What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a cutting edge technology that utilizes computers to train children, adolescents, and adults how to regulate their brain wave activity. As they learn to do this, many challenging behaviors come under control.
What is Neurofeedback used for?
The purpose of Neurofeedback is to improve self-regulation. It can be especially helpful when the individual has trouble focusing, completing schoolwork or office work, or struggles to keep themselves organized and on track. Neurofeedback is also often used to help children and adolescents with social skills deficits, autism spectrum challenges (including Asperger’s Syndrome), anxiety, and depression. Finally, individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injury or other neurological injury have been successfully treated using Neurofeedback.
How does Neurofeedback work?
Sensors designed to read the electrical activity the brain produces (EEG) are attached to the scalp. These readings are then “fed back” to the person undergoing the training in the form of video games. When the sensors detect that the electrical patterns underneath it are not well-regulated, the video game will not progress. But as soon as sensors detect that the individual is beginning to produce a well-regulated electrical pattern, the video games proceed. In a sense, the individual learns to play the video games with their brain: the quicker the brain learns to produce well-regulated brain wave activity, the better their performance.
Will Neurofeedback last forever?
Neurofeedback teaches the brain to become more efficient. Once learned, it doesn’t get unlearned. It’s a little like learning to ride a bicycle; once you’ve learned how, you never have to re-learn it. On rare occasions after the training, if an individual suffers a concussion they may have to come in for a few sessions of “tune up”.
Will Neurofeedback eliminate the need for medication?
Medication should only be adjusted under the supervision of a physician. We have found most physicians willing to work with us to reduce and often eliminate the medications as the patient demonstrates improvement.
What happens if Neurofeedback patients are already taking medications?
Neurofeedback often improves self-regulation to the point where medications may be lessened or no longer be necessary. However, it is essential that medication reduction/elimination be done only under medical supervision. We are always happy to assist the physician in making that assessment.
Does electrical activity go into the brain during Neurofeedback?
Absolutely not. This is a common misconception. During the process, the patient’s electrical activity is only read and “fed back” to them visually in the form of video displays. They are simply reinforced visually and auditorily when they produce improved electrical patterns.