Navigation Menu+

Blog

Welcome

Posted by on 7:05 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Welcome

Awaken…      Evolve…       Inspire…       Transform… The Mind is like a warehouse of infinite possibilities and incredible potential. It is much more than just the brain — it is the combined Intelligence of the human body and the formless wisdom that guides all of our life experiences. This Universal Life Force pulses through us from the moment we are born and we can learn how to access a state of being that allows us to attract the forces, people, and circumstances necessary to convert our dreams into reality. Welcome to Mind Potential Northwest! I’m Darla Meulemans, founder & lead practitioner at Mind Potential Northwest (formerly Northwest Insight, LLC) and I have created a practice that combines cutting edge neuroscience with practical, natural remedies and the timeless wisdom of the ages.  Combining my expertise in mental health & addiction, organizational psychology & business, human relations & social functioning, neuroscience, energy medicine & nutritional healing, I offer an eclectic and complete approach for anyone interested in learning how to monitor the Mind-Body information field and energy flow, and develop their ability to move it towards health on all levels — Body, Mind, and Soul. Whether you’re a parent or a student; an entrepreneur, business owner, manager, or employee;  a coach or athlete; an educator, nurse, therapist, or health care provider, your outer world will shift when you begin to understand the principles that underlie your inner experience.  This is why all programs begin with a consultation that is designed to increase your awareness of the workings of your Mind.  Rather than focusing on what is not working in your life, I will work with you to identify your intentions for what you’d like to change or be different in your life.  You will be offered some tools for change — whether it is Neurotherapy, or other strategies to integrate new healthy and adaptive patterns into your current life, you will learn to place your magnifying glass on what you’d like more of in your life. Individuals & teams, athletes & performers, corporate leaders & innovators, entrepreneurs & employees, parents & students – no matter what your background, you can benefit from unlocking your potential  and making the Mind a better place to live and our world a better place to be. Contact me today to see how Personal or Professional Development, Performance Training or Neurotherapy can benefit you or someone you love. (503)757-9557 or Darla@MindPotentialNW.com   I look forward to connecting! Darla   Mind Potential Northwest Be Your Best Awaken The Wisdom...

read more

Personal Development

Posted by on 6:09 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Personal Development

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are. ~Eckhart Tolle from A New Earth (2005)   Awaken…      Evolve…       Inspire…       Transform… Personal Development Programs allow you to experience yourself at your best — at your full potential.   The focus is on your strengths and guiding you to remember how to live in a balanced & energized state.  It’s about freeing your Self from old habits, debilitating beliefs, distorted expectations, and disabling patterns within the Mind and Body, while establishing new pathways which support the desire of your Heart & Inner Spirit. Many Clients that come to Mind Potential Northwest are seeking a Program that will address issues commonly experienced in today’s fast paced society.   If you experience any of the following, Northwest Insight offers a program that will guide you back to feeling better: Mood fluctuations, stress, fear, panic, anger, agitation, or resentment Performance Challenges – difficulty recovering from mistakes, staying focused while performing Difficulty Falling Asleep or staying asleep & always feeling fatigued Headaches, muscles pain, body aches, or pain related to an accident, injury, or fall Digestive Issues Hormonal Imbalances Lack of patience, minimum compassion, burnout Cluttered thoughts, inability to focus, easily distracted, or many competing thoughts Attention and focus challenges or Other Learning Problems Trauma related symptoms from childhood, an Accident, a Crime, or Combat Low Energy & feeling emotionally stuck or physically stagnant Doubt and lack of confidence in life choices Feelings of disconnection, isolation or lack of intimacy in relationships Low motivation, lack of creativity or continual waiting to feel inspired Forgetfulness or trouble processing information so it can be retained & later accessed ______________________________________________________________________ Personal Development awakens the sleeping beauty and taps the potential within You, as a Student, a Parent, a Professional, an Athlete, a Musician, a Business Leader, an Actor, a Human Being… ______________________________________________________________________ Personal Development Programs facilitate insight and return you to your natural, underlying state of security and emotional well-being.   This can translate into better decision-making, more harmonious relationships, the reduction of stress and anxiety, and higher levels of performance at home, at work, and at play. Awaken The Wisdom...

read more

Professional Development

Posted by on 6:11 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Professional Development

  Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can. ~John Wesley Awaken…      Evolve…       Inspire…       Transform…. Mind Potential Northwest offers a variety of programs that translate into having happy, healthy, creative, inspired, focused, productive, and well-rounded employees.  Professional Development,  Specialized Group Programs including Workplace Wellness Programs, and Performance Training all improve an organization’s profitability and effectiveness.  The focus is on developing individual competencies and making the  work environment a more enjoyable place to be.  This can improve morale and reduces workforce turnover, while rendering better utilization of time, energy, and resources.  The result — substantial financial savings for companies who need to be resourceful in today’s challenging economy. Your Business can use a customized program from Mind Potential Northwest if you desire to shift the workplace and get the following results: Reduced Stress & Burnout Improved Decision-Making, Focus, Strategic Planning Improved Composure & Fewer Costly Mistakes Reduced Health Care Costs – Reduced Injuries & Illnesses Decreased Absenteeism & Less Turn-Over Improved Employee Productivity, Efficiency, Effectiveness, & Satisfaction Improved Consumer Satisfaction Increased Professionalism & Accountability Improved Communication & Conflict Resolution Increased Inspiration, Creativity& Vision Stronger Leadership & Team Management Professional Development offers Individuals unique, practical and powerful strategies for success in the workplace and in professional endeavors. Similar to Executive Coaching, Professional Development is a way of maximizing your strengths and shifting patterns that interfere with advancement in your field and or personal fulfillment with your work. Clients who have completed a series of Professional Development Sessions have reported improvements with the following: Interpersonal Relationships Communication Flexible Management Styles Ability to Manage On-going Change Inspiring Loyalty & Commitment from Staff Respect from Inside and Outside the Organization Solid Teamwork & Collaboration Alignment with Organizational Objectives Clear Employee Expectations Giving & Receiving Constructive Feedback For more information on Professional Development to Improve Business Competence, check out my blog post in the Business Category. Specialized Group Programs and Workshops offer companies an opportunity to plant seeds and promote personal well being, healthy communication, improved interpersonal relationships and workplace harmony. This can be an effective way to address stress and manage change during times of downsizing or corporate restructuring. Topics offered have included the following: The HeART of Leadership: Authenticity & Collaboration Creativity& Enjoyment:  The Anecdote to Stress & Burnout Love What You Do and Do What You Love: Improving Morale & Workplace Climate Bringing Forth Your Inner Resources: Maximizing the Workforce Potential Graceful Change:  Navigating Today’s Workplace What Are You Waiting For:  Increasing Motivation, Productivity, Efficiency, & Effectiveness Group Program fees vary depending of group size and program components. _____________________________________________________________________ Workplace Wellness Programs have shown a return on investment from $3 to $15 per dollar invested,usually within 12 to 18 months of program implementation. _____________________________________________________________________ For more information on the benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs, check out the blog post in the Business Category on this site or contact me to discuss a Workplace Wellness Program that is custom designed to address your needs and achieve your desired outcomes. Performance Training, also referred to as Neuro-Performance Training, targets the essential competencies and attributes your CEO, Management Team, Executive, and Top...

read more

Business Solutions

Posted by on 7:11 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Business Solutions

Mind Potential Northwest offers a variety of Business Solutions that translate into having happy, healthy, creative, inspired, focused, productive, and well-rounded workplaces.  Professional Development & Performance Training, as well as Specialized Group Programs and Customized Workplace Wellness Programs, all cultivate competencies, improve an organization’s profitability and effectiveness, and make the  work environment a more enjoyable place to be.  In today’s challenging economy, your company needs to be resourceful.  Improving morale and reducing workforce turnover, while rendering better utilization of time, energy, and resources, can result in substantial financial savings while reducing your experience of stress. Your Business can use a customized program from Mind Potential Northwest if you desire to shift the workplace and get the following results: Clear Performance Expectations for Each Role in the Company Stronger Leadership & Team Management Increased Inspiration, Creativity& Vision Increased Professionalism & Accountability Improved Decision-Making, Focus, Strategic Planning Improved Composure & Fewer Costly Mistakes Reduced Health Care Costs – Reduced Injuries & Illnesses Reduced Stress & Burnout Decreased Absenteeism & Less Turn-Over Improved Employee Productivity, Efficiency, Effectiveness, & Satisfaction Improved Consumer Satisfaction Improved Communication & Conflict Resolution Professional Development & Performance Training is suitable for a Company’s CEO, Management Team, Executives and Top Employees who need to be able to make decisions, think rationally, respond quickly, problem solve, concentrate, manage multiple demands, and stay focused.  If the brain isn’t on board, even the most capable of employees will make mistakes.  An “offline” brain is more likely to be negative, more distracted, less creative, more anxious and aggressive, and to exhibit detrimental lapses in judgment.  Any individual operating from this brain state will respond to daily demands without thinking—making impulsive, reactive, and shortsighted decisions. All of these factors negatively impact business performance and sustainability at any level of an organization. Performance Training using EEG Biofeedback / Neurofeedback / Brain Training, targets the essential competencies and attributes your CEO, Management Team, Executive, and Top Employees need to work optimally.  These include eliminating distractions, improving focus, reducing the effects of stress, and maximizing creative potential.  This brain training technique is often combined with Professional Development Coaching to maximize results and allow the individual to perform at his or her best, under any condition.   _____________________________________________________________ Performance Training in the workplace offers brain-based techniques to counteract the deleterious effects of stress in the business environment, while promoting optimal mind-body functioning. ______________________________________________________________ For more information on the use of EEG Biofeedback to improve Job Performance, check out the Performance Training Page or read more about it in the blog posts in the Business Category. Specialized Group Programs and Workshops offer companies an opportunity to plant seeds and promote personal well being, healthy communication, improved interpersonal relationships and workplace harmony. This can be an effective way to address stress and manage change during times of downsizing or corporate restructuring. Topics offered have included the following: The HeART of Leadership: Authenticity & Collaboration Creativity& Enjoyment:  The Anecdote to Stress & Burnout Love What You Do and Do What You Love: Improving Morale & Workplace Climate Bringing Forth Your Inner Resources: Maximizing the Workforce Potential Graceful Change:  Navigating Today’s Workplace What Are You Waiting For:  Increasing Motivation, Productivity, Efficiency, & Effectiveness Group Program fees vary depending of group size and program components. Workplace Wellness Programs are available for businesses who seek...

read more

Performance Training

Posted by on 6:14 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Performance Training

Understand this…  YOU ARE LIMITLESS… You have the hardware to move way beyond where you are.  Intuitively, deep inside, you know this… ~Ron & Kate Patulski (Master Coaches – Performance University)   Awaken…      Evolve…       Inspire…       Transform… Performance Training Programs combine coaching sessions with cutting edge neuro-science, ancient traditions, and research-based best practices.  Mind Potential Northwest offers a synergistic approach to dramatically enhancing performance in business, athletics, education, and the performing arts. Our Executives & Top Employees, Students, Elite Athletes, and Musicians & Performing Artists, seek to excel and achieve a more consistent performance, while reaching their fullest potential in the board room, in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the spotlight. Performance Training Programs are custom designed to achieve positive outcomes including: Improved Attention & Concentration Decreased Impulsivity (Errors) and Performance Anxiety Increased Ability to Manage Emotions (anxiety, anger, frustration, etc.) More Effective Decision Making During Performance More Creativity in Problem Solving Increased Access to a Relaxed & Focused State of Play (aka. “The Zone”) Increased Confidence Decreased Injury Recovery Time Improved Rhythm, Timing, and Coordination Improved Ability to Shift Focus and to Self Correct After Mistakes Improved Ability to Regulate the Mind & Body In Times of Change & Turbulence Increased Ability to Quickly Return to the Present, Avoiding Distractions Increased Ability to Mediate the Inner Critic Reduced irritability & upset following performance errors For Executives & Top Employees Mind Potential Northwest offers Professional Development and Performance Training to target the essential competencies and attributes your CEO, Management Team, Executive, and Top Employees, need to work optimally – eliminating distractions, improving focus, reducing the effects of stress, and maximizing creative potential.  EEG Biofeedback or Neurofeedback is used to enhance the skills and competencies of the individual and is often combined with Professional Development Consultation to maximize results and allow the individual to perform at his or her best, under any condition. Performance Training in the workplace offers brain-based techniques to counteract the deleterious effects of stress in the business environment, while promoting optimal mind-body functioning.  Our approach fine tunes the hub of the Central Nervous System, the Brain, offering Neurofeedback to train the brain to fire in patterns that support a calm, alert presence of mind, healthy physiological functioning, higher levels of thinking, and a balance between emotional regulation and cognitive processing. A Company’s CEO, Management Team, Top Executives and Employees need to be able to make decisions, think rationally, respond quickly, problem solve, concentrate, manage multiple demands, and stay focused.  If the brain isn’t on board, even the most capable of employees will make mistakes, negatively impacting business performance and sustainability at any level of an organization.  Workplace Performance Training through Mind Potential Northwest gets the brains of your top Leaders back “on-line”.  A customized program is available to meet your business needs. For Students Learning in today’s classrooms, whether elementary of college level, presents its challenges to many students.  Even if a diagnosed learning disability isn’t present, students can benefit from the programs offered through Mind Potential Northwest because it effectively teaches clients to regulate specific levels of attention and awareness within the brain, and sustain those changes indefinitely. It makes the brain more “flexible” and improves its ability to enrich cognitive/intellectual functioning, and enhance relaxation, concentration and focus. In countless cases, clients who have required medication, such...

read more

Neurotherapy

Posted by on 6:12 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Neurotherapy

  The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. ~Albert Einstein   Awaken…      Evolve…       Inspire…       Transform… Neurotherapy, also referred to as EEG Biofeedback, Neurofeedback and Brainwave Training, is a painless, non-invasive, learning strategy that enables people to change the activity of their brains so they can be free from unpleasant symptoms and function at their best.  Its application addresses specific issues related to brain dis-regulation including the mood fluctuations, attention deficits, behavior disorders, various sleep disturbances, pain conditions, hormone imbalances, and emotional disturbances. It is also useful for organic brain conditions such as seizures, the autism spectrum, and cerebral palsy, although this is not an area of specialty at Mind Potential Northwest.  This cutting edge approach also has applications to Business, Education, Sports, and the Performing Arts, as it improves the overall performance and functioning of an individual.  It is a technique used to directly train the brain to function more efficiently while regulating mental, emotional, and physical states of being. The process involves placing sensors or electrodes on the scalp at various locations which correspond and target specific functions that are definitive of the challenges being addressed, and the individual needs and desired outcomes of the Client.   These sensors pick up the signals from the brain waves and these patterns are processed by the computer and amplified so they can be displayed on a computer screen. As the client observes the ebb and flow of this activity, the brain makes adjustments, producing the desired neural patterns, which begin to move the brain toward more desirable, more regulated performance. Neurotherapy offers hope for many challenges people face which are the result of the brain not working as well as it might.   Sleep patterns leading to teeth grinding & snoring can be improved,  allowing the body and mind to rest appropriately resulting in increased energy and alertness.  Seasonal mood fluctuations, stress & nervousness, low energy and motivation as well as an apathetic mood, can be stabilized using this method.  Pain conditions that result from tension or instabilities in the brain can also be managed effectively, and attention and learning challenges can be greatly reduced.  Additionally, compulsive behaviors including eating, substance abuse, impulse shopping, and gambling, can be better controlled, and sometimes extinguished completely using this method. Neurotherapy is an excellent compliment to Personal Development and Executive Coaching, and a cost-effective alternative to more expensive and invasive medical procedures. It’s a natural way achieve your health goals, reducing the need for habit forming medications and invasive medical procedures.  Neurofeedback gets long lasting, often permanent results, and is ideal for anyone looking to maximize his or her performance potential, and optimize the experience of life. Click Here to View What is Neurofeedback Video For more information, including research and videos on Neurofeedback, visit www.eeginfo.com or click on the links below: Peak Performance & Neurofeedback View Peak Performance Video ADD & Neurofeedback Research Articles View ADD/ADHD Video View Autistic Spectrum Video #1 View Autistic Spectrum Video #2 Anxiety & Neurofeedback Depression & Neurofeedback Epilepsy & Neurofeedback Addiction & Neurofeedback PTSD & Neurofeedback View...

read more

Student Enhancement

Posted by on 4:25 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Student Enhancement

At Mind Potential Northwest, we understand the demands on young people today. More than half of our clients are school age kids who experience anxiety & nervousness, fear & obsessive worrying, focus & concentration issues, compulsive behaviors, learning challenges, or physical discomfort like stomach pain and headaches. These symptoms have affected their ability to participate in regular childhood activities and their ability to succeed in school. Neurofeedback offers a highly effective solution to addressing these concerns in a short amount of time. These services are often as effective as medications in reducing symptoms, but they go beyond that by addressing the underlying issue in brain function, yielding long lasting, often permanent results, with few side effects. Personal Development & Neurotherapy services can help improve results in the classroom and beyond. We understand that being a kid is tough enough in today’s demanding and over-stimulating world. Add a sensitive nervous system or learning differences to that, and it can feel almost impossible to muster up the courage to go to school, to attend social functions, to focus on homework, or to simply enjoy time with family. One out of eight children is affected by anxiety to the degree that it contributes to poor performance in school. Additionally, 7% of today’s youth experience Learning Disabilities and ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood, effecting about 3 – 5% of school aged children. What many people don’t know is that ADHD symptoms can be caused by anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and even some medical conditions. In fact, Two-thirds of kids diagnosed with ADHD have other difficulties as well: learning disabilities, anxiety, behavior or mood problems. _______________________________________________________________________ Many emotional & behavioral issues, ADHD and other learning challenges, result from problems in brain function. EEG Biofeedback Brain Training / Neurotherapy is designed to address these underlying brain disregulations. In its 2012 review, the American Academy of Pediatrics gave EEG Biofeedback Level 1 Efficacy — the same level given to medications. ________________________________________________________________________ At Mind Potential Northwest, we provide services that address the underlying source of your challenges. We understand that most doctors are going to recommend medications for children to assist in addressing these challenges. We want parents to know that there is another option. We believe that sometimes medication is beneficial and necessary, but it’s also important to realize that medications are designed to just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain. If you are a parent and are reluctant to medicate your child, Neurotherapy offers another option. For more information on how we can help your student, call...

read more

Wellness and Mental Health

Posted by on 5:37 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Wellness and Mental Health

Awaken… Evolve… Inspire… Transform… At Mind Potential Northwest, we specialize in Wellness and Mental Health promoting programs and services.  Many mental health disorders result from problems in brain function. Medications just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain.  This is why we’ve developed a system that combines cutting edge neuroscience with timeless wisdom and age old spiritual practices, offering you a fresh perspective on your experience and alternatives to healing your Mind, Body and Spirit.  First, there was only talk therapy. Then came medication. Now in the most advanced treatment centers, findings from neuroscience are being directly applied to improve brain function and address psychological issues with brain training techniques. Whether you’re a parent or a student; an entrepreneur, business owner, manager, or employee;  a coach or athlete; an educator, nurse, therapist, or health care provider, your outer world will shift when you begin to understand the principles that underlie your inner experience.  This is why all programs begin with a consultation that is designed to increase your awareness of the workings of your Mind.  Rather than focusing on what is not working in your life, I will work with you to identify your intentions for what you’d like to change or be different in your life.  You will be offered some tools for change — whether it is Neurotherapy, or other strategies to integrate new healthy and adaptive patterns into your current life, you will learn to place your magnifying glass on what you’d like more of in your life. Mind Potential Northwest offers programs for individuals who have experienced the adverse affects of stress.  For you it may manifest with the following experiences, indications, and signs:   Stress & tension Nervousness, Fears & Phobias Obsessive Worries Trauma Compulsive Behaviors Inability to Focus & Concentrate Hormone Imbalance Weight gain or Inability to Lose Weight Digestive distress Sleep Problems   In today’s fast paced society, the demands on your physical body and emotional mind is near constant and endless.  Whether it’s stress from your job, trying to keep up with your “to do” or “honey do” list, the struggle to balance your work and your personal life, the constant rush around to coordinate schedules for your family, not enough time to connect with your husband, wife or life partner, or the overwhelming inundation from the noise and chaos of cell phones, television, and computers, surely you feel the strain on your overall well-being.  This strain will eventually impact you on various levels, as the body responds to stress.  Sometimes this will create physical health issues like Adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome, and most assuredly, this stress will lend to low mental energy, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, lack of focus, irritability, agitation, and obsessive worrying, to name a few. Not all stress is bad. We have a built in, which in some situations can be life-saving as the nerve chemicals and hormones released during such stressful times, prepares us to face a threat or flee to safety. When you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, it can even boost the immune system. However, with chronic...

read more

Athletic Performance

Posted by on 5:36 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Athletic Performance

Athletic Performance Training through Mind Potential Northwest offers an avenue for athletes to experience him or herself at his or her best.  To be the very best at your sport, it is essential to master the mental aspect, as well as the technical skills. An athlete’s ability to focus, concentrate, respond, and regulate physical, mental, and emotional states of arousal is key to optimal performance.  Since the brain is the command center that drives this performance, how it functions will greatly impact an athlete’s ability to focus, to control the speed of reaction, the efficiency of motor movement, emotional reactivity, and ability to mentally recover after an error. When the brain is able to efficiently function, an athlete is better at performing under pressure, sustaining focus, and mentally resetting during competition. Performance Training through Mind Potential Northwest is for individuals who are looking to improve performance in a variety of sports including golf, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, polo, tennis, swimming and dressage.  As well as this system being used by many professional, elite and serious athletes, many of our clients are simply looking to reach their own personal goals in their sport. That isn’t always about becoming Open Champion, World Champion or Olympian, but perhaps it’s about looking to knock a few points of your handicap or improve on your personal best. Even though athletes report that during competition their mental attitudes account for 80% or more of their success, few training programs systematically train athletes to control this mental asset.  That’s what sets us apart.  Mind Potential Northwest’s Performance Training program will teach you how to access an optimal state of physical and mental presence.  This awareness allows you to take into consideration & adjust accordingly to internal factors such as heart rate, breathing, mental state, & physical state, and external variables like noise, weather, & distractions.  Each of these may compromise your performance if appropriate adjustments and compensations are not made. We help you learn to do that for yourself. The vast majority of athletes that participate in our Performance Training programs mention the most noticeable change after undergoing a few sessions is improved quality of sleep. This is of course very important, as sleep quality is linked to muscle repair, improved motor functions, reaction time and overall recovery, enabling athletes to train and play at a high level day in and day out. Research has shown that individuals who do not obtain quality sleep are not able to recover well and continue to have brainwave patterns during the day that negatively affect their ability to focus and concentrate. Along with improving overall recovery and ability to focus, slow wave sleep patterns increase human growth hormone, which is a primary driver for muscle mass formation which translates to strength and endurance, and underlies the repair of damaged muscle tissue. Athletes wouldn’t consider entering a competition without physically training and conditioning, in preparation for the event.  Now, with Mind Potential Northwest’s Performance Training, using the technology of EEG Biofeedback (a brain wave training technique), athletes can also strengthen and condition their mind, maximizing the potential of their most valuable asset.  If you want to be the best athlete you can be, you must do exercises to condition and sharpen your sensory system, as well as your...

read more

Musical Performance

Posted by on 5:41 pm in Home page | 0 comments

Musical Performance

New Research Regarding EEG Neurofeedback and Musicians Article Published on The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) Website (http://www.aapb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3388) Researchers from Imperial College London and Charing Cross Hospital have discovered a way to help musicians improve their musical performances by an average of up to 17 per cent, equivalent to an improvement of one grade or class of honors. The research published in this months edition of Neuroreport, shows that using a process known as neurofeedback, students at London’s Royal College of Music were able to improve their performance across a number of areas including their musical understanding and imagination, and their communication with the audience. Dr. Tobias Egner, from Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital, one of the authors of the study, comments: “This is a unique use of neurofeedback. It has been used for helping with a number of conditions such as attention deficit disorder and epilepsy, but this is the first time it has been used to improve a complex set of skills such as musical performance in healthy students.” Two experiments were conducted involving a total of 97 students. In both experiments, the students were assessed on two pieces of music, both before and after the neurofeedback training, according to a 10-point scale adapted from a standard set of music performance evaluation criteria of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, by a panel of expert judges. The judges evaluated video-recorded performances, and were unaware of whether the performance had been given before or after the intervention. Neurofeedback monitors brain activity through sensors attached to the scalp which filter out the brainwaves. These filtered brainwaves are then ‘fed back’ to the individual in the form of a video game displayed on screen, and the participant learns to control the game by altering particular aspects of their brain activity. This alteration in brain activity can influence cognitive performance. In the first experiment, 22 students out of 36 were trained on two neurofeedback protocols (SMR and beta1), commonly used as tools for the enhancement of attention, and, following this, on a deep relaxation alpha/theta (a/t) protocol. In addition a second group of 12 was engaged in a regime of weekly physical exercise and a “mental skills training” program derived from applications in sports psychology. A third group consisted of a scholastic grade and age matched no-training group, which served as a control grade. In the second experiment, a different cohort of students were randomly allocated to one of six training groups: alpha/theta neurofeedback, beta1 neurofeedback, SMR neurofeedback, physical exercise, mental skills training, or a group that engaged in Alexander Technique training. All of the students who received neurofeedback training were found to have improved their performances marginally compared with those who received other forms of training, but those who had received the alpha/theta (a/t) protocol improved their performance the most. The range of improvement in performance for the alpha/theta group was between 13.5 per cent and 17 per cent. Professor John Gruzelier, from Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital, and senior author of the study, adds: “These results show that neurofeedback can have a marked effect on musical performance. The alpha/theta training protocol has found promising applications as a complementary therapeutic tool in post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. While it has a...

read more