The Brain, Brainwaves, qEEG Brain Mapping and Neurofeedback

 

20% of the average workday is spent on ”crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little” or “no value”. (DashboardStream)

Most employees have mentally checked out from 4 PM to 6 PM. (Lifehack). Mid-meetings, 91% admit to daydreaming and 60% take notes just to look busy. (9Spokes)

Productivity is the efficient usage of resources like time and energy to meet objectives and targets. Higher productivity translates to accomplishing set goals faster, and thus improving efficiency.

Employees’ mental performance directly impacts their productivity, and thus their contributions to an organization. Therefore, to heighten productivity, mental performance enhancement is a necessity.

Understanding Neurofeedback:

The myths are just myths: It isn’t true that neurofeedback is only for the mentally challenged. In fact, elite athletes, self-help superstars and many more celebrities engage in neurofeedback training sessions.

The reason is simple: Neurofeedback helps improve mental performance, which improves all other aspects in life.

Neurofeedback in a Nutshell

Neurofeedback consists of placing sensors on a person’s scalp. These sensors identify and record brain activity (comprised of brain waves).

The core principle of neurofeedback is training the brain to behave in a particular way. Take mental performance for example. At peak performance states, the brain chooses certain pathways and emits a particular kind of frequency.

Neurofeedback trains the brain to tap into these states more often. Feedback from the neurofeedback training occurs through visual and auditory feedback displayed on a screen. If the screen plays a movie – positive feedback, this means the brain is entering into the desired state.

However, if the screen stops playing, there’s no reward, and this means that the brain is headed off course. Through these visual cues, the brain identifies “productive” states, and voluntarily activates these states (even after the training).

The result is peak mental performance, increased productivity, and an overall increase in revenue of any organization. https://mentaledge-fitness.com/neurofeedback/

 

Here are 6 amazing ways neurofeedback training can change the course of the organization forever:

1.         Enhances Attention and Working Memory

Memory used to hold and manipulate information while performing a task is working memory. The ability to use and remember relevant information mid-activity is another way to look at working memory.

For instance, a programmer while decoding a buggy software might access his working memory to make quick decisions regarding enhancements or deletions of certain lines of code. Neurofeedback helps increase brain wave activity (alpha, theta, or SMR), and improves working memory while extending attention spans.

Additionally, Electroencephalography (EEG) – based neurofeedback training (upper alpha and SMR) improved short-term visual memory, working memory, and verbal memory in 70% of participants, as per an interesting study.

Moreover, the EEG neurofeedback also positively impacted attention (executive functioning) and concentration in another study.

The bottom line is that attention, concentration and working memory are all major contributors to mental performance. Thus, improvements in any of them, would only improve mental performance of employees and help an organization succeed.

2.         Accelerates Skill Acquisition

EEG neurofeedback promotes brain waves associated with relaxation and attention, thus improving performance in stressful environments. A study conducted on musicians revealed increased levels of creativity, communication and technical skill acquisition post training.

Another research conducted on actors concluded that EEG neurofeedback helped boost confidence, and accelerate learning speeds, enabling them to enact certain roles quicker.

Skill acquisition is vital in any field, not just in the creative space. If employees can quickly acquire and master key skills relevant to their industry, organizations can witness exponential growth in productivity and performance.

3.         Increases Motivation Consistency

The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and mesolimbic networks are areas of the brain responsible for learning, motivation, and performance. Activation of these areas can help improve motivation.

The problem with self-motivation is a poor impact on the VTA networks. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback helped activate participants’ motivational strategies more effectively than without training, concluded this research.

Participants, upon undergoing the training could self-activate the VTA states. If employees of an organization can generate and hold motivation, on demand, complex tasks don’t seem so complex anymore. The result is pure flow and productivity, thus resulting in a highly streamlined environment.

4.         Improves Multitasking Efficiency

“Multitasking leads to a 40% drop in productivity” (HBR). Multitasking tends to decrease work quality while creating an illusion of getting more work done. Or does it?

Tony Robbins, the great self-help guru reported that neurofeedback training has helped him multitask with ease. He reported that the training helps him compose an email while engaging in a conversation at the same time with no drop in quality.

Multitasking, without a compromise in quality can help employees achieve more in less, and reach elevated levels of productivity.

5.         Enhances Sleep Quality

Adults who regularly get between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep per night can be up to 20% more productive. (DashboardStream). Several factors like stress or insomnia affect sleep duration and quality, and consequently, productivity.

Neurofeedback training helps increase a particular brain wave type known as the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR). This helps improve sleep quality while reducing time to fall asleep.

Insomniacs can also find relief through neurofeedback. Eighteen sessions of remote neurofeedback training increased total sleep time and reduced time to fall asleep.

Sleep is a crucial aspect of any employee’s life. Research suggests that deep sleep helps with memory consolidation through the strengthening of neural connections. If employees appear at work with a fresh mind and body, distractions become rare and productivity becomes a habit.

6.         Reduces Anxiety

28 percent, or roughly one in four Americans, named their workplace as a source of anxiety (Ipsos). Anxiety stems from several issues: A certain coworker, or looming deadlines, or even a fear of downsizing. It’s no surprise that anxiety is a huge productivity killer. Neurofeedback helps control and alter emotional processes.

Enhancements in alpha wave activity (achieved through neurofeedback) reportedly reduced anxiety and other intense emotions. Mood enhancements and boosted confidence are amongst other benefits of neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback also lowered stress and performance anxiety in dancers as per this study.

 

Takeaway

Neurofeedback increases memory, skill acquisition speed, motivation, sleep quality and multitasking efficiency. Lower levels of anxiety are another benefit of neurofeedback training.

Overall, if employees of an organization engage in neurofeedback training, they can experience extraordinary changes in the way they think and perform both inside and outside their workplace.

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28236680

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666277/

https://dashboardstream.com/10-surprising-facts-about-productivity-and-performance/

https://www.businessinsider.in/A-15000-retreat-loved-by-Tony-Robbins-claims-to-give-you-the-benefits-of-20-years-of-meditation/articleshow/57654558.cms

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/productivity-facts-every-employee-should-know.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12543448

https://www.kurzweilai.net/a-neurofeedback-technique-for-self-motivation

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00390/full

 

About Tracy Alston

Tracy Alston is a licensed professional counselor, a mental fitness consultant and board certified in Biofeedback and neurofeedback. Tracy is the Founder and CEO of two companies located in Mooresville, N.C., New Mentality, P.C. and Mental Edge Fitness Solutions, Inc. Tracy’s passion is creating strategies and solutions for improving mental health and mental fitness.

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