NeuroFeedback and Electroencephalography

Turgon

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Some great information being presented here about how NeurOptimal actually works. So thank you for taking the time in explaining that choepel. I had listened to a few podcasts with Val Brown, and even though I could understand the analogies he was using to explain how his neurofeedback system worked, I still didn't understand the specifics of it. Although I may be trying to use linear logic to understand mathematical algorithm's and a dynamic feedback system that operates at a level that requires non-linear thinking processes to really understand.

To me, it's like if you make a change in one area of your brain, expecting a particular result to occur, a simple cause and effect, then you'll be surprised by other changes and things that occur beyond your expectations because of the interconnectedness in all things. But that NeurOptimal takes this into account and gives the brain a birds-eye view of itself in order to adjust accordingly to what it sees based on the 'innate wisdom' that our brain's and nervous system carry within. Although that's probably a huge over-simplification.

Nonetheless, I'm finding the concept of non-linear dynamics far more interesting than I once did and can't help but relate it to our attitudes in life. That if we take an approach to life and the universe with open curiousity and find faith, taking risks to grow and make the 'right' choices for the betterment of ourselves and those around us, seeking the truth no matter how terrifying, and striving to be the best we can possibly be without obsessing about it, that this is sort of like sending a feedback signal to ourselves and the universe that we are trying to find homeostasis and balance within ourselves, which then causes all sorts of other shifts and changes to occur not only in us, but also the world at large i.e. big brain, osit.
 

Laura

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Hi Laura, a pleasure to connect to you.

Almost certainly, from what I am seeing, the baselines are hugely disturbed by line noise and are therefore are not valid. And of course, when channelling is going on, all kinds of frequencies will be in the room which will be quite different to human EEG and which will show up as line noise.

Furthermore, with a lot of people in the room and a lot of talking etc, even the session may not run well because the brain will only reconfigure itself if it feels safe to do so. Competing energies in the room, some of which will be picked up by mirror neurons, could limit efficacy.

Though, what I would be interested in, is, was the result of the session, in any way different than usual – did the channelling increase or decrease efficacy. Did the channeling impact the ability of the brain to better self regulate?
Finding out what kind of "noise" was going on was exactly the objective and, as noted, there was no session run at all. It was just one, long, "taking baseline". No feedback was given at all. That is, there was no input at all from the machine side, just constant monitoring.
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
Finding out what kind of "noise" was going on was exactly the objective and, as noted, there was no session run at all. It was just one, long, "taking baseline". No feedback was given at all. That is, there was no input at all from the machine side, just constant monitoring.
OK understood. But as said, the baselines are typical of line noise and so there really is nothing to interpret. You could run the experiment again and check first before the channelling to ensure there is no line noise. There are things you can do to reduce line noise including using the system on battery mode, switching off lights and lamps, unplugging other electrical items. Sometimes also moving the system into a different part of the room, removing phones from the room and ensuring the sensors are well placed on the head (C3 and C4). Sometimes the person hooked up is carrying a lot of "noise" and running a session on them reduces it. I have also found that techniques such as "cooks hookup" (
) reduces noise. You can often see if there is noise or if there is a poor hookup from the little grey lines at the bottom of the screen just below where you can change settings between 60hz and 50hz (it is good to check that if you are in Europe e.g. you have the 50hz setting ) (all of this is relevant only for NO2 and note line noise does not affect the training, only the baselines).
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
Thanks for clarifying the points I raised.



My mention of conditioning wasn't about operant conditioning though - it was classical conditioning. Operant conditioning basically governs the visible forms of behaviours through a system of punishers and reinforcers. Classical conditioning is where a stimulus that is neutral is given some value by pairing it with a stimulus that already has value. Classical conditioning is more involved in intrinsic processes - feelings, emotions, biological processes and involuntary reactions. Pavlovs dogs for example - the sound of the bell didn't have any value or impact on them until it was paired with the delivery of food. After being paired with the delivery of food, the dogs would salivate and get excited in anticipation of the delivery of food when they heard the bell. The more I think about it, the more I think that it may be possible that the music alone could prompt the brain to return to optimal level after sufficient successful pairings with the NO system, the music and the brain calming down.

I do however say this with the caveat that I really don't have the knowledge to affirm this in this particular area.
My sense is the same applies to classical conditioning. An optimal brain is created dynamically not statically. But I also think it is always cool to experiment. There are lots of experiments to be done with NO.

In general, Zengar present NO as a standalone brain training. Personally, with my clients, I often mix it with therapy or coaching and sometimes homoeopathy. I have seen a lot of trainers mix it with other modalities - e.g. spiritual healing. There are also experiments to do with frequency of use. Some people have tried 1 session a day for a month with some fascinating results. And Zengar have held intensive weeks with 3 sessions a day for a week in a room with other people doing the same at the same times. There comes a time in the session when everyone suddenly feels this wonderfully uplifted and extraordinarily calm energy.
 

Altair

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@choepel, is there any advantage of using the default Zengar music instead of other music? Is Zengar music specifically adjusted to the training process?
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
To me, it's like if you make a change in one area of your brain, expecting a particular result to occur, a simple cause and effect, then you'll be surprised by other changes and things that occur beyond your expectations because of the interconnectedness in all things. But that NeurOptimal takes this into account and gives the brain a birds-eye view of itself in order to adjust accordingly to what it sees based on the 'innate wisdom' that our brain's and nervous system carry within. Although that's probably a huge over-simplification.

Nonetheless, I'm finding the concept of non-linear dynamics far more interesting than I once did and can't help but relate it to our attitudes in life. That if we take an approach to life and the universe with open curiousity and find faith, taking risks to grow and make the 'right' choices for the betterment of ourselves and those around us, seeking the truth no matter how terrifying, and striving to be the best we can possibly be without obsessing about it, that this is sort of like sending a feedback signal to ourselves and the universe that we are trying to find homeostasis and balance within ourselves, which then causes all sorts of other shifts and changes to occur not only in us, but also the world at large i.e. big brain, osit.
Yes, I agree with your essential understanding. The specific understanding of how NO works is really the objective of Zengar's basic and advanced courses and would include too much information to go into here.

Non linear dynamics is the macro understanding of how NO works and the only one taught by Zengar. But two French researchers: Corinne Fournier and Pierre Bohm, researched this from a neurological point of view and developed a hypothesis related to the strengthening of the inhibitory neural system. They wrote a book about it which unfortunately is only available in French ( see book on this page Livres et film - Le neurofeedback dynamique - the documentary made about NO is also good - extracts on Youtube -
)

I like your "attitude to life" comparison. So very true. The universe is one big feedback system. We have non-linear systems within non-linear systems like Russian dolls.

I have also found that the attitude one has when doing NO training makes a significant difference. People often think that NO as a piece of technology simply changes the brain. But we can not separate the person and the brain. The brain will choose to make changes in part based on the person's willingness to change, their attitudes etc. Zengar does not explicitly teach this, but it is my experience with my clients and it seems kind of obvious.
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
@choepel, is there any advantage of using the default Zengar music instead of other music? Is Zengar music specifically adjusted to the training process?
The Zengar music written by music composer Jeff Bova ( Jeff Bova, Grammy Award-Winning Producer, Composer, Arranger, Mixer - homepage) was written to capture the mood of the various "Zen" phases. Many people report that the Zengar music seems to interface really well with their brain during a session and they get best results from it. That is my personal experience too. However, the official Zengar line is that it makes no difference what soundtrack you listen to - the training result is the same. Certainly, my experience is that the client needs to be comfortable with the music. I have had clients who listened to heavy metal for 20 sessions and transformed. There is also the issue of movies. I have heard some trainers say music is more effective than movies, especially because movies do not always have a continuous soundtrack. This would seem to make sense but experience of the two suggests otherwise. Some people do better with movies. For example, my wife, who has now had several hundred sessions, always feels "out of it" for several hours after a "music" session, but after a movie session she is always instantly clear and alert. And I have noticed with my youngest daughter, that she specifically asks for NO sessions so long as we use movies with the system hooked up to a large screen TV! We also know that it is important for trainers not to have preconceptions about which is best because they will potentially transmit this explicitly or silently to the client, and impede the session (we call this an extrinsic constraint)
 

Gaby

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And Zengar have held intensive weeks with 3 sessions a day for a week in a room with other people doing the same at the same times. There comes a time in the session when everyone suddenly feels this wonderfully uplifted and extraordinarily calm energy.
That is fascinating! It is like a synergistic/limbic resonance effect. Zengar recommends only 2 sessions per day for individuals. But these seminars seem to suggest that up to 3 sessions per day are safe within the context of a working group. Kind of like when you do breathing and meditation exercises in group, there is a more profound effect than doing the exercises alone. We have a breathing and meditation program (Éiriú Eolas at eebreathe.com) and several have reported amazing results when they do it within a group to the point that some don't want to do it alone.

Thank you for your input. I now have a better idea of what is going on here and it also explains my experiences with Othmer NF and my better results with NeurOptimal.
 

mrtn

Jedi Master
Pavlovs dogs for example - the sound of the bell didn't have any value or impact on them until it was paired with the delivery of food. After being paired with the delivery of food, the dogs would salivate and get excited in anticipation of the delivery of food when they heard the bell. The more I think about it, the more I think that it may be possible that the music alone could prompt the brain to return to optimal level after sufficient successful pairings with the NO system, the music and the brain calming down.
But the music without the actual feedback is like ringing the bell and not feeding the dog, which will quickly make him unresponsive. Its rather the question if the brain develops its own feedback mechanisms after it has been teached what activity/patterns to watch out for.
 

Laura

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OK understood. But as said, the baselines are typical of line noise and so there really is nothing to interpret. You could run the experiment again and check first before the channelling to ensure there is no line noise. There are things you can do to reduce line noise including using the system on battery mode, switching off lights and lamps, unplugging other electrical items. Sometimes also moving the system into a different part of the room, removing phones from the room and ensuring the sensors are well placed on the head (C3 and C4). Sometimes the person hooked up is carrying a lot of "noise" and running a session on them reduces it. I have also found that techniques such as "cooks hookup" (
) reduces noise. You can often see if there is noise or if there is a poor hookup from the little grey lines at the bottom of the screen just below where you can change settings between 60hz and 50hz (it is good to check that if you are in Europe e.g. you have the 50hz setting ) (all of this is relevant only for NO2 and note line noise does not affect the training, only the baselines).
Notice that we did exactly that: we ran checks before and after.
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
But the music without the actual feedback is like ringing the bell and not feeding the dog, which will quickly make him unresponsive. Its rather the question if the brain develops its own feedback mechanisms after it has been teached what activity/patterns to watch out for.
Just to add to this: NeurOptimal is a learning process. The brain is becoming aware of non useful patterns and learning better responses. These then translate into new neuropathways. And because the brain is non linear, those learnings snowball and may result in wonderful transformations months after the last session of NO
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
Notice that we did exactly that: we ran checks before and after.
Yes I understand, but the initial base line looks like it had line noise. The CCAC is over 300 which Val says is one of the indicators of line noise (he generally says that about any CCAC over 200) . So it might be a question of adding more paste to the head sensors, or trying it a different environment.
 

choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
Yes I understand, but the initial base line looks like it had line noise. The CCAC is over 300 which Val says is one of the indicators of line noise (he generally says that about any CCAC over 200) . So it might be a question of adding more paste to the head sensors, or trying it a different environment.
And the post base line without a doubt is just pure line noise (even though the CCAC is lower) - (the pattern of spiking is typical of line noise and not of human EEG).
 
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