Neurofeedback has many names; EEG Neurofeedback, EEG Biofeedback, NeuroTherapy, NeuroBiofeedback. Neurofeedback is a technique used to improve the brain’s ability to operate more successfully. It reads brain patterns and provides a way to exercise and challenge our brain’s performance, much like physical exercise and the effects of weight lifting to develop muscle strength or jogging to improve cardiovascular fitness. Through trial and error and consistent use, this ‘training’ naturally empowers the brain’s neuro-plasticity; its natural ability to change to effortlessly develop increased control and strength. Some of the many benefits include; the ability to think more clearly, pay attention for longer periods and improve our memory. SmartBrain Neurofeedback is very different from traditional Neurofeedback.
SmartBrain Technologies Neurofeedback is a training process that first measures the brain’s electrical patterns through small sensors that are embedded into an adjustable visor. These patterns are processed by a special device that allow visual and auditory feedback or ‘mirroring’ of these signals through the use of off the shelf video games and DVD movies. Brain patterns are continuously monitored providing a 'feedback loop'. This trial and error learning creates a challenging experience for the brain to begin to strengthen and be reinforced. This brain exercise leads to increased awareness and differentiation of mental states. Just like physical exercise, developing and maintaining physical fitness requires effort and practice. Success comes from consistent use!
The SmartBrain Technologies' Experience
SmartBrain Technologies uses off-the-shelf Sony PlayStation® and Microsoft Xbox® video games as the feedback training for EEG Neurofeedback. As the player enters and maintains the desired brain state, full control of the game controller is enabled. The game player is able to play the video game seamlessly. If the player does not maintain the desired state, speed and steering control decrease.
Imagine playing a race car game. You are racing in time trials or against other players, using a game controller depressing the action buttons and directional pad to maneuver in the game. As you improve your focus, your car goes faster. If your focus wanders, you lose ground to the other racers. Your brain is the accelerator, your calmness the steering.
The same is true for our DVD Media Player System. Brain signals pass through to a computer receiver affecting the size of the movie screen and the volume. The more you pay attention and channel your brain's energy, the more you see and hear while the movie is playing. Thinking clearly is as easy and pleasurable as watching a movie.
Using patented NASA technology, SmartBrain Technologies provides the only true fun, interactive training experience in Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is just like exercise, the more you do it the more you benefit. Traditional EEG Neurofeedback has been very effective but it has been provided in a very boring exercise like manner. How SmartBrain Technologies is Different traditional Neurofeedback?
Go-No-Go Neurofeedback versus Video Games Neurofeedback
All Neurofeedback systems provide a direct measurement and feedback of a particular brain wave pattern or patterns. In an attempt to make this feedback more engaging, some type of visual display or animation is used. When the trainee displays the appropriate brain state, the animation moves along a pre-determined path. One training system uses a Pac-Man display moving through a maze. Others use a plane moving up and down on a computer screen, or a car moving along a predetermined path. Research has found that more interactive is more effective!
When the trainee displays the appropriate brain state, Pac-Man moves a space. When the trainee is not displaying the appropriate state, Pac-Man does not move. This type of feedback is called "Go-No-Go" feedback. It was designed to provide a more interesting and engaging form of feedback, rather than simply looking at a line or bar graph representing changes in brainwave activity. Even though these animations are a bit more interesting than watching a line or bar graph they pale in comparison to modern video games. People with attention problems quickly become bored and resistant to training and kids quickly lose interest. As kids lose interest the training becomes a chore and another object of defiance and frustration.
Through years of experience, we have found that in order for the benefits of Neurofeedback training to be realized, training needs to take place on a regular basis and the trainee needs to willing to 'pay attention ' to the training task. If the trainee loses interest and becomes bored with the training task, then there is a lessened opportunity for benefit. Watching a block moving up and falling back becomes a chore, just like doing homework. If the child loses interest in the training then the training becomes the source of another struggle.
Enter NASA and Video Games
Since video games are highly engaging, the trainee has no difficulty focusing on the training task. Remember- in order for us to learn or acquire a new skill, the first and most important ingredient is paying attention. If we cannot focus or have difficulty staying on task, learning cannot take place. SmartBrain Technologies is calling its EEG Neurofeedback, "Interactive Feedback" due to its immersive and engaging opportunity to more actively participate in the training process.