Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG) – “Brain Mapping”
& Neurofeedback (NFB)
What is a qEEG?
A qEEG is a set of numerical and statistical methods that are utilized to analyze an EEG that was properly acquired (typically through a 19-channel cap). It measures various brain waves and their activity in the four lobes of the brain (frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital).
What is the purpose of a qEEG?
The purpose is to learn how your brain supports the activities that you engage in every day. It does not make medical diagnoses but rather describes the power for each brainwave frequency or band (groups of frequencies). It also helps to determine how brainwaves in one location relate to those in another location by providing measurements for differences or similarity in speed, power, and communication consistency.
How does this information relate to concerns I may have?
This is completed by comparing your qEEG to one or more databases. These comparisons can be to large groups of same age, so-called “normal” individuals or to groups of individuals who have a certain disorder. This allows for statistical comparison.
Is the qEEG a stand-alone tool?
At this time, a qEEG is typically utilized along with other testing and diagnostic procedures. However, it can help to support an established or suspected diagnosis. Therefore, it does have a value in differential diagnoses.
Why have a qEEG before commencing NFB?
A qEEG allows for a truly individualized NFB treatment plan and can help better identify potentially other helpful interventions, such as neurostimulation or sensorimotor-based therapies. It can also provide information that may be useful for making referrals to other professionals.
What is NFB?
NFB is an advanced intervention that provides the participant with real-time feedback about their brainwave activity. It is measured through sensors on the scalp and the feedback is typically visual and/or auditory in nature. When an individual changes their brainwaves in the desired direction, they are provided with a positive “reward”. Brainwaves patterns that are more efficient and effective enable the brain to function more effectively and reduce problematic symptoms. It is true self-regulation in the form of neuro-electrical self-regulation.
What type of changes might be seen with NFB?
Individuals may notice a variety of changes, including:
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy and/or motivation
- Improved concentration and focus
- Increased feelings of calm and relaxation
- Changes in appetite
- Improved mood
- Improved mental performance
What types of diagnoses is NFB effective in treating?
Level 5: Efficacious and Specific:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Level 4: Efficacious:
- Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders
- Depression Disorder
Level 3: Probably Efficacious:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse Disorders
- Performance enhancement
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic Brain injury (TBI)
According to the ISNR website: "Like other forms of biofeedback, neurofeedback training (NFT) uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning. The characteristic that distinguishes NFT from other biofeedback is a focus on the central nervous system and the brain. 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."
"Research demonstrates that neurofeedback is an effective intervention for ADHD and Epilepsy. Ongoing research is investigating the effectiveness of neurofeedback for other disorders such as Autism, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, substance abuse, TBI and other pain disorders, and is promising."
"Being a self-regulation method, NFT differs from other accepted research-consistent neuro-modulatory approaches such as audio-visual entrainment (AVE) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) that provoke an automatic brain response by presenting a specific signal. Nor is NFT based on deliberate changes in breathing patterns such as respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) that can result in changes in brain waves. At a neuronal level, NFT teaches the brain to modulate excitatory and inhibitory patterns of specific neuronal assemblies and pathways based upon the details of the sensor placement and the feedback algorithms used thereby increasing flexibility and self-regulation of relaxation and activation patterns."