New year, new protocol. C4. No, not the explosive kind, but the electrode to the right of CZ — mid brain — and over my right ear and I think a bit forward of it. And with C4 no more gamma. We’re now training 13-16Hz — SMR with a hint of problem solving. And we’re inhibiting 2-5Hz — theta-delta — in the first two training screens and busy brain in the last one. I got lots and lots of busy brain all over my brain, but C4 is particularly busy with it. And bonus: no more three-minute assessments because this is not experimental but back to traditional brain biofeedback. And that means a 30-second traditional assessment preceded by now 10 minutes of tDCS over Wernicke’s Area. Woot!
After assessment comes the usual five-minute HRV screen. My heart rate started at a pretty decent 101. I had some bradycardia during HRV (down to 42) and the first training screen. But after that all good, and my heart rate dropped steadily after the initial uptick that deep-breathing work during the HRV screen always brings.
The first biofeedback training screen was easy. So, so much easier than training gamma, that’s for sure. My trainer said, yeah, gamma is the hardest brainwave to train. S’truth. As I watched the virtual bowling ball move down its virtual wood lane, I began to notice rather sharply and clearly its shadow and reflection on the wood. I became rather fascinated with all the details I began to see. I often watch the pins rise and consciously follow their movement during brain training. But now I saw details like the shadows I normally don’t perceive *at the same time* as their movement.
Second screen should’ve been a breeze then right? Nope. My right shoulder, being the seatbelt-injured one is probably the tensest part of my body. And the tension in it rose as I began to fight this feeling of cotton wool being stuffed into my head, making me want to nap, during the maze screen. I completed only one circuit through the maze as my progress stuttered and mostly stopped in the second screen.
The last screen was also a familiar one: three sailing boats racing in garish lanes. Since EMG was not being tracked, at least that didn’t halt my little boat’s sail along its lane. But busy brain was more active than theta-delta and started to gain on the SMR boat. I beat it though. Ideally, theta-beta and busy brain boats, being the inhibited frequencies, would not move at all. And during my gamma training as I became proficient at a particular location, the inhibited-frequencies boats wouldn’t move. I’m back to the beginning though. So will take awhile to get back to that ability.
I finished up with 10 minutes of SMIRB. Writing woke me up.
C4 busy brain is involved in the stirring up of my memories, and the C4 beta spindles plus low healthy problem solving in the affecting of my motivation. Apparently problem solving beta waves give a person the motivation, the enthusiasm to do the work or get tasks done, to get up and go I guess. Hopefully then training 13-16Hz with its hint of those brainwaves will get me unstuck or be part of that. And the SMR, as is its wont all over the brain, will lead to calm, focused attention, the enemy of busy brain.
It’s good to be back at the ADD Centre in Toronto.