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Neurofeedback Follow-up

(January 16, 2008) This is a follow up piece to Donna Troisi's article on Neurofeedback yesterday. After experiencing several session of Neurofeedback with Donna, I must say that it left me wanting more. I have been trying to figure out how to have her hook me up over the phone ... I need a virtual hook-up between Maryland and California.

The future will bring a new industry that provides companies with "Brain Gyms" for their employees. The brain training facilities will be talked about enthusiastically like the gyms of the early 80's and the free elegant cafeteria and coffeeshops of the 90's. (So, if you are ready to start a new business this might be the one.)

Definition of Neurofeedback from Wikipedia
Neurofeedback (NFB), also called neurotherapy, neurobiofeedback or EEG biofeedback (EEGBF) is a therapy technique that presents the user with realtime feedback on brainwave activity, as measured by sensors on the scalp, typically in the form of a video display, sound or vibration. The aim is to enable conscious control of brainwave activity. If brain activity changes in the direction desired by the therapist, a positive "reward" feedback is given to the individual, and if it regresses, either a negative feedback or no feedback is given (depending on the protocol). Rewards can be as simple as a change in pitch of a tone or as complex as a certain type of movement of a character in a video game. This experience could be called operant conditioning for internal states.  Wikipedia

Introduction to Neurofeedback from EEG Spectrum International
Neurofeedback is a technique in which we train the brain to help improve its ability to regulate all bodily functions and to take care of itself. When the brain is not functioning well, evidence of this often shows up in the EEG (Electroencephalogram). By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, we can help your brain learn to function better.  EEG Spectrum International, Inc.

A brief history of the field
    1875 - British scientist Richard Caton is the first to report on electrical patterns in the brains of animals. 1920 - German psyhicatrist Hans Berger makes detailed recordings of brainwaves based on shape & frequency.
    1950 - Psychologist Joseph Kaymia demonstrates that a person can be trained to correctly identify when they are producing alpha waves.
    1960s - UCLA researcher M. Barry Sterman demonstrates that NFB training can reduce or eliminate seizure activity in afflicted cats.
    1970s - UCLA Medical School neurophysiologist Margaret Ayers is the first to publish research on using NFB for a variety of clinical conditions.
    1970s - Joel Lubar, Univ. of Tennessee, continues to publish his research on efficacy of NFB for ADHD
    1980s - Gene Peneston, presents his work on using NFB with alcoholics to recover brain functioning and eliminate the addiction.
Thought for the day:
As a colleague of Donna Troisi explained, "In order for us to live in the now, we have to be able to rewire the brain's automatic tendency to live in the past." Mediation, tai chi, prayer, are a few of the traditions used to overcome this automatic so to be more aware, to be present. We now have the ability to witness and be present with our brainwave activity, given the advances in computer technology.

Donna Troisi can be reached at dmt_lcsw @ yahoo.com

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