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The Wonders of Neurofeedback

Intelligence is attractive. Sure, being physically attractive is a plus, but unlike looks, intelligence doesn’t age or produce wrinkles. Back to our earliest ancestors, we craved an intelligent partner. Then, it was obviously in terms of survival purposes; an idiotic partner would mean a less secure existence. Though we are a more evolved species now, we have retained many of our basic instincts. Furthermore, scientists at the University of New Mexico conducted a study that concluded that men with greater IQ’s have healthier sperm. This is where the wonders of neurofeedback come in.

Not only can neurofeedback make you more intelligent, it can also work as a treatment for people with eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, etc. The list is quite lengthy on what it can improve. Neurofeedback, in a nutshell, is a fitness program for the brain. Much like you’d train your body to become fit, one can also train the mind to become more intelligent. In controlled studies, neurofeedback has been shown to improve attention, long-term memory, problem-solving, comprehension, and processing speed. The recent findings on neuroplasticity (the malleability of neural circuits) have opened many doors in terms of enhancing cognitive abilities. A recent article by Scientific American expounds on the science behind the malleability of adult brains. Beforehand, this was unimaginable.

Photo via Vita Health Clinic

Neurofeedback works by regulating brain waves that have been thrown off by environmental and possibly genetic stimuli. When a certain brain wave is too low or too high, it can cause psychological issues so the goal is to optimize the brain waves to then, optimize efficiency. The patient is connected to a computer with wired and sensors that are attached to the skull and ears. The software detects the brainwaves that are in check and those that aren’t. The feedback appears to the patient in a form of a game, movie or sound. The patient’s brain waves control the said game, movie or sound so when a brainwave is unregulated, the system will twitch or send an annoying sound. This training is based on operant conditioning. Just like that, the brain learns to eventually regulate itself more efficiently in real life applications.

Photo via the Neurodevelopment Center  

Many celebrities and athletes have begun to use neurofeedback as a way to enhance their performance. Recently it has begun gaining traction in the mainstream media, but for now, it remains quite a hush due to pharmaceutical companies who want medication being the primary route of treatment. Hopefully, in time it benefits will become known and people will become aware of the bountiful wonders of neurofeedback.

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Cover photo via YouTube

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