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The Baleful Realities of the Aging Brain

April 5th, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

brainlossYears ago an event occurred in Los Angeles that every resident at the time surely remembers. An elderly man plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica for which a street had been dedicated. There had been no evasive maneuvers, and the man may even have accelerated the vehicle during the encounter. Quite a number of people were killed or injured.

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Patty Duke and Bipolar Disorder

April 1st, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Patty Duke as Neely O’Hara in the 1967 film '‘Valley of the Dolls.’' Credit 20th Century Fox

Patty Duke as Neely O’Hara in the 1967 film ‘‘Valley of the Dolls.’’ Credit 20th Century Fox

The death of Patty Duke places the challenge of Bipolar Disorder front and center. In her case, it was not diagnosed for many years, which is not atypical. Her turbulent life even after it was diagnosed testifies to the fact that the condition was not under good control.

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Neurofeedback and Cognitive Skills Training

March 16th, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Neurofeedback-and-Cognitive-Skills-TrainingIn the previous newsletter on this topic we supported the case for cognitive skills training as a sister technology to neurofeedback, and we disparaged the case that the FTC has been making against Lumosity in particular. But how does cognitive skills training actually stack up against neurofeedback? This is a useful discussion to be had.

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On Lumosity and the FTC

January 28th, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

lumosity-girlScience Magazine has just weighed in on the recent sanctioning of Lumosity by the Federal Trade Commission for ostensible over-claiming.(Reference) From our perspective we regard cognitive skills training as a kindred technology to neurofeedback. It’s yet another computer-based method of enhancing brain function. So where do we come down on the issue of the FTC sanction? We come down firmly on both sides of the issue! On the one hand, over-claiming by any of the major players ends up casting a pall on the entire field. And on the other, the FTC may well have exhibited entirely too much regulatory zeal. The review in Science sheds light on the controversy. Read More »

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Are We Training Function or Targeting Dysfunction?

January 25th, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

bellcurveAmajor divide within the field of neurofeedback is the basic question of whether we are aiming to improve function or to expunge dysfunction. This distinction was highlighted crisply many years ago when one of the early researchers, Barry Sterman, said that if he could not identify a deficit in the EEG he would be ethically compelled to send the client home. There would be nothing for him to do.
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On Recovery from Addiction

January 25th, 2016

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

addictionPicture a young man with a long-term history of schizophrenia and PTSD coming for his first training session with infra-low frequency neurofeedback. At the end of the session he is surprised that he does not feel like smoking. It had been a couple of hours since he last lit up. At the fifth session, he mentioned to the practitioner that he hadn’t smoked since session four. The therapist checked his notes: It had been nineteen days since session four.
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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 300 articles.

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