Neurofeedback is a computer-based form of behavioral therapy and a method for digital mental training. Neurofeedback was discovered in the 1960s at the University of Los Angeles (USA) as part of a research project of the NASA space agency and has constantly been evolving since.
Neurofeedback is a feedback of brain activity that is measured in the EEG. For this purpose, the EEG signals are forwarded to a computer and converted into an audio / visual feedback. This feedback is paired to a computer-based rewarding principle and trains the brain to learn new behavioral strategies. The training has positive effects on an improved self-regulation of the brain functions and thus on our states of excitation, concentration and relaxation.
How does Neurofeedback work?
EEG electrodes are attached to the patient’s head and the electrical activity of the brain is forwarded to a computer. The EEG is analyzed in real time and split into its frequency components. The computer calculates an audiovisual feedback from the EEG signals in real time. This feedback is paired with a computer-based reward principle and is shown to the patient on a separate screen.
Immediately the patient’s brain begins to respond to the feedback signals. This changes the activity in the brain. The changes are recorded by the EEG electrodes and reported back. This develops a permanent cycle, to which the brain adapts to constantly. The therapeutic effect is controlled by the choice of electrode positions and the software settings.
Sustainable self-regulation increases resilience
Due to the feedback training, the brain learns to optimize its self-regulatory ability. This improves symptoms associated with mal-regulation. These experiences of success motivate the brain to reach the newly learned self-regulation processes faster and more sustainably. The newly learned abilities can be transferred into everyday life. This leads to an increase in our mental resilience.
Video: What is Neurofeedback?
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