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  • Foto do escritorFrancisco Araujo

What is Neurofeedback? Basics

Understanding breakthrough therapy for brain balance and optimal performance.

How does it work?

Accepting that our hopes and dreams are functions of our brains can be challenging, but it shouldn't scare us. (Churchland, 2013)


Have you ever noticed how we are constantly learning something new? It could be a new word, a piece of information, or even an activity. All these experiences are stored in our brains, but we often overlook how much they influence our behaviors, both positively and negatively.

How do brain waves work?

Neurons interacting with one another in the brain produce electrical impulses known as brain waves (Sinha Clinic, 2022).

The organization of brain waves in our brains affects the quality of our behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. These waves are recorded using an Electroencephalogram (EEG) and are measured in cycles per second, known as Hertz (Hz).

Characteristics of the Five Basic Brain Waves

Delta (δ) brain waves (0.5–4 Hz) are experienced during sleep and are associated with different levels of consciousness.

Theta (θ) brain waves (4–8 Hz) are slow activity waves that indicate deep relaxation and inward focus, bridging the gap between wakefulness and sleep.

Alpha brain waves (α) (8–12 Hz) are associated with a relaxed state and represent the brain's shift to a slower pace, ready to respond when needed. When we close our eyes and imagine something peaceful, alpha brain wave activity increases.

Beta (β) brain waves (13–38 Hz) are faster waves associated with mental and intellectual activity, as well as outward-focused concentration. This state is characterized by alertness, active anxiety, and external attention.

Gamma (γ) brain waves (> 38 Hz) are the fastest and most subtle brain waves, influencing perception and consciousness (Sinha Clinic, 2022).

What happens when brain waves become dysregulated?

“Through neurofeedback, brain waves learn to rework connections with positive reinforcement" (Sinha Clinic, 2022).

How can we regulate brain waves?

Various forms of psychotherapy aim to regulate brain waves by changing our habits and, consequently, our brains. Neurofeedback, a new treatment model, offers an alternative approach by changing the brain to modify habits.

What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that stimulates the brain to enhance cognitive and behavioral performance. The goal of neurofeedback therapy is to help organize dysregulated brainwave patterns. By training specific areas of the brain, neurofeedback enables brain waves to work in a harmonized way, promoting more balanced brain function.

“Through neurofeedback, brain waves learn to rework connections with positive reinforcement" (Sinha Clinic, 2022).

How does it work?

During neurofeedback therapy, sensors are placed on your scalp to map your brain and identify any misaligned areas. A computer program that processes brain signals gives crucial information for developing a training program for your brain's ability to self-regulate. Throughout the treatment, you may experience symptom relief and a potential decrease in the need for medication.

What can be treated?

Neurofeedback training is a safe alternative for treating various conditions such as depression (Ribas et al., 2017), anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), stress-related problems, and insomnia, among others.

Neurofeedback and focus on performance

Neurofeedback is similar to brain exercise and is not just for people with psychiatric or neurological conditions. Additionally, it helps in improving focus and achieving particular cognitive objectives (Cheng, 2018). Neurofeedback can improve concentration, task performance, and cognitive abilities such as memory and communication.

How does Neurofeedback help executives and entrepreneurs?

While we often discuss the benefits of neurofeedback for ADHD, anxiety, depression, and autism, this therapy has also been employed to assist athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs in enhancing their performance. For instance, alpha frequencies are associated with various cognitive processes, including attention, concentration, memory, problem-solving, and creativity. Therefore, neurofeedback training can enhance cognitive, memory, and communication skills in professionals working under pressure, helping them better manage daily challenges. Ultimately, the entire company can benefit from having trained professionals who deliver optimal results.

How long does Neurofeedback training last?

On average, a neurofeedback treatment consists of 30 sessions. For more complex conditions like autism, developmental delays, or brain injuries, additional sessions may be necessary.

Is the result long-lasting?

Another significant advantage of neurofeedback is its potential to establish longer-lasting adjustments in brain patterns by stimulating neuroplasticity.


Although neurofeedback therapy is not yet widely known, its implementation is increasing worldwide, often in combination with other therapeutic approaches. Numerous studies support its clinical use in various specialties. We hope that by shedding light on the benefits of neurofeedback, we have encouraged you to explore this important tool for achieving a more balanced and healthy life.

To learn more:

CHANDRA, Suruchi, What Is Neurofeedback? A Psychiatrist 's Perspective, 2021, disponível em:, acesso em 01/02/2022.

CHENG, M.Y. (2018) Neurofeedback in Sport Theory, Methods, Research, and Efficacy. Handbook of Sport Neuroscience and Psychophysiology.

CHERRY, Kendra, How Many Neurons Are in the Brain?, 2020, disponível em:, acesso em: 24/06/2022.

RIBAS, et al., Tratamento da Depressão com Eletroencefalografia Quantitativa (QEEG) do Sistema de Neurofeedback TQ-7 Aumenta o Nível de Atenção dos Pacientes, 2017, disponível em:, acesso em: 03/02/2022.

SINHA Clínic, What are Brainwaves?, 2022, disponível em:, acesso em 01/02/2022.


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