Frequently Asked Questions
The first Neurofeedback experiment was conducted in 1965 on cats. Only in 1967 was the first scientific article published. It was in 1971 that Neurofeedback was introduced to humans. The first pathology targeted was then epilepsy. The first experiments (published in 1978) showed that 65% of seizures could be reduced in humans following Neurofeedback training. A few years later, more serious studies began in order to test the effectiveness of this approach for attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADD / ADHD). The results were conclusive.
It was an American researcher named Barry Sterman who discovered the first use of Neurofeedback in 1965. Subsequently, Joel Lubar contributed greatly to the development of this approach in the 1970s and later.
Neurofeedback works on the principle of reward (or more precisely, operant conditioning). This is the same principle as when you train a dog to give the paw. When the dog gives the paw, we give him a reward. Through repetition, the behavior will be adopted.
Neurofeedback then works on the same principle. The electrode headset on the individual’s head captures brain activity in real time. If we want to stimulate a specific region of the brain then we will read it in real time. As soon as the brain stimulates it, we will give a reward (a video will start playing in front of the individual). When the brain stops stimulating the target area, we will remove the reward (the video will stop playing). During a Neurofeedback session we will give this reward between 1500 and 2000 times. Often within minutes, the brain will understand by itself that it needs to stimulate the area in order to get its reward.
Over the course of training, as the brain activity returns to the norm, we will observe a decrease and sometimes even a complete disappearance of the problem.
Neurofeedback is experiencing a surge of popularity in the United States. Quebec is behind for a number of reasons. First, because of the language. Neurofeedback training, scientific articles and equipment suppliers are almost all from the United States, which requires a good mastery of English to understand and practice this technique properly. Then, there are only a handful of practitioners in Quebec. To our knowledge, there are 8 neuropsychologists who have been trained in Neurofeedback. Five of them work for Neuroperforma.
In March 2016, the Collège des Médecins du Québec (CMQ) or Quebec College of Physicians, which is supported by the scientific literature, the opinion of experts and partners, found that Biofeedback or Neurofeedback were part of a framework that could be useful in the approach of certain health disorders.
They are psychologists. Members of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec (OPQ), who take care of you. They are supported by Medical Electrophysiology Technologists who specialize in reading and analyzing brain activity (EEG).
No. Although psychologists do a detailed assessment of brain activity in relation to several issues, this is not a medical diagnosis. The goal of the evaluation is to determine which brain regions and parameters will need to be trained in Neurofeedback in order to help the clients.
Neuroperforma stands out in many ways.
Psychologists support you when you begin the process
The first step will be to meet a psychologist for a 30-minute meeting to discuss the issues and the goal of the process. They will analyze your file, will present you the results of the evaluation and will supervise you throughout the whole process.
Did you know that an electroencephalogram analysis is an act reserved for neurologists and technologists in medical electrophysiology? Neuroperforma is the only clinic in Quebec that hires Medical Electrophysiology Technologists to record and analyze clients EEGs.
Neuroperforma uses only the latest generation of 19-electrode Neurofeedback equipment. This one allows to analyze and train the brain in 2400 places, in 3 dimensions. Although other clinics say they use 19-electrode helmets for the evaluation, many will then do the training with 1 or 2 electrodes, which decreases the efficiency and speed of results.
Different points of service
With now 7 clinics in Quebec, you can find a point of service near you! The quality of service is the same in all our clinics.
Concussion Specialty and Post Traumatic Stress
Neuroperforma learned how to effectively intervene with these conditions with the leaders of the Intrepid Spirit Center (the US Army Center of Excellence for the Treatment of Concussions and Post-Traumatic Stress). ). We therefore have a unique expertise in Quebec in this regard.
Yes. The quality of the services, the training of our staff and the equipment, are all the same in our clinics. Your file is centralized and secure, which means that you can alternate from one clinic to another to do your training.
Traditional systems analyze and train one place at a time (the size of a $ 1 coin) on the surface of the brain. The 19-electrode system that Neuroperfoma uses can read, analyze and train 2400 locations at a time. It also allows to see in a 3 dimensional way and promotes communication between different regions of the brain.
Train 1 player or the entire team:
We now know that the brain works in networks. That is, it is not only a region of the brain that is responsible for performing a function, but it is often several regions that will work together to achieve it. It’s like a team! For the team to be effective, it is necessary that each player has an adequate level of activity (hyperactive or hypoactive players will decrease the effectiveness of the team). In addition, the communication between the players must be effective, but above all it is essential.
Traditional systems only allow analysis and training of only one player at a time and it must absolutely be located on the surface of the brain (the more central regions of the brain cannot be analyzed or trained). Moreover, they do not allow to analyze and train the communication between the players.
In the end, equipment using 19-electrodes is much more expensive and requires more expertise from the people who operate it. On the other hand, for the clients, the results are much faster, effective and the number of pathologies with which we can intervene is much greater.
You will first meet a psychologist for a 30-minute interview.
This is when you will describe your situation, the issues, the symptoms and the goal of the process. Thereafter, a medical electrophysiology technologist will record your brain activity by performing an electroencephalogram (30 min). This completes the first meeting.
Data Analysis and Report Production
The psychologist and medical electrophysiologist will then analyze the data and produce a written report. In this one, is a summary of the interview, pictures of your brain activity. There are also explanations for you to understand the links between the problems and the regions of the brain that would not work optimally at home. At the end of the report, we will propose a training plan in Neurofeedback, specific to your needs and your brain activity.
The results of the report will be discussed with the psychologist during a second appointment. The duration of this meeting is approximately 30 minutes. You will then be ready to start training in Neurofeedback!
Neuroperforma cannot make recommendations with regards to taking or not taking your medication. Many drugs will not affect your brain activity. For health reasons, it is not recommended to stop your medication for the evaluation. Some people will decide not to take their psychostimulant on the day of the assessment in order to have a more accurate reading of their brain activity without medication. However, this decision must be made by the client always consulting his doctor beforehand.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) allows to visually see the brain activity of a person. This technique is widely used in hospitals to identify epilepsy, abnormal electrical activity in the brain, or sleep analysis.
Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), is an EEG to which additional analyzes are carried out by mathematical algorithms in order to:
- Quantify each of the frequencies emitted by the brain
- Locate these in 3 dimensions in the brain of the individual
- Compare the data with a normative basis
- Identify the regions of the brain where there are gaps or excesses of certain frequencies
- Quantify the lack or excess of the different frequencies (in standard deviation unit)
- Measure and quantify the communication between brain regions (this is called coherence)
The objective of the qEEG is to be able to make links between problems experienced and the regions of the brain having deviations in the level of the cerebral activity.
Usually, between 4 to 5 sessions you should start seeing improvements.
Ideally, we propose between 2 to 3 trainings. The suggested minimum to be effective is 1 training per week.
It is recommended not to consume alcohol 48 hours before training.
If consumption is recreational, it is recommended not to consume cannabis within 48 hours of Neurofeedback training. If consumption is therapeutic and necessary, the technologist must be notified. Adjustments will then be made to the training protocol to take into account the effect of cannabis.
It is shown that the benefits obtained with Neurofeedback are usually lasting and permanent. We can even observe that these new brain capacities continue to improve with in the months following the end of Neurofeedback training. A study published by Joel Lubar showed that the improvements were maintained even 10 years after the end of Neurofeedback training.
The first evaluation is 575$ before taxes.
Each training session is 138$ before taxes.
Many insurance companies cover part or all of the costs for assessment and training. Check with your insurance company for their terms.
Seeing as you are under the care of a psychologist or neuropsychologist, psychology receipts are issued for training. The receipt for the qEEG during the assessment is signed by a medical electrophysiology technician.
In many cases, yes. We invite you to contact your compensation agent to make a request.
In many cases, yes. We invite you to contact your compensation agent to make a request.
Neurofeedback trainings usually have no side effects. However, it is normal to sometimes feel a certain tiredness in the hours following the training considering the work done by your brain during a session. Neurofeedback involves a reorganization of the brain networks towards an organization approaching the norms. It is therefore possible, but extremely rare that this progression towards the norm is associated with certain signs that the subject may find uncomfortable or disadvantageous.
For example, some may report a transient increase in dreams, sometimes vivid. Abnormal networks may have some social benefits and their standardization may have several advantages, but also some disadvantages. For example, if impulsive, uninhibited, and thoughtless behaviors are associated with certain benefits and peer recognition for being bold and fearless, the progression toward the norm of the networks involved in this impulsive behavior could also make the subject more hesitant while engaging in risky activities.
No. We do not puncture the skin. We use plastic syringes to apply a few drops of conductive gel between the scalp and the electrode. The conductive gel will allow the ‘electrical link’ to be made between the skin and the electrode so that it can capture the signals emitted by the brain. In this way, even if hair is present, the electrical contact can be made.
No. The electrodes only capture the signals emitted by the brain. They act as antennas.
Yes. Neurofeedback is now classified as a Level 5 treatment for attention disorders according to the Evidence-based Practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback 2016. Level 5 is the highest level of effectiveness for therapeutic approaches.
Yes. Neurofeedback is now classified as a treatment level 4 out of 5 for anxiety disorders according to the “Evidence-based practice in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback 2016”.
Yes. For concussions, we often hear about treatments done in physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy. These are approaches that focus more on the musculoskeletal component. Neurofeedback will rather address the “neurological” aspect: attention difficulties, concentration, memory, anxiety, mood, sleep and certain issues with migraines and the visual aspect.
Yes. When a person experiences a post-traumatic shock, brain regions will activate, to place the individual in a “state of alert”. This is why the individual will often feel anxiety, stress and a feeling of hypervigilance. Neurofeedback has been shown to be effective in calming these areas and thus reducing anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress.
Yes. Studies have shown that Neurofeedback is effective for Dyslexia and the clinical experience we have with this pathology confirms these findings. Our clients have noticed a decrease in dyslexia as Neurofeedback trainings have progressed.
Not many studies have been done on the effect of Neurofeedback on language disorders and its efficacy remains to be established. In clinic, we often notice slight improvements in language following Neurofeedback training.
Yes, often. When a person suffers from chronic pain, we often notice hyperactivity of sensorimotor cortex regions (regions on the top of the head that are involved in pain management). By soothing these areas, using Neurofeedback, many will see a decrease in the perceived pain. If the pain comes from a musculoskeletal problem (fracture, herniated disc), it is highly recommended to consult specialists in these fields (i.e., A physiotherapist, a chiropractor, an osteopath, etc.).
Yes. Often in sleep disorders we will notice either a brain that is hyperactive (excess fast waves, as is observed in anxiety), or a brain that lacks slow waves (which are necessary for restorative sleep). In both cases, Neurofeedback training can bring brain activity towards a better functioning. We often notice a decline and sometimes even complete disappearance of sleep disorders.
Yes. Different studies have shown that people who completed 30 Neurofeedback sessions increased their IQ by 9 to 12 points on average.
Yes. A better brain can certainly bring improvements in sport performances. Several top athletes are now using Neurofeedback to improve their level of concentration, reduce their anxiety, improve the quality of their sleep and thus perform better.