Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Sean Casey’s Neurofeedback Story

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

At this ISNR Conference the audience got to hear about the training directly from the person involved, Sean Casey, in a joint presentation with Leslie Coates and Wes Sime.For a number of years now I have been hearing from Leslie Coates in Florida about his work with a top-rated hitter in baseball. For reasons of client confidentiality, I never had a name to go with the story. When reporters would ask us about sports applications, the best story of all had to remain somewhat amorphous. At this year’s ISNR Conference the audience got to hear about the training directly from the person involved, Sean Casey, in a joint presentation with Leslie Coates and Wes Sime.

Sean Casey started out auspiciously in baseball, with a batting average of 0.461 in college at the University of Richmond. He was drafted into the Major Leagues by the Cincinnati Reds ten years ago, and soon after a promising start he was hit in the face by a ball he wasn’t expecting. The bones around the eye socket were broken, and although he tried to keep playing, his batting average hit bottom: 0/30. He was sent back to the minors, where he connected with sports psychologist Wes Sime, with whom he worked for two years.


Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society Fall Conference

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society Fall ConferenceThe program of the Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society Fall Conference, convening on the grounds of the former Women’s adjunct college of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, quite possibly pointed the way to our near-term future, namely the mutual accommodation of the biofeedback and neurofeedback perspectives. The one-day conference was preceded by an all-day seminar on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) training, conducted by Paul Lehrer, Bronya and Evgeny Vaschillo, and Maria Karavidas.

Ever since I first heard of the renaissance of HRV training on the basis of the pioneering Russian work in that area, I have been starting off the discussion of neurofeedback in our training courses with an introduction to HRV training. It illustrates a number of concepts that carry over into our work. It was a relief to hear that the essential concepts have only become even more firmly established over recent years. (more…)

Report on the AAPB Conference in Daytona Beach, FL

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Musk OxOur migraine symposium was the last scheduled item on the program. It was to be conducted by Frank Andrasik, Jeff Carmen, Deborah Stokes, and me, but Frank was unable to be there. The attendance was huge, given the late positioning in the schedule. On the previous occasion, in 2004, we were crowded into a smaller room and the audience overflowed into the hallway. After the debacle last time, we were braced for the reappearance of the tantruming Rumpelstiltskins, Steve Baskin and Richard Sherman, but they chose not to show up. They did, however, succeed on the previous occasion in suppressing interest in the new approaches to migraine. It was reported to me recently that Steve Baskin updated attendees at the BFE Conference in Salzburg on migraine work and mentioned neither pIR nor EEG feedback as having any application to migraine. That’s just mind-boggling if true. Apparently Jeff Carmen’s paper on 100 clients doesn’t count. (more…)

Report on the Seville Conference of the Society for Applied Neuroscience (SAN)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

It is said that an emerging democracy should be judged not by its first election, but rather by its second. Perhaps similarly a new organization should be judged not by its first conference but by its second. The Society of Applied Neuroscience just held its second biannual conference in Seville, Spain, and by the above standard seems to be well on its way. The SAN spun off from the ISNR after the Winterthur conference in February of 2004. It held its first conference in Swansea in 2006. On the order of 200 people came to this one.

One motivation for the organizational separation was the feeling among some European academics that the ISNR was not sufficiently scientifically rigorous. One could also read that to mean it was not dominated by academics. In response, the conference program certainly reflected a high level of meaty scientific content. But when it came to the neurofeedback presentations by the academics, the disconnect from the clinical world was only too apparent. (more…)

The Attack on the LENS

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Following up on the previous newsletter post by Deborah Stokes, let me add my thoughts on some of the issues. For a long time I believed that there was a natural division within the field between standard neurofeedback training and stimulation. It was to be expected that the field of medicine would balk at relinquishing control over any kind of overt stimulation technique. However, this thinking was provoked more by the awareness that such techniques as repetitive trans-cranial stimulation and deep brain stimulation were being actively researched within the medical community. This research basis made these techniques the natural domain of medicine. Is the low-level stimulation involved in the LENS really another matter entirely? I believe that it is, for two principal reasons and from two different perspectives.

The first argument proceeds from the medical perspective. What is it that makes something an invasive technique? Implicitly the argument is around the issue of whether the particular technique alters brain structure. This distinction is perhaps best illustrated by the old controversy around the hazard of high-tension power lines. The question was asked whether these caused an increase in leukemia incidence. The mere framing of the question is already a give-away that nobody was really interested in the answer. The answer was already in hand, after all: the 60-cycle signal is incapable of breaking molecular bonds within the brain, and so it must be innocuous. For political reasons people went through the motions of epidemiological studies, but no one was really worried about how such studies would actually turn out. (more…)

A Report from the ISNR Meeting on the LENS Attack

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I thought I would update everyone on some recent developments that were discussed at ISNR, which may be of interest/concern to many. There was an impromptu meeting held the first night, which was very enlightening for those of us who know little about FDA and State regulations concerning neurofeedback and the devices we use. As some of you may have heard, there is a FNS or FLEXYX (which is an earlier version of the LENS) practitioner in Maryland, Mary Lee Esty, PhD, who was given a Cease and Desist order by the State Medical Board in Maryland. This is an experienced and respected practitioner who has conducted impressive research on head injury and fibromyalgia using this method. She brought her attorney, Rick Jaffe, who specializes in defending Alternative Medicine practitioners, to the meeting to address the 40 or so of us who attended this unscheduled meeting.I will attempt to recap what he said using direct quotations whenever possible. I had Mary Lee look this over and make changes and she sent it to Rick Jaffe who edited it also. So this is as close to “the horse’s mouth” as we can get. I know it is long but we think it is important for all of us to hear. Feel free to circulate widely among any other list serve. (more…)


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