The “spikes and waves” of the human brain were first recorded in 1924 by Hans Berger, a German psychiatrist. Berger went on to create the first electroencephalography (EEG) device in 1929. The discovery of the EEG was a milestone for the advancement of neuroscience and of neurologic and neurosurgical everyday practice, especially for patients with seizures. Before they were accepted as defined measures of the electrical current in the brain, Alpha and Beta were initially passed off as artifact by Berger when he first observed them. Berger did not receive recognition for his discovery in his lifetime; however, his discovery is now heralded as a key milestone in the advancement of brain science.
Accessing Brain States
One of the next big advancement in neuroscience came when Joe Kamiya studied the abilities of people to be able to have awareness regarding their own brain wave activity, specifically in the alpha state (Kamiya, 1968). In his simple experiment, Kamiya asked his subjects to report when they thought they were in an alpha state. He had them close their eyes and when a tone sounded to indicate if they thought they were in alpha. The next step was to test the subjects if they could enter the state of alpha on command. Alpha states are associated with relaxation, calm, happiness and clear mindedness. There were some subjects who could detect when in an alpha state and, also, to go into the state at will. This was the first time that there was evidence that people could have control over their own brain waves. Kamiya went on to study people using audio feedback to learn to control their own brain waves with great success.
Cats and Astronauts
In the late 1960’s Dr. Barry Sherman, a researcher at UCLA, ran a Pavlovian experiment on cats in combination with an EEG. In this experiment a feeding machine rewarded the cats with a treat every time their brain increased their Sensory Motor Rhythm. Over time, the cats were able to easily get treats for themselves as they learned to control their brainwaves to create the desired result. While this in and of itself was groundbreaking, it was several years before the practical benefits were revealed when Dr. Sherman and his cats found themselves working for NASA to assist the astronauts to reduce the brain instability caused by exposure to rocket fuel that manifested in drowsiness, headaches, hallucinations and seizures.
Sherman observed that human subjects’ EEG behaved differently than the EEG of cats. When working with the astronauts, Sherman advanced the use of feedback by refining the reward by installing inhibit functions so that inappropriate triggers of a reward were suppressed. Nasa still uses neurofeedback to train astronauts today.
Throughout history there have been scientists developing the idea of neuroplasticity, meaning that the brain could change. For years, some scientists resisted this understanding of the brain by insisting that the adult brain was fixed and unchanging. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual’s life, from birth to death. Today neuroplasticity is accepted science and is key as we explore new frontier of the brain. Learning new skills stimulates neurons in the brain, which forms more neural pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster across them.
Progression Towards Peak Performance
Today neurofeedback continues to develop alongside advancements in technology and machine learning thus providing the tools for optimization of brain performance and personal and professional growth. Neurofeedback has proven to upgrade EQ, IQ, creativity and life satisfaction. People from all walks of life are finding it beneficial to address their own brain and life issues such as ADD/ADHD, PTSD and depression. As well as astronauts, pro-athletes, Olympians, actors, entrepreneurs and other high performers have been using it to provide the edge that they need to succeed: peak brain performance makes for better decision making, stronger resiliency and a better life.
When high-achievers, the C-Suite office executives, world class athletes, bio-hackers, use neurofeedback training they are looking for an of upgrade of their brain and self that will assist them in making quick and effective decisions (access Gamma brain waves easier and effortlessly) or building their awareness to identify opportunities (access Alpha brain waves). What they are developing with neurofeedback training is an enhancement to their cognitive and executive functions. Top athletes know that in addition to training their physical condition, they also need to train their cognitive and psychological performance. Optimum attention, reasoning, processing speed and perception skills are all necessary ingredients to success. This applies to everyone who is interested in operating at their own peak performance states.
Pinnacle of Peak Performance
After almost a century from the initial discovery of the EEG, 40 Years of Zen has added to the EEG with the scientific advancements that allow people to come and upgrade their brains and lives in the shortest amount of time possible. We provide the pinnacle of what is possible with neurofeedback today. We use cutting edge science alongside proprietary hardware and software to provide the tools and expertise for you to change your brain waves to achieve optimum performance, which includes brain as well as life performance. By training the deep neural networks of your brain, you will enhance your strengths and wind down your weaknesses while gaining leaps and bounds in self-awareness and emotional mastery. It’s incredible to look back on the past with where this all started, and it’s makes us even more excited for what lies in store for the future.