Archive for the ‘Protocols’ Category

Inhibition and Reward

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

With all of the disagreements outstanding in this field, the least we can do is clear the semantic hurdles that may stand in the way of synthesis. One issue that is still outstanding, but can easily be dispatched, concerns how we think about inhibits. In the past I have variously contrasted Sue’s largely reward-based training with Val Brown’s largely inhibit-based approach. The distinction is quite clear to me in my own mind, but Val Brown comes back to point out that his system does allow the promotion of amplitudes in particular bands as well. In his approach of box targeting there is both an upper and a lower threshold set for every band. One can choose to raise the lower threshold with an imposed offset, thus rewarding the brain for larger amplitudes in that particular band. That could then be seen as a reward strategy. (The upper threshold gets raised as well, in that the whole box is moved upward, but that is not of interest at the moment.)

Now in fairness it must be said that Val has moved away from the use of this terminology of augments and inhibits in his own chosen framing of what he does. So the problem is not his but ours, as we try to understand his approach in our traditional framework. On the other hand, Val also has an interest in not having his system misrepresented. So, why do I still talk of Val’s approach in terms of inhibit-based training? (more…)

A Program for Migraines

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

Aging is not what it used to be. I have the impression that in some significant respects my own health is actually improving over the years, and that has mainly to do with my increasing understanding of self-regulation in the context of a general growth in awareness of alternative health. The same is true most likely for anyone who has committed some time and energy to that enterprise, whether it be through meditation, attention to nutrition, the adoption of an exercise regimen, taking time for biofeedback/neurofeedback, or even just an accommodation of the need for sleep. This may or may not have much to do with the fundamental risk of disease, but it has a lot to do with perceived quality of life.

This is happening among an increasingly aware public in the face of a continuing effort by the pharmacological/medical/university complex that matters of health should be left to the professionals. Life is increasingly being defined as a medical condition, with every important life transition from conception to organ harvesting after death being attended by the medical priesthood. The tribute paid to this enterprise is already at the level of 15% to 18% of our total personal expenditures in this country (depending on what all gets counted), and this fraction is still rising briskly. Medical dependency promotes yet greater dependency, in a progressive spiral that likely ends in the person being maintained on life support in a nursing home, at the same time heart-healthy and brain-dead. Nevertheless, I write as someone who has had his life saved a number of times by “real” medicine (as opposed to lifestyle or boutique medicine), and I have reason to be very grateful. (more…)

The Connectivity Conference

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

The Connectivity Conference in Armonk, New York, brought together a number of people engaged in synchrony and coherence training or the corresponding analysis. Speakers were brought together by invitation from Michael Gismondi, organizer of the conference. As a user of a variety of neurofeedback instruments, he realized that a focus on coherence training would be very timely.

Joe Horvat kicked things off with a review of his approach to coherence training. The original point of departure was furnished by Thatcher, who was probably the first to highlight coherence deviations as a hallmark of brain injury. And on the practical side, Bob Crago may have been one of the first practitioners to actually use coherence training. Joe had started out first using protocol-based training based on Ayers and Othmer, and at some point introduced coherence training with a treatment-resistant child of six. The coherence standard score went from +3.7 to —2.64 Z-score in 3 sessions! Whereas some symptoms resolved with this new training, other symptoms returned, quite possibly the result of the “overshoot” in coherence. The rapidity of change so panicked Joe that he did not go back to coherence training for a number of years. (more…)


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