FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW CAN NEUROFEEDBACK INCREASE WELL BEING IN GENERAL?
A: In the constitution of the World Health Organization (quoted in Huppert, Baylis & Keverne, 2005: pg.307) health is defined as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, and mental health is seen as a combination of subjective well-being and full functioning. The intention to uncover the positive characteristics and focus on an individual’s inner potential for development is a core objective of neurofeedback. Its advantage is offering effective measurement and credible objectivity. There are some objective markers that can be uptrained in every individual that will increase their mental health and efficiency.
CAN NEURO AND BIOFEEDBACK HELP CALMING THE MIND, INCREASING THE ABILITY TO MEDITATE AND BE MINDFUL?
A: Research on neuro-biofeedback has been applied to meditation, promoting it as a tool that facilitates an accelerated way to access the process: ‘the neuro-biofeedback machine gives unmistakable evidence about whether meditation is successful or not’ (Larsen, 2006: p.7). Kamatsu and Hirai (1963) found a high correlation in the EEG charts of Zen Buddhists who meditate and their different skills and experience. Mostly, training will aim to increase the ability of the individual to be aware and augment Alpha brainwaves.
Alpha brainwaves found in the occipital and parietal regions are shown to be related to subjective states of well-being (Robbins, 2000, Swingle, 2008)
CAN NEUROFEEDBACK INCREASE ATTENTION?
Research has been widening over the last decades and various studies have shown the potential of neurofeedback to improve cognition (Egner & Gruzelier, 2001; Vernon et al., 2003). Several studies associate Alpha reduction with alertness and active processing (Berger, 1929; Penfield and Jasper, 1954; Pilgreen, 1995), while Theta is found to be related with drowsiness (Duffy et al., 1989). Beatty and colleagues (1974), based on the rationale that Theta is inversely related to vigilance, show that reducing Theta enhances performance in a monitoring task. Rasey, Lubar, McIntyre, Zoffuto and Abbott (1996) demonstrated that by increasing Beta and lowering Theta-Alpha, participants were able to improve attention. Egner and Gruzelier, (2004) came to the conclusion that neurofeedback may have specific cognitive effects: increases sensory motor rhythm (SMR), improves perceptual sensitivity, reduces errors and reaction time; whereas, increasing Theta increases reaction time.