What to Consider when Trying Neurofeedback training
As neurofeedback is recognized and validated through research for helping conditions such as ADHD, PTSD/trauma, concussions, and anxiety/depression, consumers are faced with the question of what is the best way to train with neurofeedback and what is considered the best neurofeedback equipment?
Dynamical Feedback vs. protocol-based neurofeedback –What's the difference?
There are two broad categories of neurofeedback systems: traditional, protocol-based neurofeedback. There are a number on the market, such as Cygnet and Brain Paint, most of which require a brain map assessment before training can begin. That map is used to create a protocol for training by a clinician. The second type, dynamical feedback, of which there is only one on the market and is called NeurOptimal. It is marketed as the most advanced itteration of the brain training technology based on the non-linear processing patterns of the brain. Dynamical neurofeedback is a true feedback device in that the technology only feeds back the real-time information to the brain about it's electrical patterning, and therefore, does not need a map before training can begin.
What is actually neurofeedback technology versus cheap gimmicks?
Here are some tips to consider when researching units:
- Clinician: Do I need to train in an office with a clinician in order to get effective training for serious conditions such as PTSD? If you are looking at protocol-based neurofeedback, then yes, you want a qualified clinician with many years of experience, administering the neurofeedback training. Why? Because with protocol-based systems, the trainer is creating brain state changes by comparing your electrical brain patterns to "normal" brain patterns. If you are using the dynamical neurofeedback, the technology works by giving each brain immediate feedback about itself and triggers the brain's natural self-correcting functioning. With this non-invasive technique, there is no state changes created by the trainer. With these types of neurofeedback, a home system is safe, and often the best choice, especially with a family training for ADHD relief.
- The Price: If you're looking at a braining training in the $200 range, such as NeuroSky, you're probably looking at a digital signaling processor not a neurofeedback trainer. There is no feedback of your brain patterning through monitoring. They force a state change rather than providing real-time feedback. While many enjoy these devices, to use an analogue, if you were choosing a stereo system for your home these are the equivalent of picking an AM/FM radio. The highest quality neurofeedback systems range from mid-thousands for a home system to over ten thousand for a professional system.
- Nothing Added: A true neurofeedback device is not adding any electrical voltage to the brain. Any device that are stimulating the brain through micro-currents are not technically neurofeedback. There is no feedback, these systems are introducing electrical currents to the scalp.
- Sensors: Neurofeedback or EEG-biofeedback as it's sometimes called, requires EEG sensors placed directly on the scalp to collect the real-time electrical information from the brain that is sent to the software system for translation. Once translated, the information is fed back to the brain either through visual and/or auditory cues. (More info...) One sign you're looking at clinical-grade neurofeedback is that there is "goop" involved, which we call conductive paste. It is key for the electrical information to be passed from the scalp to the sensors at the speed of micro-seconds. In order for the training to be effective, that electrical information has to be delivered at the speed the brain communicates in, which is micro-seconds.
Rent a NeurOptimal Neurofeedback Trainer today!
The Dynamic Feedback Home System from NeurOptimal is the most advanced Neurofeedback System available. Pick up the equipment at one of our locations in NY, Boulder or LA for free or have it shipped directly to your home.
Why renting a Neurofeedback home system?
- Same training as in office visits
- Save in overall cost of neurofeedback sessions
- Easy to use, long lasting and effective