HOW IT WORKS
Neurologics Neuroengineering®, Neurotraining, Neurofeedback, EEG, qEEG, Brain Waves, Brain Maps, Neurometric Analysis…
What does it all mean?
Click and expand below to read about our cutting-edge assessment technologies and optimization protocols. Learn why the custom-designed, pinpoint accuracy of a Neurologics Neuroengineering® program is far superior to Neurofeedback, a one-size-fits all method that only addresses your symptoms without identifying and remediating the root cause of your neurological issues.
Neuroimaging Techniques and Process
Leading research institutions like Harvard, MIT, and UCLA push the envelope of contemporary neuroscience every day. The best and brightest minds in the world create new ways to see inside our bodies and brains to heal illness, combat aging, and propel human performance to greater and greater heights. Their work on neuroimaging technology falls into three primary categories:
- Structural measurement using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT scan) techniques.
- Metabolic response using Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) and Single Photon Emission Computed Technology (SPECT) techniques.
- Neuroelectric activity using Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) techniques.
Each technique is light years beyond what we had not long ago. Each has its relative advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick look at what they do:
- MRI scans show physical/anatomical structures of the brain. MRIs reveal physiological abnormalities such as tumors.
- fMRI scans show blood flow in the brain to measure levels of brain activity. fMRIs identify physiological abnormalities, but do not require injections or exposure to radiation.
- CAT scans show the physical/anatomical structures of the brain. CAT scans identify damage caused by stroke, brain trauma, and tumors.
- PET and SPECT scans determine physiological activity and function by measuring gamma rays released by special molecules introduced into the body. They measure blood flow to identify damage caused by dementia, seizures, clogged blood vessels, and brain trauma.
- EEG and qEEG measure electrical brain activity to determine both brain activity and cognitive function. They detect abnormalities in brain function caused by brain trauma, substance use disorders, developmental disorders, emotional disorders, and learning disabilities.
In an ideal world, we would use all these imaging techniques to help you enhance brain performance, but that is unrealistic both in terms of time and cost. But there are two far more compelling reasons Neurologics uses qEEG:
Processing Speed and Assessment Accuracy
qEEG measures brain function at astronomical speeds – up to one hundredth of a millisecond – which approximates the staggering rate at which our brains process information. MRI, fMRI, and CT scans take measurements at intervals of one to two seconds or greater, which is far too slow to measure brain function. Though MRI, fMRI, and CT scans enable doctors and neuroscientists to accurately visualize brain structures in order to identify and diagnose any existing pathologies caused by injury or seizures, these techniques are far too slow to measure how a brain actually works. PET and SPECT scans also give doctors and neuroscientists an accurate and useful view inside the living human brain, but since they measure metabolic activity and not specific neuroelectric activity, they lack the detail and processing speed to accurately measure brain function.
Of all the current neuroimaging technology available – MRI, fMRI, CAT, PET, SPECT, EEG, and qEEG – only EEG and qEEG have the recording speed it takes to measure the brain as it works in real time. That is why it is our preferred technique at Neurologics: qEEG allows us to see your brain function as it engages in various activities, create a map of how your brain works, then tailor a custom brain training program that improves performance across all areas of activity.
Brain Mapping: A Primer
qEEG Brain Mapping is a safe, non-invasive procedure that records electrical activity in the brain. qEEG maps show us which brain systems are out of balance, the exact location of those imbalances, and allow us to see dynamic changes in brain function while it’s working. With qEEG maps, we can determine which areas of the brain are fully engaged and processing efficiently – or inefficiently – during tasks like seeing, hearing, and making decisions.
We use a method of qEEG analysis called Neurometrics, developed at the Brain Research Laboratory of New York University’s Medical Center with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Neurometric analysis is an assessment tool – one of just a few approved objective measures for neurological disorders. Neurometric analysis provides information about the functional organization of the brain and allows us to formulate a precise assessment of subtle brain dysfunction. With Neurometrics, we identify common variations in brain function associated with neurological disorders including, but not limited to:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)/Concussions
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Substance use disorders
- Brain performance enhancement
- Learning Disabilities (LD)
- Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If there’s a functional problem with your brain, we can find it. Neurometrics removes the guesswork and allows us to uncover the true underlying cause. We use this best-in-class analytic tool to create evidence-based, proven-effective Neuroengineering protocols, while the qEEG Brain Map provides an accurate baseline against which we measure progress over time.
The word neuroelectrical might sound fancy and mysterious, but there is no mystery to the electrical activity in your brain: it behaves like any other electrical system. Your brain cells – called neurons – fire through a complex neurochemical process whereby an electric impulse jumps from one neuron to another. Electrical potential builds in a neuron, triggers a release, then crosses the cell membrane to an adjacent neuron. The change in potential across the membrane creates measurable voltages that are conducted through the brain. These voltages enter the tissue surrounding the brain, travel through the skull and appear on the scalp, where we measure them with electrodes arranged in a specific pattern. The electrodes are attached to an amplifier that records the electrical activity as an EEG. The results of your test – your qEEG Brain Map – are then compared to an extensive database of typical brain activity compiled from data sets supplied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and New York University (NYU). The comparison tells us exactly where and how your brain is functioning correctly and where and how your brain can benefit from a specialized Neurologics Neuroengineering® protocol.
The Stuck Brain vs Typically Functioning Brain
Problems with attention, learning, memory, emotions, and anxiety are often the result of dysfunctional or damaged brain processing. The brain, like all physiological systems, constantly works to achieve balance, or homeostasis. When brain function is impaired, the brain adapts – i.e. seeks homeostasis – by releasing neuro-inhibitors to protect the parts of the brain that are still functioning normally. When this happens, it locks itself into electro-chemical patterns to prevent further damage.
Locked electrochemical patterns in the brain can lead to locked patterns of thought and behavior. An individual may lose both attentional flexibility and the ability to adapt to new circumstances or stimuli. Personalities may become rigid, and an individual may feel stuck and think there’s no way out. This can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which in turn can lead to extreme moods such as depression, anger, or uncontrollable rage.
When this occurs, life is not fun – not for you, and not for the people around you.
Neurologics Neuroengineering® helps return your brain to its natural state of balance and efficiency. And when you have a balanced brain, you can return to a balanced and fulfilling life.
What Your Brain Map Means
An accurate qEEG Brain Map combined with Neurometric analysis gives us a clear view of how the brain processes information as it performs cognitive tasks and allows us to determine if it is functioning within standard parameters or if there is any dysfunction.
Neurometric analysis allows us to see disturbances in brain organization rather than disturbances caused solely by damage to brain structures.
This best-in-class assessment tool enables us to identify and fix problems with real-time brain function rather than simply showing us your brain is physiologically compromised.
Your Brain Map report includes color-coded topographic brain images as well as accurate and precise statistical tables based on data collected for the following brain wave categories:
- Absolute Power measures levels of available power within a particular frequency range at each specific recording site.
- Relative Power measures which frequency range is dominant at each recording site.
- Mean (average) Frequency tells us whether or not each bandwidth range is operating within typical parameters for that bandwidth.
- Ratios between your various brain frequencies are compared to individuals with typical brain function to determine relative levels of efficiency/inefficiency, processing ability, and cognitive performance.
- Power Asymmetry scores reveal whether the brain waves between various parts of the brain are balanced or imbalanced. Excessive activity can lead to fatigue, while insufficient activity can lead to poor function.
- Power Synchronization/Coherence measures how well different areas of the brain communicate with one another. Both excessive and deficient synchronization/coherence lead to inefficient processing, task execution, and performance.
- Phase measures the exact timing of electrical communication between different areas of the brain. Proper brain function requires precise timing: energy must arrive in a specific location at just the right moment to perform a given task. A brain that is out of phase cannot function at peak efficiency.
Brain Wave Frequencies: The Language of the Brain
EEG measures brainwave frequencies. A frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself each second. Frequency dysfunction can lead to poor brain performance. Raw EEG data comes to us in four distinct frequency bands:
DELTA (less than 4Hz)
Delta waves are the lowest and slowest brain waves we measure. They reflect the activity of the unconscious mind and typically occur during deep sleep and states of empathy. We access our unconscious mind through Delta waves. When we increase our Delta, we decrease our awareness of the physical world. Peak performers decrease their Delta when a task demands a high level of focus, whereas individuals diagnosed with ADD/ADHD often unintentionally increase their Delta when trying to focus. This inhibits the ability to maintain attention, as if their brain is locked in a perpetually drowsy state.
THETA (4-8 Hz)
Theta waves are one step up from Delta. Theta activity is associated with creativity, intuition, daydreaming, and fantasizing. Theta waves are like a repository for memories, emotions, and physical sensations. They’re dominant during moments of intense internal focus, meditation, prayer, and spiritual awareness. Theta waves reflect the subconscious – the state of mind that exists between wakefulness and sleep – and are believed to show the activity of the limbic system. The limbic system controls basic emotions such as fear, pleasure, and anger, as well as basic human drives such as hunger and sex. Typical Theta activity promotes adaptive, complex behaviors such as learning and memory formation, while dysfunctional Theta activity is often observed during unusual emotional circumstances accompanied by stress and anxiety.
Alpha waves are the next step up from Theta. Alpha waves put you in a relaxed but alert state of mind. Typical healthy Alpha production allows you to switch quickly and efficiently between tasks, promotes resourcefulness, and facilitates your ability to coordinate different brain activities into a seamless whole. Alpha appears to be the bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind. When Alpha is dominant, most people feel calm and at ease: it’s the major frequency observed in typical, relaxed adults. Alpha waves are linked to extroversion and creative problem solving. Typical Alpha is associated with good moods, clarity of thought, calmness, and the ability to perceive the world accurately. The Alpha frequency is thought to be essential for effectively learning and using information you acquire while at school and at work. Think of it as a state of calm attention. You can increase Alpha by focusing on a specific cognitive task such as solving a math problem, and you can decrease Alpha by closing your eyes or engaging in deep, meditative breathing.
Beta waves are fast. Beta is the dominant waveform seen in fully conscious and alert individuals who have their eyes open and are actively thinking, making decisions, processing information, and making judgments about the world around them. Most of us spend most of our waking hours in Beta. The Beta band has a large range, which neuroscientists divide into three categories:
- Low Beta typically accompanies states of relaxed, integrated attention.
- Midrange Beta typically accompanies states of active thinking and awareness.
- High Beta typically accompanies states of high alertness, agitation, and intense concentration on specific tasks.
GAMMA (over 30Hz)
Gamma waves are faster than Beta waves – the fastest waves we measure. They are the only frequency group found in every part of the brain. Neuroscientists hypothesize Gamma waves facilitate simultaneous information processing from different areas of the brain. When multiple strands of complex data need to be synthesized and integrated at the same time, Gamma dominates. Well-regulated and efficient Gamma activity is associated with good memory, while dysregulated and deficient Gamma activity is associated with many types of learning disabilities.
How Do We Use Brain Wave Data from Your Brain Map?
We compare your EEG with EEGs of individuals with typical brain function and pinpoint the precise origin and location of your symptoms. We quantify EEG features from across different brain regions to identify dysfunctional processing and locate areas of both normal and abnormal electrical activity. Your map is specific to you, and when compared to our vast databases of Brain Map data, it reveals volumes about the nature and origin of your symptoms.
For example, individuals with Dyslexia show slow brain wave activity in one or more key areas:
- The occipital lobes at the back of the brain, where incoming visual information is received and processed.
- Wernicke’s area, located in the left parietal lobe, where the brain processes words for understanding.
- Broca’s area, located in the left frontal lobe, where words are put together for expression.
- The sensorimotor area, where speech is converted from a feeling for verbalization of thoughts.
There is no single set of brain wave patterns common to all individuals with a specific disease, disorder, of inefficiency:
- Individuals with ADD may show high Delta, excessive Theta, or locked Alpha – the signatures vary with each case.
- Individuals with depression may show high Alpha and Beta, excessive Coherence problems (communication between left and right frontal lobes), or some combination of dysfunctional Alpha, Beta, and Coherence.
- Individuals with traumatic brain injury typically show excessive Coherence.
Clinical symptoms of many cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders often overlap and display similar processing-related dysfunctions. Without an accurate qEEG and state-of-the-art Neurometric analysis, it is almost impossible to determine exactly what is happening in the brain, why it is happening, and how to fix it.
Neurologics Brain Maps – backed by the power of Neurometrics – eliminate the guesswork and enable our highly trained team to form an accurate assessment and recommend a Neurologics Neuroengineering® program to meet your specific needs.
Our methods are proven effective and lead to LIFE CHANGING IMPROVEMENTS IN BRAIN PERFORMANCE.
Neuroengineering v. Neurofeedback: What is the Difference?
The best way to think about the difference between Neuroengineering and Neurofeedback is to think about an aspirin. We all know aspirin is a powerful and effective drug that works to relieve a number of physical symptoms. Aspirin is great for headaches, muscle pain, aching joints, and as a daily preventive measure to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When aspirin hits your bloodstream, it goes everywhere and does its job by repeating the same set of actions in every cell of your body. It’s generic, one-size-fits-all, and applies its benefits indiscriminately.
Aspirin saves lives and makes pain manageable for people of all ages. This is great. We love aspirin, doctors love aspirin, and patients love the ease and simplicity of aspirin.
What if we could create a SMART aspirin?
One that targets only the cells that need it?
One that ignores cells that are fine, with no risk of complication?
One that knows exactly where to go, when to go there, and what to do once it gets there?
One that addresses and fixes the root causes of your maladies, rather than just relieving the symptoms?
You don’t have to imagine, because we did it.
Neuroengineering is the SMART aspirin for your brain.
Have a look at the chart below to learn more about the differences between the old aspirin – Neurofeedback – and the new, SMART aspirin, Neurologics Neuroengineering®.
|…is a real medical procedure.||…is not.|
|…requires a trained professional to administer the training protocol.||…does not.|
|…addresses and remediates the root cause of neurological dysfunction.||…only relieves the symptoms of neurological dysfunction.|
|…uses a precise, accurate map of functional and dysfunctional brain activity.||…does not.|
|…works for everyone.||…works for some, but not others.|
|…uses proprietary devices and analytic technology.||…uses off-the-shelf devices and generic analytic technology.|
|…targets specific brain areas and only trains those areas which need training.||…indiscriminately targets the cortex, which can lead to overtraining and seizures.|
|…leverages quantifiable statistical metrics, compares them to typical brains, and affects long-term cognitive repair.||…does not employ quantifiable statistical metrics or comparisons, which means it only offers temporary relief.|