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Neurofeedback Basics

Sit Up Straight! The Effect of Posture on Math Performance

A summary of Do Better in Math: How Your Body Posture May Change Stereotype Threat Response Every child has had “Sit up straight! Don’t slouch!” barked at them at least once. While it may come across as an arbitrary demand for attention (and was certainly met with loud sighs and eye-rolls), the request for proper posture may have practical implications, both in and out of the classroom. According to researchers from San Francisco State University and Kaohsiung Medical University, upright and correct spinal alignment can lead to improvements in physical health, positive thinking, and – you guessed it – math …

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Using Neurofeedback to Lower Anxiety Symptoms Using Individualized qEEG Protocols

Anxiety disorders currently affect about 18% of the United States population, reported in women twice as frequently as in men. These individuals suffer from chronic and severe symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. There are many evidence-based treatments for the broad scope of anxiety disorders, including cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure-based treatment, medication, and meditation. Neurofeedback has also been supported by previous research in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Kerson, Sherman, and Kozlowski (2009) trained participants by decreasing alpha waves until they were sufficiently suppressed, and then the focus shifted to improving alpha symmetry. As a result, they found improvements in …

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Alpha-Theta Brainwave Neurofeedback Training: An Effective Treatment for Alcoholics with Depressive Symptoms

Alpha brainwaves are thought to be associated with feelings of well-being. Theta waves are connected to a day-dreaming or pre-sleep state. Beta brainwaves are associated with concentration, or anxiety and confusion. Delta waves indicate sleepiness or sleep. Alcoholics tend to show deficient alpha activity during an eyes-closed relaxed EEG. It is possible that this deficient alpha activity is characteristic of alcoholism and could therefore be used to identify individuals with this predisposition. Research has demonstrated that alpha-theta brainwave neurofeedback therapy is very effective in the treatment of alcoholism, and particularly in achieving abstinence from alcohol. Saxby and Peniston’s (1995) study …

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What is Neuroplasticity?

Simply put, neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to learn and adjust its functioning accordingly. Neuroplasticity is the ability for neurons and neural networks to change their connections and functions to adapt to any type of change, such as new information, development, stimulation, or damage. When one’s environment changes, or certain events are experienced repeatedly, neuroplasticity allows your brain to adjust to these changes or repeated experiences. In repeated experiences, your brain is repeatedly activating the same brain areas and neuronal connections in response to this experience. As a result, the neurons that are communicating strengthen their relationship over time to …

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Neurofeedback training for major depressive disorder: recent developments and future directions

Major depression is a disorder characterized by sad mood, loss of pleasure, and other affect-related, cognitive, and physical symptoms. Major depression is a very common and debilitating disorder, which is frequently recurrent in individuals and often has significant personal, social, societal, and economic costs. Nonetheless, the use of neurofeedback training for major depression is a relatively novel area. Efforts in developing neurofeedback techniques for use with major depression will be highly beneficial for the clinical psychology field, for neurofeedback is less invasive and leads to fewer side effects than other treatments for depression, such as deep brain stimulation and pharmacological …

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Neurofeedback is the best available front-line treatment for ADHD: What is the evidence for this claim?

The primary characteristic of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is impaired executive functioning and attentional processes. These impairments involve difficulty in self-regulation which is often seen as attentional difficulties, impulsive behaviors, and hyperactivity. Furthermore, these impairments typically cause difficulty in school, social, and home settings, particularly in the organizational skills required to function efficiently in daily life. ADHD is the most common diagnosis given to school-age children in the United States, occurring in about 11% of children, and occurring more frequently in boys than girls. Medication, behavior therapy (e.g. neurofeedback training), or a combination of the two, are the most typical …

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Neurofeedback improves foreign language learning

When people learn foreign languages, it is often difficult for them to discriminate and learn sounds that do not exist in their native language. Speech sounds are a part of language-specific memories that develop categories relevant to one’s native language during childhood. Some sounds, such as “L” and “R” in English, may have two separate speech sound categories. The same “L” and “R” sounds in Japanese, however, fall within the same speech category. Therefore, it can be difficult for native Japanese speakers to differentiate similar sounding words with differences involving L’s and R’s. This auditory discrimination has shown to be …

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Neurofeedback: A noninvasive treatment for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans

One in five veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traditional treatments for PTSD include pharmacotherapy with medications and talk therapy, but both are limited. Pharmacotherapy addresses the symptoms of PTSD but produces side effects and does not address the underlying cause of the symptoms. Talk therapy for PTSD often focuses on recalling and re-experiencing traumatic events in an effort to relieve the ongoing symptoms. This recall of traumatic events activates the brain’s limbic system, creating a strong emotional reaction. This reaction can be counter-therapeutic and potentially impair left frontal lobe functioning, impairing self …

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New study: Neurofeedback may help with Treatment-Resistant Depression

A new pilot study out of South Korea looked at the effects of neurofeedback on Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). TRD is a debilitating form of depression that is especially resistant to pharmaceutical treatments and affects an estimated 100 million people worldwide. In the study, 12 patients with TRD went through 12 weekly neurofeedback sessions. Their TRD symptoms were measured at the start of the treatment, and again at weeks 1, 4 and 12. Researchers found that by the end of the study, 8 had experienced improvement, and 5 of those had seen their depression improve enough that they were in remission. …

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Helpful Tips to Decrease Procrastination

Research has consistently shown that our own thought patterns can have a profound impact on our behavior. A study by Dr. Erik Peper and colleagues looked at the way in which many people tend to respond to their own habits of procrastination: by beating themselves up. They found something interesting: while it is common for those who procrastinate to chastise themselves for their lack of productivity, usually assuming this will help them to correct the behavior in the future, the research shows that this actually makes the issue worse. As the researchers state in the article, “When we procrastinate or blame …

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