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Virtual Reality

January 15th, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Virtual Reality
D evelopments in the virtual reality sphere were another highlight of the latest Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Matters were raised to a higher level of visibility even before the conference, when Facebook pumped $2B into Oculus. A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you are talking about real money. As it happens, we took a look at an Oculus system a while back to evaluate its suitability for neurofeedback. It wasn’t long before each of us felt just a little woozy from the experience, and opted for going back to maneuver in the real rather than the virtual world.

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“The Next Big Thing”

January 7th, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Next Big Thing
A common concern among those paid to worry about the society in general, and the economy in particular, is what we may expect to see as the main driving force for change in the near future. The emerging sharing economy may be one of the best candidates for transformative change. And within the sharing economy, the ride-sharing outfit Uber may be the most visible example. Uber has been in the news lately because it received an infusion of investor funds that placed the implicit value of the company at some $40B. This is doubly startling when it is viewed against the company’s sales last year of a mere $1B.

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BSC 2014: Sigi Hale on ADHD

December 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

BSC Conference 2014
I n one fast-paced hour, Sigi Hale of the UCLA Department of Psychiatry recapitulated his graduate work, his postgraduate work, and his research since that time with reference to ADHD. The body of work was largely concerned with the lateralization of function, which yielded new insights on ADHD. The specifics are beyond the scope of this overview.

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BSC 2014: Eric Peper

December 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

BSC Conference 2014
E ric Peper entertained us with a discussion of just how much can be accomplished with attention to basic lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise, breathing, and posture. In a participatory session, the audience experienced directly the importance of posture in mood regulation and functional competence—even physical strength. Posture has a direct and prominent influence on cortisol and testosterone levels. Our fixation on computer screens and smartphones while looking downward leaves us with non-optimal posture and at risk of postural immobility syndrome. “We look down and curve our upper spine to read the tablet, crane our heads forward to read the screen, lift our shoulders, arms and hands up to the laptop keyboard to enter data, and we bend our heads down and squint to read the smartphone—all occurring without awareness.”

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BSC 2014: Bob Grove on Clinical Skill Development

December 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

BSC Conference 2014
B ob Grove is one of the encyclopedic minds in the biofeedback field, one who has been involved in software development for some decades, but he has also been steeped in research and practice. The research involvement has tended to be unheralded, as his contribution tended to be in background through the development of the required software. On this occasion the talk dealt with the tactic of thought stopping, or thought interruption, to deal with worry. This technique dates back to the early eighties. Thought interruption (ideally within five seconds) is then followed by a shift of attention toward internal states, and to what is prominent there with respect to internal sensation. The mere shift of attention to internal states in this way already gets the physiology shifting in the right direction, toward calmness. But one can also engage more actively to manage the sensations.

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BSC: 2014 – Nicholas Dogris and Magnetic Stim

December 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

BSC Conference 2014
N icholas Dogris has in a few short years opened up a new technological horizon with what he calls pulsed EMF stimulation, which was developed in collaboration with his electronics engineer partner, Brad Wiitala. What is involved here is simply very low-level magnetic field stimulation within the EEG frequency range and even going beyond it, out to a kiloHertz.

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The EEG Info Newsletter circulates via email at least once a month. A variety of topics related to the Neurofeedback / EEG Biofeedback field are covered in over 200 articles.
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