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FAQ Explanation of pirHEG Neurotherapy for Enhancing Executive Functioning & Calm Focus

FAQ: pirHEG Neurofeedback Explained

What does pirHEG stand for?

Passive Infrared Hemoencephelography (as developed by Jeffrey Carmen, PhD)

How does pirHEG Neurofeedback work?

  • An infrared camera-like sensor is positioned on the forehead using an adjustable headband.
  • The sensor continuously photographs or "reads” the metabolic activity of the frontal lobes of the brain
  • That information is transmitted through cables via a USB based Bio-interface unit.
  • Software via computer then "feeds back” this information to the client through a digital video display, DVD.
  • The movie will pause and a blue bar will appear on the screen when the activity decreases
  • When the DVD pauses, the client must increase the metabolic activity in the front of the brain to turn it back on. The client accomplishes this by being in the "Zone” for relaxed but intense focus on the blue bar.
  • Then, the client is instructed to watch the bar rise above the yellow threshold that the computer has selected, to see the movie play again. This occurs several times in each session. This is called operant conditioning.

How long is each session?

Between 15-25 minutes depending on the tolerance of the client.

How many sessions does it take to see behavioral change?

Typically, change occurs in one session; these are neuropsychological and behavioral changes (such as improved mood, clarity in speech, ability to pay attention, headache reduction). The improved brain/behavior stability may last a few days and then fade. The changes tend to last longer with each session and are cumulative over time. Once or twice weekly sessions are recommended for this reason until the client‘s gains are more secure. 10-20 sessions usually define a course of training in this modality.

Does this process "Do” something to the brain?

No. The process is non-invasive; it is passive. It measures but introduces no signals of its own to the brain. Feedback gently guides the brain into the "Zone” where metabolic activity increases. An area of the brain that is more active will give off more heat and have greater blood flow and blood oxygenation than a brain area that is less active.

What is metabolic brain activity?

This describes what occurs bio-chemically, when the brain expends effort in an activity involving the functions governed by the frontal lobes of the brain.

Why do we want frontal lobe metabolic brain activity to increase?

Research *(Carmen, 2009), indicates that when metabolic activity increases in the frontal lobes, Executive Brain Functioning is enhanced.

What is Executive Brain Functioning; why do we want it enhanced?

The frontal lobes of the brain are involved with the following activities: Focused attention, memory, organizational ability, mood, planning, judgment and neurological sensitivity. Enhancing this activity can improve one’s ability to function optimally in life, decrease or eliminate certain kinds of symptoms and uplift mood.

What kinds of symptoms can be impacted positively by pirHEG?

Migraine headache, Depression, Anxiety, Traumatic Brain Injury, ADD, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ie: Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s, Autism.

Does pirHEG cure these conditions or symptoms?

No. The process can assist the brain in creating an increased activation of control systems thereby reducing symptoms that are a result of inadequate control. The symptoms thus become less pronounced or inactive. The brain possesses a quality, called "plasticity” which enables it to change and adapt.

How long can this improved state of being last?

The results of pirHEG training can be permanent. Conditions can be alleviated; some people return to pirHEG training periodically for a review if symptoms return or if conditions are exacerbated.

*See: for research articles

Some Client responses about the training:

"…..I dreamt I was in Israel; the Palestinians and Israelis were giving each other gifts…..I knew that it was really a dream about how my brain was now making peace with itself…..” W.~an adult pirHEG client with Depression and focusing issues (after 4 sessions)

"…can I do more?” M.~A 17 year old Asperger’s pirHEG client (after the first session)

Susan E. Antelis, MPS, BCB, BCN, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LMHC, Lynbrook

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Lynbrook, NY 11563

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FAQ Explanation of pirHEG Neurotherapy for Enhancing Executive Functioning & Calm Focus

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Last Modified: 1/26/2017  

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