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Performance Enhancement Study: Peak Achievement Training Produces Substantial Gains in Psychological Tests in Just Five Sessions

Improvements Were Substantially Better Than Heart Rate Variability or Electrodermal Response Biofeedback

A recently published study of thirty 16-17 year old high school students found that Peak Achievement Training produced very substantial improvements in measures of concentration, attention, and memory in just five sessions. They were trained to focus their attention once a week for 30-45 minutes each.

Performance on one of the attention measures—The Trail Making Test (TMT) Part A from the Halstead-Reitan Test Battery--nearly tripled, while the group average on the more difficult TMT Part B doubled.

Figure 1

TMT Part A consists of encircled numbers from 1 to 25 randomly spread across a sheet of paper. The object of the test is for the subject to connect the numbers in order, beginning with 1 and ending with 25, in as little time as possible. TMT Part B is more complex than A because it requires the subject to connect numbers and letters in an alternating pattern (1-A-2-B-3-C, etc.) in as little time as possible. This type of test is relevant to many life skills, including the ability to follow a play in a fast moving sport.

The improvements due to Peak Achievement Training were highly significant on both Part A (t-test = 8.302) and Part B (t-test = 5.137). The study also included control groups using the Freeze Framer (now EmWave PC) from HeartMath and the Inner Tuner Expert System, Ultra Mind International. Neither the heart rate variability feedback training (t-tests = 0.297, 0.104) or the electrodermal response feedback training (t-tests = 0.267, 1.302) produced significant gains on these tests in five sessions.

In addition, performance on both the Forward and Backward Digit Span Tests improved significantly with the Peak Achievement Trainer. The number of digits remembered when quizzed in the forward direction increased from 7 to 8 (t-test = 3.521), while the number remembered while stating them in reverse order increased from 4 to 4.5 (t-test = 2.168). Of the other two biofeedback groups, the only one that showed a significant improvement on Digit Span was the heart rate variability feedback training in the forward direction (t-test = 2.323).

The study also showed that five sessions of Peak Achievement Training significantly enhanced the subjects’ abilities to focus. This is indicated by how long they could keep their concentration going without a lapse, as measured by the Peak Achievement Trainer.

Figure 2

StudyThe study, titled Comparison of Biofeedback Modalities for Better Achievement in High School Students, was performed by Nada Pop-Jordanova and Irena Chakalaroska at the Department of Psychophysiology, Paediatric Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, University “Ss Kiril and Metodij”, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia and published in November, 2008. Dr. Nada Pop-Jordanova, M.D., Dipl.Psychol., Dr.Med.Sci. is the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Skopje. We thank these researchers for an outstanding study and for their comment: “This technique is much easier to understand and faster to meet the demands than other EEG multichannel biofeedback techniques”.

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