The Foundation for Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience
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What does biofeedback look like?
   
 The therapist computer is usually positioned behind the patient. This enables the therapist to monitor the patient's EEG at any time during the session without disturbing the biofeedback. A single electrode is placed on the scalp (above the motor strip, typically) using gel or paste and two other electrodes are attached to the earlobes. Most patients recline during training. The game computer is placed a few feet away, directly in front of the patient. The patient interacts (only using her EEG) with the game computer for the next 30 minutes.


The therapist looks at a display of the patient’s EEG data (below each data stream are text and average data values). The top line, slightly squiggly, is the person's entire EEG recorded from the scalp by the active electrode. The three wavy lines below show activity in three separate EEG frequency bands or rhythms -- here, theta, SMR, and high beta bands. The patient's goal is to increase certain EEG frequency bands (e.g., SMR) while decreasing others (e.g., theta & high beta).The patient monitors her EEG frequency band activity NOT as wavy lines on the therapist machine, but as elements of a game on the game computer. Each frequency band appears as a colored rectangle which grows larger or smaller in response to her brain wave activity.

Frequency band activity is displayed at the bottom of the screen -- two square "inhibit" boxes on either side on a large "enhance" rectangle. At this instant, she is doing quite well, inhibiting or reducing the activity of the bands represented by purple and yellow (at the moment, mere dots in each corner of the screen). She has increased her SMR activity to a point where it overflows the middle (blue) rectangle. As long as she keeps this up, she will be rewarded in the game with visual and auditory stimuli. During the 30 minute session, she will work to keep purple and yellow small and make blue large as long as possible. She may need to alter her brain activity hundreds of times in order to achieve a brain state which scores the most points. For every half second that her brainwaves stay in the desired state or "zone", she scores another point, an additional seagull appears in the sky (top of screen, barely visible), a new stripe segment is drawn on the highway (middle of screen), and a beep sounds to announce it all. If or when she attains 500 points, the volcano (middle left) will erupt.