Neurofeedback is a technique that retrains the brain using advanced technology. By employing biofeedback and learning techniques to change activity in different areas of the brain, neurofeedback has been used to help improve conditions such as ADD, ADHD, autism, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, PTSD, auditory processing disorders, to name just a few. It is important to note that neurofeedback is training not medical treatment.
In the 1920s, the first EEG machine was devised which allowed for the monitoring of different brain waves. These waves were an indication of neural activity in different areas of the brain. Unlike imaging devices such as an MRI, which takes photos of brain structures, an EEG allows for the active monitoring of brain activity.
In the 1950s the pioneers of neurofeedback started using training methods to modify brain waves and thus the activity at different brain sites. These early adopters showed that the brain could be modified using these methods, although at this time the accepted medical wisdom was that the brain couldn’t be changed and was fixed after a certain age.
Nonetheless, brain training was quickly accepted in some areas, for example, the space program where it continues to be part of astronaut development. The Defense Department also uses it, not just for the treatment of PTSD, but also for improving signal detection and cognitive performance.