Auditory beat stimulation may be a promising new tool for the manipulation of cognitive processes and the modulation of mood states. Here, we aim to review the literature examining the most current applications of auditory beat stimulation and its targets. We give a brief overview of research on auditory steady-state responses and its relationship to auditory beat stimulation (ABS). We have summarized relevant studies investigating the neurophysiological changes related to ABS and how they impact upon the design of appropriate stimulation protocols. Focusing on binaural-beat stimulation, we then discuss the role of monaural- and binaural-beat frequencies in cognition and mood states, in addition to their efficacy in targeting disease symptoms. We aim to highlight important points concerning stimulation parameters and try to address why there are often contradictory findings with regard to the outcomes of ABS.
Keywords: auditory beat stimulation; auditory steady-state response; binaural beats; cognition; memory; monaural beats; mood states; vigilance.