What is “I-Dosing”? Is it a real drug? Is it a sign that teenage culture is still obsessed with—and actively seeking—experimentation with drugs and altered states? You bet. Binaural beats occur when two tones with slightly different frequencies are played together. Without headphones, the slight difference in the two frequencies is perceived by the listener as a single tone that wavers slightly. With headphones, however, the two tones are isolated and the listener hears each frequency clearly in a different ear. As the brain processes the two tones, it must take into account the slight difference between the frequencies. To the listener, this difference is perceived as rhythmic beats inside the head. Like many other things found on the internet they are surrounded by controversy both in terms of the ethics behind them and how effective they really are. Simply put, i-dosing is the attempt to achieve a perceived drug "high" from listening to specially-engineered sounds and music. Purveyors of this new market of "legal drugs" claim that different "digital drug recordings" can simulate the euphoric effects of marijuana, anti-depressant prescription drugs, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine... if Keith Richards tried it, they've got a song for it. Dr. Nicholas Theodore, a brain surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, said there is no real evidence that i-dosers work. But he noted that musical preference is indicative of emotional vulnerability. Trying “digital drugs” could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs and other dangerous behavior. Most of the sites offering downloadable music to produce a drug like high, require a credit card, and, additional links to pro-drug sites. Few scientific studies have been conducted on binaural beats. However, a Duke University study suggests that they can affect mood and motor performance. Theodore added that i-dosers are another reason to monitor kids' Internet usage. And, he said, kids need frank talks with their parents about correct choices. "I suspect this 'Pied Piper' phenomenon will pass rapidly and quietly," he said. Digital Drugs don’t appear to be associated with addiction, crime waves, black markets, and organized crime. I-Dosing may create situations where you don’t want an altered person driving a car or operating machinery, or doing brain surgery, but currently there aren’t any Malibu drug treatment centers that are treating an epidemic of digital drug overdoses or basket cases.
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