Gamma Brainwave Biofeedback: A Writing Day

Published Categorised as Brain Health, Brain Biofeedback

I don't know what to make of today’s gamma brainwave biofeedback results. To say they were up and down is a bit of an understatement. I'm going to have to discuss this with the ADD Centre head person on gamma.

The good news is the writing section went well. After the usual HRV screens and two neurofeedback screens (easy bowling one first, harder racing sailboats second), my trainer had me write something original for seven minutes.

I had spent the previous 24 hours cudgelling my brains to think of something short to write. I haven't been able to write a short story since my brain injury. This wasn't going to be a short story per se, but I wanted to write a totally original piece not riff off of something I'd written before or something nonfiction or a fan fic piece.

Finally! Just before I left home, the last line came to me. By the time I got there, I knew what to write and was impatient to begin. But once I was hooked up to the computer, I had mixed feelings. I wanted to get writing but I was also thankful for the usual routine.

My writing biofeedback results were the best of all the screens. And interestingly they demonstrated the difference between revising and writing a first draft. When I write a first draft, I put fingers to keys and rarely stop till done. Revising is a lot of reading with a burst of typing here and there. Needless to say my muscle tension was double during writing than revising. Because there's more creativity, my alpha was higher. But best of all, my gamma shot up. I was thinking, really thinking, thinking faster than my fingers can fly over the keys. I was also creating ideas — firming up those I’d already thought of and totally new ones coming from I don't know where — and creation and thinking had to meet up before my fingers knew what to do. It showed in my gamma brainwave power.

My trainer also noticed that, unlike yesterday, I couldn't care less what she was doing. And it was true. A peripheral part of me noted when she moved. But soon after I began writing, I didn't know if she was sitting next to me (or not) and didn't care, for I was totally into writing the piece in my head. My heart rate monitor wire did get in the way until I moved it round to the other side of my thumb (monitor was on my left thumb). My heart rate rose. But within normal range. Ditto for my breathing. (Breathing is one breath per minute faster when I write than revise.)

I did one last three-minute neurofeedback screen, a calming one, before calling it quits. It felt like I hit a wall; somehow I finished the screen. But the results were way down. My EMG or muscle tension was quite high on the first and last screens of the day, which affected the gamma/EMG ratio negatively. On the other hand, I felt good afterwards: mood good, energy fine.

Ramryge angels at Gloucester Cathedral, England

Brain injury grief is

extraordinary grief

research proves

needs healing.

So. A good news, bad news day.

The results:

Date Baseline HRV EC HRV Fdbk 1 Fdbk 2 Fdbk 3 Fdbk 4 Fdbk 5 HRV EC
27 Jun 0.83 0.88 0.90 0.90 0.91
4 Jul 0.85 0.90 0.91 0.94 0.898 0.90 0.84
10 Jul 0.85 0.92 0.89 0.86 0.84 0.86 0.83 0.86 0.90
11 Jul 0.95 0.94 0.86 0.88 0.93 0.95 HRVEC
17 Jul 0.91 0.97 1.05 1 0.94 0.96 0.97
18 Jul 0.97 0.99 0.97 1.05 0.93 0.94
25 Jul 0.96 1 1.03 1.02 1.01 0.97 1.02
27 Jul 1.08 0.91 0.96 0.88 0.957 0.962
31 Jul 0.97 0.90 0.94 0.99 Revising
Novel 28min
1 Aug 0.79 1 0.96 0.89 0.93 Write


My Duck logo walking on my books in pink and blue shading.



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