Biofeedback and neurofeedback may often be mistaken for the same intervention, but they involve different forms and processes of treatment.
Biofeedback Monitors Many Processes
During biofeedback, individuals are connected to sensors that help monitor physiological processes such as breathing, heart rate, muscle contractions, temperature, and sweat perspiration. Biofeedback provides the body with feedback about how the body is functioning, allowing individuals to make changes to improve health, hypertension chronic pain, physical performance, anxiety, or stress.
Biofeedback is limited to mostly physiological sensations; whereas neurofeedback does not involve sensors to take measurements of breathing, heart rate, etc.
Neurofeedback Monitors One Process… Your Brain!
Neurofeedback focuses primarily on electrical activity within the brain and can map activity based on regions that exhibit activity that is deviant from normed samples based on age and gender.
Biofeedback Does Not ‘Train Your Brain’
Biofeedback does not involve training the brain in any form in regard to reading quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) electrical activity and providing feedback to the brain.
During neurofeedback therapy, the brain receives reinforcement through a visual stimulus presented onto a screen and utilizes operant conditioning whereas biofeedback does not. Neurofeedback is a separate, non-invasive method utilizing operant conditioning to teach the brain to function more efficiently. Neurofeedback training is sub-conscious treatment, meaning that the individual does not have to actively try to focus to change their brain functioning; but they do have to perceive visual or auditory positive reinforcement on a computer screen in front of them.
By localizing deviant brain areas and training those areas to progress more toward “the norm,” behavioral symptoms and inefficient brain wave activity are often improved or alleviated.
Neurofeedback is often used to treat forms of psychopathology or mental illness and performance enhancement, whereas biofeedback may help improve physiological functioning or distressing pain and body arousal by signaling a person to alter what they are doing in the moment.
Do you have additional questions about Neurofeedback and whether it is right for you? Contact us here so we can answer your questions.