Neurofeedback or EEG Biofeedback is a technique that enables a person through training to alter their brainwave patterns and by doing so change their brain function. Essentially, Neurofeedback is a learning strategy by which a person learns to regulate their own brainwaves or states of arousal and produce brainwave patterns that increase brain function. So neurofeedback can be considered as “aerobics for the brain”!
Neurofeedback is used for many conditions and disodrers in which the brain is not working as well as it might. For example neurofeedback is helpful for many types of brain dysfunction including :
– Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD
– Mood disorders like, Anxiety and Depression;
– Problems with the central nervous system like, conduct disorder;
– Temper Tantrums;
– Specific Learning Difficulties;
– Brain Injury;
– Sleeping Disorders;
– Cognitive Dysfunction resulting from head trauma, stroke or aging.
So how does Neurofeedback work?
Using sensorson the scalp, brainwave activity is amplified and monitored by a computer. Then the computer feeds back the signal to the brain in the form of a game, sound, and /or animation. When the information about a person’s own brain is made available to the person, they can learn to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings and sensations and can change them.
Learning Discoveries Psychological Services is one of the most experienced providers of neurofeedback in Sydney for ADHD. Different neurofeedback techniques are used to improve brain function which include:
– Audio Visual Entrainment – (AVE)
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training
How long is each session and how many will I need?
Each neurofeedback session is approximately 40 minutes and typically for attention, learning and behavioural problems 40 sessions are required for learning to take place. For severe cases of ADHD (i.e. those with other co-existing disorders), neurofeedback training can be expected to take much longer as each individual disorder needs to be addressed. Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, Epilepsy, Autism, or pervasive developmental disorders will require more than 40 neurofeebdack sessions.
The key benefits from undertaking Neurofeedback training are:
– More efficient brain function
– Improved self control
– Less hyperactivity and impulsivity
– Improved focus and attention
– Less depression and or mood swings
– Improved sleep
– Less resistance to change
– Improved interpersonal effectiveness
– Reduced stress and anxiety
– More energy and a sense of aliveness
– Peak Performance
Is there any research?
A mounting body of evidence indicates that neurofeedback is as effective as stimulant mediction for the management of ADHD. The ADHD symptoms that respond well to neurofeedback are impulsivity, hyperactivity, concentration and focus. The success of neurofeedback with ADHD has led to its appliction in other areas of brian dysfucntion. There are now over 1500 scientific papers written on QEEG and neurofeedback which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Several books on the subject of neurofeedback are also available. The entire January 2005 edition of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America was devoted to the study of QEEG and neurofeedback.
Frank Duffy, M.D., Director of Clinical Neurophysiology at the Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA and Professor of Neurology, Harvard University at the end on his literature review concluded that: “EEG biofeedback should play a major therapeutic role in many areas”. In his opinion, “if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy, it would be universally accepted and widely used”. (Clinical EEG Vol.31, No.1, Jan 2000).
Finally, the emphasis of Neurofeedback training is to improve brain functioning by teaching the brain to be aware of its own processes. The cognitive flexibility that results because of this monitoring increases adaptability and personal success. This process can be very empowering because, for some people,
this is the first time they feel in charge of their own health and bodily functions.