Brazilian scientists develop neurofeedback technique capable of modifying brain connections in record time
Scientists have found that under one hour of neurofeedback training promotes stronger connections between the sensory and motor areas of the brain, which is a new record in terms of time. So says a new study conducted at D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), published April 15th in Neuroimage. NeuroImage is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research on neuroimaging, including functional neuroimaging and functional human brain mapping.
“We knew that the brain has an amazing ability to adapt itself, but we were not sure that we could observe these changes so quickly. Understanding of how we can impact on brain wiring and functioning is the key to treat neurological disorders”, says Theo Marins, a biomedical scientist from IDOR and the Ph.D. responsible for the study.
The goal of the study was to increase the subjects brain activity in the corpus callosum, the major cerebral bridge that connects the right and left hemispheres and is responsible for hand movement. 19 participants received the actual training, and another 17 were given neurofeedback with a kind of placebo.
Before and after the neurofeedback, which lasted around 30 minutes, their brains were scanned with a qEEG device to objectively measure the impact of the neurofeedback (or placebo) on brain wiring and communication.
The results show that the corpus callosum exhibited increased integrity, and the neural network controlling the movements of the body became strengthened.
The scientists have set a goal is to develop new studies working with patients with other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or post- stroke sequella.
Chicago White Sox pitcher uses neurofeedback training to improve his on the field performance
Professional athletes are no stranger to off-season training, and now this practice is extending into the realm of the mind. White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease has been using neurofeedback brain training to help improve focus and regulate emotions like anxiety while on the field.
Cease was already a practitioner of breathing techniques and meditation, so when a teammate started using neurofeedback to improve his mental performance and regulate negative emotions, the 23 year old pitcher started paying attention.
After 20 minutes of visualization and relaxation, he participates in neurofeedback designed to regulate the parts of his brain associated with stress and anxiety, with the hopes this will translate to better focus while on the pitcher’s mound in a real game.
Cease says he’s hoping to undergo 30 neurofeedback sessions before the start of the season. We will keep you posted on his progress!