Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Imagine being better than Iron Man. Staying sharp and focused at work, being there for your family and friends, excelling at your hobbies, keeping up with new habits, staying positive, and being more focused and present in anything you do.
Doing these things, or performing at your peak, is referred to as "being in the zone" – a common phrase meaning you are actively engaged, challenged, and fully dedicated to the things you're doing. You might have even heard professional athletes talk about this. When they talk about “being in the zone”, they describe it as if time slows down as they are making that jump shot or throwing the perfect pass.
The zone is your ideal sweet spot where you become your most productive, creative, and powerful self. So, how do you get there?
You train your brain to access “the zone” when you need it to. With a brain training technology called neurofeedback, you can train your brain to regulate your brainwaves so that you can achieve that desired brainwave state. But what exactly does this mean? Let's break it down.
Neurofeedback doesn’t merely offer insight into how your brain operates, it also lets you know where there’s room for improvement. This is possible thanks to EEG, a technology that measures your brainwave activity and provides feedback in real time by placing electrodes (small metal discs) on the scalp.
This real-time feedback is provided using visual (games/videos) and/or auditory (sound effects/music) cues on a screen. These cues let you know when you’re “in the zone” and when you’re not – on the spot. For example, let’s say that your real-time brain activity measurements show that your focus is low. Perhaps your player slows down or the volume of the music decreases to let you know that your brain is not in its “optimal state.” On the other hand, when the optimal state is achieved, your brain is rewarded by your player moving faster or the volume going back up.
As a result, you may experience improvement in your intelligence, spatial/motor skills, mood, and overall well-being, as well as enhancement in different types of memory and attention.
That's why professional or competitive athletes, executives, musicians, and students are some of the individuals who seek this type of training. In fact, this technology is often part of the training program for Olympians and professional athletes in the NFL and NBA. It helps athletes learn how to get their brains into a state of improved attention, focus, discipline, and aim.
But it’s not only athletes that can perform at the top of their game thanks to neurofeedback. Research found that, after neurofeedback training, surgeons' focus and alertness were greatly improved during operations and when having to make decisions when unexpected situations occurred.
Neurofeedback Protocols for Peak Performance
Neurofeedback protocols for peak performance aim to control arousal, attention, and motivation. The main goal of training is to complete a specific function or task with fewer errors and with greater efficiency.
Due to individual differences in brain activity and the large diversity of skills required in different aspects of life, neurofeedback for peak performance training is not a "one size fits all" approach.
The Yerkes-Dodson Law and Performance
When it comes to performing an important task, like doing well on an exam or even scoring a goal, we sometimes find that our nerves can either make or break how well we do. Sometimes, the level of adrenaline is just right; it helps us focus on the task at hand.
Other times, if we’re too nervous, we may have trouble concentrating and remembering the correct answers or miss that goal by a long shot. In psychology, this relationship between arousal levels and performance is known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law.
The Yerkes-Dodson Law suggests that a certain level of arousal is needed in order to achieve optimal performance. However, too much of it or too little of it may impair your performance completely.
This study shows how neurofeedback can be used to modify one’s arousal state in order to improve performance. The participants were engaged in a virtual reality aerial navigation task while their brain activity was measured using EEG.
They were also provided with a brain-computer interface (BCI) based neurofeedback signal that reflected their level of stress or arousal. While they were completing the aerial task, participants heard the sound of a low-rate, synthetic heartbeat, which got louder as their arousal level became higher.
By gaining insight into their arousal level in real time through these auditory cues, participants were able to self-regulate and modify their arousal state, thereby resulting in improved task performance.
Just as physical training aims to strengthen the body, peak performance neurofeedback training aims to strengthen your mind and regulate your brainwave patterns so that you can perform at the top of your game.
However, just like with building any muscle, brain training requires consistency and practice. So, stay dedicated, enjoy the process, and be patient as you watch your well-being improve over time. With neurofeedback training, you can reach your full potential!
Contact the Brain Performance Center for more information about Peak Performance Neurofeedback Training. Training can now be done in your home with state-of-the-art remote neurofeedback equipment. Email us at Info@BrainPerformance.com or call us at 800-385-0710.