What Is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a form of brain training, where the individual is stimulated to reduce or enhance activity of particular brainwaves via visual and audio reinforcement on a computer.
The aim of neurofeedback is to improve attention and behavioural control by teaching the patient via visual and auditory reinforcement to regulate levels of activity in the brain. Neurofeedback is based upon the operant conditioning paradigm.
Every patient who wishes to undertake neurofeedback training initially undergoes a quantitative EEG assessment (QEEG). The QEEG is a 19-lead non-invasive, painless assessment which assesses all areas of the brain and in particular detects the areas of the brain that should be targeted for training.
This assessment is then compared to a database containing data on healthy individuals. This will demonstrate which areas are functioning well and which are below optimum performance. This data, and completion of some questionnaires, are used to compile a comprehensive report including the individual’s unique brain profile.
During a neurofeedback session, an individual has a couple of EEG sensors on regions of the scalp that can detect brain activation involved in alertness and behaviour.
When the individual produces the correct brainwave, they are rewarded by a visual movement or auditory sound, therefore reinforcing the behaviour. In other words, you are playing a game or watching a video by using your brain waves instead of your hands. As the patient has more
sessions, the brain has to work harder to get rewarded. On average, an individual would expect to have 40 sessions of neurofeedback treatment with each session approximately one hour long and training taking place at least once a week. Neurofeedback can be completed in our clinic or the equipment can be hired to be completed at home.
Research using the QEEG assessment has found that individuals with ADHD have an excess amount of slow-wave activity, theta waves, in the front part of the brain, which makes it difficult for them to maintain concentration.
The evidence for this treatment has been gathering for many years, but we are now at a point where it is considered by many to have a good evidence base (Arns et al., 2009). Monastra (2001, 2005) found that over an average of 43 neurofeedback sessions, 75% of patients in the study had normalised brainwaves which were sustained at the follow up point 3 years after the treatment. Therefore, their AD/HD symptoms were reduced in all aspects of their lives.
If you meet the criteria outlined and wish to participate, please click on the link below to complete this anonymous and confidential 10 minute survey.