The First Step - The Assessment Interview for Optimal Performance
The first step is to complete an initial assessment interview with a professional registered with The College of Psychologists of Ontario. This interview procedure takes 3 ½ hours. During that time the history of the client's strengths and difficulties are reviewed. The client is asked to fill out questionnaires appropriate to the areas that they may wish to optimize. The client is also given the TOVA (test of variables of attention) and/or the IVA (Intermediate Visual and Auditory) continuous performance test. These are the most well researched and widely used computerized tests for such factors as attention span, impulsivity and drifting attention. In addition, all clients complete an online neuropsychological evaluation. This test assesses attention, executive function, memory, cognitive flexibility, and motor speed. These tests assist in tailoring the neurofeedback and biofeedback program to meet the needs of each client. Our programs can target: Attention, Impulse Control, Stress, Anxiety (or Performance Anxiety), and Mood regulation. The goal of the program is to achieve peak performance in the workplace, in college/university or in sport.
Following this the EEG Assessment Protocol developed by Dr. Lubar is administered. This is a simple painless procedure, which involves placing 3 small electrodes (one on the scalp and one on each ear lobe) using EEG paste. Data collection takes only a few minutes. The Client is shown the brainwave patterns and these are discussed. For example, in attention span difficulties one may see a predominance of slow wave activity; with anxiety and ruminations there may be an increase in fast wave activity. Based on this assessment a customized neurofeedback training program can be created. Most often the goal is to achieve an optimal state for learning, working or performing athletics.
A 19-Channel EEG Assessment may recommended or desired by the client further to tailor the optimal performance training program.
Neurofeedback training works by reading your EEG (brainwave patterns) and letting you know when you are in the zone of an optimal mental state. See the example Sailboat Race Training Screen below:
When a client is working on the sailboat race screen they will have a small EEG sensor on the top of their head and one on each ear to measure brainwave activity. The EEG sensor picks up brainwave patterns associated with being calm, focused and relaxed. On this screen, the green boat will win the race when the client is successful at maintaining focus, feeling calm and clearing their mind of ruminations/worries.
At the bottom of the screen you can see a graph of the client’s breathing and heart rate. The client is doing heart rate variability training to achieve a maximum change in heart rate. This type of training helps with stress management.
in simplest terms is "thinking about thinking". It refers to executive thinking skills that monitor your cognition. It involves being conscious of how you learn and remember things.
***Combining these three items (neurofeedback, biofeedback, and metacognition) leads to fast efficient learning and a calm, reflective, organized approach to work. This program allows the graduate to work efficiently and effectively using flexible problem solving approaches.**
The Institute for the Study of Optimal Performance States and the Associated Biofeedback Institute of Toronto have a range of neurofeedback instruments. This allows for individualization of programs to meet the unique needs of each client. The Centre also has the most modern biofeedback equipment for the monitoring of: Respiration, Heart Rate, Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA), Pulse Volume, Peripheral Skin Temperature, Muscle Tension, and Electrodermal Responses. This enables the client to gain kinesthetic awareness and psychophysiological control which are essential for optimal performance. Advice and materials concerning nutrition are available
Improve: Attention, Focus, Organization and Learning through Brain Wave Analysis and Feedback!
Director: Dr. Lynda M. Thompson
416-488-2233 or 905-803-8066