What is the difference between Neurofeedback and Neuro-cognitive training?
What is the most suitable form of alternative treatment for you or your child?
Let’s first find out – what is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is one type of biofeedback. Biofeedback is a training technique that enables an individual to develop some control over body functions that normally are involuntary. It does this by detecting physical responses, such as changes in skin temperature, and feeding that information back to the subject, who can immediately see that a specific thought or action produced the change. The goal is to learn and to reinforce thoughts or actions that create the desired response. For example, biofeedback may be useful in controlling chronic tension headaches by teaching the subject to relax at will.
Neurofeedback uses an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine to record neural impulses produced by the brain. Most often, this must be done in a clinical setting, under professional supervision. The EEG connects to the subject by electrodes, or sensors, attached to the surface of the scalp or forehead. A mild abrasive gel or witch hazel may be used first to clean the skin, and the sensor is held in place with a wax paste. Additional sensors may be clipped to the ear or placed at the back of the neck or the base of the thumb. Another method uses a special cap with built-in sensors. All methods send the recorded data to a computer, which processes it and provides appropriate feedback.
Even when neurofeedback can be practiced outside a clinical setting, it requires a special EEG unit that can be attached to a personal computer, as well as training to use the equipment, attach the electrodes, and administer the protocol.
What is Neuro-cognitive training for ADD/ADHD?
Brain training has grown and includes anything from simple and entertaining brain-games to professional cognitive training. Neuro-cognitive brain training was designed to develop cognitive abilities related to attention and concentration – using only computerized exercises (no electrodes required). These exercises include cognitive tasks that engage Beta1 and Beta2 brain-waves. These types of brain-waves enable alert and focused concentration, without hyperactivity; and have been found lacking in children and adults with ADD/ADHD.
Over time, AttenGo’s training gives you the tools to teach your brain to generate this optimal level of brain-activity – on its own, and even when doing simple, “boring” tasks. AttenGo’s brain training program is the only one that works according to neuro-cognitive principles – enabling ADD/ADHD children and adults to simultaneously balance brain activity while strengthening cognitive weaknesses specific to ADD/ADHD.
One of the most important advantages of AttenGo is that it can be used at home – kind of ‘neurofeedback at home’, without professional supervision, and it was designed to work without EEG feedback. A built-in scoring system provides the feedback that tells users whether they’re getting the desired results. The program reports both general progress and areas of special difficulty and records the results for constant monitoring of progress.
The two techniques differ in other important ways. Most neurofeedback protocols focus on developing sustained attention, by encouraging the production of Beta 1 brainwaves and by inhibiting slow Theta brainwaves. Other aspects of attention, such as selective attention, orienting of attention, and executive attention, are not usually reinforced. These aspects are critical in developing the well-rounded cognitive skills essential to listening, reading, learning, problem solving, following instructions, and interacting responsibly in various settings.
Unlike neurofeedback, AttenGo trains for cognitive skills on the most fundamental level. Also, in addition to enhancing Beta 1 brainwaves, it also reinforces Beta 2, important for alertness. The program enables users to practice the lows and highs of each frequency band and trains them to quickly shift from one band to another (Alpha/theta, Beta 1, Beta 2), thus developing better attentional flexibility.
In addition, it helps in improving working memory, which is impaired in most individuals suffering from focus and concentration problems. Neurofeedback does not address auditory related difficulties at all. AttenGo does that as part of the training. Read more about AttenGo vs. Neurofeedback.
AttenGo does even more. It trains users to meet cognitive challenges against both visual and auditory distractions, enabling marked improvement in the ability to concentrate, even in a noisy classroom or workplace.