The Application of Audio-Visual Entrainment for the Treatment of
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Part 4
By Dave Siever
The pre-test BDI score for both groups was 20.1. A score above nine indicates at least mild
depression. Depression within the CG increased by 28% to a score of 26.1. A reduction in depression
for 36% of the participants was observed in the TG during the placebo condition and
during actual treatment (the beta AVE group) 100% of the participants had reduced depression
(BDI = 7.3, p<0.001), as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Comparison of BDI Scores Between Controls, Placebo & Treatment Groups
Of these, 84% became clinically non-depressed. The AVE male population anxiety sensitivity
(AS) decreased significantly from 21% to 60% (p<0.001) from post to post-post, respectively
while the control male population had a 7% increase in AS. The AVE female population
showed decreased AS, from 15% to 34% (p<0.001) from post to post-post respectively, while
the control group showed a mild reduction of 6%.
Figure 2. Comparison of ASI Scores Between Pre, Post and Post-Post Results.
Daily diary results (Figure 3) indicated marked improvements. Positive moods improved by
20%. Sociability at home with the family and at work improved by 22% and 40% respectively.
Figure 3. Comparison of Measures From Pre to Post-Post Conditions.
As shown in Figure 4, AVE participants’ food intake changed; over-eating decreased by
18%, appetite decreased by 12%, and carbohydrate intake decreased by 15%. The participants
also reported happiness with their increased energy (avg. increase of 18%).
Figure 4. Comparison of Pre and Post-Post Measures.
The daily diary results also showed that by using AVE, some participants lost considerable
weight. A group of 12 participants (8 females and 4 males) reported that their average weight
gain during the winter months was 15 pounds. During the placebo condition, they had an aver
age weight loss of 3 pounds (1.36 Kg) plus an additional average weight loss of 6.5 pounds (4.3
Kg) during the two-week treatment condition.
White light AVE at 20 Hz produced significant results. Although sub-delta frequencies are
non-effective at generating entrainment, sub-delta frequencies can affect both dissociative mind
states and cerebral blood flow (Fox & Raichle, 1985). In addition, the “placebo effect” could
also explain the sub-delta significance. The “placebo effect” has been shown to reduce anxiety,
increase endorphin production, conditioning, and expectancy (Godfroid, 1998). Being that inadequate
light elicits depression in SAD sufferers, the “placebo effect” via photic stimulation is
The AVE Group’s depression decreased while the Control Group’s depression increased.
Sensitivity to anxiety decreased in both male and female AVE groups. Although the female
control participants had decreased sensitivity to anxiety, the female AVE population showed
significance between the 1 Hz and 20 Hz stimulation.
Most control group participants claimed that they gained weight whereas an additional benefit
of AVE is weight loss. One participant claimed that, “after using the 20 Hz session for 2
weeks, the taste of sweets in my mouth was repulsive.” Follow-up reports indicate participants’
SAD symptoms returned within an average of 2 weeks after discontinuing use of the DAVID
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Copyright: Dave Siever (2013) CA. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.