What is Neurofeedback Therapy?
Neurofeedback Therapy is the use of computerised equipment to record a person’s brainwaves. These are converted by the computer so that when desired or “good” brainwaves are produced a graphic display on the computer screen changes e.g. it could be a thermometer rising or a dolphin swimming.
Neurofeedback is sometimes called an “exercise for the brain.” It helps the individual to learn to regulate his/her brainwaves.
The scientific literature has examples of many problems that can be helped with neurofeedback. These include those in the boxes below:
- Anxiety and Panic Disorder
- Aspergers’ Syndrome
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue
- Learning Disorders
- Memory Impairment
- Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Specific Learning Difficulties
- Stroke Rehabilitation
Neurofeedback has also been successfully used for Peak Performance Training. This teaches an individual to use the full capacity of his/her brain in the performance of a task, be it athletic, academic, work place task performance, musical or one of the performing arts.The number of sessions needed varies as Neurofeedback is a learning process so results are seen gradually over time.
How is Neurofeedback carried out?
Small electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure and record the electrical activity in various parts of the brain. Information regarding this brainwave activity is then relayed to a computer. The computer, in turn, converts the brainwaves into a graphic display that the trainee sees on a computer screen. Using the information gained from this graphic display, the trainee can learn how to produce the needed brainwave pattern for a given activity. Note that no electrical current is put into the brain. The equipment is not capable of doing that. It only reads information about what the brain is doing (much like a thermometer reads the temperature) and provides that information to the trainee in an useable form.
Once trained the brain maintains the new level of functioning.