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How does NovaMynd use neurofeedback?
NovaMynd uses neurofeedback to deliver closed-loop brain entrainment using gentle audio stimulation and EEG monitoring to personalise every program.
Brain entrainment, also known as brainwave entrainment, is a process in which external stimuli, such as audio, are used to influence the brain’s activity. This activity is measured in the form of brainwaves, which are categorized based on their frequency.
One of the most well-known forms of brain entrainment is binaural beats. This method uses two slightly different tones, one played in each ear, to create a third “perceived” tone. This perceived tone stimulates the brain in a selective way, depending on the frequency of the tone. For example, lower frequency tones generally promote relaxation, while higher frequency tones can improve focus and concentration.
What do I need to use NovaMynd?
- An Android tablet or phone running Android version 8.0 or higher
- A good pair of headphones that connect to the Android tablet or phone
- 20-40 mins of time 3-4 days per week where you can listen and train with NovaMynd
What sort of Android tablet or phone?
We recommend you use a dedicated tablet where possible, or if using on your phone set it to night-time mode or turn off all notifications. The training will be disrupted and much less effective if your phone or tablet sends audio alerts or you receive a phone call whilst training.
- Android 8.0 or higher
- Support for Bluetooth
- 2GB of RAM
- At least 1GB of free storage
What sort of headphones?
You should use high-quality headphones and train in a quiet environment to ensure maximum benefit. The headphones should for good sound transfer so over-ear, on-ear or earbuds are best. The headphones connect to the Android device by bluetooth or wire.
Where can I find the NovaMynd App?
I have an iPhone or iPad, is there a NovaMynd App for IOS?
At the moment NovaMynd only runs on Android. If you are interested in a future release that support IOS please leave us a message on the contact-us page here and we will let you know when it is available.
Are there any side effects?
- Audio Neuro-feedback is not know to have side-effects.
- Always follow the recommended usage of 20-40 minutes per day
- Do not turn up the volume too loud – the training is effective at lower levels so long as it can be heard.
- Like any training program start slowly and build up.
Are there conditions where audio Neuro feedback is not advisable /suitable?
- History of hearing impairments or sensory sensitivities
- History of epilepsy and /or sporadic episodes of epileptic activity.
- Psychiatric and neurological conditions such as Rett’s Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Bipolar/Psychotic disorders.
What is neurofeedback training?
Neurofeedback training is a form of biofeedback which uses brain activity. induced by a neurological reading – in this case, EEG. During training, small gold plated sensors on the scalp measure electrical brain patterns – much like a physician listens to your heart from the surface of your skin. This data is then analysed and fed back to the participant in real time, usually through auditory or visual feedback this
In NovaMynd, brainwave activity is only acquired by the sensors in the headband or cap. Specialized software then processes the brain’s activity and creates sounds for auditory stimulation that influences brainwave levels.
The auditory stimulation is represented by binaural beats which are ‘returned’ to the patient to coach the brain to work in a desirable pattern. Changes are short-lived at first, but then gradually become more enduring through practice.
What are binaural beats or auditory stimulation?
The word binaural means “having or relating to two ears”. The sensation of auditory stimulation occurs when two sounds of nearly similar frequencies are presented one to each ear with stereo headphones or speakers. The brain integrates the two signals, producing a sensation of a third sound called the binaural beat or neurofeedback. Thus, if 210Hz pulses into one ear and 200Hz into the other, the brain will process the two sounds into a 10Hz frequency, namely the difference between the two frequencies.
The binaural beats then cause the brainwaves to begin resonating in tune with the beat. With NovaMynd, auditory stimulation frequencies are produced according to the brainwave reading of the EEG.
By creating auditory stimulation at a particular frequency, the brain is triggered to resonate at that same frequency, automatically inducing brain activity in the respective waveform spectrum. To listen to an example of the sound below:
NovaMynd identifies different types of brain waves – can you tell me more about them?
Via sensors on the scalp, NovaMynd records patterns of brain activity. The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a ‘brainwave pattern’ because of its cyclic ‘wave-like’ nature. These brainwaves are generally classified according to their frequency, amplitude and shape.
Among the basic waveforms are the alpha, beta, delta and theta rhythms. These basic rhythms are associated with different mental states.
- Alpha waves occur at a frequency of 8 to 12 cycles per second in a regular rhythm. In general, they are present when you are awake, relaxed and have your eyes closed. Usually they disappear when you open your eyes or start mentally concentrating.
- Beta waves occur at a frequency of 13 to 30 cycles per second. Normally beta rhythms occur in individuals who are alert and attentive to external stimuli or are exerting specific mental effort. Beta waves are also present during tension, agitation and anxiety.
- Delta waves occur at a frequency of 0.5 to 3.5 cycles per second. They are generally prominent during sleep or when there is unconscious activity. As people move from lighter to deeper stages of sleep, the occurrence of alpha waves diminishes and is gradually replaced by the lower frequency delta waves.
- Theta waves occur at a frequency of 4 to 8 cycles per second. This particular frequency range is involved in daydreaming and sleep. They are connection with feeling deep and raw emotions. Too much theta activity may make people prone to bouts of depression, ADHD and inattentiveness. Too little can lead to anxiety, poor emotional awareness and stress.