How Neurofeedback Works
What is Neurofeedback brain training?
Our brains are amazing machines. Using a feedback control function to self-regulate, the brain is able to adapt and improve its own performance. But because it is difficult to give the brain direct feedback, this feedback mechanism is rarely used to its full ability level. This means that when the brain’s regulatory system misfires altogether, causing the mild to severe symptoms of conditions such as ADHD, the lack of the feedback means the brain doesn’t realise there is a problem. Just as it would be a struggle to drive a car without being able to see through a windscreen, or fly an aircraft without radar, without a correctly functioning feedback mechanism the brain’s control function can’t correct itself – it does not know how well it is working. So in simple terms, Neurofeedback is a tool to improve brain regulation. It closes the loop and provides high-quality information to your brain’s control function, allowing the brain to self-regulate and learn how to work better.
How does the Neurofeedback technique work and is it safe?
Firstly, our treatments are completely safe. There is no surgery, no medication and no side effects whatsoever. We measure brain activity by observing tiny electrical signals (known as brain waves) to assess how well the brain is performing. The technical name for this is electroencephalography, or EEG, but can be thought of simply as a kind of ‘stethoscope’ to see or listen to the brainwaves. Sophisticated computer technology assesses these raw brainwaves and that data is used to provide direct feedback to the brain on how well it is functioning, using video software. Clients can choose to ‘play’ these video games with the brain, or watch documentaries or music videos. For younger clients a cuddly bear that vibrates can be used to give extra sensory feedback.
When the brain is working well (as measured by the EEG), our technology causes the video to go faster, louder or bigger. As the patient relaxes, the brain ‘tunes in’ to this feedback and adjusts in response. It is this positive reinforcement in the form of sensory feedback that trains the brain to correct any irregular behaviour it may have been experiencing. The good news is the client does not have to think, this all happens subconsciously – so the treatment works for very young children as well as adults. The patient just needs to relaxand let the brain use its own ability to self-regulate. Obtaining information directly from the brain and providing feedback straight back via the senses, in real time, is what makes Neurofeedback unique and so successful.
BrainTrainWA leads the UK in making this unique combination of technology and skills available in the UK, with the goal to improve the lives of 2,500 people by 2020.To discuss how we can help you or your child, please call us on 0207 978 0186 today.
Click to read in more detail about our BrainTrainWA Training Programme.