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Targeted Neurofeedback Protocols

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Neurofeedback as a Therapy

Neurofeedback training has been offered in the clinical setting for decades for many different purposes. Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback which uses EEG technology to read the patient's brain waves in real time and show visual or auditory feedback based on protocols determined by the neurofeedback provider. The training, or feedback, is done using games or videos, and over time the brain learns to control itself. For more information on the fundamentals of neurofeedback see here.

how neurofeedback works

One common use of neurofeedback is as a therapy to treat brain disorders. The effectiveness of neurofeedback training on some disorders have been more thoroughly researched than others, but, in general, neurofeedback training has been found to be beneficial in treating a variety of different neurological disorders, together with medication or as a stand-alone treatment. Some disorders that are commonly treated using neurofeedback include: ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, autism, and depression. It is also used to treat general symptoms not related to a specific disorder, such as memory problems, sleep problems, poor coordination and motor skills, and excessive stress.

Healthy individuals such as artists, athletes, musicians, and executives also use neurofeedback to improve their performance and "stay on top of their game". It has been shown to improve memory, promote better sleeping habits, reduce stress, and improve motor skills in healthy populations. This form of neurofeedback is known as peak performance training.

brainwave frequenceis

The theory behind neurofeedback is that by training certain brain waves (also referred to as frequencies, or bandwidths), you can improve the brain’s functioning - such as thoughts, moods, and the ability to relax, or concentrate. To read more about how brain waves work, see here. Research has shown that specific neurological disorders correspond to too much or too little activity, measured using EEG, in certain areas of the brain.

In order to determine which brain waves need to be trained (to increase or decrease their activity) and in which area of the brain, a quantitative EEG assessment (qEEG) is often used. This assessment uses sensors on specific scalp locations to measure a person’s EEG activity and compares the results to a large database of other individuals in their age range. After identifying the brain waves and locations that are over- and under-stimulated, neurofeedback can be used to reduce or increase the specific brain waves. The instructions for neurofeedback training (which brain waves and locations to train) are called protocols.

Neurofeedback protocols are determined by trained professionals according to patient symptom reports and/or by performing a qEEG assessment. In this post, we will explore some common neurofeedback protocols and their uses. The locations referenced are based on the international 10-20 system of mapping the scalp.

attention neurofeedback protocol - theta, high beta and low beta

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