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A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brainwave Biofeedback Hardcover – 25 Aug 2000
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Can you fix your own neurological problems without resorting to drugs? Science writer Jim Robbins suggests that some such conditions--like epilepsy, autism and depression--could yield to a recently developed technique called neurofeedback. His book A Symphony in the Brain describes the process, its evolution from the 1970s fad of biofeedback, its practitioners, and some of its success stories. Using computers to quickly provide information on real-time EEG, practitioners train patients to control global or local brain states--or so the theory goes. Unfortunately for its proponents, there are still no rigorous research data showing conclusive results; Robbins makes a good case that the lack of research is due more to scientific turf battles and a drug-dependent medical establishment than any fault of neurofeedback. Some of the case studies he explores, of children and adults brought out of comas or trained to reduce their epileptic seizure frequency, suggest that we ought to look more deeply and rigorously into the technique. Whether or not it works can only be determined by controlled studies which may be forthcoming; in the meantime Robbins provides contact lists and additional research information for interested readers, as well as the inspiration to pursue a potentially life-saving treatment. --Rob Lightner
Top customer reviews
The last few chapters are the best, covering most of the new work from ADD through to Post truamatic stress disorder. Also a final chapter looking at new frontiers and the miriad possibilities.
Overall a generous, intelligent and very well written work. Anyone reading this would have a really good understand of the fundamentals as well as the science, logic and purpose of neurofeedback. Its not directly a "how to" book but I have taken much from it that I could apply to myself, and in any event it is so often useful to have more than mere instructions because if you really understand something then you can build a protocol for yourself and ammend as necessary.
Highly recommended as striking just the right balance between a lay persons introduction and a scientific/thoughful analysis.
There are many factors that influence one's wellbeing and performance and it is not suggested that neurofeedback is a panacea - however, it has helped many people and there is no reason why not incorporate it with other treatments either for healing or for self-improvement. Different people have experienced different results and the only way to find out how it would work for a particular person or for a particular problem is to try it out.
Most neurotherapy practitioners seem to be using neurofeedback anyway in conjunction with other modalities from traditional medicine to alternative therapies - hypnosis, nutrition, counselling, etc, and it seems that in many cases a combination of different modalities brings about the best results.
The author has a journalist's interest in people and their interactions, but he gave me far more detail than I needed to understand the subject. Perhaps he should write a novel. On the plus side, my skimming skills are now nicely polished!
If you think those who have control over such matters are immune to the influence of money then you are in need of enlightenment, especially since you health will likely one day depend on knowledge that will hopefully have come from an honest source.
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