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Selected abstracts from 1996 Brain.Mind Neurofeedback Advanced Meeting/Colloquium in Key West

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Anna Wise (click here for abstract)

The Effects of Alpha (10Hz) and Beta (22Hz) Audio-Visual Stimulation on EEG Entrainment: Individual Baseline Differences are Critical to Prediction of Effects

J. Peter Rosenfeld, PhD Professor Northwestern University


Problem: Claims have been made for the clinical effects of "entrainment" stimulation, which is presumed to alter brain function via influence on EEG. Yet there are virtually no systematic studies (of these putative effects on EEG) employing post-entrainment baselines and using typical equipment presently available. This report was designed to partly remedy
this missing information.

Methods and Results
Two groups of normal college students were formed: One (the alpha group; n=3D13) received 10 Hz audio-visual (AV) stimulation for 8 minutes, and the other (beta; n=3D12) group received 22 Hz AV stimulation for 8 minutes.
EE=G power and magnitude in the alpha (8-13 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) bands were FFT-extracted before, during and for 24 minutes after stimulation. It was found that baseline (pre-stimulation) alpha and beta power predict (p<.05)
the effects of stimulation, leading to individual differences in responsivity. High baseline alpha subjects showed either no entrainment or prolonged entrainment with alpha stimulation. Low baseline subjects showed transient entrainment. Baseline alpha also predicted the direction of change in alpha with beta stimulation. Baseline beta and alpha predicted
beta band response to beta stimulation, which was transient enhancement in some subjects, inhibition in others. Some subjects showed prolonged beta enhancement with beta stimulation.

Discussion: The important implication is that a patient's EEG must be thoroughly studied prior to implementation of an entrainment regimen, lest the EEG effect obtained be opposite to that desired. The older "photic driving" literature supports this view.

Key Words: 1) Entrainment, 2) EEG, 3) Neurotherapy

Send Communications Addressed to:
J. Peter Rosenfeld, PhD, Professor
Northwestern University - Cresap Labs
Department of Psychology
Evanston IL 60208

An Example of the Kundalini Experience viewed Through Multi-Channel EEG

by James V. Hardt, Ph.D. Biocybernaut Institute

A single subject who came to Kundalini experience spontaneously and without meditation or training, developed remarkable skills in the world, skills recognized and rewarded by a top multi-national corporation. In the course of the Biocybernaut Institute Level One Alpha Training, this individual displayed extraordinary EEG patterns characterized by high amplitude alpha bilaterally in the Occipital region. This high amplitude alpha was cotemporaneous with very high
amplitude delta waves bilaterally at Central, Temporal, and Frontal locations. When given multi-channel feedback simultaneously for 4 channels of alpha activity and for 4 channels of delta activity, there were increases in both alpha and delta amplitudes, and increases in the duration and intensity of the Kundalini experience, which showed dramatically on the polygraph recordings. The physiology text books may need to be rewritten after this report, since the high amplitude
synchronous delta at 6 cortical sites co-existing with high amplitude alpha spindles at 2 other cortical sites represents an "impossible" brain wave pattern unknown to traditional neurophysiology. After some practice with simultaneous 4-channel delta feedback and 4-channel alpha feedback, the research trainee was able to shift the bilateral Frontal
delta activity up into the alpha frequency range while maintaining the extraordinary amplitude characterizing the synchronous delta activity.
Overhead transparencies will be used to illustrate these remarkable brain wave patterns which show the trainee both shifting into the Kundalini event and transitioning out of it, often with mild to profound muscle spasms attending the transitional moments. Yogis describe the benefits of the leg-locking full lotus posture as helping to support the inner-naut through such muscle spasms which are known, in the Yoga tradition, to attend the awakening of the Kundalini
energies. With EEG technology we can build bridges between science and spiritual traditions, enriching both with the insights and wisdom each has to offer the other.

Mind Awareness Training Presenter: Frank Deits, Focused Technology

Mind Awareness Training attempts to enhance the subject's awareness of moment to moment changes in brain state. Feedback has a short response time (<100mS), uses relatively narrow bandwidths, and is presented sequentially
for short time periods. While the protocol itself is interesting, it also is an example of alternative approaches to EEG feedback that have additional application.
The protocol will be discussed in detail with time for discussion.

EEG Coherence Architectures: A Model for Assessment and Treatment

William J. Hudspeth, Ph.D.
Neuropsychometric Laboratory
1240 Santa Ynez Avenue
Los Osos, California - 93402
(805) 534-0322

The EEG is reputed to be a chaotic signal that varies with arousal, task, mental state and brain integrity. All of these
assertions are true. Nevertheless, the current studies show that the EEG also has structural stability, to the extent that
the relative origin for each signal (anatomical source) is invariant across individuals.

QEEG practitioners commonly use EEG coherence measurements to assess the functional differentiation among brain systems. These findings are used to evaluate brain disorders and/or apply appropriate neurotherapeutic corrections. The current studies show that such practices are unfounded, misleading and, perhaps, risky.

Coherence or correlation indices for EEGs from all combinations of 19 recording electrodes are tabulated in a triangular matrix that expresses the similarity-dissimilarity of EEG waveforms across the scalp. With 171 possible combinations, it is difficult to imagine a clear and direct interpretation for such findings.

Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) methods can be used to compute eigenvectors for coherence and correlation matrices so that the 171 measurements can be reduced to 3 simple variables for each electrode. These 3 variables invariably represent the anatomical dimensions: anterior-posterior, left-right and dorso-ventral. When the coefficients for the 3 dimensions are graphed, it is evident that the position of each
electrode reflects the presumed anatomical systems in which the signals are generated. These structures are termed, coherence architectures (CAs).

In the preliminary study (Hudspeth, 1987, 1994), CAs were computed correlation and coherence (4-bands) data obtained from 30 normal adults (age: 19-35 yo). The initial findings are important insofar as they reveal significant functional differences between the CAs for eyes-open and eyes-closed recordings. The primary finding shows
that the posterior regions of the brain are decoupled, or differentiated, when eyes are closed.

In a second study (Hudspeth, 1994) CAs were computed for all of the coherence tables (4-band and mean coherence) in the Lifespan QEEG Reference Database (V.2), which has 199 age groups, ranging from 6 months to 62 years. The Z-Score deviations of the CA for each age group was computed and then displayed in a a 199-frame sequence of topographic maps to reveal the dynamic maturational changes in integration and differentiation among cortical systems.

Bibliographic Note:

1966: Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Claremont Graduate School.
1968: Post-Doctoral in neuroanatomy-neurophysiology at UCLA Brain Research

1973: Co-founder, with Drs. Roy John and Robert Thatcher, of the first
Neurophysiology (Neurometric) Clinic at New York Medical College.

1987: President of Neuropsychometric Lab - R & D for QEEG analysis,
Consultation with QEEG users regarding interpretation, report
generation and neurotherapy direction.

1993: Who's Who in Science and Engineering

Author of 60 articles and papers in neuroscience.
Author of NeuroRep Analysis and Report Software for QEEG Brain Mapping.

Information as Stimulation for the Brain, in Sickness and Health Len Ochs, workshop

The brain is most typically seen as a receiver, processor, and integrator of information. However, it can also be seen as a receiver, processor, and integrator of stimulation. This presentation considers what happens when information is looked upon as stimulation, revealing a host of previously unseen phenomena which contribute to both our understanding of the workings of the brain and of clinical phenomena, and to our ability to effectively treat previously untreatable conditions.

* What happens to our understanding of clinical situations, first, when those with chronic CNS problems are seen as poorly receiving, poorly processing, and poorly integrating stimulation? Implications will be discussed for the individual's clarity, sense of ease, mood, energy, receptivity to information, sleeping, concentration and attention, and motor skills. The ICD or DSM diagnosis will be seen as the individualized expression of a complex set of factors, and relevant only to an understanding of the expected course of treatment.

* EEG patterns in response to stimulation problems shown by many with chronic CNS dysfunctions. EEG amplitude and frequency phenomena, as well EEG pattern changes from electrode site-to-electrode site will be discussed.

* What happens to these chronic problem situations when eeg-driven photic stimulation (EDS) is rendered to correct the reception, processing, and integration of stimulation? The surprising implications of EDS for those with seizure disorders will be discussed.

* Some of the phenomena encountered when eeg-driven photic stimulation is administered: problems of eeg slowing, hyperreactivity, hyposensitivity and overload, rebound, and malhomeostatic EEG-generator systems. Both the changes to the EEG and to the experience of the patient will be discussed, as well as the range of treatment complexity encountered in treating a broad spectrum of problems with the common thread of EEG slowing or EEG suprression.

* Distinctions will be made between eeg-biofeedback, or neurotherapy, EDS; the measurement of spontaneous EEG and evoked EEG, and the respective implications for the subjective meanings attached to different band activity.

* Technical and philosophical differences in operant vs applied-chaos theory paradigms will be discussed

* Seventh, the "side effects" .

* What kinds of skills are helpful for operating in this domain at this time and in the future?

* What is the status of the technology at this time? What necessary developments are anticipated which will help make this technology available to many more clinicians?


(President, ACN; Chair ACN and BCIA EEG Examination and Certification
Committees; Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston-Chicago.)

The aim of this workshop is to teach the BASIC psychobiology one needs to know to pass an EEG Certification Exam, and to teach this material in a way that can be easily handled by an intelligent layperson. The teacher has been teaching undergraduates this material for 20-plus years. The aim is also to make you educated about EEG science, equipment and software protocols so that you cannot be embarassed by anyone,(such as a so-called expert asking
questions at a public presentation), nor taken advantage of by eager equipment salespersons.

This workshop will first review what makes up the electroencephalogram or EEG. EEG is the complex integrated postsynaptic activity of cortical neurons. Thus, I will spend some time describing the kinds of neural events-- action potentials and postsynaptic potentials--occuring in the nervous system. I will also briefly review the elementary neuroanatomy one needs to know to understand the origin of EEG. Next, I will describe how two basic recording parameters--electrode size and amplifier filter parameters--determine what kinds of neural events one records from brain.
This will involve a review of basic principles of neural event recording. We will cover montages, bipolar vs referential decisions, amplifiers, A/D converters, etc.

We will then review in detail EEG phenomena, including alpha, beta, theta, SMR, "40-cycle",and EEG frequency asymmetry. We will also review event-related potentials (CNV, P300, N400), and how they are used diagnostically with respect to cognitive and emotional disorders. The psychological signifigance of all these EEG phenomena will be covered.

Finally, we will do a CRITICAL survey of neurotherapies:neurofeedback and audio-visual EEG entrainment. This will be briefly preceded by a consideration of methodological requirements;e.g., why must there be controlled studies of all prospective protocols? All the currently known feedback protocols will be considered: alpha-theta, beta-theta, etc.
If time remains, I will review the history of neurofeedback in the 1960s.
J. Peter Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
Northwestern University
Evanston, Il 60208
Phone: 708-491-3629
Fax: 708-491-7859