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Latest from Brain Harmony Technology in Salt Lake City, Utah

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Here is the latest presentation from Brain Harmony Technology.

http://www.clickcaster.com/items/brain-harmony-technology-presents

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Written by Derrick Walker

February 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Neurofeedback in Salt Lake City, Utah

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The center at Brain Harmony Technology in Salt Lake City, Utah performs neurofeedback as an alternative therapy. Below is an article that talk about neruofeedback for peak athletic performance.

 

brainmap

 

Wired for Victory
Can a bunch of electrodes and a computer screen help you swim faster, sink your putts, and swish your free throws? By D.T. Max

With neurofeed-back, athletes train their brains—and get a jump on the competition. (Photo: Raymond Meier)
A quiet mind is a winning mind.

That’s why the players of the Italian soccer team AC Milan gather every two weeks in the Mind Room, a glassed-in facility at the team’s chic training complex. There, on zero-gravity recliners, listening to the soothing sounds of New Age music, they unwind. In a way. Each player’s head is fitted out with miniature electrodes that send a signal from his scalp to a computer, so while he relaxes he can also watch his brain waves play out, like a video game, as brightly colored zigs and zags on a monitor.

Every once in a while, an aberrant wave pattern flickers across the screen. The penalty kick missed against Juventus? Anger at being benched? When these sudden spikes appear, the player’s job is to use all of his mental discipline to banish the discordant thought—the anxiety response of the brain to a negative memory—and return to a neutral, open state, optimal for performance. Behind a wall of glass, the team’s sports psychologists watch the zigzagging lines too, the alpha, beta, and theta waves of the human mind in action, evaluating their stars’ focus and occasionally sending calming words through their earpieces.

 This procedure is called neurofeedback training. Many athletes swear by it and say it improves their performance, among them the tennis champion Mary Pierce and the Olympic gold-medal skier Hermann Maier, not to mention various players on the 2006 World Cup champion Italian soccer team. The goal of neurofeedback, which is becoming increasingly popular for professionals and amateurs alike, is to train the brain so that an athlete stays focused in competition. Experts have shown that a state of calm neutrality can help players perform better. The idea is that we damage ourselves when we can’t get past our irritations and, especially, our remembered failures—our airballs, unforced errors, or pushed one-foot putts. Think of Chuck Knoblauch, the Yankee second baseman whose first surprising throwing errors in the late 1990s started a negative feedback loop—ball after ball sailing into the stands until the former Gold Glove prematurely retired after the 2002 season. Neurofeedback tries to block this downward spiral of self-destructive doubting. When it works, it helps the player find “the zone” and stay in it. The notion that freedom from stress will make you a better athlete is hardly new. “You must swing smoothly to play golf well and you must be relaxed to swing smoothly,” Bobby Jones said decades ago. Thinking has always been stinking. But two things have changed since Jones’s time to make interventions like neurofeedback feasible. We can now define a relaxed state of mind with precision, and we seem to have proof that, once relaxed, the brain can be taught to stay that way.

The history of neurofeedback goes back to the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his conditioning experiments with dogs. Then, in the sixties, the sleep researcher Barry Sterman found that he was able to train cats to produce a particular brain wave called a sensorimotor response (SMR), which created a kind of suspended focus, a feline version of “the zone.” Sterman would go on to help found the discipline of neurofeedback in the seventies at UCLA, when EEG machines—electroencephalography is the grandfather of the discipline—were as big as refrigerators, with electrodes like suction cups. Today, the standard neurofeedback EEG amplifier is no bigger than a USB hub and the electrodes look like the earbuds from an iPod. A coach can carry a neurofeedback kit in his bag and clean up a player’s mind in a hotel room or at halftime. As a result, neurofeedback is going on nearly everywhere.

Written by Derrick Walker

December 21, 2008 at 10:23 pm