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Jun
2nd
Biofeedback & Brain Acitivity

Margo Johnson

So where is the science of monitoring the activity the brain taking us?

The new science of observing the activity of the brain is moving toward the math of nonlinear dynamics. This is the math that can describe the activity of complex systems such as the central nervous system. It has been used not only to describe the electrical activity of the brain, but also the weather, heart function and other complex and data rich phenomenon.

Science moves forward on the technology of the day. Early measurement of the electroencephalogram (measurement of the electrical activity of the brain) relied on a qualitative observation make by a neurologist viewing the ink on paper wiggly tracings of the central nervous systems activity. Later the research departments of universities began the effort to quantity the frequencies and amplitude of this electrical phenomenon and theorize what it all meant. Those early attempts required computers the size of a room and could confidently measure one or two signals at a time off line.

Today with the use of powerful laptop computers & the math of nonlinear dynamics, the electrical activity can be monitored and presented online. This leading edge technology allows the brain to effortlessly learn about itself and in the process self regulate. But this new technology would not be useful if we could not take advantage of nervous systems ability to learn and grow.  Early in my career we were taught the mature brain could not change or grow.  But now we know about the brain’s plastic abilities.  First coined by William James in his book The Principles of Psychology is the idea of brain’s plasticity or the ability of neurons to reorganize their networks via learning or new experiences.  When the book was written in 1890 the technology was not available to test those theories.  In the past years more evidence is being published that this is the case and is possible at any age.  See : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310114936.htm
 

Added on 06/02/2010

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