WHAT IS NEUROPTIMAL® AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback tracks the brain’s millisecond-by-millisecond electrical activity. This technology uses your natural feedback system- auditory sense perception- to give you feedback.
Learn how this advanced brain training system works, who it is for, and what the benefits are.
Watch this video which explains how NeurOptimal works. For more videos, see this page.
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While the term ‘neurofeedback’ is new to many consumers and wellness providers, it has actually been around since the 1970s. Neurofeedback uses EEG sensors to collect the brain’s electrical activity to collect real-time electrical information from the brain and send it to the software system for processing. For neurofeedback to work, this information must be transferred to the neurofeedback device via a wired or wireless system. The general rule is that a wired system provides faster and more accurate data.
In order for the training to be effective, that electrical information has to be delivered at the speed the brain communicates, which is in microseconds.
Neurofeedback is real because it has been demonstrated through numerous studies since the late 1960s that measuring brainwave activity and feeding that information back to the individual through auditory or visual cues is meaningful and beneficial information to create greater wellness.
Doing NeurOptimal® sessions is a bit like learning to read — minus the hard work!
What is NeurOptimal Neurofeedback?
NeurOptimal Neurofeedback tracks the brain’s millisecond-by-millisecond electrical activity. (The brain communicates with itself through electricity and chemicals.) This technology uses your natural feedback system- auditory sense perception- to give you feedback. And when we are signaled to pay attention, we can make better choices.
A mind that is more flexible adapts and responds quicker and more appropriately to changes in your environment.
The more easily you adjusts to changes encountered in a normal busy day, the better you feel. A lack of brain fitness, on the other hand, can leave you drained and stressed at the end of the day.
4 Key Facts About NeurOptimal
- FULLY AUTOMATED SYSTEM
NeurOptimal® is truly “plug and play” with no complicated set-up or expertise required. For all of its internal design complexity, it's ease-of-use gives it a significant advantage over other protocol neurofeedback systems.
- DIAGNOSTICALLY AGNOSTIC
Instead of targeting specific symptoms, NeurOptimal focuses on optimizing overall brain function. This approach naturally ameliorates most complaints, whatever their source.
When you are training, no electricity, vibration or external signal is going into the brain. In addition, brain training with NeurOptimal® does not target specific areas of the brain nor does it push the brain in any direction by giving it goals to achieve, decided by an “expert”.
- 100% NATURAL
NeurOptimal® alerts you to come into the present based on advanced software calculating when to create the interruptions in the music. Nothing added. The system is designed to support the naturally learning process.
Download PDF: NeurOptimal E-Book
From Our Blog:
NeurOptimal® is the only Dynamical® neurofeedback on the market and has been used by wellness professionals for over 15 years. The software works on the premise that the individual brain is its own expert, which has been confirmed in neuroscience with discoveries surrounding neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. Give the brain good data and it will use it to optimize because the brain is always trying to use its energy to make the most efficient and effective decisions.
NeurOptimal® dynamical neurofeedback simply provides millisecond-by-millisecond feedback to the user's brain and the brain does the rest. Nothing is added or forced. No clinician or brain map is required. It is built on the recognition that the brain has it's own natural, inherent capacity to rebalance wave pattern frequencies using this feedback.
Watch what happens in a session and what to expect when starting neurofeedback training with the NeurOptimal system.
What's Better About NeurOptimal® 3.0?
For their upgrade from 2.0 to 3.0, released in April 2018, Zengar Institute, the maker of NeurOptimal device, hired six engineers to perfect what Dr. Valdeane Brown envisioned in the early 1970s. One new feature is that the software now measures highest brain frequencies. Brain frequencies, or brain wave frequencies, are the electrical output of the brain measured in Hertz and translated by mathematics into meaningful band waves.
For example, the highest brain frequencies, above 60 Hz, were found to be very active in advanced meditators. This is a new discovery by researchers studying the brainwave patterns of longtime meditators in a state of meditation. When Windows 10 was released in 2017, their team spent a year beta-testing to make sure that the software interfaced perfectly with the new Windows design. Windows operating system and the NeurOptimal software communicate with each other. If their communication is in alignment then you experience seamless training, without the need for frequent technical support.
NeurOptimal 3 Featured Updates
Larger set of 20 targets (previously 16)
Including high Hertz frequencies, up to 63 Hz
Customizable G-Force Visualizer, exclusively created for NeurOptimal® to provide a more pleasant visual experience
Automatic In-Line adaptive de-noising filter that ignores environmental electrical activity, such as the 60 Hz electrical noise common to old buildings
Session Pause, allowing you to resume from where you left off
Simpler to use, with one click (or tap) you can start a session
Intuitive and built from the ground up for Windows 10
New Touchscreen Interface, makes navigating NO3 effortless
NeurOptimal is the only Dynamical Neurofeedback on the market
What Hasn't Changed In The NeurOptimal® Device?
The main feature of NeurOptimal that didn't change from version 2.0 to 3.0 is the proprietary mathematics behind Dynamical® neurofeedback. As the only neurofeedback on the market that uses it, the software applies an advanced mathematical formula that mirrors the electrical communication of the brain to itself. The theory of brain plasticity, or how the brain can change its wiring to adapt functioning, is transformed into mathematics.
The brain, which communicates through chemical reactions and electrical impulses, is designed to improve its own communication but needs a feedback system. With NeuroOptimal through the millisecond-by-millisecond data collection (256 data points per second to be precise) the software alerts us to those inefficiencies so we can enhance overall performance. The system of alerting is through micro-interruptions in auditory input (music). Hearing is the main sense perception that the brain uses to detect changes in the environment. In essence, the precisely-timed interruptions, tell us to pay attention to the environment.
Through awareness, change and improvements can happen.
From Our Blog:
When training your brain with the NeurOptimal system, EEG sensors are placed on your scalp and ear which read electrical signals or brainwaves coming from your brain. Nothing goes back to your brain through the sensors. You are given headphones to listen to music during the brain training session. The music is the platform for the feedback. The design of the brain is that we use auditory sense perception 24/7 to note changes in our environment. NeurOptimal was designed to use our brain's natural way of noticing changes.
The NeurOptimal neurofeedback program reads the brain signals 256 times per second!
That’s how fast your brain is communicating. When the NeurOptimal software detects changes in brainwaves it creates a micro-interruption in the music, which you may notice as a skipping record sound. Why interrupt the music? It signals to you to pay attention to what’s going on. Through the training you are learning to use better information-present moment information-rather than staying stuck in your habitual patterns.
A good analogue is like when you are daydreaming and in a daydream you (your brain) are not aware of what is happening, not until someone calls your name (this moment is each millisecond that the music stops during a session) and you simultaneously realize that you were lost in a daydream, and recognize the quality of that daydream, as well as take in information about the here-and-now.
Watch this brief video to learn what happens in a NeurOptimal session and what to expect when coming in for a session. Please note; regardless of what training option you choose (renting, buying or scheduling a session) the training is exactly the same.
5 Facts About A NeurOptimal Session
- Program lasts 33 minutes
- There are 5 EEG Sensors, placed on scalp and ears
- Primary feedback is audio (using stereo headphones or streaming sound from tablet's speakers)
- It's 100% non-invasive brain training - Nothing goes into your system.
Neurofeedback Training with NeurOptimal is a safe, non-invasive, brain training method to optimize your wellbeing! Helping you create calm, improve your executive functioning, and mood.
NeurOptimal® is a training tool and does not diagnose, treat, mitigate prevent or cure any disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, nor does it restore, modify or correct the body’s structure or functioning.
In 2018, NeurOptimal was approved by FDA.
Unlike other systems, NeurOptimal® does not train states of consciousness. Indeed, it does not do anything to influence any outcome. Instead it is up to your brain to use the mathematical information it receives, or not — as it will. For this reason NeurOptimal® is an extraordinarily safe tool for self-optimization.
This second generation neurofeedback system is designed to mirror to you the most important information in the human body: the brain’s electrical communication. The specific area of your life you want to improve be it physical, mental or emotional, becomes clearer. Clients report successful outcomes across a broad spectrum of concerns.
Brain Training with NeurOptimal helps you enhance...
Learning capacity and executive functioning mental acuity (feeling more alert, focused, calm)
Sleep management (more restful sleep, waking up feeling refreshed)
Helps you de-stress and manage stress better
Improves executive functioning, mood and let go of worries
Can help with anti-aging and brain fitness (peak performance, performance anxiety)
What Can I Expect From Neurofeedback Training?
When the brain is trained with NeurOptimal® clients may notice the following:
- Feeling calmer
- Increased mental clarity
- Dropping away of fears
- More appropriate response to situations
- Feeling lighter and greater ease (improved mood)
- Increased motivation and ability to accomplish tasks
Pricing of sessions, depending on where you are in the US or the world, the costs can vary but a quick google search can give you an accurate idea of in-office NeurOptimal session prices near you. NeurOptimal® sales, whether to professionals or consumers, is done through sale representatives.
The price of purchasing will not vary because NeurOptimal only sells their devices directly and have no wholesaling and no variations on pricing.
Depending on which city you are in and the level of expertise of your trainer, in-office NeurOptimal® range from $75-$200+. Zengar Institute, which makes NeurOptimal®, has a trainer certification program that all trainers must complete. Some trainers are also certified or licensed in other areas of health and wellness and may charge more. In our offices in New York City and Los Angeles, and with our partner in Boulder, we have an introductory session for $95 but the standard rate is $125/session.
Each provider sets their own price for their rentals. Typically they range from $600-$1000 per month and may include a certain number of sessions for that month or be unlimited use. Over the years, since starting our home neurofeedback rental program in 2012, we refined our pricing to best meet the needs of our different customers.
Some are individuals, such as stressed-out professionals, who don't have a lot of time to train each week but manage to get in one or two sessions. And at the other end are the entire families training multiple times each week. We ended up with three packages of monthly training to capture that range. The costs for those packages are $600 to $900 a month. We also give clients the option to switch plans if their needs change during the rental period.
Now to look at the cost of in-office, rentals and NeurOptimal sales in more depth.
Another factor in the cost of renting is how long the client rents a system. Most of our clients rent for two or three months, and occasionally upwards of five or six months. A recent survey of our happiest customers showed that they rented for three months.
When clients ask us how many months they should rent for, we focus on educating them so they can know when the right time to return based on their goals. We educate clients on the benefits, understanding the reasons they are training, and encouraging them to use the checklist to track their goals.
We have found empowering our clients with information about typical results, as well as encouraging them to track their own experience, gives them the information they need in order to know when they are done with training. We have 48 neurofeedback home devices out with renters every month and they have left positive reviews on their results and the quality service we provide.
Is it difficult to learn how to use the equipment? The time needed to learn how to use the equipment is about 15 minutes, and we have rental coaches assigned to each client to help with any questions. To find out how to get the most out of your training, read our blog.
Because this device is considered a General Wellness Device by the FDA it can be sold directly to consumers without a doctor's referral. The NeurOptimal sale price ranges from $6995 to $10,4000. Because it is an investment, some clients will try a few sessions in office or rent for a month first and then purchase once they decide they like the training. These clients are ready to dive right in to purchasing as soon as they do the math and realize it is the cheapest neurofeedback training option in the long-term.
All NeurOptimal neurofeedback devices for sale are the same technology but they offer it in two versions, a pay-as-you-use system, called the Personal NeurOptimal® system, and an unlimited-use system, which is called the Professional. Even though it's called the Professional, the unlimited -use system can be purchased by individual users as well as professionals.
Which neurofeedback system for purchase is the most cost effective for you? If you are an individual or family and plan to use more than 400 sessions over your lifetime of brain training then the Professional device is the most cost-effective system. Or if you are a professional, the unlimited use is obviously the most cost-effective. There are no on-going membership fees and, unlike other neurofeedback systems, you own the equipment and license out-right.
The NeurOptimal® neurofeedback equipment was invented by neuropsychologists and clinical psychologist team. This second-generation brain fitness technology was initially conceived of by Dr. Valdeane Brown in the early 1970s. The technology didn't reach its fully intended design until 2005, when computing power and speed (at the speed of micro-seconds) enabled real time monitoring of brain wave activity in portable, laptop size systems.
NeurOptimal 3.0 is the only fully-automated dynamical neurofeedback device.
The design goal was to create a system that used precisely timed feedback to interact with the brain’s organic ability to optimize its functioning, thus allowing it to be used safely and effectively at home. In 2018 the FDA recognized the NeurOptimal system as a General Wellness Device. This designation confirms it as safe and appropriate for home use and with children.
- Read a personal story from co-founder Dr. Susan Brown
- Click here to listen to a podcast interview by Dave Asprey and co-founder Dr. Valdeane Brown about the Neurofeedback Technology