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"And Where the Improvement Stops, Nobody Knows!"
That's exactly the situation we are in with respect to the improvements we have observed in autistic issues (Social Brain Dysfunction) in the recent study of training with the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
Evidence summarized here demonstrates that there was a gain from session to session in the brainwave measures that did not fade away towards the end of the 18 session study. This pattern looks like the classic dose vs. response curve that we see with drugs and many types of training. We don't know how far improvement can continue if we keep on training.
Help Us Find the Upper Limits to Improvements in Autistic Issues Using the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer
That's why we need the help of people who are willing to train autistic individuals either at home or in the office. We need to try this approach for a much longer number of sessions, evaluating behavior and EEG changes periodically along the way. We can also train them more frequently, which should improve the results, and there are particular parts of the brain we can also target, such as the right orbitofrontal cortex, which is very important for social functioning. We know that there will be a payoff to this effort. That study and two other similar studies show enough evidence to establish that the trainee will improve.
Rather than wait for the 5-7 years it may take to conduct a funded study, let's try the collaborative approach, where a number of parents and clinicians cooperate over the Internet to pool their experiences and get this off the ground in a couple of months. I am looking for knowledgeable volunteers (including parents and clinicians) to help coordinate this informal study. We will establish a list serve and a database, and use a common core group of measures for evaluation every 9 sessions.
Training Two Key Abilities
The Peak BrainHappiness Trainer simultaneously trains two very important abilities for improving Social Brain Dysfunction (SBD), a far more descriptive term than Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which was used in the recently published study. It trains the ability to focus and sustain attention, and the ability to understand experiences by putting together various types of perceptions and other information into a unified event. Lacking well developed and integrated systems to do this, the SBD sufferer has great difficulty making sense of their experience, and has problems learning appropriate behaviors. There were significant improvements in both Lethargy/Social Withdrawal and Hyperactivity measured for the participants in the study.
Four Brainwave Measures Improved Consistently
The Peak BrainHappiness Trainer can separately or simultaneously train two brain rhythms that are known to enhance attention and understanding--measures called Focus and Neureka!. [The word Neureka! comes from the combination of "Neural" and "Eureka!", Greek for "I have found it".] In the published study, the 18 children and adolescents with high functioning ASD were trained for 18 sessions to improve their Focus measure and raise the Neureka! measure above a minimum, while keeping it below a maximum, which was hard to reach. There were quite significant improvements in both the Focus and Neureka! measures, comparing the first and last session. Increasing Neureka! made the experience enjoyable for the children, who were happy to participate. As the graph shows, there was a very significant improvement in Neureka! across the sessions despite the fact that they weren't instructed to go all out to improve Neureka!, but just to keep it above a minimum. That kept the movie going, and the better they did, the larger the picture they saw.
While the article did not provide a graph for the Focused Attention measure, it did provide a graph for a more traditional measure of improvement in Attention in ADHD, the theta to high beta ratio, which was very significantly improved during the study. The graph shows that it was still decreasing at the end of the study. It was very highly correlated to the Focus measure. There was also a very similar significant change in the theta to low beta measure, not shown here.
It's clear that all four measures were continuing to improve at the end of the 18 sessions, pointing to the idea that they could get even better with more sessions.
Furthermore, the researchers found evidence that both of these changes were related to the significant improvements in Lethargy/Social Withdrawal.
So as the brainwaves continue to improve, the behavior should follow.
The principal author, Dr. Tato Sokhadze, has completed two other studies of neurofeedback and autism with similar results.
The authors commented: "Our study showed that compared to previous protocols that required more sessions per subject (> 30) and a more frequent training rate (e.g., twice per week), the statistical significant improvement either in EEG or in behavioral measures (Sokhadze et al., 2009) can also be achieved within a shorter number of sessions (i.e., 18 NFB sessions in ASD, or even 12 sessions in ADHD)."
Interested in learning more? Please call us at 502-228-0605 or 800-886-4228 for more specific info on autistic improvement. You can also join our mailing list, find out about our pricing, and receive a special report, Understanding and Activating Your Brain's Pleasure Centers. Just CLICK HERE.
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