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Novel Uses for Neurofeedback Therapy – Synergy Neurofeedback
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Novel Uses for Neurofeedback Therapy

Novel Uses for Neurofeedback Therapy

In this blog, we have detailed many evidence- based uses for neurofeedback, as a beneficial therapy for ADD, ADHD, depression, cognitive impairment, and even Parkinson’s disease. Please see our main blog page for an exhaustive list.

The study of neurofeedback as a groundbreaking therapy is in it’s infancy. The potential applications for this life transforming therapy are just starting to be explored- we are just beginning to ascertain potential uses for neurofeedback in the modern era.

Following are some accounts of the novel uses for neurofeedback currently documented.

Brainwave Monitored Assisted Meditation

Highlighted region shows the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain shown to be activated during meditation. Photo credit: Geoff B Hall

Meditation is becoming more popular in the contemporary world, as it moves into the world of medicine and even the corporate environment. As it comes more into the popular eye, it’s important for it’s credibility here in the West to merge this ancient wisdom with more modern approaches to “being at one”.

A great example of this is neurofeedback assisted meditation. This is the process of using a neurofeedback headband and accompanying monitor (a smart phone or a tablet) to decode our brainwaves while meditating, and make small adjustments to improve our focus and attention.

Some of the same technology we use in our office can be used for this, bringing the seemingly esoteric modality of mediation into the realm of science and evidence-based psychology.

According to this review of the current scientific literature on the topic of neurofeedback assisted meditation, it is possible that machine assisted programs such as neurofeedback may help individuals develop their meditation practice more rapidly. (1)

Neurofeedback as Part of an Immersive Multi-media Science-art Installation

An experiment was conducted as a part of a public art installation, ‘My Virtual Dream’, during Toronto’s Nuit Blanche art festival on October 5, 2013, the focus of which was to explore participants’ ability to rapidly learn to control their brain states in a complex environment.

In the setup of My Virtual Dream, the researchers aimed to provide an inspirational learning environment and at the same time to achieve enough statistical power to detect subtle early, learning-related changes of brain activity due to collective neurofeedback training. (2)

Read more about this novel study here.

Neurofeedback as an Aid to Discipline in Schools

After hearing about the headset, Tonnie Martinez, an assistant professor in the College of Education at Kansas State University, was curious to know if the headset could also calm down young students, and if mindfulness could reduce the need for disciplinary action in schools.

This study of middle-school students found that those who leveraged the Muse meditation headset saw a decrease in office referrals for behavioral redirection by 72 percent! (3)

In addition to a reduction in office referrals, students reported the following qualitative experiences:

  • Students used words like “soothing,” “calming” and “relaxing” to describe the experience
  • Students indicated they could focus without the headset after the meditative exercises
  • Students indicated they heard the sounds of their meditative sessions as they used relaxation techniques at school and at home – without the device.

Read more about this pilot study on using Neurofeedback as a Behavioral Redirection here.

The Future of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is being used in novel experimental and clinical paradigms from a multidisciplinary perspective, encompassing neuroscientific, neuroengineering and learning-science viewpoints. Read more about this topic in the article “Closed-loop brain training: the science of neurofeedback” here.

Footnotes:

(1) Brandmeyer T, Delorme A. Meditation and neurofeedback. Frontiers in Psychology. 2013;4:688. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00688.

(2) ‘My Virtual Dream’: Collective Neurofeedback in an Immersive Art Environment
Natasha Kovacevic , Petra Ritter, William Tays, Sylvain Moreno, Anthony Randal McIntosh
Published: July 8, 2015https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130129

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