Neurofeedback training consists of
3 components. Firstly, the initial assessment which would be conducted
at our clinic in the Department of Psychology at Swansea University.
This includes a quantitative EEG (qEEG) assessment, clinical interview,
standard neuropsychological tests and questionnaires.
A quantitative EEG is a full
19-lead EEG assessment which helps us to determine areas of the brain
that would benefit most from neurofeedback training (for more
information on quantitative EEG see here). In our clinic a
client's qEEG recording is compared to a normative database to
determine which areas of the brain are functioning well and which areas
may be functioning below the optimum.
A treatment plan is subsequently
designed for each individual taking into account their unique issues or
problems, and assessment data. The second component is the
course of neurofeedback training.
The third component is a post-training evaluation session. The
extensive initial assessment allows us to show the gains made during
and after a course of training.
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is also known as
"EEG Biofeedback" as it is based on the brain's electrical activity,
the electroencephalogram (EEG). It is a painless, non-invasive method
which helps people to modify their brainwave activity to improve
attention, concentration, reduce impulsivity, and to control
hyperactive behaviours. Essentially, the technique trains the brain to
regulate and adjust itself to function more efficiently.
We apply electrodes to the
client's scalp which picks up their brainwave activity. The monitored
brain activity is processed by a computer which extracts information
from the brain signals about certain brainwave frequencies. Changes in
the brain signals are fed back to the client by the computer either
visually to a monitor in front them or as sounds through a headset. If
the client's brain activity changes in the direction specified by the
neurofeedback trainer, a positive "reward" feedback is given to the
The spaceship will not move
unless the client produces a specific brainwave signal. When
appropriate levels of brainwave activity are produced, the client is
reinforced, because the game continues. The clients learn through this
method to change brainwave activity. During a neurofeedback session,
clients also practice maintaining appropriate brainwave states when
engaged in school or work related tasks (e.g., reading) thereby helping
them to apply it to their daily activities.
The same principle applies for
adults, however, examples of feedback in this instance also include
DVDs of their choice or reinforcing/pleasant sounds.