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Articles    H4'ed 12/2/09

Neurofeedback and Ayahuasca: A More Effective Program for Personal Growth

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Equanimity: both your inclination toward being calm or anxious, as well as your sensitivity to calming and anxiety producing influences.

Focus: how quickly and completely you attend to the events around you.

Locality: the sense of boundary that you maintain between yourself and others, your sense of position in space, your moral boundaries.

Organization: your inclination to order, rank, quantify, and manage. The way you organize events around you.

Prosody: our ability to imbue speech with meaningful tonality and to extract meaning from the tonal quality of speech. Prosody is the tonality of emotion.

Recall: the strength to which memories play a role in your thinking, and the degree to which you recall memories of various sorts.

Recognition: visual, verbal, spatial, and conceptual. Are you good at identifying what things are made of? How facile are you at seeing a new whole when ideas are put together?

Temperament: when do you switch between diligence and frustration? What is the purpose and limitation of each? Does you ability in modulating your temperament improve with knowledge or practice?

Tempo: the natural pace of events that you find most comfortable and at which you naturally find yourself engaged.

We equate many of these qualities with innate intelligence, and intelligence is seen as immutable. But intelligence is a slippery topic to which absolutes rarely apply. Neurofeedback techniques are facilitating changes in these areas, as I'll describe below.

In this description of cognition I am distinguishing between improving one's performance through practice "” such as requires the exercise, exploration, and rearrangement of your natural abilities "” and directly enhancing or "evolving" those abilities. The result may be the same, but the mechanisms are different.

For example, I may learn to be better organized through a long period of practice in which I learn to compensate for areas of weakness. This process typically takes weeks or months. Alternatively, I may learn to modulate the electrical patterns of my brain in order to become a more organized person. For people responsive to neurofeedback this is a process that takes 10 to 20 sessions each lasting 30 minutes or less. The frequency of sessions can range between twice daily to weekly.

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My interest is in advancing health, insight, and function on personal and community levels. My training is in clinical neurofeedback with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and experience with computers, shamanism, education, and indigenous cultures. (more...)
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