Brain Waves and Attention

obyvatel

The Living Force
I recently came into contact with the work of Dr Lester Fehmi, the director of Princeton Behavioral Medicine and Biofeedback Clinic, which deals with the topic of attention and its relationship with brain waves. I think some of his ideas are very relevant to some topics discussed in this forum. I got the bulk of the material from a paper written by Dr Fehmi named "Attention to attention" which is available for free download (after registration) at the website _http://www.openfocus.biz/publications. I have read some additional material to gain a better understanding of this paper and to also find some supporting research material. Hope this would be useful.

Brain Waves
It is well known that the brain produces electrical activity which can be recorded in a EEG . The following material about brain waves is taken from wikipedia, _http://www.hypnosis-and-health.com/brain-wave.html and Finding Spirit In the Fabric of Space and Time .

Brain wave frequencies are usually grouped into the following categories

Delta : 1-4Hz: Seen in deep sleep. Highest in amplitude. It is usually most prominent frontally in adults and posteriorly in children

Theta: 4-8Hz: For adults, this is seen in light sleep . It is seen frequently in young children. It is associated with hypnagogia (onset of sleep from wakefulness) and hypnopompia (onset of wakefulness from sleep). Also reported in meditation.

Alpha: 8-12Hz: Brought about by relaxation – closing eyes. It is attenuated with eye opening or mental exertion. This is activity is seen in the posterior regions of the head on both sides, being higher in amplitude on the dominant side. This activity is now referred to as "posterior basic rhythm," the "posterior dominant rhythm" or the "posterior alpha rhythm." The posterior basic rhythm is actually slower than 8 Hz in young children (therefore technically in the theta range).
[my comments: could there be a connection to young children often "seeing" stuff that is not visible to others?]

Beta: 13-40Hz: Normal, active waking state. It is seen usually on both sides in symmetrical distribution and is most evident frontally. Beta activity is closely linked to motor behavior and is generally attenuated during active movements. Wide awake, alert, focused, analyses and assimilates new information rapidly, complex mental processing, peak physical and mental performance, cannot be sustained indefinitely otherwise exhaustion, anxiety, and tension result.

Gamma: 40-100Hz: Gamma rhythms are thought to represent binding of different populations of neurons together into a network for the purpose of carrying out a certain cognitive or motor function. It is distributed in different parts of the brain. Important in harmonizing and unifying thoughts processed in different parts of the brain. Combines different perceptions.
High levels of gamma synchrony has been observed in Tibetan meditation masters who were operating in the 80-100Hz region.

40 Hz: Important in cognition, especially coordinating simultaneous processing in all parts of the brain. Deficiencies exhibit learning difficulties. Produced during hypnotic states.
Some propose that gamma synchrony is related to having conscious experiences or flickers of awareness.

Brain Synchrony
Brain processes and conducts information most efficiently when the neurons fire synchronously. Simultaneous in-phase activity of a number of brain cells spread over an area is termed brain synchrony. If the area of activation is narrow or localized, then it is called local synchrony. If the area is spread over different regions of the brain, then it is called global synchrony. In general, brain synchrony measures how well coordinated are the different parts of the brain.
Here is an excerpt from a recent paper from NIMH ( _http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2010/nimh-31.htm)
Successful performance of such tasks [working memory tasks — holding information in mind from moment to moment.] depends on good connections in a circuit linking the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. To measure such functional connections, Gordon and colleagues monitored signals emitted by single neurons implanted in the two distant brain structures while mice performed a working memory task in a T-maze.
The more in-sync the neurons from the two areas fired, the better the functional connections between the two structures — and the better the mice performed the task. Moreover, the better the synchrony to start with, the quicker the animals learned the task. The more synchrony improved, the better they performed.
Large scale asynchronous brain wave activity has been shown to produce disease states like ADD, schizophrenia, depression and other conditions.
Research has also shown that synchronous neuronal firing is a fundamental mechanism to increase the amplitude and power of brain signals which represent important stimuli – or in other words improve the “signal to noise” ratio.

Alpha Waves and Synchrony
Alpha brain waves are found to be related to creativity and other desirable characteristics.
Following are excerpts from an article by Johnson, T (2010, June 29). Alpha Brain Waves: What Are The Benefits? from _http://uberarticles.com/health-and-fitness/alpha-brain-waves-what-are-the-benefits
To cause more alpha brain waves it is necessary to be relaxed. This can be done through meditation, controlled breathing and listening to certain kinds of music.
There are some useful reasons to do this such as aiding memory and creativity. Scientists have found that creative people have more alpha waves and when they are presented with a problem they have high bursts of them. This means when you have a problem the best thing to do could be to relax and try to induce this state. It is thought that this may happen because it is easier to access the subconscious and imaginative parts of the brain.
If you are trying to learn a new skill, especially one which requires you to remember a lot of new things then the alpha state can help. It could improve your memory and thinking skills. The state is characterized by less neural activity which could mean that the thoughts are less crowded and more energy can be used to form memories. Listening to some types of classical music while studying could really improve your abilities.
Muscle relaxation is a concept used by many top athletes and musicians. Once a skill is learned a level of relaxation is possible while performing and this is thought to help the performance. Scientists have shown that at these times these people also have bursts of alpha waves so it may be that the brain is helping the muscles.

In general, research has shown that the alpha frequencies are one range of frequencies where brain is most synchronous with most neurons being simultaneously excited. Dr Fehmi’s hypothesis is that conscious control of alpha frequencies might be a key to enhancing brain function. Hence one of his research goals was to increase the ambient level of multi-lobe alpha synchrony and amplitude. To this end, various methods were tried.
[quote author=Dr Fehmi: Attention to Attention]
We studied the effects of relaxation and imagery protocols, instructions and learning goals, music, lighting, colors, darkness, silence, incense, light strobing, efficacy of visual vs auditory vs tactile stimulation as the feedback signal, analog vs digital versions of the feedback signal, hemispheric dominance and feedback delay regarding learning to control the production of brain wave synchrony. All these variables and others appeared to have at least mild learning effects, for a time upon a small percentage of individuals. Effects were generally positive to a small degree but some were to our surprise negative. For example, almost any detailed instructions about how to produce more alpha amplitude or abundance had immediate negative effects, even when the instructions were well understood.
…………….
The greatest general and most reliable production of alpha synchrony occurred in response to what I have come to call “object less imagery”. Questions that refer to the multisensory experience of space, nothingness, emptiness or “absence” often elicit large amplitude and prolonged periods of alpha activity. I wanted to understand why this object less imagery is more generally powerful than well-known relaxation and imagery protocols in producing alpha synchrony and how it comes to impact us.
[/quote]
He also mentions that one of the most effective and immediate increase of alpha amplitude happened when subjects were asked to visualize the space between their eyes. In general it was also observed that synchronous alpha activity was enhanced with closed eyes and opening the eyes desynchronized the brain waves. Also imagining objects desynchronized the brain waves. When space is imagined, the attention cannot grip onto a particular object and more relaxation is possible leading to production of synchronous alpha wave activity.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Attention
[quote author=Dr Fehmi : Attention to Attention]
Attention is defined as those behavioral and mental (and underlying neural) processes which control the style and direction of awareness.
………………..
The attentional model of awareness includes two overlapping sets of axes and four parameters. The horizontal set of axes depicts the scope of attention, which extends from a spherical and unlimited diffuse attention at one end to a narrow scope and focus of attention at the other. The vertical set of axes depicts proximity to experience which extends from objective or separate from the contents of attention at the top to absorbed or immersed attention at the bottom of the vertical axis.
Each of these parameters , as their descriptors suggest, represent individual characteristics of attention. The extreme of diffuse or broad attention is associated with an all-round, three dimensional, simultaneous and equal attention to all available external and internal stimuli and the space in which they occur. Narrow or pointed attention refers to an awareness of a limited subset of available stimuli to the exclusion of other stimuli.
The extreme of objective or separate attention occurs when the self is completely remote from the contents of the attention, disconnected from single or multisensory experience of the attender, without empathy or intuition (into-it-ness). Extremes of objective or separate attention are associated with coldness where as extreme immersed or absorbed attention may be associated with warmth and closeness, full immersion in ongoing single or multisensory experience.
[/quote]
He goes on to characterize the 4 styles of attention with their effects and attendant EEG activity.

1) Narrow focus – objective (separate) type of attention is the attentional style most dominant in our society. …..While rapid and complete attentional narrowing and objective focus is at times necessary for optimal behavior, there is in our day, an unfortunate tendency towards overuse and consequent chronic rigidity of narrow-objective (separate) attentional processing. Examples would be lion stalking prey, emergency, college exam, obsessing on work to narrow focus away from (deny) an emotional problem.

Effects: Sympathetic nervous system dominance; high arousal and adrenalin. Left brain dominant. Fight or flight.

EEG: High frequencies dominant at low amplitude. Least whole brain synchrony.

2) The attentional opposite of narrow-objective (separate) attention is a diffuse focus- immersed attention. This type of attention represents the release from a narrow and objective (separate) attentional focus, a release which is intermittently therapeutic for attentional effectiveness and flexibility. Example is meditation with mind unself-conscious and body at rest. Most relaxed state akin to sleep.

Effects: Parasympathetic nervous system dominance with low arousal. Right brain dominance. Drifting into sleep.

EEG: Low frequencies dominant at high amplitude. Most whole brain synchrony

3) The diffuse focus – objective (separate) mode of attention is one in which multisensory experience is simultaneously and objectively (separately) present, a potentially vast multidimensional objective awareness. An array of objective (separate) sensations hang suspended in the midst of a more general diffuse awareness of space. Playing in a band, appreciating a panoramic sunset, going for a walk or driving a car – these are among the activities for which an appropriate relational strategy may emphasize diffuse focus – objective attention.

Effects: relative sympathetic and parasympathetic balance. Moderate arousal. Relative left-right hemisphere balance. Relaxed alert.

EEG: Middle frequencies dominant in amplitude. Moderate whole brain synchrony


4) The immersed - narrow focus type of attention includes absorptive modes such as intellectually interesting or emotionally and physically pleasant and stimulating activities. These are activities which one wishes to amplify with narrow focus and to which one wishes to move experientially closer to, in order to intensify and savor the event. Part of the attraction of certain cultural, artistic and athletic or physical events may be to provide an occasion for becoming absorbed and immersed with minimum self-consciousness. This also makes understandable the common example of the inertia and irritation experienced when distracted or interrupted from a task in which you are narrowly and deeply involved. One is forced to become self-conscious again and to experience the self-other split again.

Effects: Relative sympathetic and parasympathetic balance. Moderate arousal. Left-right hemisphere balance. Alert relaxed.

EEG: Middle frequencies dominant in amplitude. Moderate whole brain synchrony.

Each of the attention styles has its appropriate place. Dr Fehmi contends that it is possible through training to attain the attentional flexibility to move freely between attentional styles and at times, incorporate all the styles simultaneously. He says that
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
Because of the physical and functional independence of each of the mechanisms which give rise to each of the parameters of attention, it is possible for all of them to be present simultaneously. Thus we possess the potential to attend to any given content of attention in a variety of styles, individually, in combination, and by degrees.
[/quote]
We may develop an attentional bias where we habitually favor one mode of attention over others - but this exacts a cost from us in physiological terms.
The narrow focus – objective (separate) attention style is most developed in our society. Chronic narrow focusing is a significant source of stress and tension. The physiological state corresponding to this attentional style is one with a emergency level arousal. Chronic overuse of this attentional style leads to accumulation of stress and tension by preventing the natural homeostatic mechanisms of normalization of physical functions from working. Dr Fehmi states that training in diffuse focus helps to get rid of the stress and is found to promote narrow focusing skills – which can help with attention deficit disorders. The goal is to move towards an integrated from of attention where
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
We perceive the whole field of available experience while centering upon what is relevant or most important. This form of attention is associated with different combinations of amplitude, frequency and synchrony of brain wave activity than were described regarding strong biases for individual attention styles. In general, high frequency activity is more equally and simultaneously present and riding on or modulating , low frequency activity as we move toward Open Focus attention and away from singular biases of attention.
[/quote]

Attentional flexibility using alternating attention styles in a clinical setting has resulted in dissolution of various types of physical and emotional pain. Regarding the topic of healing past emotional trauma,
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
In the traditional view, catharsis and health requires the release into conscious awareness of previously hidden content. The emphasis is upon the content. In the view espoused in this paper, the content of attention is not all-important. Consideration of attention itself, both in therapy and in daily life, is at least as important as content. In fact, both the repression and subsequent release of trauma-related content, result from the use and later suspension of use of specific attention styles. That is, the release of content into awareness depends upon the release or disuse of those specific attention styles which had previously served as the mechanism of repression. It is precisely through changing our attention ie an increase in attentional flexibility, that we are able to access repressed content. ……… Appropriate attention skills will support integration and desensitization of released material.
…………….
Practicing whole or local brain synchrony can release into awareness recent or long-forgotten memories and other vivid material.
[/quote]
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Attention, its Content, and sense of Self
Based on research results it is proposed that
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
Attention itself is represented by one phase of coherent brain activity in a brain region and its content is represented by another phase of coherent activity in a connected or contiguous brain region. Two waves are defined as coherent when they maintain a stable phase relationship with each other. In general certain distributions of brain synchrony represent the process of attention, and the content of the attention are represented by other interacting distributions of synchronous coherent activity, which are however asynchronous (but still coherent) with the first distribution.
[/quote]
Dr Fehmi then illustrates with an example where the two functionally separate regions of the brain are designated A (for attention) and C (for content of attention). Functional regions “A” and “C” may be spatially distributed across the brain. All electrical activity in the various spatial components of “A” are phase synchronous – which means the waves generated have exactly the same frequency and phase – the waves crest and trough together. Similarly for “C”. However activity of “A” may be in phase or out of phase with activity of “C”. “A” and “C” are still coherent – which means they have a stable phase relationship. Now
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
The mechanism for the temporary establishment and clarity of conscious objective (separate) attention involves a form of out-of-phase coherence between the activity of the brain areas associated with the subject (“A”) and the object (“C”).
[/quote]
In a simplistic way, the sense of self “S” (the witnessing awareness of this phenomenon) can be represented electrically by the interference pattern arising out of the interactions of “A” and “C” at the borders of the 2 regions.

As a special case, when “A” and “C” are exactly 180 degrees out of phase thus perfectly canceling each other at their interface “S” – the sense of self may disappear.
[my comments] Could this case of destructive interference resulting in a loss of self be related to a state of profound identification (in Work terms) with the object of attention?
“A” and “C” could also be exactly in-phase leading to a profound integration of subject, object and self – the result of perfect synchrony in the brain areas.
[my comments] Could this special case of constructive interference be related to the glimpses of higher states of consciousness alluded to by Gurdjieff and others in esoteric literature?


Comments
In general it seems that our general state of lack of synchrony in our brain activity could be analogous to the Work idea of multiple “I”’s or fragmented sense of self. As more areas of the brain are brought into synchrony (possibly at the alpha frequencies) – something that can be achieved possibly while doing meditation (eg EE/POTS) , there is a sense of relaxation and certain level of integration of the self. Dr Fehmi’s observation of increase in alpha wave synchrony while visualizing space (which has no-thing for the mind to grasp on) seem to echo Castaneda’s Don Juan’s concept of “not doing”.
Dr Fehmi’s work talks about gaining a measure of control to flexibly implement the different attention styles through Open Focus training which possibly results in more overall synchrony of the brain and integration of the self. He acknowledges some parallels with meditation techniques and says that attention training with neurofeedback can speed up the development of such a flexible attention style. He shares his own experience with using his techniques
[quote author=Dr Fehmi]
After practicing in this alpha abundant state for over a week, I observed surprising changes in myself. My whole body, and some particularly tense muscles in my face and neck, relaxed, yet I felt alert, centered and poised. My sleep improved. I experienced an unusual mental sharpness and clarity. Colors seemed more vibrant and rich. My rather compulsive personality style softened. Most unusual of all, it seemed that the scope of my vision opened; when I looked around, I took in more with less effort.
[/quote]
He also works on 2 person attention training with neurofeedback where brain waves of one participant can be brought into synchrony with that of the other – 2 person frequency resonance in other words. Such training is used to increase the connectedness between individuals. Such an approach chimes well with the concept of colinearity and FRV of a group.
 

vectis

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Bravo Obyvatel, this is an area I have a lot of interest in. Thank you for presenting this research.
 

SeekinTruth

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VERY interesting. Thanks for posting this, Obyvatel. I like the idea of increasing the flexibility of attention styles and using them simultaneously. This is definitely something to keep in mind and experiment with.
 

clarabell

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Thanks. Very interesting especially the high levels of gamma synchrony observed in Tibetan masters? Makes me wonder if they are vegetarian?
 

Approaching Infinity

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A recent study was done on non-trance mediums (_http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/12/26/heres-what-happens-to-the-brain-when-communicating-with-the-dead/ and _http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834/abstract).

During this task, each mental state was repeated three times, and statistically significant differences were obtained through electrocortical activity among the four conditions by all six participants, primarily in the gamma band, which are the fastest brainwave frequencies ever recorded.(1) It’s important to note that differences were not only found in the gamma band, but the theta and alpha frequency bands as well.

Statistically significant differences at p < 0.01 after correction for multiple comparisons in electrocortical activity among the four conditions were obtained in all six participants, primarily in the gamma band (which might be due to muscular activity). These differences suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Approaching Infinity said:
A recent study was done on non-trance mediums (_http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/12/26/heres-what-happens-to-the-brain-when-communicating-with-the-dead/ and _http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834/abstract).

During this task, each mental state was repeated three times, and statistically significant differences were obtained through electrocortical activity among the four conditions by all six participants, primarily in the gamma band, which are the fastest brainwave frequencies ever recorded.(1) It’s important to note that differences were not only found in the gamma band, but the theta and alpha frequency bands as well.

Statistically significant differences at p < 0.01 after correction for multiple comparisons in electrocortical activity among the four conditions were obtained in all six participants, primarily in the gamma band (which might be due to muscular activity). These differences suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination.

From general brainwave research findings, alpha waves correlate with predominantly inhibitory neural responses. Alpha wave synchrony across different brain areas gives a state of relaxed awareness. When a task is given which engages a particular area of the brain, alpha waves from that focus area desynchronize with the rest of the brain. But the brain areas not stimulated by the task increase their alpha wave synchrony - it seems that these areas would not interfere with the task but would be held in alert readiness. Some research findings indicate that voluntary inhibition structures the subsequent processing of sensory input.

Gamma waves are known to be involved in combining multiple sensory inputs and different brain processes to achieve a coherent cognition. When gamma activity is induced, it is reported to increase when presented with line drawings of real objects and decrease when distorted drawings were presented.

A suitable combination of alpha and gamma activities leading to distinct states seem quite interesting.
 

Turgon

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obyvatel said:
A suitable combination of alpha and gamma activities leading to distinct states seem quite interesting.

Came across this on Wikipedia about meditation and gamma states

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_wave#cite_note-16
Experiments on Tibetan Buddhist monks have shown a correlation between transcendental mental states and gamma waves.[14][15] A suggested explanation is based on the fact that the gamma is intrinsically localized. Neuroscientist Sean O'Nuallain suggests that this very existence of synchronized gamma indicates that something akin to a singularity - or, to be more prosaic, a conscious experience - is occurring.[14] This work adduces experimental and simulated data to show that what meditation masters have in common is the ability to put the brain into a state in which it is maximally sensitive.

As hinted above, gamma waves have been observed in Tibetan Buddhist monks. A 2004 study took eight long-term Tibetan Buddhist practitioners of meditation and, using electrodes, monitored the patterns of electrical activity produced by their brains as they meditated. The researchers compared the brain activity of the monks to a group of novice meditators (the study had these subjects meditate an hour a day for one week prior to empirical observation). In a normal meditative state, both groups were shown to have similar brain activity. However, when the monks were told to generate an objective feeling of compassion during meditation, their brain activity began to fire in a rhythmic, coherent manner, suggesting neuronal structures were firing in harmony. This was observed at a frequency of 25–40 Hz, the rhythm of gamma waves. These gamma-band oscillations in the monk’s brain signals were the largest seen in humans (apart from those in states such as seizures). Conversely, these gamma-band oscillations were scant in novice meditators. Though, a number of rhythmic signals did appear to strengthen in beginner meditators with further experience in the exercise, implying that the aptitude for one to produce gamma-band rhythm is trainable.[16]

Which I take it to mean that their level of concentration and ability to focus and pay attention must be incredible. In relation to what Gurdjieff said about Self-remembering and being actively conscious of both internal and external stimuli simultaneously; I wonder if when a person is in a heightened state of awareness, say after a person receives a shock and there are multiple associations in the mind occurring as well as having the lies and narratives exposed, a person is in a temporary state of gamma oscillation or near to it.

And if, because it's a high intensity state, people can't stay in that area of perception or consciousness for long, they fall back to

Beta: 13-40Hz: Normal, active waking state. It is seen usually on both sides in symmetrical distribution and is most evident frontally. Beta activity is closely linked to motor behavior and is generally attenuated during active movements. Wide awake, alert, focused, analyses and assimilates new information rapidly, complex mental processing, peak physical and mental performance, cannot be sustained indefinitely otherwise exhaustion, anxiety, and tension result.

Which pretty much describes the state of humanity in that society is high tension and everything needs to be done fast with a certain lack of conscious attention and very much connected to what Fehni describes as narrow focus. The alertness described in beta state is different than what is described in the alpha state attention frequency being a doorway to creativity and almost full-brain synchrony along with parasympathetic nervous system activation. I was reminded of this quote from the C's.

http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic said:
Q: (L) Clearly from my experience, meditation to master yourself and your reactions is a very beneficial thing.

A: Yes. But then what does one do with that mastery?

Q: (Craig) It serves to help people who don't know how to control their mind or their emotions.

A: Yes. And teach them when where and how to use those emotions for change. Overcoming emotions so that one is not affected by what is out there and inside is little more than becoming an automaton.

Q: (Craig) Can these breathing techniques help - Sudarshan Kriya?

A: Absolutely!!!!!!!

Q: (Craig) Is it one of the best tools we can use to revive people's humanity?

A: Yes. But don't forget the balance. Facing reality and mastering the self alternating with meditation for recovery.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
obyvatel said:
Large scale asynchronous brain wave activity has been shown to produce disease states like ADD, schizophrenia, depression and other conditions.

This post wants to add some detail between the idea of "disease states like ADD..." and the general information on the gamma band of brainwaves as well as make an analogy with brain-oxygen studies in an attempt to offer a more holistic picture.

The following paper recognizes information available from EEG studies such as in Fehmi's work and also adds to it. The authors mention data that both, come from EEG and from what is called a 'resultant' signal - termed the local field potential (LFP). LFPs are being revisited due to the renewed interest they've attracted "...as a potentially useful signal for studying the behavior of ensembles of neurons."

Gamma Rhythms in the Brain
Xiaoxuan Jia, Adam Kohn

Citation: Jia X, Kohn A (2011) Gamma Rhythms in the Brain. PLoS Biol 9(4): e1001045. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001045

Published: April 12, 2011 and cited by 31 PubMed Central articles

This interesting paper opens with:

Numerous theories have proposed that gamma contributes directly to brain function, but others argue that gamma is better viewed as a simple byproduct of network activity. Here we provide a basic introduction to this enigmatic signal, the mechanisms that generate it, and an accompanying paper in PLoS Biology attempting to elucidate its potential function.

...and concludes with:

...we need a better understanding of the underlying generative mechanisms, the way in which these signals modulate spiking activity, and the effect they have on the computations performed by neuronal networks. Only then will we know what role, if any, gamma plays in cortical function.

_http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001045

...which is what can typically be seen with studies that don't seem biased from the beginning.

On another hand, PubMed Central hosts papers that include gamma activity in research comparing kids with AD/HD and normal controls. One finding demonstrates reduced absolute and relative gamma activity in children with AD/HD and then, seemingly without justification, calls this a 'deficit' and arbitrarily links it to 'inattention' and 'cognitive-processing problems.' The reader can then pick up obvious bias here and unwittingly propagate the general concept of AD/HD as categorical 'disease':

SIGNIFICANCE:
This resting-state study extends the well-established fast-wave EEG deficits in children with AD/HD to the gamma band, and links that to increased inattention, which is of special importance in understanding their cognitive-processing problems.

_http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20483659

What seems missing in some of these studies is an admission that, while the data are objective, the conclusions are subjective and theoretical. That's my main point.

The reasoning is similar to that which looked at research involving oxygen presence in the brains of AD/HD subjects as compared with 'normal' controls. In those studies, AD/HD subjects were found in circumstances with 'lower' levels of oxygen compared with controls and this was also interpreted as a deficiency. But oxygen presence and consumption in the brain and body has also been studied in archery. Oxygen levels were significantly lower in well-practiced, accomplished archers - especially at that moment when the arrow is aimed and prepared for release at a target whereupon it winds up hitting the target at a desired place.

In fact, the equation: "gamma activity=good; little gamma activity=bad" is no different to "oxygen saturation=good; low oxygen=bad" and is too simplistic in a body that also requires presence of CO2 for oxygen utilization (the Bohr Effect: If the level of CO2 in the body decreases, hemoglobin does not release oxygen to the tissues) otherwise we may have a condition which may lead to oxygen starvation - even in the presence of plenty of oxygen!

So there seems to be another issue that could be productively integrated into brain studies involving brainwaves as well as oxygen and that issue is suggested to be 'efficiency.' We could use some brain wave configuration and oxygen data on people engaged in tasks whose performances can also be classified in terms related to efficiency.

Is anyone aware of any such studies? I've not found any yet.

Aside: I see many interesting connections here between brainwaves, oxygen use, Turgon's relation of tension and attention, Gurdjieff's "timing" for the implemetation of 'shocks', Dykhaniye’s Control Pause (_http://ejmas.com/pt/ptart_sonnon_1001.htm), the C's session quote mentioning breathing and the idea of "Facing reality and mastering the self alternating with meditation for recovery."

For me, all is interrelations,
lots of correlations,
but still lack many 'whys?'
That's where adventure lies!
:)
 

Laura

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Buddy said:
<snip>

On another hand, PubMed Central hosts papers that include gamma activity in research comparing kids with AD/HD and normal controls. One finding demonstrates reduced absolute and relative gamma activity in children with AD/HD and then, seemingly without justification, calls this a 'deficit' and arbitrarily links it to 'inattention' and 'cognitive-processing problems.' The reader can then pick up obvious bias here and unwittingly propagate the general concept of AD/HD as categorical 'disease'.

<snip>

Ummm... since AD/HD children DO seem to have some issues of various kinds - can we acknowledge that? - and those issues often lead to unhappiness both for the sufferer and for those around, and difficulties of various sorts relating to socialization - can we acknowledge that also? - perhaps it is not so much of a stretch to refer to reduced gamma wave activity as a deficit?

Human beings are NOT all created equal and this tendency to want to not label ANYTHING as being different or a deficit in the name of democracy, or whatever, has just gone too far.

However, I do understand the point that a deficit in something can sometimes mean that there are compensations rather than that the whole situation is bleak. Also, diet should be considered with AD/HD. I think that probably MOST people diagnosed with this condition are suffering from brain chemistry imbalances due to diet/gut permeability. So that is very definitely getting close to a "disease."
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Laura said:
Ummm... since AD/HD children DO seem to have some issues of various kinds - can we acknowledge that?

Sure!

Laura said:
- and those issues often lead to unhappiness both for the sufferer and for those around, and difficulties of various sorts relating to socialization - can we acknowledge that also?

Sure!

Laura said:
- perhaps it is not so much of a stretch to refer to reduced gamma wave activity as a deficit?

Not so much at all. To me a formulation like: low gamma->deficit->true isn't a problem so much as it still begs a question like: how meaningful is it?

Laura said:
Human beings are NOT all created equal and this tendency to want to not label ANYTHING as being different or a deficit in the name of democracy, or whatever, has just gone too far.

I've read so many studies that miss the importance of environment in human development due to recursive processes and self-fulfilling prophesies (the Pygmalion effect and the golem effect) that I just think environment from genetic to social should also be a part of this picture as well. And you just mentioned the importance of the role of diet that could also be included.

Of course, it's not realistic to expect all this info to be gathered for each person involved in an investigation that wants to fixate on brain waves, so I guess my point is really moot. Maybe I'm motivated by some paranoia from earlier studies funded by Big Pharma where I learned that an important question in understanding and handling of such recursive processes and of interventions in what might really be self-fulfilling developments is "What kind of control is intended?" We've got sooo many kids on drugs these days.

Laura said:
However, I do understand the point that a deficit in something can sometimes mean that there are compensations rather than that the whole situation is bleak.

Thanks. :)
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Buddy said:
Of course, it's not realistic to expect all this info to be gathered for each person involved in an investigation that wants to fixate on brain waves, so I guess my point is really moot. Maybe I'm motivated by some paranoia from earlier studies funded by Big Pharma where I learned that an important question in understanding and handling of such recursive processes and of interventions in what might really be self-fulfilling developments is "What kind of control is intended?" We've got sooo many kids on drugs these days.

Hi Buddy,
The purpose of this thread was to discuss the development of a neurofeedback based technique for training attention which is based on brain waves. No big pharma drugs were involved. The general technique that is available to the public for practice is the same irrespective of whether someone suffers from a deficit or disease. So it is interesting that you picked up on one sentence which had ADD mentioned in the context of this thread.

The causality attribution in the following sentence however should be modified to indicate correlation in my opinion
Large scale asynchronous brain wave activity has been shown to produce occur with disease states like ADD, schizophrenia, depression and other conditions.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
obyvatel said:
The purpose of this thread was to discuss the development of a neurofeedback based technique for training attention which is based on brain waves. No big pharma drugs were involved. The general technique that is available to the public for practice is the same irrespective of whether someone suffers from a deficit or disease. So it is interesting that you picked up on one sentence which had ADD mentioned in the context of this thread.

I became aware of this thread as a result of a recent addition. I have used neurofeedback-based techniques and understand what is and is not involved. I can see the purpose and the line of development. I can also see how I might be perceived as a disruptive influence. I just thought that a correcting of any error, even if unrelated to the purpose of the topic, would benefit the quality of the written work and credibility of the author. And if I were brand new here, your perceived status, alone, would add extra weight to what you say, and that's another attractor of my attention to your posts and its various messages.

Yes, it so happens that I am particularly sensitive to conclusions related to AD/HD and ADD due to past efforts researching the subject and dealing with hateful people encouraging me to drug or beat my kids into submission to make them acceptable in school, as just one reason (I'm describing reasons for sensitivity here, not implying anything about you).

But as to pointing out what I did on this thread and from a perspective of the work, it also seems like a natural way to assist in an upgrading of the energies of creation from a reciprocal maintenance perspective of mutual support and such.

It makes me sad to have to suggest that it's ok to suspect better motives of me, but I know my own history and can understand why other thoughts may prevail. I'm sorry to derail your topic. I'm embarrassed and really tired of feeling like I keep messing up on here.
 

Laura

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Buddy, have you tried dietary changes with your kids?
 
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