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Articles    H3'ed 10/12/09

A Relaxation/Activation model for EEG Alpha

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The highly synchronized (high alpha) state is a low entropy state. The more synchronization can be achieved, the lower the momentary entropy of the system.

Entropy can be sequestered in time as well as in space. The time-space analog of a highly organized, crystalline material is the synchronous alpha activity in the brain. Rather than simply organizing matter in a structured fashion, the brain organizes events in a structured fashion. When alpha goes out of phase at a regional level, so that there is an interface of phase change, then the flow of entropy from one region to another is maximized.

This provides a rationale for connectivity-based training. By considering the various connectivity pathways in the brain, and training them explicitly for flexibility, it is possible to use a wide range of protocols toward a primary goal, without resorting to a simple model of "remediating what is too large or too small".

This also provides a rationale or downtraining, in the context of connectivity. The effect of downtraining a rhythm is to exercise the inhibitory influences, in such a way as to induce them to produce maximal desynchrony, hence independence. When viewed as an essential component in the momentary switching of mental tasks, this flexibility can be expected to lead to enhanced mental fluidity and effectiveness.

Alpha training thus provides functional relaxation, not systemic relaxation. That is, the mechanism of relaxation, which performs at a cellular level, relaxes internal inhibitory influences, thus resulting in an increase in synchronized, aggregate activity of active mental processing elements. Although these elements are not necessarily engaged in a task at the time time of the training, the resulting learning provides flexibility of activation, which provides benefits at future times.

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Dr. Collura has over 30 years experience as a biomedical engineer and neurophysiologist. He has conducted clinical research and development and system design, in the areas of evoked potentials, microelectronics, human factors, EEG mapping for (more...)
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