What Is Neurofeedback?

  • D. Corydon Hammond


EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) originated in the late 1960s as a method for retraining brainwave patterns through operant conditioning. Since that time a sizable body of research has accumulated on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in the treatment of uncontrolled epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, alcoholism, posttraumatic stress disorder, and mild head injuries. Studies also provide encouraging indications that neurofeedback offers a treatment alternative for use with learning disabilities, stroke, depression, fibromyalgia, autism, insomnia, tinnitus, headaches, problems with physical balance, and for the enhancement of peak performance. At a time when an increasing number of people are concerned with negative effects from relying solely on medication treatments, neurofeedback may offer an additional treatment alternative for many conditions. This article assists the reader to understand how neurofeedback works, how assessment allows neurofeedback to be individualized, and briefly reviews evidence for the neurofeedback treatment of many conditions. The public is cautioned that in selecting a practitioner for the treatment of the kinds of medical, psychiatric and psychological conditions cited above, a practitioner should be licensed for independent practice in their state or province and should ideally also be certified by a legitimately recognized body.