“Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument."

"Recently, neurofeedback (a form of biofeedback that gives people feedback about their own brainwaves) has even been used to help children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Psychologist Vincent J. Monastra and colleagues supplemented a well-documented treatment program (Ritalin plus special training for parents) by giving some treated children neurofeedback on top of the medical and parental intervention. The traditional treatment was initially very effective, but when treated children were later taken off Ritalin, only those who had also received neurofeedback were able to maintain the improvements they had shown."

 

"According to a recent study by Egner and Gruzelier, highly skilled musicians who received neurofeedback improved their musical performance (as assessed by expert judges kept blind to the training) by the equivalent of one class of honors in music. In the future, biofeedback may be used to enhance the performance of healthy people in much the same way that it has already been used to treat physical and mental disorders."

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Melanie R. O'Neill, PsyD, BCB

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© 2018 by Melanie R. O'Neill, PsyD, BCB