The first step is to do an assessment. This will allow us to better understand your situation and analyze your brain activity in relation with the problems or your objectives. The results of this evaluation will help us target the brain networks to be trained with Neurofeedback.
The initial assessment includes:
- An initial interview with a specialist in order to fully understand your situation and your objectives. (duration from 30 to 45 min)
- Recording of your brain activity (qEEG) which will be done by a medical electrophysiology technologist (duration 30 to 45 min).
- Data analysis and interpretation of the results.
- Writing a report.
- A second meeting with the specialist to receive the results of the evaluation. The report that will be given to you presents your brain activity, the links with the problems and objectives, recommendations as well as a proposal for a specific Neurofeedback training program for you.
Now that we know which neural circuits to train, how can we improve brain activity, knowing that no electric current or magnetic field is administered?
Neurofeedback works with the operant conditioning principle, which is like a reward-based game. It is the same principle used to train a dog to give its paw. When the dog gives its paw, it receives a reward. It gives its paw again and receives another reward. And the exercise is repeated hundreds of times which allows the dog to learn the behavior.
Neurofeedback works the same way. For example, if we want to increase the brain activity of an attention network, we will place the electrode cap on the head of the individual and we will do a real-time reading of the activity of the network we want to train. As soon as the brain “activates” this network, the system will give a reward!
The reward will be a video that will instantly play in front of the person. As soon as the brain “turns off” the network (something we do not want) the system will automatically stop rewarding the person and the video will stop playing.
2000 rewards per session
To bring changes in a person’s brain activity, the conditioning need to be repeated many times. During one neurofeedback session which lasts approximately 50 minutes, the individual will receive around 2000 rewards. The brain activity will often start to improve after as little as 5 to 7 minutes of training.
The changes appear!
Even if we observe changes in brain activity after a single session, it usually takes 5 to 7 sessions of neurofeedback for the individual to start noticing changes in their abilities, behaviors or feelings. We will generally perform around ten neurofeedback sessions per network to train. Two training sessions per week are recommended.