Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback. What is Biofeedback? It is a simple concept, one with which we are actually very familiar from everyday life. The idea is: If you can sense it, you can change it. Biofeedback uses machinery to extend sensory perception into areas where we would normally be unaware. Normal activities of life depend on sensory feedback, eg. balance, walking, holding objects etc.
Neurofeedback or EEG Biofeedback is a specific form of biofeedback which gives the trainee moment-to-moment information about the rhythmic electrical activity from various places in the brain (EEG or brain waves), and challenges the brain to modify certain components of it.
Similar to training other biological measures, the trainee is soon able to induce changes in the brain wave patterns. These changes lead to improved flexibility and stability of the brain waves in general, which leads to improved flexibility and stability of behaviour in response to external demands on the person in the course of day-to-day activity.
One or two sensors are placed on the client's head, and two sensors (like clip-on earrings) are placed on their ears. The sensors are connected to an amplifier, which amplifies the tiny (microvolt) signals from the client's scalp. The amplified signal is then sent to a computer that analyses the signal and divides it into the brainwaves we want to increase (these are associated with good focus and attention), and the brainwaves we want to decrease (these are associated with poor focus, impulsiveness, anxiety or agitation). The Neurofeedback software uses these signals to drive a video game. The video game only moves forward (visual display changes, beeps are heard, points are scored) if the client increases the brainwaves associated with good focus, and decreases the brainwaves associated with inattention, anxiety or agitation. With repeated trainings in this way, the brain learns to control attention and focus better.