HEG NEUROFEEDBACK BASICS
HEG refers to a type of biofeedback. It’s hard to describe. I’ll try to simplify it.
You can go to the horses mouth here.
Here’s how it works:
-you wear a special headband that emits red lights; one infrared, the other visible.
-the lightwaves penetrate the skull, and then bounce back towards the headband.
-the headband has a photoreceptor that collects the bounced back light.
-the properties of the reflected light indicate the amount of blood flow directly behind the skull.
-the rate of bloodflow is projected on your computer with special BioExplorer software.
-being able to see the actual realtime bloodflow of a specific area of the brain represented on your computer screen, you can increase it by simply wishing it to increase. Kind of the same way you can control your own pulse rate if you see it represented on some kind of a meter-a classic example of biofeedback.
Here’s the hard part….forgive me if its not clear….
-brain bloodflow is increased in areas of increased activity. The oxygen and glucose in blood “goes” to areas that need it.
-if you see the bloodflow increase on your computer screen, that means the exact area of the brain behind the headband has increased mental activity.
-the idea is you can “strengthen” areas the brain that are underfunctioning.
-example: a person with Attention Deficit Disorder has an underfunctioning left prefrontal cortex as revealed on a brain SPECT scan. He attaches the headband so the “dot” is directly over the underfunctiong left prefrontal cortex, approximately  inches above the left pupil. The realtime bloodflow in the left prefrontal cortex shows up on his computer screen. He concentrates, making the bloodflow increase simply by willing it to do so. He is actively triggering the synapses in the left prefrontal cortex, thus increasing the need for fuel (oxygen and glucose) which results in an increased bloodflow to the area. With time and training it gets easier and more powerful. Eventually his left prefrontal cortex is fully activated and his ADD will likely improve. It’s kind of like pumping iron for underfunctioning areas of the brain!
This equipment is not cheap. There is only one place that makes it. There are two versions: one is an “nIR pendant” and the other is the “pocket A3 EEG/HEG”. The pendant is cheaper.
You have to buy the nIR pendant, the software, and the headband. The total is somewhere around $1500. Also, it would be a good idea to get a brain SPECT scan so you can see the exact spots where the brain may be underfunctioning. These cost about $3000.
HEG is totally safe. The degree of infrared entering the skull is less than we get from the sun. Dr. Toomim, the guy who invented it, told me this personally. I talk with him quite a bit.
The problem is that the HEG machine will penetrate one inch deep into the brain, so the main areas that can be targeted are the Brodmann areas that have surface area on the outer brain (the upper image).
The corpus callosum can certainly be targeted with HEG, but the area of interest for us, area 24, is deeper inside. The good news is that a common phenomenon in HEG is that when a particular underfunctioning area of the brain is improved, other areas improve as well. There may be an indirect way to increase activity in Area 24. I shall talk with Dr. Toomim soon to see if this can be addressed.
If this is interesting I’d suggest you do a lot of research before committing to laying down cash. I’ll report on any successes I may have.