How Neurofeedback/EEG Biofeedback Works
It's sort of a loose secret as to how NFB/EEG BF actually works. It's obscured by many of the clinicians who don't want you (the public) to know just how simple it really is, and further confused by many who don't even begin to understand the electronics involved.
If you know how extremely simple (and expensive) Neurofeedback/EEG Biofeedback, you might just lease or buy a unit, and do it at home. In 2000, when I found out these facts, I started the first company to lease EEG BF units. (I quit this practice in early 2006 simply because it isn't moral to sell something at around $2000 when the same result can be done for less than $150! And even leasing the equipment is much more than that!
There is no question that NFB/EEG BF has been the best for all "brain problem" solutions for over 40 years.. If you doubt that, click on "Scientific Proof" . That shows what EEG BF had proven up to 2003, and there's much more by now.
First realize that all animal brains continually generate electronic signals. We really don't know a lot about why, but we know enough to be able to use these signals. (We don't really know much about the brain, and exactly what causes these signals, but like electricity, we know how to use it.)
If you place a couple of electrodes (sensors) on the head (usually), very sensitive amplifiers and filters can separate out discrete bands of frequencies. Most of the research has been done to date on frequencies in the audio range, although signals go beyond that.
Scientists have separated these "bands" into several categories as follows:
If you record all the brain waves that are constantly varying, it sounds sort of like an orchestra "warming up" - a cacophony of sound - very discordant. It's been called a "brain symphony".
- Delta (0-4 Hz) Charactized by deep sleep.
- Theta (4-8 Hz) Characterized by some as artistic ability - too high Theta waves are a definite factor in attention and concentration as NASA research showed. Lowering of this wave is routinely done in ADD/ADHD/Autism training. However, what is not well known is that lowering Theta also lowers creative or artistic ability wave, and should NOT be used if there is no "attention" problem(s).
- Alpha (8-12 Hz) Characterized by concentration. These waves appear strong when meditating, doing yoga, under hypnosis, and watching TV. In the middle of the last century, a lot of research was done in this area, and it became a sort of fad.
- SMR (12-14 Hz) This is the "new kid" on the block. Dr Sterman discovered around 1969 that cats he had trained to raise the SMR brain wave didn't die of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). This was a major clue to me, knowing that allergy/sensitivity can cause any "brain problem", a fact unknown to most MD's and psychologists. Also, he and other researchers found that if this particular band was trained up in amplification, several "brain problems" improved, or were gone! (I now know that raising this SMR brain wave seems to actually "cure" most, if not all, allergies, and remove allergy stress, and this factor is what makes it, and the inexpensive alternate Neuroliminal Training so successful!)
- Beta (15-up Hz) Charactized by conscious thinking. We know less about this area for several reasons. It's sort of a "catch-all", and it's very large with harmonics of lower signals. Difficult to work with, and of no real interest to this discussion.
From the above, you can see that the major object in EEG biofeedback is to raise the SMR brain wave. Let's look at the mechanics involved.
From electrodes (sensors) that are connected to the head (usually), this very weak signal goes thru an amplifier that magnifies it millions of times, then thru a set of filters that can separate out any particular area of interest. (Few "operators" understand that both the huge amplification and the diferent types of filters introduce some "variables" in this picture).
Once we have such a signal, we can use it to drive a video display. The original display was a simple voltmeter which showed the strength, and this varied of course. Next came a video display - a simple colored circle (or square) that expanded on the screen as the amplitude of the signal increased. Now, actual video games can be played on different EEG BF units. (I learned that the "best games" are NOT the "action type. ADD/ADHD kids can play these for hours without improving at all. Play Attention and a few others use much simpler and more effective games).
The actual operation is very simple! Hook up the kid to the sensors, teach him to concentrate on making the SMR signal go up on whatever display, and to make the Theta signal to go down, or to at least NOT increase.
All that equipment just to have the kid use his conscious mind to "brainwash" his unconscious mind into changing his brainwaves!
In 2004/5, I had a bright idea! Why not use subliminal messaging to do the "brainwashing" instead of all that equipment? So, I did my first and second test, and those proved (to me at least) that:
In 2005/6, lowering Theta was added to raising SMR, and volunteer testing proved that that combination was just as effective in solving ADD/ADHD/Autism problems. The test data may be found by clicking on "Latest Testing" on the home page.
- Subliminal Messaging worked about as well as EEG BF.
- Raising SMR somehow changed the brain's reaction to allergens, particularly those that cause "brain problems". If you don't believe that allergy and/or sensitivity can cause any "brain problem", even schizophrenia ( CLICK HERE )
Now you see how simple it is from the clinician's standpoint. All he has to do is hook up the kid, show him how to do it the first time, answer a few initial questions from the mother, and then let his low paid assistant do it from then on, while he sits and gets rich! And some even have the nerve to charge up to $250 per half hour. (And they do it without a gun!)
Unlike Drugs - No Dangerous Side Effects.
No clinics - Done at home - No extra cost for unlimited use.
The longer used, the greater the benefits.
NT works for non-english speaking kids and adults.
Guaranteed "noticeable improvement" within 60 days or money back.