Basically, Neurofeedback is a form of Biofeedback, used to treat the human brain. Neurofeedback is a medical treatment to proactively and directly improve brain function through balancing out irregular brainwave activity. More specifically, a leading Neurofeedback training and certification group, the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR), defines Neurofeedback as using “monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning”. Biofeedback is defined by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) as “a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance.” There are other forms of biofeedback that often complement neurofeedback such as heart rate variability, galvanic skin response, and body temperature.
By conditioning the brain through repetition, the Neurofeedback training process encourages brain waves in specified areas of the brain to increase or decrease their activity based upon the criteria set on the special computer program created by the Clinician. The Clinician knows which areas of the brain to focus on based on a qEEG Brainmap that is recorded at the patient’s first session. Our skilled team of clinicians at ATTN Center is trained in the neurofeedback process and its application.
Neurofeedback in NYC is direct training of the brain’s functioning.
The brain learns how to function more efficiently. Once that functioning has been re-wired after treatment, optimal brain functioning continues to operate without the need for future treatment sessions. During the Neurofeedback process, we observe the brain’s functions in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the patient in real-time. The brain gets a reward every time it changes its own activity to the more regulated brainwave patterns.
This is a gradual learning process, that requires consistent conditioning of the brain, ideally every 2-4 days until a 20-session protocol has been completed. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. Self-regulation is a necessary part to establish healthy brain function, by regulating the central nervous system of the body. This can and does, affect other systems of the body, such as the sleep system and hormonal system. Many patients report significant improvements in their sleep, and many female patients report reductions in period symptoms after being treated with Neurofeedback.
No brain is exactly normal, but neuroscience has shown us that there are “normative” ranges that exist based on age and gender. When the brain is in its ideal functioning state, it would be represented on the Brainmaps by the absence of color, such as on the example charts shown below. The more intense the color, the more significant the brainwave activity in a certain region of the brain is deviating from the normative range. The example below shows a reduction in color severity both by increasing activity in the Delta/Theta and Beta bands, and decreasing in the Alpha band. These results were produced simultaneously during the same treatment protocol, created uniquely for each patient by the Neurofeedback Clinician.
These normative brainwave patterns are defined by large datasets of brainwave activity. These include controls of people without mental health diagnoses and those who have ADHD. When your brain is compared to a normative brain without ADHD, it becomes clearer what is unique about your brain and ADHD, as certain regions of the brain light up when you have ADHD that don’t for Neurotypical brains.
Neurofeedback training is intended to make your brain more normative, so as to eliminate the severity of ADHD symptoms you experience, compared to when you start treatment. So while we don’t say Neurofeedback is a cure, it is extremely helpful and reliable when used to treat a variety of health and mental health conditions, namely ADHD, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder, depression, anxiety, and sleep.
Neurofeedback in NYC Targets Your Central Nervous System
Unlike other types of biofeedback, Neurofeedback targets your central nervous system and specifically cortical brain waves. Neurofeedback provides your brain with continuous feedback in the background during your Neurofeedback sessions. This feedback targets brain waves that are too strong or too weak. These can be the source of unwanted health and mental health symptoms.
Quantitative Electroencephalogram, qEEG
Neurofeedback is guided by a quantitative electroencephalogram or qEEG. A qEEG is an assessment tool that allows clinicians to “see” your brainwave activity as represented by the electrical activity. The EEG brainwaves are collected by an electrode cap and look like this to the Clinician when collected during a qEEG recording session, which is what happens during the first session of your Neurofeedback treatment process.
Using qEEG-guided neurofeedback, your brainwaves can be balanced out, or retrained. Multiple sessions of Neurofeedback training are required to increase the retention of your brain’s ability to rewire itself toward a new way of operating. Your progress will be measured in various ways including subsequent qEEG brain maps every 8-10 sessions, to chart your progress and determine how effectively the treatment is working.
Changes in brainwave patterns due to Neurofeedback tend to correlate with improved behavior, mood and attention. These changes in behavior are a direct reflection of changes in the way neurons in your brain are firing. Once these changes are practiced and learned through the conditioning process of Neurofeedback, the effects tend to hold without additional treatments required. These brainwave changes often result in a reduced reliance on your medication, and can also allow for medications that were not having a significant improvement to start working as intended for improving the desired effects.
Each of the electrode sensors within the electrocap gives a different EEG reading. 52 different regions of the brain have been mapped and labeled for the most general description of the different areas of the brain. The Brodmann areas are a way of mapping the cortex and its distinguished functions, pioneered by Korbinian Brodmann, from which the areas are named. Through using Brodmann’s areas, the cortex of the brain can be divided into 52 areas which are numbered sequentially. These areas are distinguished by microscopic anatomy through the shapes and types of cells and their connections. Within the Broadmann Areas, we use the 10-20 Site model, in conjunction with the Electro-Cap.
Neuroscience has taught us, very recently, that major changes in brainwave functioning are possible. They have labeled the brain’s ability to become reprogrammed, Neuroplasticity. This phenomenon makes the changes Neurofeedback promises possible. Researchers Orndorff-Plunket uses the term “perturbative physiologic plasticity” to suggest that the various systems of the human body can function as an “integrated whole… that can be perturbed and guided… into different physiological states”. They describe the process of NFB as “self-directed neuroplasticity”, whose goal is to provide changes to the structure of the brain, which regulates the autonomic functioning of the brain, which ultimately leads to behavioral changes.
What to expect during Neurofeedback sessions:
Clients new to neurofeedback tend to have worries because they don’t know what to expect. That’s a normal human reaction to something new. So let’s walk you through what a typical neurofeedback session at the ATTN Center would look like. That way, if you or your child come to us for training, you’ll be much more prepared and at ease.
First of all, neurofeedback is a non-invasive treatment.
Nothing is ever shot into your brain by electric pulses, magnets, or in any other form or manner. In fact, some clients voice their concern that they really don’t have to do anything during the training session. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your brain healing itself by learning new patterns through the neurofeedback.
When you arrive at our offices, you’ll be greeted by one of our expert neurofeedback clinicians. Going to the bathroom is a great idea before your session begins so that you don’t end up walking down the hall with a bunch of electrodes on your head. Take a nice sip of your preferred beverage and remove your phone and any other electronic devices from your pockets. Of course, if you have medically required devices, don’t remove them. But let your provider know.
Next, your clinician will review the plan for the session and answer any questions you may have.
During this portion of the appointment, it is important to let us know of any observations you or others have had about you since your last visit. This information is very helpful to continue to tailor the training to you.
The clinician will then prepare your scalp for the electrodes by using a paste or gel. Or possibly use a newer free cap or dry electrode cap. You should know that your hair might get a bit messy. Seasoned patients either frequently bring a head covering to wear on the way out of the office. Once your scalp is prepared and the electrodes are on, the training will begin. If you feel any pain or discomfort, please let your provider know. There are ways to ensure your comfort without affecting the electrodes. Once the electrodes or the electro-cap are placed, you can sit back and relax.
The training might take various forms depending on the type of training you’re receiving.
You might play a video game, sit with your eyes open or closed, or watch a movie or show. You’ll almost always hear a sound in the background and you might also see a dimming or brightening effect on a screen if you’re watching something. This is the audio and visual feedback your brain uses to learn how to operate more functionally. It’s a passive experience for the patient, as you don’t have to do anything or take any action with your brain or body to make the treatment more effective. You just sit back and relax in a comfortable chair and watch your favorite show on Netflix for a half hour. Your brain will do all the work.
In conclusion, Neurofeedback is a great option for those with ADHD. It has been determined by many institutions, including the American Pediatrics Association, to be “as effective as medication for the treatment of ADHD”. Our patients at the ATTN Center have experienced tremendous improvements after Neurofeedback training. We hope you will decide to participate in this life-changing experience. It uses the most cutting-edge medical technology available to obtain better health and mental health.
Dekker M.K., Sitskoorn M.M., Denissen A.J., van Boxtel G.J. The time-course of alpha neurofeedback training effects in healthy participants. Biol. Psychol. 2014;95:70–73. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.11.014
Guy-Evans, Olivia. “Brodmann Areas: Anatomy and Functions – Simply Psychology.” Brodmann Areas: Anatomy and Functions – Simply Psychology, www.simplypsychology.org/brodmann-areas.html.
Orndorff-Plunkett F, Singh F, Aragón OR, Pineda JA. Assessing the Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Training in the Context of Clinical and Social Neuroscience. Brain Sci. 2017 Aug 7;7(8):95. doi: 10.3390/brainsci7080095. PMID: 28783134; PMCID: PMC5575615
Pineda J.A., Brang D., Hecht E., Edwards L., Carey S., Bacon M., Futagaki C., Suk D., Tom J., Rork A., et al. Positive behavioral and electrophysiological changes following neurofeedback training in children with autism. Res. Autism Spectr. Disord. 2008;2:557–581. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2007.12.003
What is Neurofeedback? What is Neurofeedback? FAQ, Watch video, Find a Neurofeedback provider in your area, Professional training courses for Clinicians – EEG Info. (n.d.), from https://www.eeginfo.com/what-is-neurofeedback.jsp
Begin Neurofeedback Therapy in New York
If you find yourself struggling with depression, anxiety, or ADHD, neurofeedback therapy in NYC can help you overcome these challenges! Retrain your brain using the latest cutting-edge technology with the guidance of our trained therapists at ATTN Center!
We are here to guide you through the process. We will help mitigate the negative aspects of ADHD symptoms. And help you tap into the strengths and benefits of ADHD in order to use it as your superpower! Below is a list of simple steps to follow to get started on this journey:
- Learn more about our team and the services offered here!
- Reach out to us through our convenient online therapy contact page here!
- Begin the journey to understanding your diagnosis and living your best life!
Other ADHD Services Offered by The ATTN Center in NYC
We not only offer neurofeedback therapy, but also other services related to the treatment of ADHD and its side effects. This includes therapy for ADHD-related anxiety and depression and ADHD testing options. At ATTN Center of NYC, we do everything in our power to treat ADHD without the use of medication through our ADHD-focused therapy services. But we understand in some severe cases additional measures may be needed. As a result, we also maintain close relationships with many of NYC’s best psychiatrists.