Neurofeedback gained popularity in neuroscience in the late 1950s through the work of Dr Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago when he discovered that individuals were able consciously to control their brain’s electrical activities with help of feedback from programmed computers.

Since the groundbreaking work of Dr. Kamiya, neurofeedback has been widely employed as a tool for maximising emotional and cognitive performances.

The noted British psycho-biologist, biophysicist, and Zen Master C. Maxwell Cade progressed the use of neurofeedback as a personal development tool. Cade worked with electronics expert, Geoffrey Blundell, to develop the Mindmirror and measure the brainwave patterns of advanced meditators, mystics, saints, swamis, yogis and healers. Using the Mindmirror Max Cade discovered that they all produced a similar brainwave pattern which he termed the Awakened Mind. 

   

                                                                           Brainwaves as seen on the mindmiror

A student of C. Maxwell Cade, Anna Wise, discovered that the Awakened Mind brainwave patterns were produced by individuals at “moments of creative inspiration.” Anna also noted that these patterns were not contingent upon “spiritual dogma, belief or tradition.” She found that the Awakened Mind patterns were present across a multitude of disciplines including music, the performing arts, sports and business. Since then, Anna has developed a highly effective programme for the development of the Awakened Mind for healing and peak performance states.

Other neurofeedback researchers have since developed proven protocols for the treatment of medical conditions including epilepsy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorders and traumatic brain injury.

Alpha Theta pioneers for healing and meditation include:

Peniston and Kulkosky

During the 1980s and early 90s, Eugene Peniston and Paul Kulkosky developed a therapeutic EEG alpha theta neurofeedback protocol for the treatment of alcoholism and the prevention of its relapse. This protocol uses a combination of neurofeedback and guided imagery, visualisations, breathing and autogenic (relaxation technique) training.

The findings of their studies were shown to be significant in the neurofeedback subjects compared with the traditionally treated alcoholics. Some of the subjects were chronic alcoholic male veterans some of whom also suffered from combat related post traumatic stress. Data from their study showed that alpha-theta brainwave training (neurofeedback) was successful in treating alcohol craving and for preventing relapse.

Elmer Green PHD


Dr Elmer Green and his wife Alyce, at the Menninger Foundation, also developed alpha theta training. Green described it as "instrumental Vipassana" which enables the individual to access the planetary consciousness.


 

Dr. Green's past research combined the disciplines of Autogenic Training and biofeedback Training, and included physiologic studies of yogis in India (1974).

SMR pioneer
Barry Sterman

Barry Sterman of UCLA, discovered that a low beta frequency (12-20Hz) trained on the sensory motor strip of the brain, reduced seizures.
            

In the 1970s Joel Lubar also found that SMR neurofeedback improved the behaviour of hyperactive children.

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