What will my visit be like?
After filling out a pre-session questionnaire, you will come back to the office and sit in a comfortable chair. If this is your first visit, we will give you a brief overview of how the neurofeedback system works and answer any initial questions you may have.
Then we will attach two sensors to each of your ears and two toward the top of your head. They are attached using a conductive gel that helps transmit the electrical signals.
The neurofeedback session begins with a 30 second pre-session baseline recording of your brainwaves. You will see the results of that recording on-screen, presented in a couple of different ways to help you visualize your brain activity. You will also be shown how your brainwaves are displayed on-screen in real-time as they will be during your session.
After your baseline is established the session starts. You will be given a set of two ear-buds to place in your ears to listen to soothing instrumental music.
Your session will last between 20 and 43 minutes, during which you remain comfortably seated and can either watch abstract geometric patterns on the screen or close your eyes. During the session, the music will be momentarily interrupted anywhere from three to twelve times per minute. These interruptions are the feedback mechanism. Nothing goes into your head. During the session your brain will receive a total of somewhere between 200 and 300 feedback events.
What is happening neurologically is that the neurofeedback system is constantly sensing and dynamically re-calculating a profile of your brainwave activity. When it detects activity outside the parameters of your immediate best-function profile, it pauses the music. Although you won’t be consciously able to correlate what you are thinking with the pauses, they are in fact a direct response to your neural activity. These pauses interrupt dysfunctional brain patterns.
The effect is comparable to waking a driver who has just fallen asleep at the wheel. When the driver wakes up, he instantly, and automatically, turns the wheel to stop it from going into the ditch.
Your brain does the same thing. The pause wakes it up and that interrupts the pattern that leads to a neurological ditch, or rut, if you prefer.
Although this may sound simple, and in fact it is, it nonetheless interacts with deep automatic brain pathways. Pathways that are usually inaccessible to our conscious mind.
When the session is complete, a 30 second post baseline reading will be done. We will then show you those results, presented visually in a couple of different ways, and discuss them with you.