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The Science of Brain Training

Improving the brain’s self-regulation helps an individual function better cognitively, emotionally as well as behaviorally. Neurofeedback can be a useful tool for anyone looking to maximize their brain’s potential and their performance, whether it be athletes wishing to improve their game, adults interested in sharpening their memory, or children dealing with ADHD.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain Mapping is an assessment tool that maps your brain wave activity, and tells you what areas of your brain need attention. This session is perfect for people who suspect they are facing mental health concerns, but are not able to pin-point them. Brain Mapping is also for people who are curious to know more about how their brains function and what they can improve on. Various issues like focus, anxiety, ADHD, depression, insomnia, fatigue, and many more are identified in a brain mapping session. Apart from this, it also tells you where exactly in the brain these issues arise from, and to what extent they persist.

What Happens in a Brain Mapping Session?

*Note: This video was taken before covid-19. All necessary measures such as sanitization, safe distance and being masked at all times are adhered to.

During brain mapping, EEG scanners are used to measure electrical signals in different brain areas. These signals are statistically analyzed to see brainwave patterns. The EEG data is then recorded and processed by a computer software program. This data is compared against a reference database of other people’s EEG. A Quantitative EEG (qEEG) brain map helps us detect the brain area where there is too little or too much activity. It helps to identify amplitude, location and dysregulation. All these are required to understand adequate levels of the client’s mental functioning. If electrical activity is outside the normal parameters, it gives us an indication towards possible problems. Brain mapping is a precursor to neurofeedback brain training as it helps in devising an appropriate training plan.

Know the Different Brainwaves

Neurons in the brain communicate with each other by electrical exchange. This electrical activity is displayed in the form of brainwaves which can be observed using electroencephalogram (EEG). Delta waves are the slowest brainwave. These are the most relaxing brainwaves. A delta wave appears when you’re asleep. It measures from 0-4 Hz and has the highest amplitude. Theta waves have greater amplitude. The frequency range is 5-7 Hz. Theta state is seen during light sleep or deep meditation. In this state you may experience vivid visualizations, profound creativity, flow of ideas and exceptional insight. Alpha waves are produced naturally when you close your eyes and relax. Alpha brain waves are in the frequency range of 8 to 13 Hz. During this state your brain is said to be awake and relaxed. Beta waves are known as high frequency low amplitude waves that are commonly observed while we are awake. The frequency of beta waves is 14-40 Hz. These involve conscious tasks such as critical thinking, writing, reading, and socialization seen in day-to-day lives. Gamma waves are the fastest of brain waves with high frequency. These are observed when processing information from different brain areas simultaneously. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. Research indicates brain wave patterns are linked with emotional and neurological conditions. Brain mapping shows brain waves that are associated with over-arousal in certain areas result in fidgeting, impulsivity, hyperactivity and agitation. Under-arousal in certain brain areas is linked with poor concentration, insomnia, and daydreaming.

*Photo from choosemuse.com

 

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is biofeedback for the brain. It is used to improve your health and performance, with a particular focus on the mental and emotional aspects of your well-being. Through the use of tools that provide real-time displays of your brain's patterns and responses, qEEG-based neurofeedback is used to train your brain and teach it to self-regulate its functions. It is a non-invasive technique that helps the brain self-regulate. During a neurofeedback session, we simply measure brain activity using sensors and special software and relay that information back to the brain in real-time via audio and video display. This information about its own activity helps the brain adjust itself for better performance.

What Happens During a Neurofeedback Session?

Neurons in our brains talk to each other through synapses which produce the resulting brain waves. At the start of the neurofeedback session, we attach sensors to the scalp which record these brain waves. This process is completely painless and non-invasive. We do not transmit any signals to the brain; we only listen in on the electrical activity and record the information revealed through EEG. A computer then processes these brain waves and using the software, we show you the ebb and flow of your waves in the form of changes in audio and video output. The specific frequencies we select and sensor locations on the scalp are uniquely tailored to suit your personal needs. These can vary as you progress through your brain training sessions.

What to Expect from Neurofeedback Sessions?

A neurofeedback brain training session typically lasts for approximately 45 minutes. The time for training is 30 minutes, while around 15 minutes is required to take your feedback and prepare the equipment for the session. Normally a minimum of 20 sessions is recommended to experience lasting benefits, although you will start noticing changes within the first few sessions. The number of sessions required, however, depend upon the intensity and duration of the problem. Being consistent is extremely important to experience the benefits. Every individual is different, and so is their brain. Therefore, neurofeedback therapy for memory improvement, ADHD, anxiety, and depression is tailor-made to suit your specific needs.
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