What is a brain map (qEEG)?
A qEEG is a map of the brain that is displayed in a way so that we can easily identify areas of abnormalities. A qEEG is achieved through a non-invasive recording of EEG brainwaves. It is not painful and only takes about 30 minutes to complete the recording. Through years of medical and psychological research we have developed a database that compares your brain scan results to other’s in the general population that are of similar age and gender. This is how we’re able to see if there is a specific over or underactivity present in the brain. Many different diagnoses present in specific ways, which is why qEEG is a great addition to neuropsychological testing, or a great option when trying to identify exactly what could be going on (for example- is you or your child’s behavior due to organic attention deficits, emotional processing difficulty, anxiety, or depression?)
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is what follows a qEEG. Once an abnormality has been identified, we can treat this abnormality through brain training instead of (or in addition to) medication. The process of neurofeedback training is completely passive- meaning that you don’t necessarily have to be consciously trying to do anything. It is based off of passive learning and reinforcement. If you’ve ever heard about Pavlov’s dogs (a research study focused on reinforcement where a bell was paired with the dog’s food. After multiple occurrences of pairing the bell and the food, the dogs began to salivate when only the bell was presented even without the food) then you can easily apply this to how neurofeedback works. From the qEEG we develop a specific and individualized training protocol. Each training session you are hooked up to the same cap used to record the brainwaves during the qEEG. This information is fed through a system where you will be reinforced every time your brain is producing more or less of the specific abnormal activity. After so many sessions, the brain learns to naturally produce the normal level of activity and therefore behavior changes, as well (for example- an individualwith ADHD may produce too much activity in their frontal lobes. During neurofeedback training the patient watches a movie that would become larger on the screen if their brain was producing less activity in the frontal lobes and smaller when it was producing too much. After a while the brain learns to produce the ideal amount of activity and your child is able to focus easier).
Are there side effects?
No side effects have been identified from the actual neurofeedback. However some report feeling a bit tired after training as their brain has been working a little harder than normal. A cold glass of water generally solves the problem as hydration is important.
How long does neurofeedback training take?
Research indicates that in order for the brain to learn to the extent where it will not forget, about 20-30 neurofeedback training sessions need to be completed. This can take place once or twice a week for about 20-30 minute periods of time.
I’m interested – Now what?
Contact us or call (212) 860 8500 to schedule the initial consultation. After understanding your background, symptoms and treatment goals, you will be set up with a board certified clinician to complete the qEEG brain scan and begin neurofeedback training.