What is Neurofeedback?

- By Somaiyya Jawaid Posted On - 22/05/2021

Neurofeedback is a therapy tool that places EEG sensors on various places in the head in a way that it trains brainwave patterns. “Specialized computer software” is designed in a way that encourages the brainwaves to shift towards a specific direction by using operant conditioning strategies which aims at encouraging behavior through positive reinforcement.

These sensors employed in therapy are consistently measuring brainwave patterns. The software then responds to the measurements received from the sensors with feedback that matches up in the direction the software wants to lead the brainwave patterns.

These feedbacks are in the form of fun, motivating experiences, for example puzzles that fill in as the brain waves learn to balance or computer games controlled by the mind. Many times, motivational movies are played and will become enlarge and then become small to promote the desired brainwave pattern response.

The responses to the feedback are actually on a subconscious level, which means the brain is intuitively engaged to change its patterning. It does not need a strong conscious push on the part of the participant. It is a gentle process that encourages change.

Neurofeedback can help alleviate the symptoms of the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Attention Deficit and Attention issues
  • Foggy Brain
  • Emotional Control
  • Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies
  • Migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Performance Improvement
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Attention Deficit Disorder inattentive type
  • Attention Deficit Disorder hyperactive type
  • Attention Deficit Disorder combined type
  • Autism
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Development Delays
  • Executive Dysfunction
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Performance Enhancement (i.e. SAT Prep)

Duration- How long does Neurofeedback therapy last?

Neurofeedback is an efficacious therapy mechanism which is thoroughly researched and braces the therapeutic concept of Neuroplasticity, which is “the capacity to change the brain’s neural interrelations in order to promote improved function”.

And so, in order to implement these variations, the brain patterns which are being developed must be reinforced again and again until the changes have made an assimilation to the routine function. This variation is different for each person and might occur in 20 -120 sessions which will depend on the circumstances.

Neurofeedback promotes a new way of learning, so once the desired changes have been made, the requirement for re-training is not necessary until and unless a life-altering event occurs which can make an interruption to these changes (such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke etc.)

People who seek Neurofeedback therapy are also on prescription medication and they need to be aware that this therapy might change how the medications impact the body. Thus it is essential to have very close communication with the physician or psychiatrist who is prescribing the medication such that adjustments in dosage can be made.

People who desire to use Neurofeedback therapy to aid the lowering of prescription usage or remove it wholly must be efficacious in communicating with the Neurofeedback clinician and prescribing physician so that close collaboration can happen.