Decades of Research on Brain Mapping
Over 1,000 studies have been published related to neurofeedback and biofeedback. The early animal research, which has been validated in many peer-reviewed journals since the 1970s, showed: that brainwaves can be changed through operant conditioning, and that seizures are reduced with EEG training. These studies were originally done in the 1960’s using cats with no chance of placebo effects. Since the 1970’s research has been verified in human studies, and based on decades of additional research on humans of all ages the basis for neurofeedback has become extremely solid.
Neurofeedback: What is it?
Neurofeedback is exercise for the Brain! Neurofeedback, also called EEG Biofeedback is a state-of-the-art, non-invasive method for teaching the brain to function in a more balanced and healthful way. It does so by shifting the way the brain produces and distributes its electrical energy. Four divisions of electrical impulses made by our brain, Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta are called “frequency bands”. These frequency bands tell us which parts of your brain are active and which frequency bands the brain should be using to complete a given task or activity. For instance, when we are balancing our check books or in a class following directions, certain areas of our brain will need to be active and using the faster frequency called Beta. On the other hand, if after a long day we wish to relax and wind down, a different part of the brain will need to be activated using the slower brainwave frequency called Alpha. The goal of neurofeedback is to improve the brain’s ability to self-regulate, maintain flexibility, and smoothly shift between states of relaxation and arousal. Since the Brain also controls attention regulation, emotional regulation and affect regulation, this ultimately allows the entire central nervous system to resume normal functioning.
How is Neurofeedback Done?
Sensors are placed on the head and ears to record the brainwave activity. High-tech equipment amplifies the electrical impulses and breaks them into the four key frequency bands. Using sophisticated computer software a customized protocol is developed to address the individual’s unique needs. During the session the neurofeedback Clinician views the raw EEG signal as well as the chosen frequency bands. Exercises can be done with either eyes open or eyes closed. With eyes open the Client is watching a video or playing a game. The video fades in and out depending on whether or not the brain is increasing the desired frequencies and decreasing other frequencies. With eyes closed exercises the software will translate the client’s brainwaves into sound frequencies which the person listens to. The client is told which sound means the brain is shifting patterns in the desired direction and is reinforced in this manner. At the conclusion of the 30 Minute training period, the Clinician shares and discusses the Training Review Screen.
Why does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback takes advantage of the brain’s ability to change itself through a process known as neuroplasticity. It utilizes the same learning process that occurs whenever we acquire a new skill. The brain learns by forming connections between nerve cells and utilizing important pathways that connect different locations in the brain. The more frequently you utilize these pathways the better the brain becomes at performing the associated task. In psychology, this type of learning is called “Operant Conditioning”. It is a type of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences. Quite simply, neurofeedback offers the perfect learning conditions, since it facilitates awareness of when the brain is producing healthier brainwave patterns, provides reinforcement for the positive change and multiple opportunities to provide practice during a training session.
How Will You Know Which Frequency Bands and Which
Areas of My Brain to Train?
At Agora, we prefer to offer qEEG-guided neurofeedback. The first step is to gather information about the electrical activity of specific locations of the brain. We place what looks like a swim cap with a number of sensors on your head to measure the brain wave activity of the various frequency bands. This is done with the client sitting quietly with his or her eyes closed for approximately 5 minutes and then with eyes open for an additional 5 minutes. Our equipment will then analyze this information and generate a series of images that will identify which areas of the brain may be too active or not active enough. This is called a Brain Map. The Brain Map provides an invaluable overview of what is going on in the brain and will be used in conjunction with information provided by the client to develop the training plan. With your doctor’s guidance, you have a personalized system designed to optimize your health care program. The brain emits different types of waves. Through Clear Mind Focus™ light and sound technology, in a 30-minute session, your brain-wave frequency instantly changes speed to a healthier and more normal pattern. Your body-mind function becomes enhanced.
Once the brain map has been completed, treatments consist of targeting the areas of the brain that may be affected. These treatments are done weekly and use advanced technologies to heal the brain. The Information is provided through Clearmindcenter.com and you can view a video by Dr. Richard Souter called The Benefits of Photic Light Stimulation During Neurofeedback for more information. This is the most advanced technology for healing a variety of brain health issues.
45 million people in the US over age 85 will suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Agora’s goal is to prevent that from happening to you and we offer several approaches to enable you to live long, healthy lives and, whenever possible, keep you away from harmful medications.