A different brain:
Brain activity in the form of brainwaves can be recorded by an Electro-Encephalic Graph (EEG) sensor. An EEG sensor only records activity from the brain and does not give out any impulse towards the brain. Research on EEG patterns has shown that different brainwave patterns represent different states of alertness. People with ADHD typically have a different brainwave pattern in the frontal brain, an area in the front of the brain behind the forehead.
The frontal brain takes care of tasks like switching the brain on in order to pay attention, maintaining attention, and executive functioning. Executive functioning is often challenging in children and adolescents with attention difficulties and ADHD. It consists of getting tasks finished, time management, getting organized, and prioritizing. Research using brain scans has also been important in showing that the brains of adults with ADHD are different.
Different brainwaves represent different states of alertness of the brain. Some brainwaves are most prevalent when asleep, others when drowsy and others during focus. Scientists have found that people with ADHD have alterations in their brainwave patterns compared to people without ADHD. People with ADHD typically have an increase in drowsy waves (also known as theta waves) and a decrease in attention waves (also known as beta waves) in the frontal brain, which is precisely the attention and organization part of the brain. This makes it very difficult to pay attention, remain focused, and get work done.
How does neurofeedback increase attention and executive functioning?
There are different types of neurofeedback. Attention Tutoring’s AT University program is an adult educational approach that aims to support an increase in beta (attention) brainwaves, and suppress the theta (drowsiness) brainwaves.
A neurofeedback sensor, or an EEG sensor, picks up beta (attention) brainwaves and theta (drowsy) brainwaves. As the participant looks at a screen he or she receives feedback on how he or she is paying attention to an exercise by following an animated figure or a graph. Over the 20 lessons, this practice aims to help you switch on the brain, maintain attention and strengthen executive functioning.
Neurofeedback works through the thoroughly researched principal of brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to learn and alter its neural networks, in response to the environment. During Attention Tutoring lessons, the neurofeedback exercises train this learning. As the participant learns how to increase their beta waves and decrease their theta waves, they are reshaping their brain and learning through this phenomenon of brain plasticity.