Peak or Optimal Performance Training
Neurofeedback is also being utilized in peak performance training
EEG neurofeedback techniques enhance the neurological
states known to optimize performance and increase states of "creative flow." Common problems that inhibit peak performance include: negative personality characteristics, attention problems, anxiety and depression, unresolved trauma, and healthy
lifestyle factors including sleep, diet, exercise, excessive
substance and technology use.
A study of two dozen top executives at a fortune 500 healthcare company found a near "100 percent" increase in ability to sustain concentration in just five sessions of EEG neurofeedback.
Surgeons found a "26% decrease" in
surgery time with a "four to seven percent
improvement" in surgical technique.
College students found a "16.5% increase" in concentration and information processing and an "8.5% increase" in overall cognitive ability.
Corporate benefits have been found at Shell, BP, Unilever, Cisco, Boeing and a leading healthcare equipment manufacturer. They included reports of 65% less tension, 38% less stress, up to 6%
reduced blood pressure, 40% less sleepiness, fatigue and exhaustion, 43% greater wellbeing, 51% greater sense of empowerment, 50% higher sense of team and 40% less intention to quit. All of these were
found to impact corporate problems of absenteeism, safety, insurance costs, presentism (present but poor functioning), performance, quality, yield, cost and
EEG biofeedback has also successfully been used by the Italian soccer team who won the 2006 World Cup, the 2010 gold medal winning Canadian ski team, the Vancouver Canucks who won the 2011 Stanley Cup, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, a Super Bowl Champion, Major League Baseball players, NBA
players, NHL players, PGA golfers, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Team, the U.S. Army Center for Enhanced Performance at West Point and numerous nationally renowned colleges and universities.
In a randomized, blinded controlled study (Egner & Gruzelier, 2003) neurofeedback significantly enhanced musical performance, and a similarly designed study (Raymond, Sajid, et al., 2005) documented significant improvements in ballroom dance performance. Such results have also been reported with golf (Arns, Kleinnijenhuis, Fallahpour, & Breteler,
2007), archery (Landers, 1991; Landers et al., 1994), improving fast reaction time and visuospatial abilities (which has relevance to athletic performance; Doppelmayr & Weber, 2011; Egner & Gruzelier, 2004), improving singing performance (Kleber et al., 2008; Leach et al., 2008), acting performance (Gruzelier, Inoue, Smart, Steed, & Steffert, 2010), and improvements in radar-monitoring tasks (Beatty, Greenberg, Diebler, & O’Hanlon, 1974).
One fascinating study (Ros et al., 2009) compared training to either increase SMR or alpha and theta brainwave frequencies in opthalmic microsurgeons in training, compared to a waitlist (no-treatment) group. In only eight sessions of SMR training the physicians demonstrated significant improvements in surgical skill, decreases in anxiety, and a 26% reduction in surgical task time. Research documenting improvements in cognitive and memory performance has already been reviewed earlier. The potential of neurofeedback applications for optimal performance will be very a fruitful area for further research.
"A study of musicians at London's Royal College of Music, using an extended creativity protocol, found a "17% increase" in ratings of musical performance including increases in musical understanding,
imagination and communication with the audience."
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