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How Many Electrodes for Neurofeedback Evaluation ?


How Many EEG Electrodes for a Neurofeedback Session?

EEG electrodes are placed on the scalp during a neurofeedback session to capture brain electrical activity through quantitative electroencephalography (EEGq). The number of electrodes may vary, but the most effective setup typically uses 19 EEG electrodes.

What is Neurofeedback?

Conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are common in today’s society. Are you looking for a non-medication alternative to alleviate these neurodevelopmental issues? Neurofeedback is the solution. Also known as EEG biofeedback, this non-invasive approach measures real-time brain activity and assists in modifying it. Neurofeedback is highly beneficial for restoring well-being and balance.

Assessing Brain Activity: An Important Step

As medical knowledge advances, methods to improve the condition of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders continue to evolve. Neurofeedback with 19 EEG electrodes is one of the latest approaches addressing several ailments. From migraines to anxiety to epilepsy, major depression, and headaches, neurofeedback‘s effectiveness is well-established.

The neurofeedback method involves real-time recording of brain electrical activities using sensors and EEG electrodes. Through repeated learning sessions, this approach encourages the client’s brain to self-regulate its electrical activity in areas with excessive or deficient electrical activities. During learning sessions, rewards are provided to the patient each time an improvement in electrical frequencies is recorded in deficient brain regions.

  • Crucial Brain Activity Evaluation

Are you curious about the utility of EEG electrodes in neurofeedback and how a session unfolds?

Each neurofeedback program is tailored to the patient. However, specific essential steps remain consistent, such as the initial consultation with a professional (psychologist or neuropsychologist) and the evaluation of brain activity before the program begins.

The initial consultation lasts about thirty minutes, during which the professional discusses with the patient the expected goals and specific needs for the program.

Following this consultation, a medical electrophysiology technologist assesses brain activity. This process identifies brain circuits requiring modification and which neurofeedback will focus its actions.

Typically, brain evaluation involves fitting the patient with a cap equipped with sensors and EEG electrodes on the head. Fear not, as these EEG electrodes cause no pain; they are noninvasive, meaning they neither emit electrical signals nor waves to the brain. They measure real-time brain activity using the quantitative electroencephalography (EEGq) method.

  • Thorough Analysis of Collected Data

Subsequent interpretation of the measured data is indispensable. Comprising neuropsychologists and psychologists, the neurofeedback program team analyzes the information collected through EEG electrodes. Professionals decipher the patient’s brain activity to develop a personalized program focusing on targeted brain regions.

A detailed evaluation report is prepared, containing results, interpretations, and explanations of the relationship between brain activity and client objectives. This report is presented to the patient to inform them about the goals of the upcoming neurofeedback protocol.

What is EEGq?

EEGq, or quantitative electroencephalography, forms the basis of neurofeedback. This examination assesses the brain’s electrical function and provides a comprehensive analysis of brain electrical activity measured from 19 different points on the scalp.

EEGq offers an overview of brain function, unlike other assessment forms typically limited to analyzing specific areas only. The 19 EEG electrodes used in quantitative analysis yield objective results by comparing the patient’s brain activities to those of a population with equivalent gender and age demographics without pathology or neurodevelopmental disorders.

EEGq vs. EEG

Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a standard examination today. Conducted in hospitals or neurological clinics, this test measures brain electrical activity and aids in specific diagnoses. In reality, this painless and non-invasive examination is called electroencephalography, while electroencephalogram refers to the recording’s transcription in the form of traces. The brain consists of a vast network of neurons that send electrical messages. EEG detects these tiny electrical impulses.

Unlike EEG, quantitative electroencephalography, or EEGq, is an analysis technique of classic electroencephalography. This method employs mathematical and statistical tools to extract additional information from EEG traces. Standard EEG records brain electrical activity from electrodes placed on the scalp, representing it as traces. EEGq goes further by analyzing EEG data in various ways to quantify different aspects of brain activity and convey them through mapping.

Different Types of Neurofeedback

Three primary neurofeedback methods are practiced today:

1- Traditional neurofeedback, using one or two EEG electrodes placed on the scalp:

Single EEG electrode use is considered when aiming to regulate brain activity only in the region beneath the electrode. Two EEG electrodes are used for training aimed at desynchronizing two brain regions, enabling these regions to operate at different rhythms.

2- Zscore neurofeedback, using between one and nineteen EEG electrodes :

One to nineteen EEG electrodes are placed on the scalp during Zscore neurofeedback implementation. This technique ensures simultaneous training of up to nineteen brain regions. Zscore neurofeedback refers to average values of brain activity observed in a population without symptoms or clinical disorders. Measurements include the amplitude of different frequency bands and coherence between brain regions, indicating interaction between the analyzed areas.

3- LORETA neurofeedback, a relatively recent method utilizing an EEG cap with 19 sensors :

Unlike traditional neurofeedback, which analyzes brain activity from EEG electrodes placed on the scalp, LORETA neurofeedback employs a “reverse source” technique. This technique relates to several thousand brain points and enables more precise training targeting by understanding the origin of electrical activity. LORETA neurofeedback can be associated with Zscore neurofeedback.

Differences Between 2 and 19 EEG Electrodes

LORETA and Zscore neurofeedback techniques with 19 electrodes are more advanced than the classic two EEG electrodes method used since the 1970s. According to neurofeedback specialists, several differences are noted between the two methods :

  • While the 2-electrode method has proven effective since its inception over 50 years ago, it often requires many neurofeedback sessions to yield significant results. Nearly 40, 60, or even 80 training sessions are sometimes necessary to impact targeted brain regions notably.
  • Communication between specific brain regions with the 2-electrode electroencephalogram method is often less effective than the 19-electrode system.
  • Reward videos and images for the 2-electrode neurofeedback approach are sometimes simplistic, reducing patients’ ability, especially young children, to maintain their attention during training sessions.

LORETA and Zscore neurofeedback approaches with 19 EEG electrodes have been used since around 2008. These two methods are more effective not only in terms of assessment and analysis but also in training:

  • Zscore and LORETA enable the measurement of brain activity in nearly 2,400 brain regions, compared to assessments in only five areas provided with the classic neurofeedback technique.
  • The measurements are more precise because the 19 EEG electrodes cover the central brain area optimally.
  • Neurofeedback with 19 EEG electrodes also allows for better understanding and evaluation of communication between different brain regions.
  • The method with 19 EEG electrodes can train 200 to 300 parameters simultaneously.


Neurofeedback is a practical approach validated by neuroscience research. The most effective and efficient method involves using the latest generation of equipment with 19 EEG electrodes. Contact neurofeedback specialists in Quebec to learn more about 19-electrode EEG neurofeedback.