Wrote a review+ blog post of my experience using EEG Neurofeedback https://therationalbiohacker.net/2019/01/19/eeg-neurofeedback-by-brain-trainer-review-by-the-rational-biohacker/
Hi Rational, good review of Pete Van Deusen’s Brain-Trainer system, and the Pocket Neurobics Q-Wiz amplifier.
Also appreciate your other blog post on HEG,
Thanks for your info on Braintrainer; however, your information on NeurOptimal is mostly incorrect. Neuroptimal can be used by as many friends and family members as you want. It doesn’t put anything into your brain nor does it rely on you learning protocols and unlike Braintrainer you don’t have to pay for a brain map for anyone. In fact once you have bought the system anyone can use it straight away!
NeurOptimal reads each brain’s electrical activity in real time and feeds this information back to the brain via feedback, telling the brain how it is functioning. When armed with this information about what it’s doing, the brain is able to self-correct. Each family member or friend could use NeurOptimal and it would work differently on everyone because each person has different electrical activity in their brain. Thus each person hears differently timed feedback alerting the brain that it’s about to experience a change in brain-state. It is definitely not a one-size-fits all system (each person who uses it will find their brain making different adjustments to self-correct - so someone who is anxious will experience different adjustments than someone who has ADHD for example). And if you buy the professional system you get unlimited sessions for life. (Personal systems are much cheaper and come with $100 sessions: additional sessions cost about $10 each.)
Regarding the criticisms from a couple of French people, there are so many people in France who happily own NeurOptimal systems as well as all around the world. All neurofeedback systems, including Brain-Trainer, have their share of critics, however you have criticised NeurOptimal without having investigated it properly or, better yet, used it. I think it’s great to review a product but I think it’s not such a good idea to critique something you don’t understand nor have ever even used. That might be a good suggestion for all of us: to keep our critiques to those systems we have actually used so we can be sure we are sharing accurate information with each other.
If anyone would like some more info on NeurOptimal please let me know. I own a system and have found it to be truly revolutional in healing my PTSD and completely taking away my Fibromyalgia. Oh and unlike what you say about Brain-Trainer, there is no steep learning curve with NeurOptimal. You’ll be training your brain within 30 minutes of taking it out of the box and feeling calmer at the end of your first session - of course pemanent brain change takes longer but I noticed a difference from my very first session.
I think the point he was trying to make is that with Brain-Trainer or HEG, you actually get to learn something about neurofeedback protocols and brain training. Versus automated systems like NeurOptimal where you become a ‘practitioner’, but end up with little knowledge of neuroscience or neurofeedback protocols. Or 40 Years of Zen, which I believe costs well over $10K for one week of intensive training, again, no transfer of neuroscience knowledge.
I’m not sure the current pricing for NeurOptimal, but this site claims $7K to $10K for the unmetered system. In contrast a decent Brain-Trainer setup just costs a couple thousand. Another comparison point would be the three dimensional Loreta Z-Score systems such as Brainmaster, which are in the $6K to $10K region.
NeurOptimal certainly has it’s applications and has helped many. But don’t expect to learn anything about neurofeedback in general. It is a turn key system, closed and secretive about it’s internal operation.
Regards, William Croft, OpenBCI
It is true that when using NeurOptimal you won’t learn about protocols; however, NeurOptimal teaches you something infinitely more important - it will teach you about the nature of your own mind in exactly the same way meditation teaches you about your own mind. For most people who start with neurofeedback, learning about the protocols is just a means to an end to learn about their own mind (and perhaps those of their clients). NeurOptimal is a master at doing this because it trains the unconscious mind to return to the present moment, exactly where meditation masters know that true wisdom is developed and psychological symptoms are resolved. And once we embark upon this journey we discover there is no end to the depth of our potential wisdom. As the Zen teachers tell us, we should not confuse the finger pointing at the moon with the moon.
There are price differentials of course and I have not tried Brain-Trainer so I cannot comment on it. But as a Buddhist meditation practitioner for 15 years, I can vouch for NeurOptimal being a quality product and the real deal in terms of where it can take you at an accelerated rate (significantly more accelerated than meditation alone). It is simple only to the extent that using it is simple - it has all the expertise built into the system - but there is no end to the psychic transformation it unleashes.
It is my understanding (as meagre as it is) Mr Croft, that you have made an important and impressive contribution to the NF field but not all of us have the time nor the passion to do this. For those who would prefer to spend their time developing their own inner wisdom rather than labouring over the business of learning protocols, then I highly recommend NeurOptimal.
We are blessed that NF developers have left us spoiled for choice!