Listen to a recorded conversation about neurofeedback with Siegfried Othmer and interviewer Diana Hoffman of Healing Talk Radio.
Archive for the ‘Neurofeedback’ Category
Soldiers and veterans looking to alleviate the devastating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder might soon have a new way to help themselves. Strangely, it involves using their gray matter to control a video game.
Continue reading Wired article by Katie Drummond at
The careers of the scientist/practitioners in the field have undoubtedly had in common the experience of gradually rising expectations about what is possible to achieve in terms of improved self-regulatory capacity and mental functioning with the aid of neurofeedback. One might have expected some plateauing after a while, a firming up of one’s expectations, but the surprises keep coming and they are consistently on the upside. In our own experience, one of the biggest surprises has been the growing effectiveness of neurofeedback with PTSD, along with the related conditions of developmental trauma and the autism spectrum. All of these conditions had seemed so utterly intractable in the past.
In this newsletter, the focus on PTSD exists not only for its own sake, but also to serve as the best vehicle for the tackling of larger themes. What sets PTSD apart from our clinical work in general is the concentrated effort that has gone into this area by virtue of the great need among our returning veterans. We have attempted to meet this need through a non-profit entity, Homecoming for Veterans (hc4v.org), which has attracted even international participation among clinicians. As a result of these collective efforts, a large database of clinical results has been gathered that is now available for “data-mining.”
This newsletter was first published in NeuroConnections, the joint publication of the AAPB and ISNR, Winter 2011
This year’s ISNR meeting seemed to have more invited speakers who were comfortable talking neurofeedback. In the past, one had the feeling that some presenters were there mainly to collect their speaking fees, and were not really prepared to engage with us on our core assumptions. There is a rising tide in the neurosciences that is lifting all boats, even ours. The conversation is shifting toward a language of networks, of structural and functional connectivity, as the key issue in psychopathology, and toward neuromodulation as a strategy for functional recovery. And there we are, having occupied that space already for some decades.
The field of neurofeedback has found itself subject to conflicting forces over the past decades, and it may be helpful to articulate some of the key factors that are driving our evolution as a discipline. On the one hand, we are subject to the constraints of a health care practitioner guild, and on the other we find ourselves in the much more uncertain terrain of frontier science. The demands of both are in essential conflict. The practitioner guild must represent to the world that a coherent system of practice exists, one grounded hopefully on a coherent model that is subscribed to by all of the practitioners. Guidelines and standards of practice likely follow to clarify for practitioners the choices that have been made for the sake of a credibly defensible public posture.
On the other side we have the practical realities of frontier science, acknowledging that we are just beginning to understand the very powerful tool that we have at our disposal. The original hope (which I shared at the outset) was that a simple set of protocols derived from the original Sterman/Lubar research would serve our collective purposes. These simply needed to be pushed forward into general practice, while being subject merely to some subtle refinements. Our original NeuroCybernetics system was designed with very little flexibility because we did not see a need for it. This simple world view has had to be jettisoned.
This newsletter is a revised version of my first column in NeuroConnections, the joint publication of the ISNR and of the AAPB Neurofeedback Division, which I am currently serving as President. In this forum, the newsletter reaches a larger audience.
It has been observed that Americans remain personally optimistic, by and large, while becoming increasingly pessimistic about what is happening in the society at large. This is certainly the case in our household, as we survey the decline in the relative standing of our country in nearly all measures of social, intellectual, and economic functioning, while at the same time we are highly optimistic about the positive societal potential of the neurofeedback training we have been doing. These divergent perceptions make for an unrelieved sense of urgency about the societal significance of our work. With our methods we are in a position to redress many of society’s critical ills, and to do so at very moderate costs by comparison to the results that can be achieved.