By Aldon Stiles |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Institute for Research, Assessment, and Professional Development held a neurofeedback open house on Oct. 28.
Around 50 people from the San Bernardino area attended the event held in the College of Education building, according to Dr. Connie McReynolds, Director of the Institute for Research, Assessment, and Professional Development, who coordinated the event.
Neurofeedback, also referred to as EEG biofeedback or cognitive rehabilitation by insurance companies, is a brain training computer program that helps improve cognitive functions.
According to McReynolds, the program uses visual representations of the brain at work to show clients where and when their conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“When we work with veterans who have PTSD, they don’t really remember what relaxation feels like,” said McReynolds. “So what we’re able to do, by measuring brain wave activity, is show them when they’re in a state of excess tension.”
McReynolds also described how the program helps treat these conditions.
“We can help them learn what relaxation feels like because when they can see it on the computer and they can see that they can bring that [tension] down and have a more relaxed state, then they’re able to anchor in the feeling of relaxation,” said McReynolds.
We train that over and over again until the person is able to do it on their own,” continued McReynolds.
McReynolds said that neurofeedback, over multiple treatments, will build and maintain neural pathways and normalize the improved functionality of the brain.
PTSD is just one of the many conditions the neurofeedback helps identify and treat.
“We test for children with ADD and ADHD,” McReynolds said. “We also test for auditory and visual processing problems in the brain. Most people who have this aren’t fully aware what it is, so they don’t know how to describe it.”
According to McReynolds, after the program runs its individual assessment, the center can then develop a personalized brain training program based on the individual’s needs.
McReynolds built the institute over five years ago and implemented the neurofeedback program at CSUSB a year later.
McReynolds reported that since the institute’s conception, they’ve amassed almost 500 clients community- wide and have conducted over 8,000 neurofeedback sessions.
Students who want to participate in these sessions can do so by contacting McReynolds to get scheduled for an initial intake.
“The initial intake drives the whole process,” said McReynolds. “If there isn’t something that you’re going to benefit from then there really isn’t any point.”
According to McReynolds, there is a sliding scale fee required to undergo treatment.
The sliding scale includes students, veterans, low-income individuals, alumni, and current employees at the institute.
McReynolds said that the institute is not a for-profit center.
According to McReynolds, Dr. Joseph Sanford, creator of BrainTrain, visited CSUSB to examine how the program was being used on campus.
During this visit, Sanford stated, “The CSUSB neurofeedback… is the most successful neurofeedback institute in the country.”