Can Neurofeedback Help to Cure a Broken Heart?
The short answer is that no research has been done! But there is some anecdotal evidence to support the possibility.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher, an expert on romantic love, and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped. They found that certain parts of the brain were overactive during these two states. She discusses it in her TED talk entitled The Brain in Love.
Recently, the professional rapper Dessa came across Dr. Fisher’s research and decided to experiment with neurofeedback in an effort to get over a past relationship.
She says she felt different when she was done.
“Before, I felt that I was really under the thumb of a fixation and a compulsion,” she says. “And now it feels like those feelings have been scaled down.”
Using neurofeedback to prevent PTSD in soldiers
A recent study by a team of researchers from Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. has found that neurofeedback could prevent soldiers from experiencing PTSD flare ups during stressful situations. Published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group describes experiments they conducted with military personnel engaged in intensive training sessions, and what they learned from it.
In this study, EEG technology was used instead of the more expensive and cumbersome fMRI testing. The focus of the neurofeedback training was a brain region called the amygdala, a brain structure involved with fear and emotional regulation and known to play a role in trauma. The researchers report that the group that got the amygdala-focused neurofeedback showed improvements.
Neurofeedback training might be of use to soldiers before they head to war, as it involved practicing invoking a calm mindstate as stress is induced.