Neurofeedback (NFB) is a non-invasive type of biofeedback that measures real-time displays of brain wave activity—by electroencephalography (EEG) which can be used as feedback to teach self-regulation. Sensors are placed on the scalp to measure activity and it uses sound or video which provides the brain with positive feedback for desired brain activity.
It first started in 1924, when Hans Berger, the German psychiatrist connected a couple of electrodes to a patient's scalp and measured a small current using a galvanometer. Then neurofeedback became popular in the 1960's when Joe Kamiya did alpha brain wave experiments and showed that this brain wave activity could be changed.
Research shows neurofeedback may be a useful intervention for a range of brain-related conditions including ADHD, dyslexia, pain, aggression, anxiety, PTSD, depression, addictions, OCD, headaches, insomnia, sensory processing difficulties, working memory deficit, and brain trauma.
Types of Brain waves
Delta WavesFrequency range: 0
Frequency range: 0 Hz to 4 Hz (Slowest)
These are the slowest brain waves in humans. They are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative sleep. Sufficient production of delta waves helps us feel rejuvenated after we wake up from a good night’s sleep.
Abnormal delta activity in an individual may experience learning disabilities or have difficulties maintaining conscious awareness (ie. brain injuries).
Frequency range: 4 Hz to 8 Hz (Slow)
This frequency range is involved in daydreaming, sleep, and help us to feel deep and raw emotions. Also known as the deeply relaxed, semi-hypnotic state. Theta can help improve our intuition and creativity.
Too much theta activity may cause ADHD symptoms (hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentivenes) and depression.
Too little theta activity may cause anxiety, poor awareness of emotional state, stress, and alcoholism
Frequency range: 8 Hz to 12 Hz (Moderate)
Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves connects our conscious thinking and subconscious mind. It is dominant during quiet flowing thoughts and meditative/mindfulness states when we are being here in the present moment. It helps us calm down when necessary and promotes feelings of deep relaxation.
Too much leads to daydreaming and inability to focus. Too little results in anxiety, high stress, insomnia, OCD, alcoholism
Frequency range: 12 Hz to 40 Hz (High)
Beta brainwaves dominate when we are awake particularly when our attention is directed towards cognitive tasks such as when we are alert, attentive, writing, reading, engaged in problem solving, logical thinking, judgment, socialization, decision making, or focused mental activity.
There are 3 levels of Beta: Lo-Beta (idle), Beta (when you are figuring something out), Hi-Beta (highly complex thought, high anxiety, or excitement which takes a lot of energy).
Too much causes anxiety, high arousal, inability to relax, stress. Too little causes ADHD symptoms, daydreaming, depression, poor cognition
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