What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback (NF), also called brainwave biofeedback, is a learning modality that normalizes and optimizes brain functioning. It can help shift the way the brain produces and distributes its electrical energy. By “showing” the brain its own state of regulation, it can improve regulation and functioning.

There are 4 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, activity or should be most active during different states of mind.

Individuals are connected to a computer using sensors to monitor the brainwave activity. The software automatically detects when the brainwaves are properly ordered and feeds that information back to the client in real time. The feedback appears in the form of a game, movie, or sound, which signals to the patient that the brainwaves are becoming more ordered. The patient’s own brainwaves actually control the game, movie or sound activity, and the observation of this dynamic helps the brain learn how to improve its own regulation.

As part of an overall treatment program, brain mapping may be recommended by your therapist. The brain map is cross referenced with your symptoms, which allows more targeted and specific protocols to maximize progress toward your goals. An online symptom tracker is used to report progress following each session to ensure the most accurate information is being used to inform treatment decisions.

The EEG is a way to measure activity in your brain. Your brain is electric. Every thought you think, every emotion you feel, and every sensation you have is due to the electrical firing of neurons. The EEG or electroencephalograph shows this activity instantaneously, within a few thousandths of a second after it occurs in the brain.

EEG shows us the activity and the coordination of activity of the cortex – the outermost layer of the brain. This is the part of the brain responsible for higher functions like thinking, deciding, and acting. It can show areas of the brain where there is too little or too much activity. It can also show when areas of the brain are not coordinating their activity properly. By studying the EEG in 19 areas of your brain, and cross referencing with the symptoms you report, we are often able to see the reason for your struggles. And once we can see it, we can target it for change with neurofeedback.

Your brain is incredibly complex. Just looking at the EEG is not enough to get to the bottom of it. We can “see” your brain much more clearly when we use sophisticated computerized analysis tools to study your brain’s electrical activity and combine that with what you are reporting as challenges. This process is called quantitative EEG or qEEG. Complicated mathematical and statistical analysis of EEG activity is now a primary tool in neuroscience. It is used in computational neuroscience research centers all over the world to study ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, depression and bipolar disorder, PTSD and other anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, and memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

Terminology

Electroencephalography (EEG) is the measurement of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp, which reflect cortical activity, and are commonly referred to as “brainwaves”.

  • Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is the analysis of the digitized EEG, and in lay terms this sometimes is also called “Brain Mapping”. The qEEG is an extension of the analysis of the visual EEG interpretation, which may assist and even augment our understanding of the EEG and brain function.
  • Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) is a procedure that processes the recorded EEG activity from a multi-electrode recording using a computer. This multi-channel EEG data is processed with various algorithms. The digital data is statistically analyzed, sometimes comparing values with “normative” database reference values. The processed EEG is commonly converted into color maps of brain functioning called “Brain maps”.

 

 

 

 

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