What is Neurofeedback?

neurofeedback brainwavesGrowing demand for non-invasive treatments

Increasing numbers of families and individuals are seeking non-invasive services which will help their loved ones. In the 1970’s, EEG biofeedback, as it was called, was known to precious few government agencies such as NASA and universities such as UCLA School of Medicine where it was developed. Now, literally thousands of individuals worldwide are seeking this treatment. For many patients, treatment goals consist of maximizing their potential talents and abilities while minimizing troublesome side effects.

Research at leading universities worldwide

For nearly forty years, neurofeedback has been available to the public largely through university facilities such as UCLA and NYU School of Medicine. Professional organizations such as the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (iSNR) and its European counterparts, ISNR-EU, and Biofeedback Foundation of Europe have worked to create a vision, develop professionals, and pursue research to produce the highest standards of professional knowledge and application to help our clients realize their aspirations and reach their goals. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided a number of grants for neurofeedback research on autism, ADHD and brain injury.

Neurofeedback used therapeutically since 1971

Neurofeedback is a noninvasive form of biofeedback which uses brain wave monitoring, analysis and auditory feedback to change brain wave patterns. In 1929, Dr. Hans Berger was the first person to record raw human brainwaves, called an electroencephalogram, on paper. Dr. Berger believed that the raw signals of the EEG which he designated as abnormal were reflective of neurological or clinical problems. In 1963, Joseph Kamiya, Ph.D. was able to train a student to recognize an alpha wave burst. From Dr. Kamiya’s laboratory at the Menninger Clinic, alpha/theta training was successfully combined with psychotherapy. In 1968, Dr. Barry Sterman of the UCLA School of Medicine, was requested by NASA to investigate the effects of hydrazine on seizure disorders after a tragic incident refueling a rocket. Dr. Sterman’s seminal work demonstrated that cats, which had been previously trained to increase low beta wave amplitudes, were resistant to seizures when exposed to hydrazine. Cats that had not received low beta wave training, developed seizures from the hydrazine injections and died. In l971, Mary Fairbanks who worked in Dr. Sterman’s lab, requested treatment and became one of the first humans to receive neurofeedback training. Ms. Fairbanks was able to substantially reduce the incidence of her grand mal seizures and reduce her medication after three months. She was able to obtain her driver’s license and leads a normal life to the present time. The effects of neurofeedback training are permanent.