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:
- Below-normal academic performance (ie. poor reading, math skills)
- Poor memory
- Lack of social skills
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 Disorders
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 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:
The Impact of Coherence Neurofeedback on Reading Delays in Learning Disabled Children: A Randomized Controlled Study. Coben, R., Wright, E. K., Decker, S. L., & Morgan, T. (2015). NeuroRegulation, 2(4), 168–178.
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. (1996). Biofeedback Self Regululation, 21(1), 35-49.
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.
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). International Journal of Psychophysiology : Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 3(2), 85–99.
Functional disruption in the organization of the brain for reading in dyslexia. Shaywitz, S. E., Shaywitz, B. A., Pugh, K. R., Fulbright, R. K., Constable, R. T., Mencl, W. E., Shankweiler, D. P., Liberman, A. M., Skudlarski, P., Fletcher, J. M., Katz, L., Marchione, K. E., Lacadie, C., Gatenby, C., & Gore, J. C. (1998). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(5), 2636–2641.
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