The SmartMind 4 provides a key advantage over all other Neurofeedback systems in that it is the ONLY neurofeedback system to provide accurate “on-the-fly” neurofeedback training. The artifact problem is recognized in the general field of EEG analysis in that it is accepted that any analysis of EEG data in order to be accurately measured requires that any artifact present in it be manually or automatically removed. To obtain an accurate measurement of the strength (i.e., amplitude) of an EEG frequency band, such as Theta and Beta, requires that the data be accurately de-artifacted.
Otherwise, the measurement of the EEG will not be scientifically valid.
The SmartMind 4 is unique in that it filters out the facial activity, eye blinks, eye movement and heart beats that contaminate the EEG data during “live” training; leading to the accurate feedback of brainwave activity. The basis for an individual to learn to control and change their brainwave activity is dependent upon operant conditioning principles. Consequently, it is essential that the feedback being provided needs to be as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, artifact typically occurs 60 to 80% of the time for most individuals during their neurofeedback training session. When neurofeedback software does not exclude artifacts during training then it is not possible to accurately measure EEG activity; resulting in erroneous feedback that will impair a person’s learning of what is already known to often be a challenging task. This misinformation can translate to informing the client that they are improving their focus when they actually are “spacing out.” Traditional neurofeedback systems can easily provide misleading feedback by informing the client that they are not focused when they actually are producing desired EEG activity being trained. The learned control of targeted EEG frequency bands is crucial for the success of neurofeedback training and is dependent on correct feedback be provided that reflects the trainee’s “true” mental activity. Successful neurofeedback training can only be achieved when the training system filters out the naturally occurring artifacts during the training. Since the SmartMind 4 is the only neurofeedback system that provides Artifact Corrected (AC) measurements of EEG, it is the only system that can reliably facilitate the learned control of brainwave activity that is essential for the enhancing a client’s self-control and facilitating positive behavioral changes.
This is the reason that published meta-analysis studies of neurofeedback that report success and clinical benefits has not been supported by significant changes in targeted EEG brainwave activity as the casual factor. In fact, changes in the EEG frequency bands that are targeted for training are rarely measured in most published studies. Typically, it is recommended that 40 training sessions are necessary for successful changes to occur. The reason that the completion of 40 sessions neurofeedback is beneficial is apparent in numerous published double-blind studies which include sham EEG feedback. All neurofeedback training includes systematic cognitive behavioral training and operant conditioning which includes reinforcement for individuals with ADHD to sit still, be relaxed, stay focused, actively process any information provided, be quiet and sustain their attention throughout the 30 to 45 minute training session. These specific behaviors are also often rewarded in meaningful ways. Reductions in observable inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors have been significantly been achieved; resulting in improved functionality and clinical benefits for the clients trained. However, these positive clinical changes for the most part are attributable to the cognitive behavioral and operant conditioning of the overt training procedures and not to any demonstrated changes in targeted EEG brainwave activity.
The value of AC neurofeedback using the SmartMind 4 system is supported by an independent double-blind peer-reviewed study comparing it to the traditional Non-Artifacted (NAC) training methodology. This research paper is available for review and demonstrates the clinical effectiveness of SmartMind 4’s AC neurofeedback system.
The single channel MindWave EEG training device is very useful for either in-office or as a means to provide home training on the iPad. You can effectively use it train to Focus by following published research based protocols involving either down training theta and/or up training Beta at the AFz site using the MindWave. The AFz site is the brain region identified as the “steering wheel” wheel of the mind and is the area called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC). The ACC is located directly above the nose bridge in the middle of the head just below the hairline.
The MindWave uses a dry sensor system. It does not require 10-20 paste and also goes on and off very easily. It is a wireless Bluetooth device and is very comfortable; staying in place with the headband provided. Thus, it is clinically useful and works well as a learning tool to help clinicians comfortably introduce clients to Neurofeedback training without putting sensor paste in their hair and also provides a means for EEG trainers to personally explore the many features of SmartMind 4 without needing to “prep” themselves.
While you can train other sites using a four channel EEG device, the majority of the published research studies in the field of Neurofeedback have involved training one site location. The two locations that have been selected the most are the Frontal region over the ACC or in the central area of the brain at Cz, C3 or C4.