We’ve explained how Neurofeedback is “brain training” and how we use EEG to measure and record the neuron firing patterns in the brain.
But how do we teach the brain to change those patterns?
Neurofeedback uses techniques adopted from Operant Conditioning called Positive Reinforcement. Most of us have heard or know what positive reinforcement is; if you want a behavior to change, you must reward the appropriate responses immediately.
We call Neurofeedback “training” because your brain is rewarded for firing in an appropriate pattern almost immediately after it happens.
How is it rewarded you ask?
Sound is the answer!
We all respond to sound. Music, rhythm, and consistency is a part of every culture and we like the sound to be nice and consistent. It can be very unpleasant to listen to music out of tune or off beat. Sound can make us happy, sad, scared, anxious, or angry without trying. Therefore, the auditory or sound reward that corresponds to an increase or decrease in desired brainwave activity is able to affect the brain on a neurological level.
Auditory reward stimulates auditory pathways, impacts the vestibular system, and has many connections to the reticular activating system, which modulates wakefulness and attention.
Without conscious effort Neurofeedback teaches your brain through automated learning with little or no behavioral effort. The auditory reward (beep) is delivered on a schedule of reinforcement that promotes optimal learning; not too hard and not too easy. This schedule of reinforcement or reward provides just the right amount of resistance to evoke a positive learning pattern.
So, what does all of this mean?
It means that Neurofeedback is a calm, pleasant, and positive learning technique that only requires you to listen and be present, so sit back and enjoy your session.