Neurofeedback is a technique to train the brain to regulate functions of body and mind. It is simply an operant conditioning tool that re-trains the dysregulated brain to behave more normally, the way it was intended.
Neurofeedback, is a type of biofeedback which uses real-time displays of electroencephalography (EEG) to illustrate brain activity and teach self-regulation. EEG neurofeedback uses sensors that are placed on the scalp to measure brain waves.
When the brain is not functioning optimally, this is often reflected in mental or physical problems. Restoring function to the brain by means of neurofeedback can alleviate a large variety of physical and emotional problems.
Neurofeedback improve self-regulation by rewarding brain waves when they fall into desired patterns (which are closer to the statistically determined ‘normal’). By rewarding the target brain wave patterns and ignoring the undesirable patterns, the client begins to accommodate to the reward and learns the target brain behavior.
Neurofeedback training is absolutely non-invasive, and rather than trying to affect the body from outside, it helps the brain to deal with any problems at the foundation, drawing upon the brain’s own ability to learn and adapt. Neurofeedback training simply makes certain characteristics of the brain’s operation visible to the conscious mind.
The goal of all neurofeedback is to transform an unhealthy, dysregulated brainwave pattern into a normal, healthy, organized pattern. By doing this, the brain becomes more stable and is able to operate optimally and efficiently. When your brain is better regulated, it allows you to change behaviors and thoughts.
Neurofeedback is considered by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to be safe.
The brain is designed to adapt to changes in the body and our environment and function well at all times.
However, for a variety of reasons, genetics, and environment, the brain gets “out of whack”, so to speak, and does not function as well as it is supposed to. The brain then becomes “dysregulated”.
Simply, a dysregulated brain tends to be over-stimulated when it is supposed to be calm and under-stimulated when it is supposed to be attentive.
Sometimes, the brain self-corrects. When it doesn’t, the dysregulation becomes normal. So it makes sense that we should be able to re-train the brain to function normally again.
HOW DOES NEUROFEEDBACK WORK ?
Before training sessions begin, a comprehensive qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) assessment is performed. This assessment procedure allows the therapist and technician to determine, in a scientifically objective manner whether a client’s brainwave patterns are different from normal.
The assessment provides the technician with the neurofeedback training protocols that will be used during the training sessions.
Protocols are designed to retrain the brainwave patterns toward normal. As the brainwave patterns normalize, the brain is able to operate more optimally and efficiently.
Once the protocols are determined the individual is hooked up to a computer using wires and sensors and the computer records their brainwave activity. These sensors are noninvasive, as no electrical current is put into the brain. The sensors simply record the brainwaves coming from the brain. Information about these brainwaves is displayed on the therapist’s monitor.
The software automatically detects when the brainwaves are properly ordered and it feeds that information back to the patient. This feedback appears in the form of a game, movie, or sound which signals the patient that the brainwaves are becoming more ordered.
As long as the patient’s brain waves are moving in an orderly direction, the reward is displayed and the patient hears a sound. If the brainwave patterns move away from an orderly pattern, then picture dims or disappears and no sound is produced. The patient is actually controlling the picture and sound with brain and by doing so; the brain is learning how to regulate itself.
In another design, the patient performs the training while watching a movie. In this case the patient may watch a DVD movie that is being controlled by their ability to regulate their brainwaves. The movie will get brighter as the brain waves normalize and become darker when they become dysregulated.
The brain’s natural desire to watch the movie clearly will drive those neurological circuits that normalize the brainwaves and allow the picture to be visualized. The more those circuits are driven and used – the more neuroplasticity changes take hold. The patient learns how to use those new circuits during the demands of everyday life.
An EEG is a recording of the brain’s electrical patterns (known as brainwaves) at the surface of the scalp. Sensors are used to detect the activity and the brainwaves are recorded.
Getting an EEG is non-invasive and painless. Much like a heart monitor which only records your heart rate, the sensors only record the electrical activity of the brain. It is not invasive in any way.
QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalograph) – Brain Mapping
Brain mapping was introduced more than 30 years ago as a means to measure and diagnose brain function.
The QEEG brain map neurometrics readings give us vital information to help identify areas of over or under-activity to train, and to precisely chart your progress.
By seeing which areas have abnormal activity, we can predict what type of symptoms the person may be experiencing as a result and w know exactly where to train to help you regulate more efficiently. Symptoms can be accurately matched with brain locations (10/20 system and Brodmann Areas) and aberrant Z scores.
A QEEG can identify not only brainwaves, but also aberrant Z scores for absolute power, relative power, amplitude asymmetry, coherence (quality of communication between regions) and phase (thinking speed).
These are all crucial patterns involved in optimum mental functioning.
During neurofeedback session above values are evaluated real time and checked whether these patterns are typical or anomalous.
Linking your symptoms to brain activity is a crucial part of what we do. QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalograph) – Brain Mapping
A QEEG is a ‘state-of-mind test’ for the brain, providing an objective assessment of how your brain works.
The QEEG brain map gives us a 2-D & 3-D reconstruction of your brain activity in order to accurately target areas of your brain which are relevant for your goals or symptoms.
We use latest tools & Software (Neuroguide and LoRETA Neurometric QEEG Brain Mapping) for both our assessments and to track your progress over your neurofeedback sessions.
LoRETA (low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography)
Using the same equipment as approved for academic research, LoRETA allows us to identify (and ultimately train) brainwave patterns from deep brain structures, using a standard sensor cap with advanced source-correlation software.
Being able to identify and train these deeper structures in the brain is a major leap forward in both brain mapping and neurofeedback.
We compare these brainwave readings to an FDA approved reference database (Z-score). We use this information as an aid to determine which areas to train in order to best meet your goals.
WHAT NEUROFEEDBACK CAN DO ?
Restoring function to the brain by means of neurofeedback can alleviate a large variety of physical and emotional problems. Sleep patterns may improve, allowing increased alertness during the day.
Neurofeedback can reduce anxiety and depression as well as syndromes such as migraine or chronic pain. Hyperactivity, attention deficit, post-traumatic stress, and emotional instability are also frequently visible as abnormalities in the EEG and as such can be trained.
Neurofeedback training can also help with certain specific syndromes and issues, including traumatic brain injury, seizures, autism, and stroke cases. In these instances, the training may not eliminate the cause of the problem, but rather assists the brain to function normally despite the injury.
One of the technique’s great strengths is that it draws upon the brain’s own ability to learn and adapt.
Due in part to the nature of the training, neurofeedback training can help both children and adults. In fact, thanks to the innate flexibility of the growing child’s mind, it is especially effective for children.
Hyperactivity, attention deficit (ADD / ADHD), temper tantrums, and conduct problems are more often exhibited by children than by adults, and can be effectively trained. Furthermore, once the brain has learned to function normally, the effect is usually lasting, and relapse rarely occurs.
Because neurofeedback trains the brain to operate effectively, its applications are not limited to recovering from injury or coping with problems.
Neurofeedback training is also valuable to bring the brain back on track after day-to-day stress, or to facilitate peak performance, for example, for professional athletes or corporate executives.
WHY NEUROFEEDBACK ?
Neurofeedback is a technique to train the brain to regulate functions of body and mind. When the brain is not functioning optimally, this is often reflected in mental or physical problems. Likewise, many cognitive, emotional, or bodily issues can be traced back to a poorly functioning brain.
Training your brain to improve its function can help it take better care of you, just like physical exercise can train your body.
Neurofeedback training is absolutely non-invasive, and rather than trying to affect the body from outside, it helps the brain to deal with any problems at the foundation, drawing upon the brain’s own ability to learn and adapt.
- The training has been achieved lasting results.
- Training results are at least long-lasting, often permanent, and continue to advance following training.
- The method is risk-free. It has no side effects.
- The process is painless
- Neurofeedback training can be combined with other therapies and treatments.
- Neurofeedback has been studied widely and long time.