Part Four: The Application of Audio-Visual Entrainment for the Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Dave Siever, President of Mind Alive, Inc.


(Reprinted by permission for the AVS Journal)


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 possible.

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 AVE device.


Allen, J., Locono, W., Depue, R., & Arbisi, P. (1993). Regional encephalographic asymmetries in bipolar seasonal affective disorder before and after exposure to bright light. Biological Psychiatry, 33, 642-646.

Cajochen, C., Brunner, D., Krauchi, K., Graw, P., & Wirz-Justice, A. (2000) EEG and subjective sleepiness during extended wakefulness in seasonal affective disorder: circadian and homeostatic influences. Biological Psychiatry. 47, (7), 610-617.

Cohen, R., Gross, M., Nordahl, T., Semple, W., Oren, D., & Rosenthal, N. (1992). Preliminary data on the metabolic brain pattern of patients with winter seasonal affective disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 545-552.

Fox, P., & Raichle, M. (1985) Stimulus rate determines regional blood flow in striate cortex. Annals of Neurology, 17, (3), 303-305.

Godfroid, I.O. (1998). [Placebo II. Psychiagenia and the brain organization. Annales Medico-Psychologiques [French], 152 (2), 108-114.

Lam, R.W. (1999). Information about seasonal affective disorder (SAD). University of British Columbia/VHHSC Mood Disorder Clinic. Retrieved on

Murphy, D.G., Murphy, D.M., Abbas, M., Palazidou, B., Binnie, C., Arendt, J., Campos Costa, D., & Checkley, S. (1993). Seasonal affective disorder: response to light as measured by electroencephalogram, melatonin suppression and cerebral blood flow.British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 327-331.

Rosenthal, N.E. (1993). Winter blues: What it is and how to overcome it. New York: Guildford Press.

Siever, D. (2003). AVE session protocol guide for professionals. Available from Mind Alive Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Teicher, M., Glod, K., Ito, Y. (1996) Hemispheric asymmetry of EEG and T2 relaxation time in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) pre and post-light therapy. In: SLTBR: Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms. p. 9.

Terman, M., Terman, J., Quitkin, F., McGrath, P., Stewart, J., & Rafferty, B. (1989) Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: a review of efficacy. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2, 1-22.

Terman, J., Terman, M., Schlager, D., Rafferty, B., Rosofsky, M., Link, M., Gallin, P., & Quitkin, F. (1990) Identification, assessment, and treatment of seasonality in mood disorders. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 26, 1, 3-11.

Volf, N., & Passynkova, N. (2002). EEG mapping in seasonal affective disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 72, 61-69.

Wright, K. (September, 2002). Times of our lives. Scientific American, 287 (3), 59-65.

Copyright: David Siever, Mind Alive, Inc. for the AVS Journal. All rights reserved.