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At Home Neurofeedback Guide for 2024

Updated: 2 days ago

✎ Written by: Dubravka Rebic   ✓ Fact-checked by: Kaija Sander, Ph.D.


Since its invention in the 60s, hundreds of studies have been published in the scientific literature demonstrating the effectiveness of neurofeedback as a valuable tool for mental health improvement. 


However, this type of personalized brain training seemed to linger in the shadows until a recent surge in popularity thrust it into the mainstream spotlight.


The turning point came when Kirk Cousins, the NFL quarterback, casually unveiled his home neurofeedback routine in the fourth episode of Netflix's Quarterback. 


Nestled comfortably in his car, Cousins demonstrated using a remote neurofeedback platform, Myndlift, as a part of his daily regimen. 


As a result of home neurofeedback training, Cousins reported an improvement in his focus, self-control over mood, sleep quality, balance, and coordination, as well as decreased reaction time.


But neurofeedback has numerous other benefits. In fact, diving into the world of at-home neurofeedback can feel like unlocking a trove of opportunities for self-improvement. In this article, we'll guide you through the benefits and the overall home neurofeedback process by answering the following questions:



What is neurofeedback, and how does it work?


Neurofeedback is a highly personalized way to train the brain and improve performance by regulating your brain activity.


It works by offering insight into how your brain operates, letting you know where there's room for improvement, and teaching your brain to reach the optimal state more often. 


This is possible thanks to EEG, a brain-sensing technology that measures your brain activity (brainwaves) through sensors on your head.  


The real-time feedback of your brainwave activity can be provided using visual (games/videos) and/or auditory (sound effects/music) cues on a computer or a mobile screen. 


For example, imagine playing a video game while your brain activity is being measured. In this game, the objective is to control a virtual character in a race, and you must maintain your focus and concentration to outpace other competitors. As you focus and concentrate on navigating the runner through the virtual race course, sensors continuously analyze your brain activity. 


The game dynamically responds to your mental engagement in real time. The more concentrated you are, the faster your virtual character sprints across the digital track. On the other hand, if your focus diminishes, the speed of your virtual runner decreases. 


This bidirectional approach means that neurofeedback can teach you to better regulate your brain function and hopefully improve performance in different areas as a result.

What is home neurofeedback?


Neurofeedback can be done at a clinic, as well as at home with the guidance of a Neuro Coach. 


For example, with remote neurofeedback systems such as Myndlift, you can get a brain map (qEEG), psychological assessment, and guidance from a Neuro Coach from the comfort of your home. 


Here's how it works:


1) Complete an assessment: Before you start training, you complete an app-based assessment, which takes approximately 40 minutes. This assessment consists of standardized questionnaires, cognitive tests, and EEG tracking. 

2) Get a personalized brain training plan: You get on a call with a Neuro Coach who creates a personalized neurofeedback training plan based on your assessment results and goals. 

3) Do home neurofeedback: While wearing an EEG headband containing four dry electrodes and one additional wet electrode that enables full training flexibility, you train with the Myndlift app linked to the headset by Bluetooth. The Myndlift app delivers visual and auditory feedback while you are streaming shows on your device, watching online videos, or playing video games. 


When your brainwaves are in the desired range, positive feedback is delivered. That's how, over time, your brain learns to regulate itself and achieve an optimal state even in the absence of feedback.

5) Measure progress: Your Neuro Coach sets or adjusts the training protocol and monitors your progress. They also periodically schedule additional assessments over the course of the home neurofeedback training for optimal result tracking and improvement.


What does a brain map tell you?


A brain map is a visual representation of your brain to illustrate specific information. In the case of EEG and neurofeedback, brain maps can be used to show you which areas of your brain might be over- or underactive in certain situations.


This is possible thanks to qEEG, which is a technique that involves recording and analyzing the electrical activity of the brain using electroencephalography (EEG). 


With qEEG, your brainwaves are measured from multiple brain regions and, for each region, they are compared to measurements from other individuals within the same age range and of the same sex. 


Each comparison generates a color indicating how far the measurement is from the norm. Red means above, green means right within the norm, and blue means below.


Different colors on a brain map don't inherently mean "good" or "bad", but are just a comparison to average results. The interpretation of colors like red or blue depends on factors like brainwave and region analyzed.


Does home neurofeedback work?


When it comes to efficacy, home neurofeedback shows promising results. In fact, a peer-reviewed study published in 2022 showed that remote neurofeedback platforms such as Myndlift can help improve mental health and cognitive performance. 


Over the course of an average of three months, the majority (61%) of participants scoring in the abnormal ranges transitioned to the healthy results group.


These findings demonstrated the potential of remote neurofeedback with Myndlift in improving mental health, particularly for individuals with symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.


Furthermore, many athletes and high performers have seen significant results after training with Myndlift for improved attention, focus, discipline, and aim.


Visit this research overview article for a comprehensive summary of neurofeedback research in multiple conditions, with supporting scientific references.


What at home neurofeedback equipment do I need?


Setting up neurofeedback at home requires specific equipment to measure and provide feedback on your brain activity. 


While it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a neurofeedback practitioner for personalized guidance, here are some general types of equipment often used for at-home neurofeedback:


  1. EEG Headset: EEG (electroencephalogram) headsets are essential for measuring electrical activity in the brain. Choose a reliable EEG headset that is compatible with neurofeedback software. Myndlift uses Muse's EEG technology and an extra electrode for broader brain sensing.

  2. Neurofeedback Software: Invest in reputable neurofeedback software that works seamlessly with your EEG headset. The software processes and analyzes your brainwave data, providing real-time feedback.

  3. Mobile Device/ Computer/Tablet: You'll need a mobile device, a computer, or a tablet to run the neurofeedback software and visualize the feedback.

  4. Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is crucial, especially if your neurofeedback system involves remote monitoring or consultations with a professional.

  5. Professional Guidance: While not a physical equipment item, working with a healthcare provider or a certified neurofeedback practitioner who can guide you through the process, interpret the results, and adjust the training protocol as needed is important for optimal results.

Who can benefit from neurofeedback?


Neurofeedback has shown efficacy in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, sleep disorders, addiction, and chronic pain. 


It can also help with improving overall wellbeing by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and even enhancing physical performance. To dive deeper into research, check out this article in which hundreds of neurofeedback studies are analyzed and categorized according to different conditions or brain functioning.


It’s important to note that even though neurofeedback has great potential for alleviating certain symptoms and improving wellbeing, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or therapy, and while it may be beneficial for certain medical conditions, it is not a guaranteed solution. 


For proper diagnosis and treatment, it's crucial to consult with a licensed medical professional.

How to get started with home neurofeedback


Getting started with home neurofeedback involves several steps to ensure a safe and effective experience:


1) Choose the right equipment and software: Choose a reliable EEG headset and neurofeedback software. Make sure that the equipment meets safety standards and is user-friendly.

2) Get connected to a neurofeedback professional: Staying in regular contact with your healthcare provider or a neurofeedback professional is crucial for safe and optimal training experience. They can provide guidance, interpret your results, and make adjustments to the training protocol as needed.

3) Be consistent: Establish a consistent schedule for neurofeedback sessions. Regular and disciplined practice often yields better results. For example, ​​many individuals begin to feel the benefits of neurofeedback in 3-4 weeks or 6-8 consistent neurofeedback sessions and continue to do so after the sessions have stopped. 


Remember that individual responses to neurofeedback can vary, and it's essential to approach home neurofeedback with caution and responsibility. Always seek professional advice and supervision, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.

Conclusion


For over six decades, neurofeedback has been a silent champion in the realm of mental health, and now, it's extending its helping hand right into your daily life. 


With home neurofeedback devices, whether you're nestled on the couch, sitting in your car, sipping your morning cup of tea, or winding down in bed, the power to transform your mental well-being is literally at your fingertips. 


So, go ahead and tap into that potential – your own pocket-sized revolution awaits!



Myndlift provides a personalized expert-guided brain training program that can help you elevate your wellbeing by improving your sleep quality, focus, calm, and self-control over mood. Take this 10-second quiz to check if you’re eligible to kick-start your journey for better brain health.


 


About the author:

Dubravka Rebic puts a lot of time and energy into researching and writing in order to help create awareness and positive change in the mental health space. From poring over scientific studies to reading entire books in order to write a single content piece, she puts in the hard work to ensure her content is of the highest quality and provides maximum value.


About the reviewer:

Kaija Sander is a cognitive neuroscientist and scientific consultant for Myndlift. She holds a BSc in Biomedical Science with a specialization in Neuroscience and Mental Health from Imperial College London and a PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University. Her doctoral research focused on brain connectivity relating to second language learning success. She is passionate about the broader applications of science to have a positive impact on people’s lives.


 

References:


Marzbani H, Marateb HR, Mansourian M. Neurofeedback: A Comprehensive Review on System Design, Methodology and Clinical Applications. Basic Clin Neurosci. 2016 Apr;7(2):143-58. doi: 10.15412/J.BCN.03070208. PMID: 27303609; PMCID: PMC4892319.


JMIR Form Res 2022;6(7):e35636, doi: 10.2196/35636


Rance M, Walsh C, Sukhodolsky DG, Pittman B, Qiu M, Kichuk SA, Wasylink S, Koller WN, Bloch M, Gruner P, Scheinost D, Pittenger C, Hampson M. Time course of clinical change following neurofeedback. Neuroimage. 2018 Nov 1;181:807-813. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 May 2. PMID: 29729393; PMCID: PMC6454268.


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