Neurofeedback or Neurotherapy is a painless, non-invasive treatment approach that allows the individual to gain information about his or her brainwave activity and use that information to produce changes in brainwave activity. Available research indicates that individuals with ADD/ADHD have too little of certain types of brainwave activity in some areas of the brain and/or too much of certain other brainwave activity in comparison to those without the disorder. In Neurotherapy individuals are trained through the use of computerized biofeedback equipment to change their brainwave activity.
Typically before a client has any brainwave training a qEEG is done. Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) is a procedure that processes the recorded EEG activity from a multi-electrode recording using a computer. The digital data is statistically analyzed, sometimes comparing values with “normative” database reference values. The processed EEG is commonly converted into color maps of brain functioning called “Brain maps”.
The EEG and the derived qEEG information can be interpreted and used by experts as a clinical tool to evaluate brain function, and to track the changes in brain function due to various interventions such as neurofeedback or medication.
How Is Neurotherapy Performed?
Brainwave activity is measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG). The EEG Biofeedback equipment is connected to the individual with sensors that are placed on the scalp and ears. The sensors are safe, do not prick the skin, and are painless. After adequate connection to the scalp and ears are made, the individual’s brainwave activity can be observed on a computer monitor.
Neurotherapy practitioners who administer Neurotherapy will help the client learn to change his or her brainwave activity. The client does not need to know a lot about Neurotherapy or biofeedback to be effectively trained. Clients are taught to play computerized games using their brainwave activity. Changes in client brainwave activity are fed back to the individual through visual and/or auditory information by the computer. One example is a game where clients move a figure through a maze (similar to the popular pac-man game). The figure does not move because of the client’s motor activity (e.g., pushing a button or moving a stick). Instead, the figure moves whenever the client produces specific brainwave patterns. When desired levels of brainwave activity occur, the individual is reinforced, because the figure moves through the maze. By this method, clients learn to change brainwave activity. Clients also practice maintaining learned brainwave states when engaged in school- or work-related tasks (e.g., reading, writing). This will help them use what they learned in Neurotherapy in their daily activities.