Disposing of the Placebo Model of Neurofeedback

by Siegfried Othmer | December 27th, 2017

It is quite remarkable that after a fifty-year history in research and practice the question is still open in some minds as to whether the effects of the neurofeedback exercise might be attributable to the placebo, that nebulous entity that mediates somehow between mind and body. It is even more remarkable that this is occurring in the New World, which long ago found pragmatism to be a more useful way forward than proceeding on the basis of abstract principle. We do neurofeedback because it works–consistently.

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They Denied NF

by Siegfried Othmer | November 21st, 2017

First they denied neurofeedback because they did not believe in brain plasticity.
But they were wrong.

Then they denied neurofeedback for seizures, as they are neurochemically mediated.
But they were wrong.

Then they denied neurofeedback for ADHD because that’s what stimulants are for.
But they were wrong.

Then they denied neurofeedback for migraines because it is a vascular condition.
But they were wrong.
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On “The Psychology of Neurofeedback,” by Thibault and Raz

by Siegfried Othmer | November 9th, 2017

The subtitle of Thibault and Raz’s latest diatribe against EEG neurofeedback sounds vaguely promising: “Clinical Intervention even if Placebo.” But the ambivalence implicit in the title runs through the entire article. The tone of the paper is argumentative throughout, shoring up an essential posture of skepticism with respect to EEG-NF while also allowing for the possibility that we may have been right all along: there is something to neurofeedback after all. We appear to be witnessing the last stages of resistance by these neurofeedback deniers. A subtle repositioning is going on.

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Neurofeedback in the Biofeedback Perspective

by Siegfried Othmer | October 2nd, 2017

Over the years, we have gone to great lengths to argue that neurofeedback is merely biofeedback by other means, and if anything, ILF (Infra-Low Frequency) neurofeedback is even more analogous to traditional biofeedback than standard EEG training. It works with slowly varying physiological signals, and is oriented toward the most basic regulatory functions, including autonomic regulation and arousal regulation. ILF training has clinical priorities in common with somatic biofeedback. The EEG plays only a secondary role in the actual training, and none in the ILF component. Further, the slowly varying signal also involves significant non-neuronal components. A further commonality is that it does not involve operant conditioning.

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Remembrances of Chuck Davis

by Siegfried Othmer | September 5th, 2017

We have lost Chuck Davis. And what a loss it is. Even among all the mavericks in this field, Chuck was an outlier. Like several other developers, he came to the field from prior work in aerospace. He was in excellent company. First there was Edward Dillingham, developer of the NeuroCybernetics; then there was Howard Lightstone, developer of the EEGer, and finally Bernhard Wandernoth, developer of Cygnet; and I had spent twenty years in aerospace research as well). In his early career, Chuck was involved with engineering control systems. Just as others have thought before him, it was natural to conjecture that the same methods might be relevant to the brain as well. After all, it faces the same issue of functioning as a control system. But it was the differences, rather than the commonalities, that turned out to matter most.

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On my Professional Partnership with Chuck Davis

by Victoria Ibric, M.D. | September 5th, 2017

Charles Jefferson Davis, affectionately known as Chuck, was born an engineer. At an early age, he spent his time taking things apart to see how they worked. As a boy, he rigged the household phone to talk to people around the world without the help of the phone company. He worked for companies such as NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Lockheed, and others. He was a brilliant engineer that some called the “Black Einstein.” At some point in his life, he decided to focus his efforts on creating something that would make a more direct positive difference in people’s lives. As the inventor of the ROSHI I & II and the pROSHI, he has helped thousands unscramble the anomalies of their brains over the years. This non-drug, non-invasive procedure that he eventually called the Neurodynamic Activator® far exceeded the capabilities of any instrumentation of its kind, and it came along well before its time.

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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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