Light & Sound Neurotherapy (“LSN”) is a treatment with proven success for numerous problems, based on more than 75 years of basic and applied research.

The research studies summarized below document that LSN is a robust treatment that frequently results in sustained improvement for a wide variety of difficult to treat conditions, including anxiety, stress, depression, migraines, ADD, ADHD, trauma, and addiction. LSN has also been shown to enhance mental clarity and peak performance.

Summarizing across these studies, researchers have documented that frequency-based light and/or sound neurotherapy (LSN):

  • Strengthens the same brainwave frequency that corresponds to the light and/or sound stimulation.
  • Increases brain metabolism and cerebral blood flow.
  • Appears to generate positive biochemical changes in the brain; and
  • Often results in immediate clinical benefits after only a single session. Multiple sessions may result in lasting improved functioning.

Clinical researchers have found that LSN is a robust treatment effective in facilitating relaxation, meditative and hypnotic mental states29-37 as well as promoting improvement in numerous mental and physical disorders.

Data below presents the key findings from 16 clinically focused LSN studies. These 16 studies demonstrate LSN’s effectiveness for numerous conditions ranging from anxiety, depression, and PTSD to pain-control for migraines and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).  Four studies found LSN to be an effective adjunctive treatment for patients with substance abuse disorders.

  1. Cantor & Stevens (2009)22

Study of 16 adults with treatment-resistant depression

Subjects received LSN 30 minutes per day, five days per week for four weeks (total of 20 sessions). 

Key Findings: Significant reductions in depression only occurred during active LSN treatment with patients averaging a 70.9% improvement.

All patients had at least a 50% reduction in depressive symptoms.

The improvements were still present when subjects were re-assessed 4 weeks after the end of treatment.

  1. Wolitzky-Taylor & Telch (2007)38

113 college students with pathological worry

Key Findings: Subjects who received 12 LSN sessions (three times per week for four weeks) had the highest rate of clinically significant change after four weeks at 67%.

A follow-up conducted three months after treatment ended showed that improvements were maintained despite receiving no further treatment.

  1. Nomura, et al, (2006)23

40 patients undergoing a follow-up endoscopy

Outcomes were measured by changes in EEG’s and the pain and discomfort reported by the patients.

Key findings: After slow-wave LSN treatment, 90% of subjects experienced reduced pain and discomfort during their follow-up endoscopy, compared to only 15% in the control group.

Slow brainwave activity significantly increased in the subjects. The degree of pain and discomfort felt was highly correlated to the proportion of slow-wave brain activity.

  1. Padmanaban et al, (2005)24

Relaxation Relief from Anxiety Healing
108 patients undergoing ambulatory surgery

Pre-operative patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, using (1) rhythmic tones embedded in music; (2) the same music without the rhythmic tones; and (3) no intervention.

Key Findings: Rhythmic sound stimulation resulted in an average 26.3% reduction in pre-op anxiety, compared to 11.1% for the music-only group and 3.8% in the no intervention group.

Rhythmic sound stimulation was superior to music-only stimulation in reducing pre-operative anxiety.

  1. Kliempt, et al, (2000)25

Healing and Relaxation
76 surgery patients under general anesthesia

Subjects wore headphones while under general anesthesia and were randomly assigned to listen to rhythmic sound stimulation, classical music, or a blank audio tape.

Key Findings: Subjects using rhythmic sound stimulation required more than 77% less fentanyl compared to patients listening to classical music or the blank tape.

  1. Lane, et al, (1998)26

Improve Mental Focus
29 adults

Subjects performed 30-minute of computerized tasks on 3 different days.

Key Findings: Subjects who experienced Beta-frequency binaural beats gave more correct answers and made fewer mistakes than those who experienced theta/delta frequency beats.

Beta brainwave stimulation was associated with less negative mood.

  1. Berg & Seiver, (1999)42

74 adults with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Subjects received sub-delta LSN treatments five days/wk. for two weeks, followed by beta wave LSN treatment for 2 weeks. The control group did not receive LSN.

Key Findings: Following the betawave LSN treatment, 100% of subjects in the treatment group showed reduced depression, and 84% scored as being clinically non-depressed.

  1. Tan et al. (1997)43

15 geriatric patients with dementia

Key Findings: LSN patients showed significant improvements in attention. LSN patients made significant improvements in mood.

  1. Pigott et al. (2009)44

Substance Abuse
65 substances abuse in patients

Patients received LSN combined with mindfulness meditation training three mornings per wk. for four wks. in a group setting. Of the 65 patients, 44 were assessed as moderately to severely depressed following detox.

Key Findings: 65.7% had a remission of their depressive symptoms. 91.4% showed a 50% or greater improvement in their Beck Depression Inventory score. After treatment, 65.7% scored within the normal range in Trait Anxiety.

  1. Weiner et al. (2008)45

Substance Abuse Major Depression
10 substance abuse in patients with major depression

Patients received LSN five afternoons per wk. for two wks. and also listened to audio coaching CDs during their 30-minute LSN group sessions.

Key Findings: LSN patients averaged a 75% decrease in their feelings of depression and hopelessness. LSN patients averaged an 80% increase in their self-esteem. 90% of the LSN patients had a 50% or greater improvement.

  1. Weiner et al. (2008)45

Substance Abuse Major Depression
18 substance abuse in patients with major depression

Patients received LSN three afternoons per wk. for two wks. and also listened to audio coaching CDs during their 30-minute LSN group sessions.

Key Findings: 72.2% had a 50% or greater improvement in their Beck Depression Inventory score. LSN patients averaged a 34.1-point decrease on the MCMI Major Depression scale.

  1. McIlveen et al. (2008)46

Substance Abuse Post Traumatic Stress
10 substance abuse in patients with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)

Patients received bilateral LSN stimulation sessions twice weekly for two weeks and also listened to audio coaching CDs.  Patients also received LSN three times weekly for two weeks and listened to audio coaching CDs during 30-minute group sessions.

Key Findings: PTSD symptoms decreased by an average of 36.4% on PDS Symptom Severity scale and 10.3 points the on MCMI’s PTSD scale.

LSN patients averaged a 24.2-point decrease on the MCMI’s Major Depression scale.

  1. Solomon (1985)47

Headache Relief
21 patients with muscle-contraction type headache, 3 patients with acute sinusitis headache, and 4 patients with migraine headaches

Patients received slow-wave (1-3 Hz) LSN for 5 minutes during their headache.

Key Findings: 19 out of 21 patients with muscle-contraction headache reported complete relief after treatment.

  1. Anderson (1989)48

Migraine Relief
7 patients with long-standing migraine headaches

Patients self-administered LSN at the onset of migraines. The average duration of treatment was 30 minutes.

Key Findings: Of the 50 migraine headaches reported, patients rated 49 as being helped and 36 as being stopped.

LSN reduced the median duration of migraines in all patients from an average of 6 hours to an average of 35 minutes. 18 months after treatment, the interval between migraines had increased for 2 of the patients. Patients reported faster relief when using LSN in the higher frequency range and brightest setting.

  1. Norton (2000)49 

Migraine Relief
55 patients with long-standing migraine headaches

Patients self-administered LSN daily for 30 days to determine if daily use decreased the frequency of migraine headaches.

Key Findings: 44% reported that migraine frequency was ‘Somewhat Less’ or ‘Much Less.’

Of the 28 patients whose migraines were normally preceded by warning signs, 53% reported that the frequency was ‘Somewhat Less’ or ‘Much Less.’

  1. Anderson et al. (1989)50

PMS Relief
17 women with severe and long-standing Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Patients self-administered LSN daily for 15 minutes during the three treatment menstrual cycles. Key Findings: After the first treatment cycle, there were reductions in PMS symptoms for depression, anxiety, affective lability, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, change in appetite, breast tenderness, and bloating.

Patients’ median reduction in PMS symptoms was 64% after one cycle of treatment and 76% at the end of treatment.

At the end of the final treatment cycle, 76.5% experienced reductions in PMS symptoms of 50% or greater, and 70.6% no longer met the criteria for PMS.

Both the severity and duration of PMS symptoms tended to return towards pre-treatment levels in the follow-up menstrual cycle.

The following present the findings from ten different studies of people with ADHD and/or learning disabilities.  These findings document LSN’s effectiveness for many symptoms common in people with ADHD and/or learning disabilities.  Summarizing across studies, researchers found that LSN treatment:

Increased sustained attention

Improved impulse control

Decreased anxiety and depression

Improved essential learning skills including:

Auditory memory

Mental processing speed

Verbal and non-verbal IQ

Improved academic performance

Generated improvements similar to psycho-stimulant medication; and

Maintained the treatment gains for up to 16-months following treatment termination.

ADHD and Learning Disability Studies

  1. Carter & Russell (1993)51

Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
26 boys with learning disabilities

14 boys were attended private school and 12 attended public school.  The private school boys had 40 LSN sessions lasting 25 minutes during school, while the public-school boys had only 18 sessions.  The private school boys also had an additional 40 sound stimulations administered at home by their parents.

Key Findings: Both groups showed improvement, but the private school group did considerably better with a significant eight-point improvement in non-verbal IQ as well significant improvements in reading, spelling, and auditory memory functioning.

 The public-school group showed significant improvement in only IQ (5.5 points) and spelling.

The private school group also showed greater and significant improvement in behavior.

  1. Carter & Russell (1994)52

Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
40 learning disabled boys diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder)

The boys were randomly assigned into three groups: 20 received 40 LSN sessions, 10 received language-attention, and 10 received no treatment.

Key Findings: Compared to the two control groups, the LSN group’s verbal IQ showed a significant increase of 4.3 points after 20 sessions and 9.2 points after completing 40 LSN training sessions.

A similar pattern of progressive improvement in reading was also found for the LSN group after 20 and 40 sessions.

Compared to the control groups, the LSN group showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention and inhibit impulsive behaviors.

  1. Patrick (1996)53

Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
25 children diagnosed with ADHD

Treatment consisted of fifteen 40-minute LSN sessions.

Key Findings: LSN significantly improved the children’s ability to sustain attention and decreased impulsive behaviors.

LSN significantly enhanced scholastic achievement.

Three months after treatment ended, the improvement in scholastic achievement scores was maintained.

  1. Russell & Carter, (1997-a)54

A follow-up to their 1994 study of 40 learning disabled boys (see no. 2 above)

Key Findings: Significant gains in verbal IQ and enhanced ability to sustain attention were maintained for 16 months following LSN treatment termination.

The improvements in ability to inhibit impulsive behaviors were not maintained.

2 b. Russell & Carter (1997-b) 54

Replication of 1994 study (see no. 2 above)

Due to school conflicts, the LSN treatment groups were only able to complete 25 LSN sessions rather than the 40 sessions in the 1994 study.

Key Findings: Both the ADD and ADHD treatment groups showed significant improvements in verbal and non-verbal IQ.

These IQ gains were maintained for 9 months following LSN treatment termination.

  1. Russell & Carter (1997-c) 54

Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
Replication of their 1994 study with learning disabled girls, conducted by an independent researcher at a different university

Key Findings: LSN treatment resulted in significant increases in verbal and non-verbal IQ.

  1. Russell & Carter (1997-d) 49

15 boys diagnosed with ADD or ADHD

Five of the subjects received LSN treatment only; five received Ritalin only; and five received both LSN and Ritalin group. Treatment occurred five days per week for eight weeks.

Key Findings: The LSN-only group significantly improved their Raven IQ test performance from 105.9 to 115.0. There was a less though still significant change for the Ritalin-only group.

All of the ten subjects in the LSN-only and LSN-Ritalin groups showed significant improvement in their PPVT IQ scores.

All of the five Ritalin-only subjects showed a decline in their PPVT IQ scores.

  1. Micheletti (1998)55

Learning Improvement
Grade Improvement
Open clinical trial comparing four groups of children with ADHD

Subjects were given forty LSN 20-minute sessions five days per week for 8 weeks.  The students’ parents were trained to administer the LSN sessions at home.

Key Findings: Overall, both the LSN-only, and combined LSN/medication treatments were superior to stimulant medication alone.

The LSN-only group showed significant improvements on the reading and spelling sections of the WRAT and the Raven.

The LSN-only group showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention and decrease hyperactivity.

All of the LSN group’s cognitive and behavioral improvements were maintained when assessed one month after the end of treatment.

  1. Budzynski et al. (1999)21

Learning Improvement
Grade Improvement

16 college students seeking academic counseling

A total of 30 LSN sessions (15-minutes each) were given.

Key Findings: The GPAs of the LSN students significantly increased by an average of .7 points in the quarter following treatment termination.

  1. Joyce & Siever (2000)56

Learning Improvement
Grade Improvement
34 special education students

LSN consisted of 35 22-minute sessions.

Key Findings: The LSN students showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention, inhibit impulsive responses, and improved reaction times.

 The LSN students significantly improved their reading scores compared to the control group.

  1. Joyce, 2001.57

Learning Improvement
Grade Improvement
204 students from seven public schools (1st – 11th grades) with a history of impulsivity, distractibility, and learning problems

Subjects received an average of thirty 22-minute LSN sessions over a three-month period.

Key Findings: The LSN students showed significant improvement in anxiousness, depression, hyperactivity, and inattention.

 The LSN students showed significant improvement in reading, averaging an eight month gain in grade-equivalent reading scores following three months of LSN treatment.



  1. Janet, P. (1925).  Psychological healing: A historical and clinical study. Paul E., Paul C., translation. London: Allen & Unwin.
  2. Adrian, E.D. & Matthews, B.H. (1934).  The Berger rhythm:  Potential changes from the occipital lobes of man.  Brain, 57: 355-385.
  3. Toman, J. (1941).  Flicker potentials and the alpha rhythm in man.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 4: 51-61.
  4. Walter, V.J. & Walter, W.G. (1949).  The central effects of rhythmic sensory stimulation. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1: 57-86.
  5. Barlow, J.S. (1960).  Rhythmic activity induced by photic stimulation in relation to intrinsic activity of the brain in man.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 12: 317-326.
  6. Frederick, J., Lubar, J., Rasey, H., Brim, S., & Blackburn, J. (1999).  Effects of 18.5 Hz audiovisual stimulation on EEG amplitude at the vertex.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 3: 23-27.
  7. Inouye, T., Sumitsuji, N., & Matsumoto, K. (1979).  EEG changes induced by light stimuli modulated with the subject’s alpha rhythm.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 49: 135-142.
  8. Kinney, J., McKay, C., Mensch, A., & Luria, S. (1972).  Visual evoked responses elicited by rapid stimulation.  EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology, 34: 7-13.
  9. Lesser, R.P., Luders, H., Klem, G., & Dinner, D.S. (1986).  Visual potentials evoked by light-emitting diodes mounted in goggles.  Cleveland Clinic Quarterly, 52: 223-228.
  10. Nogawa, T., Katayama, K., Tabata, Y., Ohshio, T., & Kawahara, T. (1976).  Changes in amplitude of the EEG induced by a photic stimulus.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 40: 78-88.
  11. Pastor MA, Artieda J, Arbizu J, Valencia M, Masdeu JC: Human cerebral activation during steady-state visual-evoked responses. J Neuroscience 2003, 23:11621-11627.
  12. Pigeau, R.A. & Frame, A.M. (1992).  Steady-state visual evoked responses in high and low alpha subjects. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 84: 101-109.
  13. Townsend, R.E., Lubin, A., & Naitoh, P. (1975).  Stabilization of alpha frequency by sinusoidally modulated light.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 39: 515-518.
  14. Van der Tweel, L. & Verduyn, L.  (1965).  Human visual response to sinusoidally modulated light. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 18: 587-598.
  15. Neher, A. (1961).  Auditory driving observed with scalp electrodes in normal subjects. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 13: 449-451.
  16. Ostfer, G. (1973).  Auditory beats in the brain. Scientific American, 229(4): 94-102.
  17. Aaslid, R. (1987).  Visually evoked dynamic blood flow response of the human cerebral circulation.  Stroke, 18: 771-775.
  18. Diehl, B., Stodieck, R.G., Diehl, R.R., & Ringelstein, E.B. (1998).  The photic driving EEG response and photoreactive cerebral blood flow in the posterior cerebral artery in controls and in patients with epilepsy. Electroencephalography & Clinical Neurophysiology, 107: 8-12.
  19. Fox, P.T. & Raichle, M.E. (1985).  Stimulus rate determines regional blood flow in striate cortex.  Annals of Neurology, 17: 303-305.
  20. Phelps, M.E. & Kuhl, D.E.  (1981).  Metabolic mapping of the brain’s response to visual stimulation:  Studies in humans.  Science, 211: 1445-1448.
  21. Sappey-Marinier, D. et al. (1992).  Effect of photic stimulation on human visual cortex lactate and phosphates using 1H and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 12: 584-592.
  22. Kumano, H. et al, (1997).  EEG-driven photic stimulation effect on plasma cortisol and B-endorphin. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 22: 193-208.
  23. Nomura, T., Higuchi, K., Yu, H., et al. (2006). Slow-wave photic stimulation relieves patient discomfort during esophagogastroduodenoscopy.  Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 21(1): 54-58.
  24. Padmanabhan, R., Hildreth, J., Laws, D. (2005). A prospective, randomized, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anesthesia for day case surgery. Anaesthesia, 60(9): 874-877.
  25. Kliempt, P., Ruta, D., Ogston, S., et al. (2000). Hemispheric synchronization during anesthesia: a double-blind randomized trial using audiotapes for intra-operative nociception control. Anaesthesia, 55(1): 95-7.
  26. Lane, JD, Kasian SJ, Owens JE, Marsh GR. (1998).  Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood. Physiological Behavior, 63(2): 249-252.
  27. Budzynski, T., Jordy, J., Budzynski, H., Tang, H., & Claypoole, K. (1999).  Academic performance enhancement with photic stimulation and EDR feedback.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 3: 11-21.
  28. Cantor, DS & Stevens S (2009) QEEG correlates of auditory-visual entrainment treatment efficacy of refractory depression.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 13: 100-108.
  29. Freedman, S. & Marks, P. (1965).  Visual imagery produced by rhythmic photic stimulation:  Personality correlates and phenomenology.  British Journal of Psychology, 56: 95-112.
  30. Glicksohn, J. (1986).  Photic driving and altered states of consciousness:  An exploratory study.Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 6: 167-182.
  31. Kroger, W.S., & Schneider, S.A. (1959).  An electronic aid for hypnotic induction: A preliminary report. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 7: 93-98.
  32. Leonard K.N.; Telch M.J; Harrington P.J. (1999).  Dissociation in the laboratory:  A comparison of strategies. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37: 49-61.
  33. Lewerenz, C. (1963).  A factual report on the brain wave synchronizer.  Hypnosis Quarterly, 6: 23.
  34. Richardson, A. & McAndrew, F. (1990).  The effects of photic stimulation and private self-consciousness on the complexity of visual imagination imagery.  British Journal of Psychology, 81: 381-394.
  35. Sadove, M.S. (1963).  Hypnosis in anesthesiology.  Illinois Medical Journal, 39-42.
  36. Thomas, N. & Siever, D. (1989).  The effect of repetitive audio/visual stimulation on skeletomotor and vasomotor activity.  Hypnosis: 4th European Congress at Oxford.  London: Whurr Publishers.
  37. Williams, P. & West, M. (1975).  EEG responses to photic stimulation in persons experienced in meditation.  Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 39: 519-522.
  38. Wolitzky-Taylor, K.B. & Telch, M.J. (2007). Placebo-controlled Trial Investigating Self-Administered Treatment for Pathological Worry. Poster presented at the World Congress of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, Barcelona, Spain.
  39. Wolitzky-Taylor, K.B.  Personal communication.  March 30, 2009.
  40. Benson K, Hartz AJ. (2000). A comparison of observational studies and randomized controlled trials.  N Eng J of Med, 342(25):1878-1886.
  41. Britton A, McPherson K, KcKee M, et al.  (1998). Choosing between randomized and non-randomized studies: a systematic review.  Health Tech Assess, 2(13):1-124.
  42. Berg, K. & Siever, D. (1999).  The effect of audio-visual entrainment on seasonal affective disorder in a northern latitude.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 4: 59.
  43. Tan, G., Kelly, J., Calhoun, W., Artymiak, K., & Ghusn, H. (1997).  Brain stimulation to improve cognition and mood of geriatric patients with dementia.  Presented at the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA.
  44. Pigott, H.E., Dawe, R. Alfert, J. Alter, G. (April 2009).  Combining neurotherapy with mindfulness meditation training to foster wellness during early recovery.  Presented at the Federation of State Physician Health Programs Annual Conference, New Orleans.
  45. Weiner, M., McIlveen, J., Abrams, M. & Pigott, E. (March 2008).  Neurotherapy as an adjunctive treatment for substance abuse Disorders:  Two depression pilot studies.  Presented at the Therapeutic & Alcohol/Drug Interventions Conference, Las Vegas.
  46. McIlveen, J., Weiner, M., Abrams, M., & Pigott, E. (July 2008).  Neurotherapy as an adjunctive treatment for substance abuse Disorders:  A PTSD pilot study.  Presented at the Labor Assistance Professionals Conference, Las Vegas.
  47. Solomon G.D. (1985).  Slow wave photic stimulation in the treatment of headache:  A preliminary study. Headache, 25: 444-446.
  48. Anderson, D.J. (1989). The treatment of migraine headaches with variable frequency photo-stimulation. Headache, 29: 154-155.
  49. Norton, D.  Migraine and photic stimulation: report on a survey of migraineurs using flickering light therapy. (2000). Complementary Therapy in Nursing & Midwifery.  6(3):138-42.
  50. Anderson, D.J, Legg, N.J., & Ridout, D.A. (1997).  Preliminary trial of photic stimulation for premenstrual syndrome.  Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 17(1):76-79, 1997.
  51. Carter, J. & Russell, H. (1993).  A pilot investigation of audio and visual entrainment of brainwave activity in learning disabled boys.  Texas Researcher, 4: 65-72.
  52. Carter, J. & Russell, H. (1994).  An audio-visual stimulation unit with EEG biofeedback for treatment of learning disabilities:  Final report.  Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education SBIR Phase I Contract Number: RN 93082027.
  53. Patrick, G.J. (1996).  Improved neuronal regulation in ADHD:  An application of 15 sessions of photic-driven EEG neurotherapy.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 1: 27-36.
  54. Russell, H. & Carter, J. (1997).  EEG Driven audio-visual stimulation unit for enhancing cognitive abilities of learning disordered boys: Final report.  Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education SBIR Phase II Contract Number: RA94130002.
  55. Micheletti, L.S. (1998).  The use of auditory and visual stimulation for the treatment of ADHD in children.  Unpublished dissertation, University of Houston.
  56. Joyce, M., & Siever, D. (2000).  Audio-visual entrainment program as a treatment for behavior disorders in a school setting.  Journal of Neurotherapy, 4: 9-25.
  57. Joyce, M. (2001).  New Vision School.  Report to the Minnesota Department of Education