top of page

Neurofeedback Basics: What Is It and How It Works

Updated: Mar 20




  • Our brain waves have functions that correlate to different levels of consciousness, including anxiety, alertness, sleep, or focus, and they can provide insights about our current mental state.

  • Brain waves can be measured through a method called EEG (electroencephalography), and their patterns can be improved with neurofeedback brain training.

  • Neurofeedback is a type of brain training that uses real-time feedback to enable you to regulate your brain wave activity.

  • Neurofeedback originated in the late 1950s and early '60s, thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago and Dr. Barry Sterman at UCLA.

  • Neurofeedback can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and cognitive decline, but it can also help you achieve peak performance and improve overall wellbeing.


The brain is a fascinating, complex organ that controls many aspects of our daily life. It controls how we think, behave, walk, hear, see, and perceive the world around us.

This is possible due to our brain's unique ability to communicate through electrical signals transmitted by neurons and the existence of neural oscillations, also known as brain waves.

These brain waves have functions that correlate to different levels of consciousness, including anxiety, alertness, sleep, or focus, and they can provide insights about your current mental state.

eeg brain frequencies gamma beta alpha theta delta
This chart illustrates the different brainwave frequencies and their associations with specific mental states

They can be measured through a method called EEG (electroencephalography). And what can be measured can also be improved, which brings us to our next point:

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, belongs to a group of therapies called biofeedback. The goal of neurofeedback is to train the brain to regulate itself and to help the person training to understand when their brain is in the desired state. Eventually, they can control these processes without being monitored.


neurofeedback training delta theta

A Brief History of Neurofeedback

Humans have been interested in the workings of the brain since ancient times. The origins of neurofeedback are fascinating, and scientists have been studying its effects for decades. neurofeedback has been the subject of rigorous scientific research.

In the late 1950s and early '60s, neurofeedback emerged as a field of study, thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago and Dr. Barry Sterman at UCLA. While investigating consciousness, Dr. Kamiya made a fascinating discovery – he found that by implementing a straightforward reward system, individuals could learn to modify their brain activity.

Since then, hundreds of studies have been published in the scientific literature showing that by teaching the brain to self-regulate, this type of training can be a helpful tool for improving mental health.


How Does Neurofeedback Work?

The purpose of neurofeedback is to train specific brain waves in a certain way using feedback. This feedback can be visual or audio, and training can be done by playing a game, streaming a show, or watching a video.

For example, when your brain is not in the target state, whether you’re unfocused, anxious, stressed, etc., the volume may become lower, or the images on the screen may become less focused or more difficult to see.

On the other hand, if your brain activity is within the right range, the volume may go up, or the screen may become brighter. This allows you to see or hear your brain activity in real-time.

how neurofeedback works

Who Can Benefit from Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, has been found to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. People with various brain disorders have been shown to have different patterns of brain wave activity than the general population in predictable ways. Neurofeedback can help change these patterns, alleviating symptoms over time.


It’s important to note that this type of brain training is not only effective in alleviating symptoms of different disorders, but it can also help improve overall general wellbeing, performance, and brain health.

So whether you're planning to train your brain with neurofeedback in order to alleviate unwanted symptoms or to improve your cognitive performance, by being consistent and dedicated to the process, you might notice significant positive changes. Changes that last!


Myndlift provides a personalized expert-guided brain training program that can help you achieve your goals towards reaching improved focus and calm. Check if you’re eligible to kick start your journey with us for better brain health from here.


Comments


The latest brain health news and tips, delivered to your inbox.

bottom of page