However, none of the researchers has thought about training the brain to enhance its natural “40 Hz.” rhythm by using brainwave biofeedback (neurofeedback), as we have been offering to clinicians and the public for many years via the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer
. Neurofeedback produces long-term improvements in natural brain rhythms, without the sometimes unpleasant light or sound. These are sustained even when this stimulation is not there. Our Neureka! feedback system selects out the one particular source of the key narrow-band “40 Hz.” frequency–there are several others–and teaches people to increase its amplitude, rather than increase all of the 40 Hz. rhythms, which can be too stimulating. With some deft math, our “40 Hz.” detector corrects for the natural variations in frequency and trains the actual brain rhythm.
It has been established for a long time that this key “40 Hz.” rhythm from the inside the thalamus scans the surface layers of the cortex from front to back 40 times a second while we are awake. The information about inputs and memories is brought back to the center of the thalamus, which puts it together into an “event”. Neureka! training selects out this key rhythm and improves this metronome of the brain. In our studies, this training significantly enhances memory and focus in 12 sessions, and improves autism, which may be due to the inability to understand and respond to events, in just 18.
Another reason that training Neureka! should improve autism is that we know from studies of post-mortem autistic brains that the microglia are activated to cause evident inflammation. This dysfunction should cause the “40 Hz.” system to malfunction and misinterpret events.
It is totally reasonable to hypothesize that the increase in “40 Hz.” rhythm also stimulates the healthy function of the microglia, promoting appropriate brain functioning and new learning by cleaning up deposits that interfere and cause cognitive decline and autism. We also established that increasing the amplitude of Neureka! enhances happiness and other positive feelings, to reward you for learning something new, so you keep trying. Watching videos as they respond to your Neureka! amplitude by changing size is probably far more pleasant than watching blinking white lights that don’t change.
A properly working 40 Hz. system should enhance both happiness and future health, which may help to account for the well-known relationship (157 studies) between current happiness and future health. Perhaps the link is partly due to the improved function of the microglia, as well as the dopamine systems in the brain. It is all part of nature’s grand design to promote survival by improving our ability to learn and adapt.