The world has become a far less happy place in the last four months. We talk about it more in related terms–stressed, anxious, even fearful, however, this happiness deficit has us rushing out into potentially contagious situations now that restrictions are being lifted, to seek its remedy. This unhappiness, from a variety of current and historic causes, has certainly added fuel to the recent unrest. Considering the great importance that sages such as Aristotle and Satchidananda (Integral Yoga) and the Founding Fathers placed on happiness, we should be talking about it much more now.
We often forget a most important truth that the newly-released Happi Trainer and Happitation can teach us–that the real source of happiness is within ourselves, originating in the brain/mind/spirit. With training, we can use Happitation to access it when we intend to and keep it with us. When we are happy, we are naturally less stressed and anxious. Although this will not solve the external problems, it will help us to live a better life under the circumstances. Dr. Jonathan (Jon) Cowan discusses this in more depth in an interview with Jamie Bussin, on Tonic Toronto, a radio show devoted to wellness.
Jonathan Cowan, Ph.D., has been studying the brain/mind/spirit, and particularly emotions, for over 50 years at the University of California San Francisco and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in clinical practice as one of the first brainwave biofeedback therapists, and as a researcher and product developer for Peak Achievement Training. He has discovered new, highly effective neurofeedback methods for training single-pointed focus, alertness, learning, memory, happiness and other positive feelings, and the related improvements in health and immunity.
The Happi Trainer is a simplified training system–a result of many years of collaborative research efforts–which is suitable for both professionals and consumers at home. Dr. Cowan has studied positive psychology with Dr. Martin Seligman, but soon found that this discipline admits that they ignore 50% of the origins of happiness, writing it off as genetic, rather than recognizing that there are basic biological systems, such as the dopamine-based reward system discovered by psychologist Dr. James Olds, which can be modified by training. The positive psychologists only claim to be able to change 10%, so this neurofeedback training is likely to turn out to be more powerful, especially when combined with genetic testing and supplements tailored to the individual.
While integrating insights from positive psychology, Dr. Cowan continued with his neuroscientific approach to enhancing happiness, from his previous education and research, and has now developed the Neureka! protocol, which selects and trains a particular gamma brainwave frequency, and the basic brain system related to it, which is also tied into the dopamine reward system that promotes new discovery and learning. He has created two products which enhance happiness–the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer and the Happi Trainer, and a third one which uses Neureka! in a effective new approach to autistic issues, the Socialize ACE.
In a published study, Dr. Estate Sokhadze found that twelve pleasant sessions of this training enhanced the happiness of their subjects by 33% to 50%, and that this lasted for four months at the same level. It also improved attention and memory, as dopamine does. It is an ideal training for these difficult times.
The Neureka! protocol distinguishes these training systems from every other training system that is available. It is a major improvement because it recognizes the importance of one part of the high frequency gamma brain rhythm, the 40 cycle per second component that originates in the center of the brain, part of the thalamus. This rhythm scans the cortex 40 times a second, and brings back the important information to the brain’s center, where it is assembled and understood as an event.
This is the basis of how we discover and learn new material and is vital to our survival. That’s why the brain rewards us by giving us positive feelings like happiness and enjoyment, by a connection to the dopamine systems, which project to the front of the head, right below the Trainers’ electrical sensor. By detecting these 40 cycle rhythms and clarifying them to eliminate other 40 cycle signals, the Trainer can determine their size and display it on a computer screen as a bar chart, and use it to control the size of a video that users watch.
Users wear a headband or headpiece that detects brainwaves and send it to their PC via Bluetooth. They soon learn that enjoying and appreciating any video on the screen makes it get bigger, and they become absorbed in improving their performance by becoming lighter and happier, not by actively making an effort. After a few training sessions, they become able to take this learned self-control out into their lives, and practice Happitation. This basically involves starting off with a moderately deep inhalation, and then remembering the transition to greater happiness that they had learned as they exhale.
NeuroTek, LLC, d/b/a Peak Achievement Training®, is a revolutionary performance enhancement technology company which has created the world’s first simple, accurate external interface between the human brain and a PC. The company’s proven neurofeedback technology has benefited professional athletes and corporate executives who wanted to excel, as well as children and adults who had attention problems.
The company’s predecessor, NeuroTechnology, Inc., also d/b/a Peak Achievement Training®, was formed in 1993. In 1997, it developed new technology to address a well-recognized and unfulfilled market need for peak performance training products, meeting price and performance requirements of professionals and semi-professionals in a wide range of environments.
In 2004, NeuroTek released a completely new software package, the VR Software featuring the ability to record video simultaneously with brainwave measurements to create NeuroVideos of people performing important tasks. This NeuroVideoFeedback™ software also allows any of the Fundamental Dimensions of Mental Processing to control a DVD, CD, animation, or audio file. The Peak Achievement Trainer went wireless the next year, substituting a transmitter and receiver that weighs about two ounces (now less than one) for the interface box, and giving the users freedom of motion and superb electronics.
On February 24, 2007, NeuroTek, LLC announced the release of the Neureka! Protocol package for the Peak Achievement Trainer. the first in the industry to measure the function of a new brain system that also boosts memory of important new information. Neureka! also clearly measures a wide variety of positive feelings and the “Aha!” moments of discovery or sudden awareness in the brain.
The American Institute of Stress presented the Peak Achievement Trainer with its Award for Distinction and Innovation on December 31, 2007. Further information is located on our webpage on stress.
The Trainer can now measure the Three Fundamental Dimensions of Mental Processing–Focus, Alertness, and Neureka! In July, 2009, we announced a new product, the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer, incorporating these dimensions. Several studies have found that Neureka! is also related to positive feelings, such as happiness, love, gratitude, and mindfulness, and possibly to enhanced health. Further research indicated that training with the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer can enhance these feelings and decrease depressed moods, while improving memory without doing any exercises. By combining measures of Alertness and Neureka!, the Peak Brain Happiness Trainer can also help create feelings of Excited Happiness.
FocusedAlert Training can also teach ADHD children to increase their ability to sustain their attention and improve their behavior faster than other approaches. A study published in a major EEG journal substantiates the effectiveness of this training in only five hours–twelve sessions performed once a week. The company holds a patent on this neurofeedback method.
In 2007, Peak Achievement Training announced the release of the Mood Elevator, which includes a training method that has been shown to be 84% effective in relieving treatment-resistant depression, along with some designs comparing it with Neureka!.
The company then turned its attention to developing a new set of simplified products aimed at specific target markets with particular issues, creating products that can be used by professionals and at home by consumers, perhaps with professional guidance. The first of these, released in 2018 was the Socialize ACE, which helps those with autistic issues such as socialization, based on some remarkable data showing substantial progress in 18 sessions. The Happi Trainer is the most recent addition to the line, currently being launched.
The two companies have gathered an impressive list of users to their credit, including the David Leadbetter Golf Academy; the 2001 Super Bowl Champions; Olympic Training Centers in the US, Canada, England, China, Norway, Taiwan and Singapore; the US Army’s Centers for Enhanced Performance; several champion golfers; Fortune 500 companies; numerous universities and clinicians; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and many others.
NeuroTek has licensed its patent on the Focus protocol to NeuroSky, a California company which has adapted it for the MindWave Mobile series, sublicensed it to Mattel for its MindFlex toy line, Uncle Milton for the Star Wars Jedi Trainer, and Macrotellect for its BrainLink Pro headsets. Subsequently, its technology was adapted by Interaxon for the Muse.
The Founder – Jonathan Cowan, Ph.D., the Founder and Chairman of Peak Achievement Training (NeuroTek, LLC), is a well-known and respected researcher and pioneer in Neurofeedback training. He discovered very simple and clear Neurofeedback Training methods for Focus, Alertness, and Neureka!, the brain’s response to new learning, which encompasses enhanced memory, cognition, and positive feelings. He has designed and marketed the Peak Achievement Trainer, the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer, and the Mood Elevator. He has participated in designing and publishing a number of research studies on these systems, showing improvements in attention, autistic issues, and long-term happiness. He is a Peak Performance Specialist who understands that NeuroVideoFeedback™ technology has the ability to improve people’s lives by increasing their focus and decreasing stress. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, where he worked with Dr. Joe Kamiya, the discoverer of brainwave biofeedback. Dr. Cowan is committed to making this powerful technology widely available for consumer, professional and institutional use. Dr. Cowan frequently presents his new insights about attention disorders and the function of the brain’s frontal lobes–the hypotheses that lead to the development of these very powerful protocols–at professional meetings and seminars.
Both Dr. Cowan, the CEO, and Dr. Sokhadze, our independent research collaborator, have written biographical chapters, along with other top pioneers in neurofeedback, in the recent Elsevier book, Neurofeedback: The First Fifty Years.
Dr. Cowan’s media experience includes:
A training program at a Fortune 500 company was able to double the amount of time that the top 23 executives were able to concentrate in just five sessions. Our data indicates that the Peak Achievement Trainer® may be several times faster than prior approaches. This NeuroTek system is so easy to use that people usually understand how to make the equipment respond by focusing within their first three minute trial. If the user becomes distracted in any way, the Peak Achievement Trainer® senses it and immediately lets them know so that they can focus again. Other instruments typically take 5-10 sessions or more to create the same level of understanding.
For testimonials, look at our Users’ Success Stories page.