A Quantitative EEG (QEEG), also referred to as a brain map, functions as a road map for the neurofeedback practitioner. As one Practitioner said, “If you need to fix your car, it’s kind of nice to look under the hood first.” A brain map helps neurofeedback providers “look under your hood.”
We first make a recording of brainwave activity. An elastic cap with 19 sensors is placed on the head. Electrical activity is recorded simultaneously at all 19 sites, first with eyes closed and then with eyes open. If deemed necessary, a third recording may be made while the client is given a task. The recording session itself takes between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.
After this, the recorded raw data is carefully edited to remove artifacts, which are signals not generated by actual brainwaves (such as those produced by muscle twitches, muscle tension, eye blinks, coughs, etc.). The data is then subjected to various quantitative analyses using sophisticated software dedicated to this purpose and compared to a database of age-matched high-functioning individuals free of difficulties, injury and disease. The result is a map of how the client’s brain function differs from this high-functioning population.
To complete the QEEG process, we send the raw EEG recording to a neurologist who examines it for any organic abnormalities. The EEG recording might show evidence of subclinical seizures (seizures which happen without a person’s awareness or outward symptoms), tumors or lesions which could be causing the client’s symptoms. Only a neurologist who is versed in EEG is able to make such a determination, and it is important to rule out these causes before commencing neurofeedback treatment.