What is Neurofeedback?

Shhh… Want to Take a Peek inside the NeurOptimal® System?

Zengar has been developing a Neurofeedback system for years that they have referred to as a Non-linear Dynamical® approach to brain training. But what in the world does that mean? It is sometimes difficult to call this system ‘Neurofeedback’, because this educational brain training program has very little in common with the Linear approach that so many people understand as Neurofeedback.

It helps to understand a little more about the brain. The Brain is ever-changing. Neuroplasticity is an example of how the brain is constantly changing and evolving. Did you know, every time we learn something new the brain is actually making a structural change to itself?! The Central Nervous System (CNS) communicates through the detection of change. The brain’s ability to create neuro-pathways and adapt to a new set of changes is essential for learning and ‘surviving’ …this is called a ‘self-organizing dynamic system’. At the same time, the brain is inherently geared towards the ‘general’ (imprecise) self-regulation based on information. In other words, the brain does not require absolute (or precise) information to learn from, it is always learning and drawing conclusions and formulating, judging, comparing from what information it has received visually, auditorily, tactilely and so forth. What we mean by this can be explained better in an analogy.

A child does not require being taught the ‘BEST’ way to walk (standing so many inches apart) – but rather through experimentation the brain discovers and develops an internal balance and a natural gait unique to that individual. The brain processes and assesses feedback (information) from its own muscles & muscular-skeletal system about its position and stability in space and finds a comfortable stance.
NeurOptimal® has been designed to work in conjunction with the way the body communicates to itself. The training program is Infinitely cycling thereby mirroring through an auditory and visual feedback system a process for the brain to self-regulate. No ABSOLUTE values are ‘augmented’ or ‘inhibited’ as with a Linear process, because as trainers we understand that the brain inherently knows what is ‘best’ and understands the “amount” of activity required for specific functions. NeurOptimal® also understands that individual ‘needs’ vary from brain to brain. So, who better to regulate that than the inherent wisdom of that person’s own brain?

To better understand the process of the CNS let’s compare it to an orchestra. We can think of the instruments as the different parts of the brain…when the brain is healthy all of the parts play together, and are balanced, making an incredible harmonious sound. However, when one instrument is:

In a different ‘time signature’ playing notes too long or short compared to the rest of the orchestra, there is a mismatch in ’Duration’.
If any are ‘too loud’ or “too soft”, there is a mismatch in ‘Intensity’
If any are off key, too sharp or flat, the mismatch is in the ‘Frequency’
Or if any of the information is just ‘off-beat’ or changing the melody, this is noticed as a ‘Shift’.

As the NeurOptimal® system constantly detects these 4-D changes in the brain’s electrical activity (DIFS) it mirrors back to the individual that one or more of these is in the process of change within the CNS – and this gives ‘feedback’ to the overall balance.

The DIFS detection built into the NeurOptimal® software system is mathematically calculating and detecting the change in the cortical activity millisecond by millisecond. This mirroring indicates the information that change is about to occur and the interruption is the feedback that is informing you in “real time”. Then the CNS in its own intrinsic wisdom, makes the changes it deems necessary for personal transformation.

Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if you have migraines, attention problems, sleep issues, fatigue, anxiety, depression or any other ‘symptom’. The symptom is just your body’s way of saying “Hey, pay attention to me, I am not balancing well and need NeurOptimal®!”

Brain Training Among Best Natural Remedies for Migraines Says Psychologist

IMG_1230-1x1-optimizedMigraines are more than just a headache — they are a global health issue. 30 million people are directly affected and migraines cost employers $13 billion every year in lost worker productivity. That’s more than diabetes and asthma combined. For many sufferers, attacks are completely debilitating and can last as long as 72 hours.

Unfortunately, the Migraine Research Foundation estimates that the majority of migrainers never seek medical treatment. That may be because the medications involved can cause side-effects worse then the original migraine. That leaves natural remedies for migraines – like neurofeedback.  Dr. Sue Brown is among those people (women are 3 times more susceptible to the condition) who has lived with severe migraines all her life. Fortunately, she’s also an inventor and brain training expert. Brown didn’t co-found NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback specifically to address her migraine symptoms, but employing her own neurofeedback system for that purpose has transformed her life.


5 Ways Brain Training Is Like Spring Cleaning For Your Mind

No-not-my-brains-ImgurYou’ve been avoiding it, but desperately need it. You don’t have time for it, but somehow, it HAS to get done. Spring cleaning. It’s time.

Spring cleaning is one those traditions that defies common sense. It’s as if someone said: “Wow; it’s warm; the snow’s melted, flowers are blooming! Let’s spend this weekend inside and move my dusty CD’s down to the basement!”

Spring cleaning is the ultimate ode to the puritan work ethic of joyless tasks. But for those of us who profoundly neglect our cleaning duties the other 11 months of the year, there’s no getting around it.


Flood of Interest in NeurOptimal’s Unique Neurofeedback System

neurofeedback-conferenceSouthern California is currently in the throes of a serious drought. But on September 26th, there was an unexpected flood. The deluge came in the form of people: hyper-ambitious, self-improvement-types gathered from all over the world to sample the latest human performance technologies at The BulletProof Executive’s “Biohacking Conference” in Pasadena, California. But of all the vendors offering superfoods, health-boosting tips and digital gadgetry, the brain training system offered by NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback generated perhaps the biggest buzz of the conference.

Once word got out, the flood began.


What is neurofeedback training “like”? Think of it as Netflix for Your Brain.

neurofeedback-like-netflixWhat is neurofeedback? Like exactly. Go ahead, log into Netflix. See there the rows of recommendations? That’s not magic: that’s an algorithm. Netflix “remembers” whatyou watched, how you rated past films, then correlates that data against your viewing habits.  A blink-of-an-eye search of the media database then produces “recommendations” based on your preferences. That’s why documentaries about hermetic hoarders never pop up on your screen – Netflix knows you’re not into that (who is?). So the algorithm saves precious hours of your life and spares your eyeballs having to scroll through the 100,000 available titles. Thanks, Netflix!


No One is an Island: Brain Training and Family Systems

neurofeedback-and-family-systemsWe’ve always known that life is a system, that humans live in social systems.

Greeks personified bits of human personality, then used relationships between those bits as a way of understanding behavior. Why there were heroes and villains. Why some people were just regular guys, unmotivated by mythic forces.

Medieval thinkers imagined a psychomachia, little people embodying virtues and vices, who battled literally, inside a person’s body.


Defending Your Castle: Building Cognitive Reserve with Neurofeedback

cognitive-reserve-and-neurofeedbackSo, three castles: the first is built of stone on the traditional model. Same slits for arrows, a little crenellation and a nice moat with ducks.

A contingent of serfs and knights, sitting around eating turkey legs and repeating the jester’s jokes. Badly. Second castle’s really big, heavy with redundancies. Two moats, a couple of extra walls. Still on the traditional model, just more of everything.  Third castle? Same. Except it’s clearly cleverer. Someone’s an improver, learning new things. The knights and serfs, well, they’re doing calisthenics and mock-jousting and trying new ways to smoke turkeys so they keep longer. They work smart.


NeurOptimal’s Neurofeedback Conference: An Award-Worthy Sequel

palm-springs-sunset-copyIt’s Oscar night. How many sequels do you see up for serious awards, you know: actor, director, best picture? The answer would be uh, zero. Why? Because it’s very difficult to duplicate a vital, initial spark of creativity and the box office success that follows. Not because the good folks in Hollywood don’t try, but at some point, expansion upon the same idea just isn’t all that interesting, creative…or award-worthy.


Acting More Like A Monk May Save You From Cognitive Impairment In Old Age

brain aging and neurofeedbackWho would have guessed that monks were keen cerebral strategists against aging and cognitive impairment?  As a way to keep their minds sharp amidst requisite isolation, medieval monks often stored memories in so called “memory-houses” they “built” inside their brains. They furnished each “room” with a kind of memory and when they wanted to retrieve it, they mentally walked themselves to the right room and got what they needed.

In effect, they created about a geography of memory — a google maps-like server where memories are warehoused, indexed, and organized. And they did it a millennium BEFORE the hard drive was even invented.


Why Neurofeedback Is Like A Superhero That Slays Insomnia

natural-remedies-for-insomniaLet’s say you’re the world’s worst farmer. You have a gigantic stable. You have, conservatively speaking, a billion cows. You don’t clean the stable for thirty years. Thirty. Years. Who do you call?

Hercules, of course.

And Hercules has to help. As half-God, half-human, he’s constantly screwing up. He must atone. So he dams a river, digs some trenches, lets the water loose in the building to wash all the gunk away. Sparkling clean it was, after that.