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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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Neuromodulation and neurofeedback treatments in eating disorders and obesity

As the neurobiological understanding of eating disorders has evolved in recent years, nontraditional treatments involving neurofeedback have been developed. Extreme differences among eating disorders, ranging from severe food restriction to binge eating, may result from differences in one’s neurobiological make-up. Increased understanding of these differences has informed the development of these novel treatments involving neurofeedback. Dalton et al.’s (2017) literature review summarizes the existing researching investigating the efficacy of neurofeedback training, along with other neuromodulation interventions, in the treatment of various eating disorders. Neurofeedback training as an intervention for eating disorders has been explored in two randomized controlled trials. In …

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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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