During the electroencephalographic quantitative evaluation (EEG), the medical electrophysiology technologist affixes a helmet equipped with 19 electrodes on the head. To promote a good conduction of the electrical activity of your brain towards the helmet electrodes, a conductive gel (solution based on water and salt) is applied on each of the electrodes. When recording the EEG, the electrodes placed on your scalp transmit the information to a computer program, which allows to visualize in real time the electric waves generated by the brain.
The EEG evaluation measures the amplitude of the electrical activity of the brain. An analysis is then performed by the technologist to compare the recorded activity with a normative database. This makes it possible to compare the electrical activity of the brain regions and to identify those that have a deviating activity from the norm.
The technique of Neurofeedback would allow the brain to learn how to restore the functioning of underperforming regions. When the brain generates the desired electrical activity, a sound or visual reward is awarded. When viewing the video or listening to music, if the electrical activity emitted by the brain changes and is no longer optimal, the movie or music stops for a few seconds and resumes when the desired activity is again produced unconsciously by the brain. The optimization of the neuro-electrical functioning of the brain by Neurofeedback would, most of the time, make it possible to remedy in part or in total the cognitive difficulties underlying the regions which are altered.
The evaluation measures the amplitude of the brain waves in order to make links with the problems or the objectives. The recording is done with a 19-electrode headphones. The results of this evaluation will make it possible to target the circuits to train in Neurofeedback.
- 30-minute meeting with the neuropsychologist to discuss the situation and goals.
- Recording of brain activity (EEG) by a medical electrophysiology technologist (approximately 30 min).
- The following week: Analysis and second meeting with the neuropsychologist to discuss results. The report presents your brain activity, the links with the problems and objectives as well as a specific Neurofeedback training program proposal for you.
The proposed training is related to the reported symptoms and the objectives. The electrode headset is again installed to capture signals that are emitted by the brain. No electrical or magnetic stimulation is emitted by the helmet.
Neurofeedback is a brain training based on the principle of positive conditioning. When the targeted regions produce the electrical activity approaching the desired optimal level, a reward is granted. This is the same principle as to train a dog to give the paw. When the dog performs the desired behavior, he receives a reward. Repetition of the exercise with the reward allows the dog to acquire the behavior. It’s the same for the brain. Repetition of training in Neurofeedback would acquire the desired brain activity and later the brain could reproduce this activity daily and symptoms related to the circuit could be mitigated
The reward used in Neurofeedback is a video (or music). When the brain produces the desired activity in the targeted regions, the video (or music) plays on the screen in front of the client and when the brain stops, the video (or music) stops. The brain would take a few seconds to understand the activity it should produce and then repeat it during the session. The exercise is repeated from session to session and it is thanks to this repetition that the brain could subsequently reproduce this activity on a daily basis.
Since this is a training, it is recommended to practice twice a week. Each appointment has a total duration of approximately 50 minutes. During training, six five-minute blocks of Neurofeedback are completed for a total of 30 minutes. The rest of the time is allocated to headset setup, signal verification and breaks between blocks so the coach adjusts the settings.
The total number of sessions varies according to the circuits to train. In general, each circuit requires about ten Neurofeedback sessions.