There is a significant difference in delta between experimental and control groups after second 870 (post-stimulus). For the
American Heart Association: "Four Ways to Deal With Stress."; PubMed Central: "Psychosocial and Psychophysiological Effects of Human-Animal Interactions: The Possible Role of Oxytocin."; NIH News in Health: "Can Pets Keep You Healthy?"; Cleveland Clinic: "Want a Healthy Heart? Laugh More!"; HelpGuide.org: "Laughter Is the Best Medicine."; Association for Psychological Science: "Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal; Displays Affect Neuroendocrine; Levels and Risk Tolerance."; Harvard Business School: "Power Posing: Fake It Until you Make It."; IZA.org: "The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages."
Absolutely. Binaural beats were first discovered over 150 years ago, and their use in brainwave entrainment audio has been the subject of a great deal of scientific exploration over the last 35 years in particular. Millions of people use brainwave entrainment music to enhance their quality of life and to experience deep relaxation. In fact, brainwave entrainment technology is now used for more than just meditation. It is also used by a variety of practitioners and private users for improving self-confidence, stress relief, pain management, relaxation, improving and concentration and improving the quality of one's sleep. If you would like to read an objective third party report on binaural beats, please refer to this Wikipedia article.
Tennis, anyone? One of the best ways to fit exercise into your schedule is to round up friends and family and organize a game of football, basketball, or soccer — just three of many choices. You get a double dose of stress relief from participating in team sports: Not only are you having fun with loved ones, but you’re also working up a sweat and releasing endorphins. Exercising with friends or co-workers can also motivate you to push yourself a little harder in order to stay competitive.
Tracks that move from alpha to theta can be a perfect vehicle for transitioning from a hectic day into a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep. Beginning with alpha waves takes you into a light but still alert meditative mind state where the difficulties of the day can be resolved and put to rest. Later, theta waves go deeper into the unconscious, preparing you for sleep and dreams.
Although there is a general stress response pattern, there can be variations in the response according to the characteristics of the stressor (10). Individuals tend to respond differently based on the familiarity of the stressor. For example, the perceived level of stress and physiological response when giving a presentation to a group of work colleagues will likely be less than when presenting to an unfamiliar group. The stress response also varies depending on the level of perceived control one has over the stressor (10). If there is a way for one to actively cope with the stressor that is reasonable, then the individual usually perceives more control over the situation. Consider an individual who has to take a certification examination for work and has 6 months to prepare. He can adjust his schedule to accommodate study time. However, waiting for medical test results that show whether one has a serious illness does not allow a sense of control over the stressor, and the individual passively endures the stressor or may try to avoid the stressor. With this uncontrollable type of stressor, there is a more negative reaction with greater productions of cortisol, which can have damaging health effects because of the suppression of immune function (10).
Brainwaves are the collective electrical signal of millions of neurons working together in a living brain, producing our sense of alertness – or lack thereof - and producing our experience of reality. As brainwaves change, so does our perception of the world and our inner perception of ourselves. By learning to control our brainwaves, we can achieve specific, desirable mental states, such as feeling more relaxed, less anxious, more creative, more focused, or sleepier.
Many people experienced in using alpha brainwave entrainment report that the state of mind associated with alpha waves is a time when they feel most consciously connected to their subconscious mind. The intense experience of hypnagogic sleep, reported by some people as a feeling of being awake and asleep at the same time, is also associated with alpha brainwaves.
Accessing a more relaxed and peaceful state of mind with delta brainwaves, a spiritual awakening is increasingly possible. Gurus believe that the body & spirit connect when the conscious & subconscious minds merge, as in the delta brainwave state. This results in an ever-increasing internal awareness plus a deeper connection and understanding of the spirit.
a past history of trauma. When faced with stressful situations, you may find yourself totally stuck and unable to take action. Your challenge is to break free of your “frozen” state by rebooting your nervous system and reactivating the body’s natural “fight-or-flight” stress response. Physical movement that engages both your arms and legs, such as walking, swimming, running, dancing, climbing, or tai chi, can be particularly helpful. As you move, focus on your body and the sensations you feel in your limbs rather than on your thoughts. This mindfulness element can help your nervous system become “unstuck” and move on.
Gamma brainwave states are the most rapid in frequency. Gamma has long been considered the brainwave that is able to link and process information from all parts of the brain. It is the frequency that brings with it the ability to process large amounts of information in relatively small amounts of time. Think of generating more Gamma activity as getting a processor upgrade for your brain.
In physics, entrainment is the process of two oscillating systems coming to assume the same periodic rhythm, such as is observed when two clocks slowly synchronize their ticking and tick together in harmony after some time. Pendulums also achieve this same synchronicity when swinging in close proximity to one another, a phenomenon first observed and written about in 1665 by Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch scientist.
Brainwave Entrainment audio technology was first developed and introduced to the public decades ago by Robert Monroe, through the Monroe Institute. This organization used their brainwave entrainment audios as a tool to induce people into specifically directed out of body experiences as well as train remote viewers. Since then the crafting of brainwave entrainment audios has become a sophisticated art. These audios are now created and used by a number of businesses and individuals for a variety of purposes, most of which having to do with personal development and self-help.
I just wanted to thank you guys for having such an outstanding product available. I used to meditate when I was younger but got away from it over the last 7-8 years. I had difficulty starting back up, but since I started using your cds I have no difficulties getting back into it; and am now meditating 2 hours per day and have never felt better. I have only been using them for a couple weeks but have already noticed a difference. Thanks again for creating such a wonderful product and I will be sure to recommend it to everyone.
Binaural beats are created from two different continuous tones, which when sent separately to each ear create a single beat inside your head. Isochronic tones are basically a single tone which is switched on and off at regular intervals. Imagine a single continuous tone playing on a stereo system and you’ve got your hand on the volume switch. Then once per second, you turn the volume off for half a second and keep doing that every second. For half a second the volume is off, for the other half a beat waveform is formed. The beat is cycling once per second per second, i.e. at a rate of 1Hz.
Gamma brainwaves aren’t just limited to helping you get into the zone; they also act as a natural anti-depressant. With regular production, these brainwaves can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while improving happiness. People who meditate often not only achieve a higher level of compassion due to the increased production of Gamma brainwaves, it also creates the environment for a happy life.
I was diagnosed with “acute high anxiety, major clinical depression,and ptsd” 16 years ago. I have clinically addressed these disorders with a number of medications, which none have helped. I am so lucky I have found this simple easy to practice method of practice, that I have found these beats and tones so essential that I indoctrinated them into my daily life, and have come to the realization, that someday very soon I will awake and will not suffer from these burdens these disorders ever again.
Was wondering if you could give me a little more background on the suggested 2hr usage limit. I’m in LOVE with these CDs. Spent two months 2-3 times per day with ‘Equisync II’, and earlier this week shifted over to ‘Equisync III’. Since moving into Equisync III, I’m naturally drawn in my morning sitting to about 1 1/2 hrs with the tracks looping through my iPod. Then I sit again at night. I feel great. So is the 2hrs suggested for people with little prior meditative experience, is it a precaution for those whose psyche may be more fragile and prone to getting uber spacey and not managing their lives?
Everyone experiences stress, and not all stress is bad. However, individuals who experience acute episodic and chronic stress are at increased risk for developing stress-related health problems. This article outlines the relationship between stress and health and discusses the role of exercise in managing stress. Exercise recommendations and stress management tips are provided.
Yoga involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. As well as reducing anxiety and stress, yoga can also improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. Since injuries can happen when yoga is practiced incorrectly, it’s best to learn by attending group classes, hiring a private teacher, or at least following video instructions. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can practice alone or with others, tailoring your practice as you see fit.
A combination of strokes works well to relieve muscle tension. Try gentle chops with the edge of your hands or tapping with fingers or cupped palms. Put fingertip pressure on muscle knots. Knead across muscles, and try long, light, gliding strokes. You can apply these strokes to any part of the body that falls easily within your reach. For a short session like this, try focusing on your neck and head:
I was not looking forward to returning back to my house as I live on my own so was very pleased to see that the “equisync” CDs had arrived in my absence. Ever since I have been back I put a CD on each evening and the change has been totally fantastic. The meditation is unbelievably calming and soothing, the inner-voice has been silenced and quite often I just put it on to drop off to sleep with the sound of gently falling rain. I can feel each day starting calmly and things like organising the memorial service have not been the strain and upset I would normally have expected. I could wax lyrical for hours because the benefits are truly and utterly fantastic. Never did I think I would find anything that would lift my spirits, clear my mind, calm the inner space but Equi-Sync has done that, and more.
There are various types of viruses and parasites, and viruses are themselves parasites. While biological viruses are infectious agents that self-replicate inside living cells, computer viruses are destructive pieces of code that insert themselves into existing programs and change the actions of those programs. One particularly nasty type of computer virus that relies on humans for replication, known as a “Trojan horse,” disguises itself as something useful or interesting in order to persuade individuals to download and spread it. Similarly, a harmful ideology disguises itself as something beneficial in order to insert itself into the brain of an individual, so that it can instruct them to behave in ways that transmit the mental virus to others. The ability for parasites to modify the behavior of hosts in ways that increase their own “fitness” (i.e., their ability to survive and reproduce) while hurting the fitness of the host, is known as “parasitic manipulation.”