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
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.