What is Neurofeedback and Can It Help Me?
According to the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, neurofeedback training (i.e. EEG biofeedback and neurotherapy) is utilized to change electrical activity of the central nervous system, specifically in the subcortical or cortical areas. Neurofeedback is a training technique based on behavioral principles to treat mental health disorders and to enhance performance. The training uses advanced machines to monitor brain wave activity and to provide instantaneous data to an individual.
Neurofeedback Training is most commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Anxiety, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, Headache, Seizure Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Additionally, Neurofeedback can enhance cognitive performance.
What Happens During Neurofeedback?
Using specialized instrumentation, called an electroencephalograph (EEG), a trained professional puts sensors on specific areas of the scalp to monitor brain electrical activity. The activity consists of neuron firing, which is monitored in real time. The data is projected onto a computer screen with images. Brain maps, which are topographic maps, are sometimes used in diagnosis and training. These maps aren’t necessary; however, they are visually interesting and provide useful information on progress.
Using protocols associated with a particular disorder, patients are able to alter brain frequencies, leading to a reduction in symptoms.
Is Neurofeedback Effective?
The American Psychological Association considers Neurofeedback Training an evidence-based intervention; however, neurofeedback is not considered a treatment or cure, but a learning technique. Neurofeedback is fairly new technique and continues to evolve with more advanced equipment and protocols. Thus, continued research is required to determine efficacy.
For more information about Neurofeedback Training, please visit the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.
Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. (2017). Overview of Neurofeedback. Retrieved from http://www.bcia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3525