How We are Different?

Brain Fitness Specialists of America’s system of NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is based on many aspects of science in Biofeedback and in Neurofeedback which historically have been used to assist people to overcome pathologies.  However, NeurOptimal® should be differentiated from Neurofeedback and Biofeedback.

The basic differentiation of these modalities is based on the following:

Biofeedback - is a type of learning used to lessen negative reactions for the individual, based on increasing the awareness of the biological process in order to offset or stop the pathology as it begins to happen biologically and is applicable during the occurrence of the pathology. For example; panic attacks have biological indicators before the attacks hit, if you can learn the biological indicators you can lessen the panic attack by either degree and/or duration. Biofeedback is oriented to solve diagnosed problems in the client.

Neurofeedback - is a type of learning used to lessen negative reactions for the individual, based on increasing the awareness of the neurological process in order to offset or stop the pathology as it begins to happen neurologically. For example; training sensory-motor neurological frequencies to be more dominant for some athletic events. Neurofeedback is oriented to solve problems defined by a normative database or model along with those problems and symptoms diagnosed by practitioner and client. Neurofeedback will usually be provided to clients in a medical model and will require 30 to multiple hundreds of sessions to achieve desired results.

NeurOptimal® - is based on brain observance. It is based on a Quantum Physics vs.a Newtonian Physics understanding of the individual, and this philosophical difference cannot be too heavily stressed. NeurOptimal® seeks to show the brain itself – be a mirror for the brain in its ever more optimized state. The client is not trained with learned behavior. In fact, while not optimal, a client may sleep through a session and still realize results because the brain can view itself without direct client participation. Though it is always more efficacious to have the client participate, it is not mandatory.

For example, clients adversarial to the training, such as those with adolescent misbehavior or antisocial behavior issues, can still be assisted to balance and harmonize their brain and achieve a greater homeostasis.

NeurOptimal® is oriented to solve problems having to do with the balance and harmony of the brain energy and is not based on comparison of the client with a normative database. It is not based on a diagnosis or the symptoms which are presented.  NeurOptimal®  is based on the degree of balance and harmony the brain contains and seeks to increase this balance and harmony.

NeurOptimal® is an Information-Based Technology
The most overarching feature of NeurOptimal® is that it has been designed from the ground up to work with the brain as a non-linear dynamical system (we call this “dynamical neurofeedback”). As the brain itself is a nonlinear system, interacting with it in a nonlinear dynamical way is a perfect match— like talking to the brain in its own language. No more diagnosis or treatment planning! Instead, NeurOptimal® more elegantly and “simply” offers the brain the information it needs to organize and re-organize itself.  Presented with the right information, the brain can become more flexible and resilient, which results in a better quality of life for the client. This has important implications for the trainer’s role, which becomes one of sharing a journey with the client in which the information, and the client’s experience, evolves moment by moment.

Incredible Ease of Use
Although non-linear dynamical theory and its application can be complex and involved, NeurOptimal® is incredibly simple to operate. All you do is hook up and press “Go”. NeurOptimal® provides the information the brain needs moment by moment while the difficulty level automatically adjusts itself (we call this “auto-nav”) based on the brain’s behavior each microsecond. There is no guesswork for the trainer, so no need to worry about making mistakes. You can trust NeurOptimal® to do the work. Trainers can be quickly up and running clients rather than acquiring a cryptic knowledge base. And individual sessions require no up-front assessments or planning.

The Elegance of working with Instabilities
NeurOptimal® works with brain instabilities, not amplitudes or any other linear measures used by older style neurofeedback systems. As the brain starts to move into an instability in a particular frequency range (we call these “targets”), the sound pauses very briefly and the image changes. The brain immediately brings itself “back to the present” (this is not a conscious process and you don’t “try” to do it - you can just sit and relax and close your eyes if you want and your brain responds). Over time, the brain learns to maneuver around instabilities -- instead of just falling into them -- resulting in increased flexibility and resilience. Because we work with instabilities and how the brain responds to those instabilities, muscle movement and other sources of “artifact” are far less of an issue than when running older-style systems, making effective training much easier.

Permissive Non-Directive Healing Stance
NeurOptimal® doesn’t “push” the brain by telling it what it needs to do. NeurOptimal® provides information to the client’s brain about its own activity— that is all. The brain than does its own reorganizing. While it is true you can sometimes get dramatic effects by pushing the brain in a particular way as other systems do, it is also very possible that you can push the brain into a destabilized state, resulting in unpleasant side effects. NeurOptimal® is designed differently. Simply giving the brain information rather than telling it what to do results in powerful shifts in a positive direction for the client, gently and easily.

Effortless Client Engagement
The client doesn’t have to do anything, they don’t have to make any kind of conscious effort at all. They can listen to music, they can watch a movie, or they can deeply “zone out” with eyes closed. It doesn’t matter. You can use the default music and fractal image, play CDs or movies. NeurOptimal® comes with music especially composed by multi-Grammy award-winning musician Jeff Bova, written to support the movement through our “ZenX-Modes” during a NeurOptimal® session. This is the basis of the “default session”, but you can create any kind of media experience you want.

Real-time JTFA
NeurOptimal® works with real-time Joint Time Frequency Analysis (JTFA) in a special way that accurately and precisely captures the “event-structure” of our brainwaves. This is state of the art and no other brain training system has this capability even if they claim to be “non-linear”. Superior Precision unmatched in the Industry NeurOptimal®’s sampling rate of 256 samples per second is coupled with incredible precision of filtering, targeting and triggering of feedback. The data of other systems, (you can import their data and look at it in NeurOptimal®) looks incredibly “smeary” in comparison, when viewed through the sharp eye of NeurOptimal®.

True Dynamical Thresholding

Dynamical thresholding (which is where we get the name “dynamical neurofeedback” to describe what we do), is incredibly good at allowing release of clients “points of stuckness,” allowing superior possibilities for client change. What this means practically is two important things. The first is that NeurOptimal® works with “where the client is” moment by moment. This is why you do not need to diagnose or assess clients ahead of time. (Diagnosis minutes, hours, days or months ahead is very crude by NeurOptimal®‘s standards). And when a client gets fatigued, NeurOptimal® adapts with the client and works with them where they are at that time, so over-training is not really an issue (although we do recommend not training more than twice in a day). NeurOptimal®’s special Dynamical targeting procedures are a powerful support for re-organization, allowing unprecedented yet safe, client transformation.