OUR NEUROFEEDBACK PROCESS
Recording the brainwave pattern (EEG)
The first step involves measuring the electrical activity of the brain (brainwaves) using full scalp electroencephalography (EEG), also called electrical neuroimaging. The EEG is a standard method used in hospitals and clinics to diagnose neurological disease but here our goal for recording EEG is to gain insight into the functioning of the brain in order to guide the neurofeedback training.
Our advanced recording method involves 19 sensors placed on key positions on the scalp, usually secured on a cap for easy placement. EEG recordings are non-invasive and painless. The signals recorded from the brain are then sent to a computer for processing.
qEEG Brain Mapping
The next step involves an assessment of the recorded brainwaves using qEEG (quantitative EEG), also known as brain mapping. This step is the evaluation of brain function. qEEG is used in research to study biomarkers of disease such as ADHD, autism, depression, PTSD, anxiety, learning disabilities, etc. but here we use it to design neurofeedback protocols. At this stage, a very detailed view of your brain function is generated and goals are set. We perform 3D brain mapping, which can only be done with 19-channel EEG. Think of qEEG as a real-time movie of your brain activity.
Brain mapping with qEEG is fascinating for many people. After collecting the initial brainwave information, the client is able to directly visualize the activity of their own brain as an indicator of how they feel and function. The 3D brain maps are introduced and explained to the client and any remaining questions are answered. After the first brain mapping session, qEEG becomes an integral part of the training.
About LORETA: An Advanced qEEG Brain Mapping Method
Our three-dimensional brain maps are generated with a modern method called LORETA (low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography). Some practitioners use older neurofeedback methods limited to surface frequencies but 3D mapping is a significant leap forward in the science of neurofeedback requiring state of the art equipment which allows insights into deeper structures in the brain. 3D neurofeedback trains entire brain networks and significantly reduces the number of sessions required to see results.
qEEG assessments are generated during each session as a part of the neurofeedback procedure and a thorough qEEG report is generated every 5-6 sessions. ReWire Neuroscience uses the most advanced brain mapping techniques similar to the ones used by top academic and military research institutions.
This is the stage at which the actual neurofeedback protocol is designed. A road map is set and goals for training are agreed upon with the client. These are unique for each individual and progress will be assessed at each session.
Up to this point, we have gained insight into your particular brain functionality by analyzing your brain maps. An abnormal or insufficient function may be present in various brain networks and the circuitry responsible for the primary issue is defined. The actual training protocol is programmed in the computer and the subject chooses a type of visual or auditory feedback interface. We use videogames, streaming media, sounds, or more subtle cues depending on the brain target. Tho modality of feedback is important but secondary to the effort you need to invest, as neurofeedback is a method of self-conditioning.
The technology is complex but the training process is simple and non-invasive. It is based on focused repetition to address a very specific circuit. The brain learns to alter its activity the same way one learns any skill – through feedback and practice. You are guided by cues about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every few milliseconds your brain's activity is compared to the goals for change and a normal reference. One gets a 'reward' when the goal is met in the form of a visual or auditory signal. For example, over the course of 20 neurofeedback sessions, you get several million chances to learn.
We use multiple forms of training, including 'z-score neurofeedback' which involves real-time comparisons of your brain activity to an FDA-approved reference standardized database, with millisecond resolution. The statistical z-score indicates the standard deviation from the norm. Z-score neurofeedback is a very powerful and precise method that allows deep brain structures responsible for a specific function (such as memory, etc.) to be trained without destabilizing other areas.
How does LORETA neurofeedback differ from other approaches?
As described above, qEEG LORETA neurofeedback precisely identifies and trains specific deep brain networks responsible for functions such as attention or memory and significantly reduces the number of sessions required to see results.