Biofeedback - Page 2
How it works
Brain activity can be monitored using a quantitative electroencephelograph (qEEG) machine. Sensors are placed on specific locations around the patient's head, recording the electrical signals generated by each area of the brain. When the patient performs certain tasks -- such as solving a math problem or memorizing a sequence of words -- the sensors can detect increases and decreases in activity and communication patterns between different regions of the brain.
By analyzing the qEEG data from high- and low-functioning subjects, we know which pathways and activity correlate with effective cognitive function in normal individuals. Thus, these qEEG patterns provide important markers that indicate how memory and intelligence function in the brain. This activation database of qEEG information--developed over a period of years by Dr. Kirtley Thornton at the Center for Health Psychology--is the only one of its kind in the world.
Using this database, we have developed effective treatments for:
- Attention deficit disorder
- Learning disabilities
- General memory problems
- Cognitive problems due to head injuries
After an initial screening--conducted in a psychologist's office near your home--the results are sent to the Center for Health Psychology and reviewed by Dr. Kirtley Thornton, a neurotherapist who is one of the world's leading experts on the use of qEEG biofeedback. Dr. Thornton then designs a treatment protocol and the patient begins a series of about 40 sessions, conducted between one and six times per day.
During these sessions, the patient participates in a computer-based simulation--essentially, a video game controlled by the mind rather than the hands. This game "rewards" the patient when the correct neural pathways are activated or a location is appropriately activated.
Over time, we often see increases of 15 IQ points. On auditory memory tests, we see average improvements of up to 3 Standard Deviations in learning-disabled students and traumatic brain injured subjects and 130% in normal subjects. To understand the magnitude of a 3 standard deviation change, we can employ weight, height and IQ measures as an analogy. A 3 standard deviation change is equivalent to a 90 pound weight gain, an increase in the height of an average female of 7 1//2 inches and a change in IQ from 85 to 130.
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