Learning Disorders

Neurofeedback can help improve reading, comprehension, memory, and focus, as well as decreasing other symptoms of learning disorders. Many learning disorders are characterized by too much slow wave activity that hampers the brain's ability to commit things to memory and prevents accurate word, pattern, and language recognition.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many difficult learning disorders, the symptoms of which can range from merely irritating to crippling.

Common symptoms may include:
  • Dyslexia
  • Below-normal academic performance (ie. poor reading, math skills)
  • Poor memory
  • Lack of social skills
  • Irritability

What's Going On in the Brain

Many learning disorders are characterized by excessive and diffuse slow wave activity (delta, theta, alpha frequency band) in local areas of the brain, typically in the left and rear areas of the brain responsible for visual processing, reading, and memory. This slow wave activity hampers the brain’s ability to commit things to memory and prevents accurate word and pattern recognition.

How Neurofeedback Helps Learning Disabilities

Neurofeedback can usually help reduce the symptoms of learning disorders. By coupling an in-depth history with a QEEG (detailed picture of overall brain activity), specific locations of the brain can be identified as underperforming and trained to replace slow (delta, theta, alpha frequency band) waves with faster, "pay attention" (beta frequency band) waves.

Research

Research has shown that Neurofeedback has permanently increased IQ, improved academic performance, and minimized other symptoms of learning disorders in many cases. However, there have been some studies that have shown a higher degree of variability in the outcomes of Neurofeedback training. The following are research studies showing the effect of Neurofeedback on learning disorders:

A controlled study of the effects of EEG biofeedback on cognition and behavior of children with attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities.
Linden M, Habib T, Radojevic V., Biofeedback Self Regul. 1996 Mar;21(1):35-49.

Brainwave signatures--an index reflective of the brain's functional neuroanatomy: further findings on the effect of EEG sensorimotor rhythm biofeedback training on the neurologic precursors of learning disabilities.
Tansey, M.A. (1985), Int J Psychophysiol. 1985 Nov;3(2):85-99.

Visual-Motor Integration and its Relation to EEG Neurofeedback Brain Wave Patterns, Reading, Spelling, and Arithmetic Achievement in Attention Deficit Disorders and Learning Disabled Students
Fenger, TN (1997), EEG Spectrum www.eegspectrum.com.

Functional disruption in the organization of the brain for reading in dyslexia.
Shaywitz SE, Shaywitz BA, Pugh KR, Fulbright RK, Constable RT, Mencl WE, Shankweiler DP, Liberman AM, Skudlarski P, Fletcher JM, Katz L, Marchione KE, Lacadie C, Gatenby C, Gore JC (1998) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 3;95(5), 2636-2641