When mapping your brain, instead of dividing the brain activity up by geographical areas, it is common to divide it up into power bands or Levels of Thought. The icons with four or five multi-colored brains will map brain activity divided into levels of thought.
Each of the maps represents the same brain mapped four or five times. All the brains also map the brain activation during the same time period. However, each map is the brain activation of a specific Level of Thought.
The Level of Thought in scientific terms represents the total power (or brain activation) for a specific frequency. One particular map only shows the activity that occurred in that area of the brain in between a particular frequency range. Scientists have found that particular types of brain processing occur at different frequencies. See below to review each Level of thought frequency and processing type.
The general pattern for these maps to follow is that each map gradually decreases in activation in order from top to bottom. That means that the first brain will be the warmest color or highest brain activity and the last brain will be the coldest colors or the lowest brain activity (i.e. Delta contains the highest map values followed by Theta and then Alpha, Beta, Beta 2 and lastly Gamma which has the lowest map values.). You can identify a map of interest when it does not follow this pattern. If any map has larger activation than its previous map, take a closer look at that particular Level of Thought.
The Delta Level of Thought is the lowest frequency of thought but is generally associated with the highest resting activation. It rises in activation during sleeping and drowsy states.
The Theta Level of Thought is most active when you are conscious but not engaging in learning thought. It is the desired Level of Thought activated during meditation when the goal is to clear your thoughts. It is also associated with pleasure and displeasure. Consistent elevated activation in Theta has been associated with Attention Deficit Disorders.
The Alpha Level of Thought activates when you are alert but not actively processing. Alpha consists of the everyday thoughts that flow through your mind when you are not concentrating. It is a learning state.
Active Processing (Beta)
The Beta Level of Thought is activates with concentration and problem solving. This Level of Thought is present when your brain is actively processing information.
Active Processing 2 (Beta 2)
The Beta band is a powerful analysis tool and is sometimes divided into two separate bands for a more in depth brain analysis. If Beta 2 is turned on then Beta will be divided into two bands (Beta-lower frequencies, and Beta 2-higher frequencies). If Beta 2 is turned off then all of Beta will be mapped as simply Beta.
Focused Arousal (Gamma)
Gamma represents integrated harmonizing of the activity in the brain. It is a step above the active processing in the Beta Level of Thought.