• NeurOptimal’s “Do It Yourself” Approach to Neurofeedback

NeurOptimal’s “Do It Yourself” Approach to Neurofeedback

In this week’s episode, Jesse speaks with Samantha Diavatis of the Canadian company Zengar, which produces a non-invasive, non-drug-based brain optimization product called NeurOptimal.  NeurOptimal is a neurofeedback-based system which allows a subject to hear an audio representation of his or her brain’s electrical output in real time – giving the brain the ability to self-optimize by recognizing and adjusting its own output.  Zengar characterizes this process as being analogous to seeing a mirror image of yourself and having an easier time recognizing and managing your own cleanliness, style, facial makeup, etc., than if the mirror wasn’t there.

Zengar’s NeurOptimal system varies from “traditional” neurofeedback methods in that the process is entirely brain-driven rather than being directed by a human operator.  In the traditional system, a subject’s brain has a “neurological snapshot” taken during a first session, and then, in subsequent sessions, real-time neurofeedback is used to fine-tune  a subject’s ability to achieve a predefined state, determined by the professional analyst (typically a doctor, psychologist, or other neurofeedback expert).  NeurOptimal’s system removes the fundamental role of the analyst and allows the subject’s own brain to decide and direct its responses to the feedback.

In this way, if the brain “likes” what it hears within the neurofeedback, it can improve and strengthen its behaviors that drive those results, and vice versa.  Over the course of repeated sessions, the brain’s increased awareness of its own output seems to result in various efficiencies that transfer into the subject’s everyday life – from mood enhancement to improved ability to concentrate, focus, sleep, etc.  Zengar says most patients begin to see real-life results within six sessions, experience significant optimization within a dozen or so sessions, and within 25 sessions most people have – for the short-term, at least – gained most of the benefits possible from neurofeedback.

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