Neurofeedback began in the late 1950’s and early
‘60’s through the work of both Dr Joe Kamiya at the
University of Chicago and Dr Barry Sterman at UCLA.
Dr. Kamiya was studying consciousness, and
discovered that by using a simple reward system,
people could learn to alter their brain activity.
This was the first ever EEG neurofeedback training.
Along similar lines, Dr. Sterman ran an experiment
to see if cats could increase their sensory motor
rhythm (SMR). A simple machine gave them a food
pellet every time they 'got it right', and they
quickly learned to control their brainwaves to get
Several years later he was doing an experiment for
NASA, again using the cats from his lab. This time,
he was testing the effects of exposure to lunar
lander fuel. For most of the cats, as the levels of
toxic fumes increased there was a linear progression
of brain instability; first drowsiness, then
headaches, followed by hallucinations, seizures, and
However, some of the cats seemed to be immune.
Sterman noticed that the cats who were immune were
the same cats he had used in the SMR brain training
experiment a couple of years before. The SMR
training had given those cats utra-stable brains.
Sterman moved on to train SMR in humans to control
their epilepsy; 60% of his subjects reduced their
seizure level by 20-100%, and the results lasted.
As a result, NASA trained their lunar Astronauts to
control their brain's SMR rhythms. Fifty years
later, neurofeedback is still part of the Astronaut
With the advances
computer software and brainwave monitoring equipment,
neurofeedback practitioners now have affordable
precision tools. With 50 years of independent
development behind it, the methods have become highly
sophisticated, and highly effective. In the realm of
brainwave training, neurofeedback has a half century
head-start on conventional medicine.
Today Neurofeedback is
peak performance by professional sports teams,
Olympic athletes, and business people. It is commonly
used as a non-drug solution for
post traumatic stress, and
emotional conditions of all sorts.