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What is the Brain-Machine Interface
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- An attention deficit disorder (ADD) may occur with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) or learning disability (LD). EEG brainwaves in individuals with ADD contain a high ratio of slow waves (theta EEG, 4-8 Hz) to fast activity waves (beta EEG, 16-20 Hz) as compared to persons without ADD.
- EEG biofeedback trains a subject to increase the amount of beta EEG activity that is generated during times when the subject needs to concentrate, and to reduce the amount of theta EEG associated with day dreaming.
- EEG biofeedback uses a single or multiple channel EEG instrument coupled with a computer system. Sensors placed on the head record EEG waves, which are represented on the computer screen as a spectrum of frequencies, which are used by the clinician to calibrate the training exercises to follow. During training sessions, the subject is presented with a series of tasks (reading, listening to stories, etc.) and is rewarded by changes in the game on the computer screen when he or she produces a certain level of beta wave activity. Each session lasts approximately an hour.
- Teachers and parents report that children who successfully complete EEG training significantly improve their ability to complete homework accurately, to concentrate in class, to listen effectively, and to maintain their attention to tasks. There is an improvement in self-esteem and a decrease in impulsive behaviors. There is also an associated increase in scores on IQ tests that will vary for each subject, primarily as a result of improved concentration.
- The research indicates that subjects who respond well to Ritalin and similar medication are likely to respond well to EEG Biofeedback and vice versa. Clinical experience indicates that approximately 4 out of 5 likely subjects will respond well to the training and successfully complete.
- Children receiving medication for ADD are often able to decrease or eliminate the need for medication as EEG training progresses. The medication does not interfere with EEG training, and may be maintained as long as it is still necessary.
- No side effects have been observed from this type of treatment.
- The beneficial effects are cumulative with treatment, and there is no evidence that the effects fade over time.
- While EEG biofeedback training is specifically targeted to the child or adult with ADD, it offers improvements in concentration to persons with normal EEG as well.
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