Yaniv is making me work! (#2)
- View SourceI was asked to write a description, from the clinician's point of
view, of what I would want the software to do. Here goes:
Some Thoughts on the Characteristics of an Ideal Neurofeedback
Jim Peterson, Ph.D.
What should the EEG biofeedback software do? Here are some answers
from a clinician who knows nothing about the relative difficulty
involved in implementing his suggestions:
If you could make it put out displays like the original Mind Mirror,
that might be enough for a beginning, for a first release. This would
permit people to explore the old Cade training paradigms for personal
development, as described by Anna Wise in her book The High-
Performance Mind. If the system never did any more than this, I
would want one to play with, and I bet a lot of other people would
too. But this is supposed to be a description of what I would really
like it to do rather than what I would settle for--so, onward.
Some sort of interesting game displays would be nice for attention
deficit disorder training. EEG Spectrum uses a sort of Pac-Man
display that kids can make work by producing the desired brainwave
patterns (e.g. enhance SMR and suppress theta). This is a realm for
some creative thinking and maybe some pilot testing on real kids.
In addition to the various visual possibilities, if the software is
to be maximally flexible for clinical and personal growth purposes,
it should be capable of putting out a number of selectable sounds for
auditory feedback, if only because many people find it useful to
train with their eyes closed, particularly when trying to generate
The software might permit the user to define EEG frequency bands
other than the classic Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta. For example, if
you want to just train 14 Hz and suppress 2-6 Hz, or if you want to
define SMR at 12-14, low Beta at 15-18, middle Beta at 19-25, etc.,
you should be able to do that. This would make the system extremely
flexible. It would also be neat if you could specify various Boolean
statements as conditions for feedback. E.g. tone1 if (SMR>x AND
Theta <y) or maybe symmetry training with a condition like tone1 if
ABS(rightalpha-leftalpha)<x where tone1 is the specified feedback
Ideally, the software should be set up with a number of "canned"
protocols to get people started. One of these might just be for
training alpha synchrony, another for training attention, etc.
Whether using a canned session or an individually designed one, it
should be easy to change the numeric values of the thresholds so you
can easily adjust the difficulty levels during the session.
One would also want to be able to name and save training protocols
for future use.
The feedback for any condition might be given whenever the specified
condition is met or exceeded as averaged across a one-second epoch.
Two seconds might be workable. The system should be accurate enough
so that no more than 5% or so of erroneous feedback is given.
Also, the software should provide the capability of tracking
amplitudes of the selected bands across the session. This might be
something like a graph plot of the mean values of successive two-
second epochs for each of the bands of interest. It might also be
nice to summarize an entire session as a set of bar graphs, maybe one
for each quarter of the session, with each bar representing the mean
amplitude of a given band during that quarter of the session. I
suppose the data could be ported to Excel or something to simplify
the programming demands.
Would it be difficult to set the machine up to train coherence? This
is when your right and left hemispheres not only match in the
dominant frequency, but are also in phase.
Now for a truly crazy request. Can it be made to produce coherence
in two brains at the same time? With electrodes at the
corrresponding sites on the two heads, say at Cz or at Pz, where
alpha is often strongest.
Really strange things, like telepathy, are said to happen when you do
- View Source
> If you could make it put out displays like the original Mind Mirror,would
> that might be enough for a beginning, for a first release. This
I think a more complete description would be useful but not
necessarily here and now.
I suppose this will evolve over time but the more "open source"
the project, the more folks that can get involved and the
increased opportunities for evolution in unexpected and
possibly exciting/fruitful directions.