What to Expect in a Session
Before starting Neurofeedback:
Before your start Neurofeedback, you will probably have a qEEG and a qEEG review session. This tells us where to start! Then, when you come in for your first neurofeedback session, Dr. Novian will talk the time to show you the equipment, explain exactly what will occur in session, and answer any questions before actually hooking up the sensors.
Time: Approximately 10 minutes
Sensors will be attached to your scalp. These sensors receive information from the brain and send that information to the computer. Although these sensors are often called electrodes, they are NOT able to send electricity into the brain. This is not electro-shock therapy!
Step 1: Dr. Novian will clean your scalp with alcohol, this helps the sensors to get a clean and clear signal, as well as allowing it to stick on the scalp.
Step 2: Some paste will be put on the sensor. This paste is a kind of conductive adhesive that can be washed off easily. It allows electrical signals to pass through it, so the sensor can pick up an accurate wave.
Step 3: I will place the sensor on your scalp on at least one of sixteen different spots on the brain, depending on where you need the training. Sometimes I need only one sensor, other times 2 or 3, again depending on what our goal for that session is.
Time: Approximately 30 minutes
This is when the real work is done! This process is presented in steps here so that you can see the process, but really these things are all happening at the same time.
Step 1: The sensors will tell the computer what frequencies and amplitudes they are picking up from your brain.
Step 2: Dr. Novian will tell the computer what frequency and amplitude it should reward, and which ones it should discourage as well as how easily the rewards should be given. Dr. Novian will adjust this throughout the session based on how you are responding.
Step 3: The computer then sends you almost instantaneous feedback in a visual and/or auditory way.
Step 4: Your brain learns how to receive the reward, thereby creating the correct waves.
One example of feedback is a "game" in which you look at a skateboarder traveling through a drainage ditch. The computer shows you feedback in several ways. First is a set of thermometers which show you if you are making not enough, or more than enough of a certain frequency band. too much of the slower frequencies, and your skateboarder will slow down, too much of the faster frequencies, and the character will crash. If you are making a smaller amount of the slow and fast, and you are making at least a certain amount of the healthy frequency, then the character will do tricks. As Dr. Novian watches the EEG readout on his computer screen, he will tell the computer to reward you, usually between 60-70% of the time that you are meeting the goal. This percentage is not Dr. Novian being stingy with the reward, it is because if the reward is set at less of a percentage, you will feel frustrated and give up, where if the reward is given too often, your brain will not understand that it is having an impact on the character moving.
Clean Up & Process
Time: Approximately 20 minutes
In these 10 minutes, Dr. Novian will go over what happened in the session, clean up your scalp (after all, you don't want to walk around with goop in your hair!) and discuss future goals. You will talk about what you need be looking for, both positive and negative. Side effects of neurofeedback are very mild: you sleep more or less than normal, you have more energy than normal or a little less than normal, etc. You may be asked to watch for headaches, hyper focus, or drowsiness. If the side effect is bothering you too much, you can always call, and we will get you in and take care of it quickly.