Machines Teach Humans How to Feel Using Neurofeedback

Humans are social animals, and feelings of attachment, connection and empathy are the glue that binds societies together. Before an infant’s immune system is fully operational, before a baby can even use its hands, it recognizes its parents’ voices, responds uniquely to human faces and even, incredibly, smiles back.

Yet, some people, often as the result of traumatic experiences or neglect, don’t experience these fundamental social feelings normally. Could a machine teach them these quintessentially human responses? A thought-provoking Brazilian study recently published in PLoS One suggests it could.

Researchers at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, performed functional MRI scans on healthy young adults while asking them to focus on past experience that epitomized feelings of non-sexual affection or pride of accomplishment. They set up a basic form of artificial intelligence to categorize, in real time, the fMRI readings as affection, pride or neither. They then showed the experiment group a graphic form of biofeedback to tell them whether their brain results were fully manifesting that feeling; the control group saw the meaningless graphics.

fMRI, brain scans, mental health, artificial intelligence, AI, medicineThe results demonstrated that the machine-learning algorithms were able to detect complex emotions that stem from neurons in various parts of the cortex and sub-cortex, and the participants were able to hone their feelings based on the feedback, learning on command to light up all of those brain regions.

Jorge Moll, the lead researcher, told Singularity Hub that the participants weren’t beating the system by faking feelings, because that would lead to its own fMRI pattern. They were learning to feel a particular emotion more completely.

Click below to read the full article:  http://www.singularityhub.com/2014/06/16/machines-teach-humans-how-to-feel-using-neurofeedback/

To learn more about Neurofeedback Services in St. George, Utah click here: http://www.nfcenters.com

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Cats, Astronauts and Orange Robes… The Unlikely History of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback began in the late 1950’s through the work of Dr Joe Kamiya at the University of Chicago.  He discovered that he could train cats to control their epileptic seizures through a simple brain feedback device. Happily, he moved on to train humans to control their epilepsy using the same method.

In the 1960’s, the technique caught the attention of NASA scientists, who used it in astronaut training – initially to train out the likelihood of astronauts having seizures when exposed to lander fuel, and later for focus and attention training. They still use it in their space training programs today.

In the mid 1970’s, neurofeedback caught the attention of meditators as an aid in spiritual development, and so wandered into the no-man’s land between science and religion. Conferences were attended by two people in orange robes for each one in a white lab coat. Soon neurofeedback gained a certain reputation as a meditation or spiritual tool, which considering the extreme biases of the time made it an unpopular choice for career minded researchers.

Neurofeedback didn’t fit the (now defunct) medical view of how the brain functioned. Though the empirical data proved that neurofeedback worked, it couldn’t possibly work under the medical model. This kept neurofeedback regarded as ‘spooky’ medicine.

On the fringes work continued. By the late 80’s neurofeedback was being applied to attention deficit disorders, and through the 90’s to a wide variety of psychological and central nervous system based conditions.

Over the last decade, the medical view of the brain has changed completely and the principles of neuroplasticity are universally accepted. Neuroscience has come to accept the interrelation between the central nervous system, the autoimmune system, emotional, physical, and mental health. It has conceded that indeed, the brain can change at any age, and that we create new neurones throughout life. The natural mechanisms underlying neurofeedback are now becoming clear.

To most medical practitioners, neurofeedback is still foreign. Many hold a view based on its old reputation, and have had no exposure to the vast research available concerning neurofeedback. Old views die hard, particularly regarding competing methods that lie outside of their expertise.

About the Author:  BrainWorks Neurotherapy is located in London, UK.  http://www.brainworksneurotherapy.com

Why Astronauts Have Ice Water in Their Veins

jet packImagine this… you are 203 miles above the Earth, traveling at 17,000 miles per hour and you are attached to nothing.  For most, this would conjur feelings of absolute terror but not if you work for NASA.  Why?  For the past 50 plus years NASA has made Neurofeedback a quintessential component of astronaut training.  By utilizing Alpha – Theta Brain Wave cross training or “Deep States” Neurofeedback, astronauts are capable of harnessing their emotions, clearing their minds of “chatter” and focusing like a laser beam.  They do not obsess and are able to quickly move forward following a negative incident.  Does it work?  On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were descending towards the lunar surface.  This was to usher forth Man’s first steps on the moon but something went terribly wrong.  Armstrong and Aldrin realized they had over shot the landing zone by several miles and were heading towards a field of massive boulders.  The situation presented two options: abort or crash.  With 100’s of millions of people watching the descent on television, Armstrong made a fateful decision… he disengaged the auto pilot and took manual control of the Lunar Module.  After spending several minutes surveying the surface for a landing spot, Mission Control began counting down, “60 seconds, 50 seconds, 30 seconds.”  The entire planet heard this but no one knew what it meant.  Mission Control was warning Armstrong of how long he had until he was out of fuel.  With 20 seconds of fuel remaining, Armstrong safely landed and the rest is history.  The amazing thing is not that he safely landed but his demanor when reporting it to Mission Control, “Houston… Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.”  Stated like just another day at the office. Cool as a cucumber. Neurofeedback Peak Performance training provides this level of focus and control.  To hear the the final moments of Aldrin and Armstrong’s descent, click the link below and go to 2:52 of the video.  Listen for the Mission Control countdown and Armstrong’s landing announcement.

To learn more about Neurofeedback Peak Performance Training visit our website at http://www.nfcenters.com

About the Author: Greg Warden is Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah in St. George

Neurofeedback… a report from the front lines

If someone were to tell you there was a simple method to reduce or eliminate symptoms Neurofeedback, ADHD, Anxiety, Addiction, PTSD, St. George, Utahassociated with neurological conditions, increase the prospects of permanent recovery from Addiction five fold, make students smarter, athletes better, artists more creative and business people more productive… well, your BS meter would probably peg in the red and rightfully so.  What’s the old saying?  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  In the case of Neurofeedback, the key word here is PROBABLY.  But seeing is believing.  Every day I see people come to our center for treatment.  Individuals suffering from Depression, ADHD, Addiction, Chronic Pain, Insomnia and more.  What I have witnessed has validated the more than 600 studies that sit on my desk espousing the efficacy of Neurofeedback.  Here’s a report from the front lines:

1) ADHD sufferers incapable of sitting still for more than 10 or 15 minutes for treatment, easily sitting for 50 minutes to an hour after only 6 sessions.  For one patient we have requested a reevaluation and possible reduction in medication by their attending physician.

2) Depression sufferers, after only 4 sessions claiming they feel GOOD!

3) Insomnia sufferer, sleeping but 2 hours per night, experienced a full 10 1/2 hours of sleep after the 3rd session and has continued to enjoy a full 6 hours or more of rest on a consistent basis.

4) Light sleepers claiming they are getting the sleep of their lives after only 4 treatments for a completely unrelated condition.

Because the average number of sessions required for a complete Neurofeedback treatment is usually in the range of 10-20, it is exciting to see tangible results so early.  To get the latest in Neurofeedback research, patient progress and advanced notice of our individual workshops, follow our blog, Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter.

About the Author, Greg Warden is the Executive Director of Neurofeedback Centers of Utah in St. George.

Visit our website for more information: http://www.nfcenters.com