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Archive for the ‘Application of Neurofeedback’ Category

Brain Hacking

Friday, June 5th, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

 

Brain Hacking by Siegfried Othmer, PhDThe June issue of The Atlantic Magazine features an article on brain hacking by Maria Konnikova. The article reviews various technology options that give some hope of sprucing up brain function. First of all there are the smart pills. Already the stimulants are finding use beyond their medical applications in boosting test performance among college students.

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Neurofeedback: The First Brain-Computer Interface

Monday, March 9th, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Neurofeedback: The First Brain-Computer InterfaceBrain Computer Interfaces (BCI) are a relatively new fascination in the neurosciences, and the payoff in research has already been significant. By tracking the activity of a small number of neurons in the motor cortex, for example, the actual movement of an arm to direct the cursor on a screen can be fairly emulated by a robot arm that receives its instructions from the tracking electronics. Scientists had to make the ‘translation’ from the neural firing streams into instructions for movement, and they were able to do so successfully based on the prior observations. This is the work of Miguel Nicolelis and his team.

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The Problem of Homelessness Among Veterans

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

 

The Problem of Homelessness Among VeteransWhy is there a problem of homelessness among veterans? Indeed there is a shortage of affordable housing in Los Angeles, but that is not the real issue here. Rather, we are confronted with a problem of the brain. Homeless veterans are not able to sustain relationships, and eventually they find themselves out on their own. The downward slide may take years. When the Director of the Salvation Army Bell Shelter (the largest shelter for formerly homeless veterans West of the Mississippi) was asked recently about whether he was seeing a lot of veterans of the recent wars, his answer was, “not yet.” By and large, they have not yet worn out their familial and other connections. But among those still suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) years after return from combat, a gradual downward slide is the likely prospect.

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Veteran’s Day 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Veterans Day
W hy is it that our nation has not made more progress in dealing with PTSD and TBI over all these years? Admittedly, the whole concept of PTSD only dates back to about 1980, which is rather astounding. But matters are even worse with regard to TBI. We’ve been living with automobile-involved head injuries in huge numbers for nearly a century; there are in addition the common occurrences of minor head injuries among children; and at the other end of the age range we confront all those falls among the elderly leading to minor traumatic brain injury. And yet there has been no real coming to grips with this problem until we confronted the conundrum of blast injury—injury without apparent direct impact on the brain—among our service members. One could well say that the field of medicine essentially ignored what is called ‘minor’ traumatic brain injury until the 21st century.

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The Shrinking Divide

Friday, September 12th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

In our collective attempt to achieve mainstream acceptance, we have actually been co-conspirators in trying to fit neurofeedback into the standard models.
A t the time of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, King Louis the 16th wrote in his private journal: “Rien.” Nothing. Just a few years later, he was beheaded and himself came to nothing. One could make similar judgments about our field. No one in the suites at Pfizer is quaking in his boots at the contemplation of our ascendancy. We don’t yet count for very much. But biofeedback and neurofeedback are gradually marbling into the mainstream. The scientific foundations are being shored up; the techniques are being refined; the products are becoming ever more competent, as well as more attractive in their features; and the methods are becoming more people-friendly. Most importantly, the scope of what we can now accomplish with our methods is expanding to cover the entire realm of mental health. At the moment, the contrast between the actual prospects of self-regulation-based therapies, and the awareness prevailing in the rest of the world about their potential, could hardly be greater.

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Brian’s Legacy eBook Now Available

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

by Siegfried Othmer, PhD

Brian's Legacy by Siegfried Othmer, PhDW ith this newsletter, we are pleased to announce the release of our new book, “Brian’s Legacy”, the core of which is our son Brian’s journal, written during his college years. Through his journal we get to experience Brian’s evolving understanding of his own condition, his ongoing struggle to improve and manage his own health, and the gradual emergence of a more mature self. In my own contribution to the book, I provide some background on the challenges our family faced while raising a troubled child, and I provide my reflections on many of Brian’s journal entries. The book tells the story of our lives together, and also describes the path we traveled to the discovery of neurofeedback, which eventually became our life’s work.

Start reading today and get inspired!

Available on Kindle
Available on iTunes

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