In general, neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that relies on brainwave patterns. It measures the brain wave activity to indicate how a person is functioning. Neurofeedback takes into account cognitive and behavioral aspects of the person in addition to measuring brain activity. Neurofeedback is based on neuroscience, which is the study of the nervous system.
With neurofeedback treatment, a patient can learn to improve and strengthen these patterns in order to produce faster brainwaves that can improve learning, focus, and attentiveness. The training is bi-directional and can increase and decrease different brainwaves at the same time. With Z score training you may be training eight to ten metrics, and with LORETA Z score you may train hundreds of metrics at the same time. You can alter how the brain is resourcing energy to the cortical level, as well as how the different parts of the brain are communicating and the timing of the brain.
A QEEG (or quantitative electroencephalogram) is the first step for all neurofeedback treatment. It records brainwave patterns from 19 spots on the head and it detects if any regions are malfunctioning. If an abnormal region is detected, several electrodes are placed on the scalp over the area. Then the patient’s brainwaves are recorded and displayed in front of him on a computer screen in the form of a game.
Normally, we are unable to influence the pattern of our brainwaves because it is beyond our usual level of awareness. But when you see your brainwaves on a computer screen in front of you, almost exactly as they occur, you can influence them in a positive direction. This is based on the Operant Conditioning Model, an associative learning process that modifies the form and occurrence of the voluntary behavior by manipulating the consequences. Relational learning is also involved to create the conscious memory that guides future behavior.
During training, your brainwaves are converted into a computer game of a car driving down the highway. The moment you cause your brainwaves to shift to a faster, healthier frequency, the car begins to speed up on the computer screen and an auditory tone goes off. The auditory tone is triggered every half second you sustain this “response”.
Neurofeedback is a Medical Evidence Based Practice with a high clinical efficacy rating for many issues, such as ADHD and anxiety. This type of treatment leads a patient to develop a new level of awareness regarding their brain patterns. Though a disorder may be biological or neurological in nature, we can retrain our brain to function normally and alleviate symptoms of the disorder. What patients learn in the clinic during the treatment sessions is integrated into their everyday lives and becomes second nature.
Unlike the use of drugs, neurofeedback has no side effects and can lead to long-term improvement in patients. Drugs always have the potential to be harmful, and do not always offer improvement for long-term disorders. Neurofeedback facilitates change for patients, helps them understand and influence their brain patterns in order to improve their lives.
The field of EEG biofeedback has advanced dramatically in recent years. Also, advances in neuroscience provide a richer understanding of the mechanisms of EEG operant conditioning, allowing for improved treatment across the different types of neurofeedback, especially in Z score training.
These increases in knowledge have allowed for the improvement of neurofeedback treatment, and other advances in the field. There are different types of neurofeedback, surface EEG trains only the amplitude of the waves, while Z score training trains the amplitude (power), the coherence (connectivity) and the phase lag (timing).
The most recent discovery is LORETA, Low Resoulution Electromagnetic Tomographic Analysis that was developed by Roberto Pascal Marti, Key Institute, in Zurich. LORETA Z score Neurofeedback was developed at the University of Tennessee and papers have been published on the clinical efficacy. The goal of LORETA is to train the activity inside the brain, not just the surface EEG on the cranium of the brain.
Emotion, memories and behavior depend on the coordinated activities of regions in the brain connected by the limbic system. LORETA Z score training allows us to train the different systems (networks and hubs) in all three dimensions, amplitude, coherence, and timing. LORETA connects the data from your QEEG to the Broadmann areas in the brain that research associates with the symptoms you are experiencing, allowing only the areas that match to be trained. Relying solely on brain maps can be misleading, as the brain develops compensatory systems as a way to work around the problem, resulting in a misrepresentation of what is causing the problems. With the LORETA Z score training you are utilizing over two hundred years of research linking symptoms to the Broadman areas in the brain, with the end result of treating the root cause and not a symptom.
The Brain Performance Center is proud to offer LORETA Z score neurofeedback, being one of approximately 100 clinics in the USA that offer this type of neurofeedback.