Quantitative Electroencephalograph (QEEG)
QEEG recordings for evaluating brainwaves are the initial step to Neurofeedback Training (NFT). QEEG is non-invasive and safe, utilizing a cloth and elastic cap, similar to a swimming cap, with sensors attached. There is nothing “put into” the head. The QEEG reflects recorded brain wave activity at 19 sites on the head simultaneously. The administration of a QEEG typically takes less than 90 minutes. The QEEG recording is then compared to a normative data base of EEG recordings. Differences between the trainee’s recording and the normative data base are reflected in a report with topographical brain maps. Brain wave pattern differences and the trainee’s symptomatology guide the clinician in developing highly specific NFT protocols designed to improve the self-regulatory mechanisms associated with the relevant areas of the brain.
Referenced EEG (rEEG)
Referenced Electroencephalography (rEEG) may be utilized to help insure accuracy and expediency of medication selection. rEEG is the use of brain wave markers to identify the relative efficacy of a variety of medications. CAPS is an authorized collections site and questions about procedure may be directed to Drs. Costin or Osborne.
Neurofeedback Training (NFT) follows predominantly a “self-regulation” model instead of a diagnosis-based approach. Optimal neurological self-regulation is reflected in the brain’s capacity to access and sustain “mental states” that are optimal for a given situation. For example, we want to be able to readily attain and sustain a “sleep state” or a “focused state” when appropriate for the situation. The main goal of NFT assessment and training is to evaluate and improve the self-regulatory mechanisms, or “state management,” of the brain. Children and adults alike can benefit from neurological self-regulatory improvement. Even professional athletes and CEOs of major companies have benefited from NFT because it targets neuronal areas and connections within the brain that could function and communicate more optimally. This area of NFT specialization is referred to as “Enhancement Training,” “Peak Performance,” or “Optimal Performance” training. NFT has been demonstrated through research to improve symptoms associated with a number of disorders, including AD/HD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, headaches, sleep disorders, and autistic spectrum disorders. Based on reviews of evidence-based research studies, NFT meets American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry criteria for "Clinical Guidelines" as an intervention for AD/HD. The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research website points out that “Neurofeedback training (NFT) has its foundations in basic and applied neuroscience as well as data-based clinical practice. It takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as brain activity. Thus, it meets the American Psychological Association’s definition of an evidence-based intervention since NFT is ‘…the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preference’.”
At CAPS, we use QEEG-guided (Quantitative Electroencephalograph) NFT, which is state-of-the-art in the field and begins with obtaining QEEG recordings. QEEG is non-invasive and safe, utilizing a cloth and elastic cap, similar to a swimming cap, with sensors attached. There is nothing “put into” the head. “During NFT, sensors are placed on the scalp and then connected to sensitive electronics and computer software that detect, amplify, and record specific brain activity. Via a computer screen, resulting information [in a video game-type format] is fed back to the trainee virtually instantaneously with the conceptual understanding that changes in the feedback signal indicate whether or not the trainee’s brain activity is within the designated range. Based on this feedback, along with various principles of learning [i.e., operant conditioning] and practitioner guidance, changes in brain patterns occur and are associated with positive changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive states. Often the trainee is not consciously aware of the mechanisms by which such changes are accomplished although people routinely acquire a ‘felt sense’ of these positive changes and often are able to access these states outside the feedback session” (ISNR.org website description). NFT may be likened to that of physical training where the best results are obtained from frequent visits to the gym and through regular practice. Brain wave patterns begin to change, not unlike how physical changes occur from regular physical training.
Hemoencephalography or HEG biofeedback is a functional infrared imaging technique. It measures the differences in the color of light reflected back through the scalp based on the relative amount of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood in the brain. HEG is used to treat ADHD and migraine, and for research purposes.