An innovative program at Cal State San Bernardino that uses direct training of brain function, or neurofeedback, to treat a number of conditions has received $25,000 in funding from the Edison International Program.
Neurofeedback, also known as cognitive rehabilitation or EEG biofeedback, is a technique that challenges the brain to function better, said Connie McReynolds, director of CSUSB’s Institute for Research, Assessment and Professional Development in the College of Education. The powerful brain-based technique has been successful in helping people around the world for more than 30 years, including children with Attention Deficit Disorders and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The contribution will help the university’s institute increase the number of scholarships for students to be trained to use and do research in neuroscience,” said McReynolds, who is also a professor in the educational psychology and counseling department and is a licensed psychologist.
“Edison is pleased to contribute to this innovative program at Cal State San Bernardino,” said Beverly Powell, the regional manager for public affairs for Southern California Edison. “We’re impressed with and support Dr. McReynolds’ neuroscience feedback program.”
Neurofeedback works by training the brain to function at its maximum potential, which is similar to the way the body is exercised, toned and maintained. The technology is safe and effective for children and adults ages 5 to 95, she said.
“It is a noninvasive process with dramatic results for a multitude of symptoms. The effectiveness of neurofeedback for adults and children with a wide variety of symptoms has been repeatedly concluded in numerous research studies,” McReynolds said. “You can train your attention, decrease anxiety or depression, alleviate chronic pain and lessen behaviors that interfere with living your best life.”
The institute offers treatment using neurofeedback to the general public as well as to the university’s students, faculty and staff, she said. It uses a sliding scale fee structure to ensure that its services are affordable, said McReynolds, who established the neurofeedback service in 2011 as director of the institute. The treatment qualifies for healthcare reimbursement accounts with most insurance providers.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with ADHD or other attention or focusing problems improve through the use of neurofeedback by participating 2-3 times per week for 30 minute sessions.
Differences have been noted in attention, concentration, focus and memory in as few as 10 sessions. Most individuals participate for an average of 20 sessions. Once the brain has learned the optimal functioning patterns, the change is maintained similarly to the way the mind/body retains learning how to ride a bicycle.
“With the increased concern regarding the negative effects of relying heavily on medication treatments alone, neurofeedback may provide an effective alternative to a drug-free reduction of symptoms,” McReynolds said. “Since the 1970s, research on neurofeedback has demonstrated positive results in the treatment of a number of conditions.”
Neurofeedback has also shown success in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies have shown that veterans who have used neurofeedback report substantial improvements in the reduction of sleeping problems, anger management, stress management and other conditions. The institute develops individualized plans tailored specifically to each veteran’s needs.
Visit the university’s Institute for Research, Assessment and Professional Development on Neurofeedback website for more information.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.