Newly published Scientific Paper Offers Explanation of How Traumatic Stress Affects Health and Behavior

Brain State Technologies announces the publication of new scientific paper in Frontiers in Psychology


Brain State Technologies LLC, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, is pleased to announce the publication of a scientific paper that proposes an advanced explanation of how traumatic stress can affect health and behavior. The paper suggests that many of the difficulties faced by individuals who have experienced stress or trauma may be related to different ways that the brain’s arousal system can get “stuck.” This fixed stuck state can be detected as an imbalance of electrical activity toward either the right or the left side of the brain.

The authors organized their findings under what they call a “bihemispheric autonomic model,” abbreviated as the BHAM, in a paper that was published August 1, 2014, online in Frontiers in Psychology (

The BHAM furthermore implies that there should be a role for interventions that can help the left and right sides of the brain to come into balance with one another. The paper includes illustrations of the use of noninvasive relaxation technology by a US military special operations officer with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and a university student who was suffering from post-concussion symptoms. Both became more balanced at the left and right temporal lobes after using technology which assists the brain to relax so it can reset itself in greater balance. Both individuals reported improvements in sleep and recovery from traumatic stress symptoms.

The paper, co-authored with a team from the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, cites numerous scientific studies that have shown that the two sides of the brain are responsible for different aspects of the arousal system. The right side of the brain tends to be associated with “fight or flight” responses that make energy available to engage a stress or escape it. In contrast, the left side of the brain tends to be associated with a “freeze” response if there have been prolonged stresses or if there is a sense that nothing can be done about a severe stress or trauma such as the death of a friend or loved one. In a “freeze” state the individual and their systems tend to shut down.

These different states may represent helpful adaptations in the short term, for any given stress, but a key need is to be able to shift the arousal system flexibly (and quickly) because needs are always changing. According to co-author Lee Gerdes, the team leader at Brain State Technologies, “if stress is severe or has been of a long duration, the brain is vulnerable to one of these arousal states becoming the individual’s ‘new normal.’” A person who is fixed in fight or flight, they report, may show dominant brain electrical activity on the right side of the brain in a region called the right temporal lobe, while a person fixed in a freeze state may show dominant activity in the left temporal lobe.

The authors further suggest that being fixed in this way can put an individual at risk to behave in ways that may be explained as the brain’s attempt to compensate or move itself out of its stuck state. For example, some people in a “fight-or-flight” state related to right temporal lobe dominance may be at risk for abusing alcohol or other substances, in an attempt to dampen their feeling of high arousal. Those in a freeze mode related to left temporal lobe dominance may be at risk to act out some behaviors of high arousal – including substance use or abuse, but also risky or anti-social behaviors – in an attempt to come out of their experience of emotional numbness.


MEDIA NOTE: If you would like more information about Brain State Technologies or Brainwave Optimization, please call 480.588.6840 or send an email to pr(at)brainstatetech(dot)com. Brain Sate Technologies, 15150 N. Hayden Rd. Suite 106, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

About Brain State Technologies ( Brain State Technologies® is the world’s leading provider of brainwave balancing technology, Brainwave Optimization®. Founded in 2001 and developed by Lee Gerdes, the modality combines the latest advances in neuroscience, neuroplasticity, computer technology, mathematics, and physics. Brainwave Optimization™ offers a non-invasive way for people of all ages to overcome cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges, and enhance overall performance and wellbeing. With over 60,000 clients and more than 200 affiliated centers in 18 countries, the company is growing by licensing Brainwave Optimization® to providers worldwide.

Brainwave Optimization with RTB™ is not intended to treat, cure, heal or diagnose any disease, mental illness or symptom. Brainwave Optimization with RTB™ is intended to facilitate relaxation and auto-calibration for neural oscillations. Individual results may vary.

Posted in AZBio News.