Neurofeedback, also known as EEG (Electroencephalography) biofeedback is a computer assisted training that enables one to alter own brain waves by operant conditioning (non – conscious learning). Brainwaves are produced by electrical impulses from nerve cells when communicating with each other. The root of all thoughts, behaviors and emotions is the communication between these nerve cells within the brain. By measuring the brain waves and providing an audio and video feedback signal it teaches self-control of brain function. Positive or negative feedback is produced for desirable or undesirable brain activities respectively. Once the brain is conditioned to increase or reduce specific brainwaves (delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) or to improve symmetry and coherence of those brainwaves brain functioning can improve in the areas such as attention, alertness, mental acuity, memory, flexibility, associative thinking, creativity and calmness. Such mental conditioning or “physical therapy” for the brain improves “mental posture” and rids of cognitive problems, just as improved physical posture and muscle tone can rid you of back pain.
Neurofeedback training is a painless and non-invasive procedure. A cap with small sensors is placed on the scalp as in normal EEG) recording. The brain waves are recorded by these sensors and displayed on a computer screen by means of a video game and a sound signal. The patient is asked to make the video game go…with his/her brain. As activity in the brain shifts in the desired direction, the video game progresses and the player scores. If activity in the brain doesn’t change, or increases in an adverse direction, the game stops. Gradually, a learning of new brain wave patterns takes place. Before the training start a proper assessment by creating a quantitative EEG as well called brain map is necessary to diagnose the irregularity of brain wave pattern and to plan the training.
Much like physical exercises develop specific muscles, the more your brain is exercised into reaching a more comfortable, more efficient position, the better it gets at it. As with learning any new skill, it simply requires time and repetition.
Quantitative EEG (QEGG or Brain mapping)
An EEG is a scientific method for recording of brain waves on the whole scalp – means at 19 different sites based on the 10-20 system, an internationally recognized method to describe and apply the location of scalp electrodes in the context of an EEG exam.
In my clinic each client receives a qEEG before any kind of Neurofeedback training will start. This brings the whole procedure including the training to a different, professional and evidence based level. Compared to a pure psychological assessment only, usually questionnaire based, the qEEG visualizes what happens where in the brain, and match these findings with the client complaints (EEG biomarker match, QEEG Pro). Apart from reviewing the raw EEG data, the raw data – according to age, gender and handedness is getting compared to a normative database (Neuroguide, Dr. B. Thatcher - FDA approved database of adults and children), which gives more comprehensive information about the distribution of brain activity, like a prism breaking light up into its constituent spectral colors. This is called a bitmap. Our analysis wouldn’t be complete without LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomographic analysis) which produces 3 dimensional images to find functional abnormalities in the deeper structures of the brain - very similar to functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) of the brain. Last we are using the assessment of Dr. Paul Swingel, as well known as clinical Q, which compares amplitudes and ratios of brain activity.
LORETA summary QEEG Pro
EEG Biomarker Match QEEG Pro
What to expect after:
2-3 days after initial assessment, the QEEG report will be in detail explained to you and based on this an individual Neurofeedback treatment plan will be created usually combining different protocols based on the findings.
1. Power or Amplitude Training
At one designated site of the brain one up to three power bands are getting up or/ and down trained, means their activity is increasing or decreasing to typical levels in these areas.
2. Z-Score Training
As the raw EEG data have been compared to a database the results are converted into Z-scores (also called a standard score), which are telling us how far - below or above - from the population mean a data point is. The brainwaves are than trained towards an acceptable value. The advantage is that apart from amplitudes as well asymmetries, coherences and phase lags can be trained from 2-19 channels. The Z-score Training software was originally developed in conjunction with BrainMaster and Applied Neuroscience, which we are using in our clinic.
4-channel Z-score protocol
3. sLORETA 3D Z-score Training
Training of deeper brain structures using the LORETA software; regions of specific interest (ROI’s) are chosen as the default mode network or executive function network for instance.
19-channel Z-score sLORETA training of Default mode network
4. ISF (Infra slow fluctuation) Training Coming soon!!!
It is a training focused on the frequencies below 1 Hz associated with disorders where the autonomous nervous system is involved.
How do I get started?
- All new clients need to first make an appointment to do an analysis. The data is then processed. This takes about 2-3 working days.
Please download the INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR FIRST ASSESSMENT document here.
- You can also complete the SYMPTOM TRACKING FORM (ADULT) or SYMPTOM TRACKING FORM (CHILD) before your first appointment and either email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org or please bring it along.
We are using 24-channel Discovery amplifier with brain avatar software, latest technology made by market leader BrainMaster Est. 1995, Made in US.
Neurofeedback training is already used about 30 years in particular in treatment of Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders and Epilepsy having the strongest efficacy level in research (Evidenz based level 5). Within technological progress a variety of different disorders as
- Learning disabilities
- Autism and Asperger Syndrome
- Anxiety and panic disorders
- Post traumatic stress disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndromes
- Tic disorders as Tourette Syndrome
- Parkinson Disease
- Lyme disease and can be treated as well.
Neurofeedback has given new options in the previous very limited array of therapy of above mentioned disorders for rapid and permanent changes in the areas of cognition, behavioral problems, affective regulation, and social adaptation and function.
Feel free to look at some of the links below for further information on Neurofeedback and the equipment used.
- The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance: www.bcia.org
- The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance: Why Choose a BCIA-Certified Professional?
- The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback: www.aapb.org
- BrainMaster Bio- and Neurofeedback equipment: www.brainmaster.com
- The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research: www.isnr.org
- qEEGPro - http://qeegpro.eegprofessionals.nl/
- Biofeedback Association of South Africa: http://biofeedbacksa.co.za
- Yucha and Montgomery : Evidence-Based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback (2nd ed.)
Peak Performance Program
Peak performance is when you perform at the best of your abilities, with other words when you are in the zone of exceptional and optimal functioning and flow requiring focused attention, confidence, and clear thinking.
Who can benefit from the Peak Performance Program?
Recommendable for individuals interested in improving:
- Self development and growth
- Self esteem and social skills
- Brightening of focus, planning and organization
- Decrease anxiety and being stressed
- Improve the memory and problem solving abilities
How is the Peak Performance Program customized?
All Peak Performance programs are based on the individual qEEG which carves out strengths and weaknesses. Accordingly a tailored program to improve and enhance mental flexibility and cognitive abilities is created equally if in the field of work environment, academic or sportive career.
How do I get started?
Academic Performance Program (Summer Camp for Children)
Prevent “summer learning loss”, the loss of knowledge over the course of lengthy breaks in the school year by improving focus and attention. Enable your child for better start in the next school year and with this a better start to life. The appointments can be booked flexible hours, meeting 2-3 per week.
Academic Performance Program include
- Increase learning speed
- Better re-call of information
- Extend and sharpen focus and attention
- Greater flexibility in mind
- Increase of confidence and self esteem
- Decrease test anxiety, social anxiety and stress
- Increase Creativity
How do I get started?
FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS
It is a training of your brain. Attending the Center for Neurofeedback is like taking your brain to the gym instead of your muscles.
The brain activity (brainwaves) is recorded and displayed in real-time and translated to comprehensible values which are used for training enabling to learn how your brain is reacting at particular times or in certain situations, for instance under task and helps you use this information to self regulate. Neuroplasticity enables the brain to adapt. Sometimes the brain needs a helping hand to change.
Most disorders are treated these days by medication, with the disadvantage of not always getting a desirable response, side effects, and problems of addiction. A tablet is always a one fits all solution, which stops to work, when discontinuing intake. Neurofeedback offers an alternative as you are training your brainwaves at the root of the problem. The more often you train, the faster the brain is learning. Doubtless, this leads to long-lasting results, similar as you have learned in childhood how to ride a bike. The brain never forgets although you have not practiced for long time. Intensive research described different brainwave patterns for different diseases – like footprints. Some patterns are just too fast, others are maybe too slow, others show an impaired team play of sharing information between the different sites. Neurofeedback offers an effective way of changing and regulating the disturbances of brainwave activity.
It addresses the source, by fine-tuning the central command unit - your brain. The goal of Neurofeedback is to normalize irregular brain wave patterns. Different types of Neurofeedback as Amplitude training, Z-score surface or sLORETA training protocols are chosen according to the findings in the qEEG. Each and every training protocol is unique, as your brain is unique. A hand-tailored treatment protocol following the findings in the qEEG will guarantee that only this will be trained. For example, research shows that people with ADD or ADHD have 30% more slow (Theta) brain wave activity when performing cognitive tasks than normally found. As a result, they constantly seek out stimulation by daydreaming, fidgeting, talking a great deal and rapidly switching their attention from one activity to another. Stimulant medications, such as are helpful by artificially increasing their level of brain activation. Neurofeedback is a drug-free and side-effect-free solution that teaches people to increase brain activity as needed, alleviating symptoms and often eliminating the need for medications.
The requirements, demand, and competition in modern society and labor market are huge. Only the best will be able to succeed in the battle. Therefore the best schools and universities are chosen, where knowledge is submitted. The problem is that your performance is not all about knowing it is about self-marketing and focus without getting hyper-vigilant.
Not being able to focus when it’s needed, sustain concentration during a task, keeping clarity of thoughts and ideas, having a good self-consciousness without fear to lose control that can so often disturb your ability to perform to your best.
Performance can be improved by Neurofeedback training by learning how to achieve a mental state what is called the Zone. It is used worldwide not only for athletes and musicians.
You will feel an electro cap on your head, soft as you wear a bathing cap when going swimming. You sit in a comfortable chair which is adjusted towards your needs, to ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed. The electro cap is connected to an amplifier that forwards the recorded signals to a computer who translates them. You will look onto a second monitor where your translated brainwaves will drive a game or a movie in real-time. Now the subconscious learning process starts as your brain figures out fast what it has to do to score in a game or to drive the movie (operant conditioning). Soon you will feel the difference as well, as brain fog disappears, you feel more concentrated, maybe as well a bit happier as when you came. You will see that your abilities either in competing or speed are increasing. The medical professional will sit direct next to you guaranteeing that the whole training starting from recoding sites of your head, collection of data, translation and rewarding of desirable brain activity is done at the highest professional standard. There is absolutely nothing to be concerned about or worried about.
Both have the same scientific background and are getting recorded the same way by using a 19 channel amplifier after attachment of electrodes to the scalp, these days an electro cap, as it is more convenient. It generates the raw EEG data. By reviewing the raw EEG data usually the diagnostic process ends commonly. In a quantitative EEG the analysis process is extended by selecting and editing the best episodes of the raw EEG and comparing them to a database.
Brain waves appear at different frequencies and with this different appearance. Faster waves are needed to complete a task, but if they are getting too fast we will feel anxious and nervous. Slower brainwaves occur when we are daydreaming, zooming out or sleeping.
Neurofeedback training is a painless and non-invasive procedure. A cap with small sensors is placed on the scalp as in normal EEG (Electroencephalography) recording. The brain waves are recorded by these sensors and displayed on a computer screen by means of a video game and a sound signal. The patient is asked to make the video game go… with his/her brain! As activity in the brain shifts in the desired direction, the video game progresses and the player scores. If activity in the brain doesn’t change, or increases in an adverse direction, the game stops. Gradually, a learning of new brain wave patterns takes place.
Neurofeedback is efficient for most clients with perceptible results. Neurofeedback training is a learning process; therefore results are seen gradually over time. In about ten sessions you will already feel an improvement of your complaints. Most patients meet their treatment goals in 20 sessions, depending on their condition. Each session lasts approximately 60 minutes, which includes the hook-up, training homework assignments and discussion of session-to-session progress.
Neurofeedback is FDA approved, and meets the highest criteria for evidence-based neurofeedback practice. It has been cross-validated by both PET and MRI, is used by Universities, Medical Centers, the US military, Research Institutes, etc. The hardware and software used for Neurofeedback in our Medical Center was designed and developed by one of the world leaders in brain research and neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is completely non-intrusive and safe. In the same way that muscles strengthen after use, Neurofeedback strengthens neural-pathways with specifically tailored exercises. It is simply a learning technique. The brain is simply self-correcting, based on responding to being given the opportunity to witness its own activity.
At KindCare Medical Center all age groups - starting with children at the age of 6 years, teens, adolescents, adults and seniors - are most welcome from all over the world.
That depends on the symptoms and disorder. After anamnesis including present and past medical history, family history and current medication, physical and psychopathological examination by Neurology Doctor, will be followed by quantitative EEG conduction. In a follow up appointment the results will be discussed. Rule of thumb says that most conditions require 20 to 40 sessions, sometimes less, in more serious conditions maybe 40 to 60 sessions. Kindly recognize, that is a learning process.
Exercise Your Brain to Work the Way You Want with Neurofeedback!