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What is the Brain-Machine Interface
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Lately EEG biofeedback is finding prominence in the fields of alcohol and cocaine addiction (Peniston & Kulkosky), in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (Peniston & Kulkosky), and in the treatment of attention-deficit disorders (Lubar & Shouse). Unfortunately, the commercially-available equipment that monitored EEG for biofeedback use in the 1960s and 1970s was much less accurate than it is today, and inflexible in its ability to both select bands to respond to and feedback contingencies for providing biofeedback. Further, the oversimplified way in which EEG feedback was used gave its use a bad name, and attached ridicule to its use especially when it was used to promote "alpha" as a cure-all. The EEG feedback and monitoring available to practitioners today is very much more sophisticated in its signal processing and analysis capabilities than was previous equipment. But while today's improved equipment makes it possible to do a variety of more sophisticated applications and keep better records, important for both research and practice, the treatment duration involved in such courses of treatments is often 30, 60, or more sessions, and is therefore very time- and dollar-consuming, commodities that are increasingly rare in these days of managed care and cutbacks in employer-sponsored medical care.
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