Thousands of studies are begin conducted each year on the brain. Neuroscientists are trying to find out how it works in order to find out how all sorts of conditions â€“ from cognitive functions like memory loss and dementia to how to get damaged limbs to work again.
Since the brain is the center of all activity associated with the body, there is a need to understand how each parts work together. It is an exciting science, and one that never seems to bring more discoveries, and more questions.
Biofeedback and neurofeedback have been used for over 20 years to improve memory, behavior, emotional problems and health issues. Neurofeedback, also known as neurotherapy, is often used to control activity in the nervous system. Within the last decade, neurofeedback has looked back into the use of deep states of consciousness in the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions. Scientists have also looked at low-level frequency for anxiety and emotional conditions.
According to an articles in the International Journal of Psychophysiology (2003;47:75-85) people can be trained to control specific brain activity, andÂ â€œNeurofeedback may benefit people suffering from hyperactivity, epilepsy, and other cognitive disorders, and can also enhance working memory in healthy individuals.â€
Through the use of sensors placed on the scalp to measure brain activity, neuroscientists have been able to see activity produced by music, sound or visual displays, and have found this activity produces memory improvement. â€œThese sensors feed information back to the individual through a game displayed on a computer screen. To control the game, one must learn to control various brain-activity frequencies through relaxation and focused attention.â€
In London, researchers at Imperial College observed 40 medical students twice a week for four weeks as they played 15-minute intervals of the game. One group learned to consciously increase their sensorimotor rhythm activity (SMR), which is associated with memory improvement. By increasing this brain frequency they were able to recall a list of words from 71% before training to 82% after training. Those trained in other areas of brain frequency activity showed no improvement.
These findings are in line with other studies that found neurofeedback was beneficial to memory enhancement and cognitive learning. â€œThis is the first time we have shown a link between the use of neurofeedback and improvements in memory,â€ lead researcher Dr David Vernon said. There is still more research needed to see if these findings have a long-term, or simply short-term effect on memory, he said.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.Â
Wikipedia: Neurofeedback – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurofeedback
Mind Media BV: http://www.mindmedia.nl/english/index.php?gclid=CP-QgOS3uKkCFQbCKgodWikI8Q
New York Times (Health Section): Neurofeedback Gains Popularity and Lab Attention – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/health/05neurofeedback.html
Memoryzine.com: New Feedback Technique Enhances Memory by Doug Herrmann, Ph.D – http://memoryzine.com/2010/08/26/new-feedback-technique-enhances-memory-2/