Train Your Brain
Neurofeedback and Your Brain
The activity in your brain controls everything you do and everything you feel. Whether it is maintaining your focus during task, relaxing after a stressful situation, or getting a good night’s sleep, your brain’s electrical activity determines your ability to do all of these things. Many times, your brain activity functions as it should. And other times it doesn’t.
Neurofeedback (NFB) can help train your brain to work in a more efficient, balanced way.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback in which individuals are trained to improve their brain function by changing their brain’s electrical activity, or brain waves. In fact, neurofeedback is also often called EEG biofeedback. With Neurofeedback, your brain is encouraged to repeat healthy patterns of brain waves. Over time, these changes become the new normal.
The scholarly literature suggests that neurofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. "In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used"
- Frank H. Duffy, M.D.,
Professor and Pediatric Neurologist
Harvard Medical School
What it Helps
There is a large body of research that Neurofeedback can help a variety of problems. If you are interested in having Neurofeedback services with us, we would be happy to provide you a bibliography of the research related to your particular area of concern. Research has shown that Neurofeedback can help:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Learning Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Postconcussive Syndrome
Neurofeedback is often used to help people achieve “peak performance.” There may not be a specific problem, such as insomnia or ADHD, but instead, people want to uplevel their brain for specific reasons. Peak performance is often used with:
- Athletes, actors, and musicians who want to train their brain to “get into the zone”
- CEOs and other executives who want to “get to the next level” in their career
- Meditators who want to be able to more quickly get into a deep meditative state
- Anyone who wants to train their brain to be grounded in action instead of reaction
The Science of How Neurofeedback Works
Neurofeedback has its basis in the principle of neuroplasticity, which is defined as the capacity of the brain to develop and change throughout life. The human brain has the incredible ability to reorganize itself and learn more efficient patterns of brain waves.
The human brain displays several types of electrical patterns or brain waves across the cortex. The brain waves can be observed with an EEG (or an “electroencephalograph”), which is a way to capture and assess brainwave patterns.
Brainwaves are grouped and classified according to frequency, which are the number of cycles per second and are measured in hertz (Hz). Your brain is making a mixture of waves at any point in time. No brain wave is good or bad, it’s just whether you are making the right brainwaves at the right time. If you look at the graph below, you can see how having a good ratio of Beta while working on an assignment would be helpful, but having too much Theta during this same task would make it hard to be attentive and productive.
Neurofeedback draws primarily on operant conditioning by teaching your brain to make new patterns through positive reinforcement. During training, you (and your brain) receive real-time feedback as to whether your brain is making the types of brainwaves we want in your training protocol. You receive positive reinforcement when your brain is doing what we want it to do, which is typically a pleasant, high-pitched tone and a nice clear screen that is playing a movie of your choice. If your brain is not making the brainwave patterns we want, you will hear a low-pitched tone and your movie screen will start to dim. You do not have to try to change the feedback you receive, your brain figures it out on its own!
QEEGs and Neurofeedback
In Neurofeedback, a Quantitative EEG (QEEG) forms a brain map that helps identify your brainwave patterns. It identifies areas of the brain where there may be too much or too little activity, and areas that are not coordinating activity optimally. Based on your QEEG, a Neurofeedback training protocol is developed.
We use QEEGs for every person who does neurofeedback. The QEEG provides critical information as to what is happening in your brain that could be contributing to your symptoms. With this information, we know what changes would help, and make a training protocol that will reinforce these positive brain shifts.