After I scored a (to me) dismal 168 points after my first five-minute screen, my trainer and I discussed what a good set of scores should look like during the standard six screens of LORETA neurofeedback. It doesn’t matter so much (except for a self-competitive person like me) where I begin as long as we see at least two increases before a decrease. Two in a row in an upward trend in score would show a training or learning effect; a down after that would be because the brain is tiring, as would be expected. But then we would want to see the next high score higher than the previous high score to show the brain is continuing to learn, while the next down should be higher than the first low score or first down to show a learning effect is taking place.
I took in what she said and produced just that. For the first time in nine sessions! 168, 175, 173, 184, 177, 184.
After the first screen, I had a few long moments of the DVD filling the screen scattered throughout some of the five-minute screens, instead of in just a couple of screens like last time. I also managed to have several moments of reading the closed captioning and not having the DVD immediately disappear on me. So frustrating, as well as a bit nausea-inducing, when as soon as I begin reading, the DVD screen shrinks, grows, shrinks, grows, shrinks, grows in rapid succession as I try to read. It was great to see my brain tolerating reading better after a few screens and, as well, me not misreading words constantly like last week.
After my LORETA neurofeedback session, I got a chance to talk to Dr. Lynda Thompson about my concerns over drive, initiation, motivation, over my growing awareness that retaining (some of my) moral anger is important as it’s part of my essence, of me being able to see and try to fight injustice, and especially to have the courage to go up against the establishment. We talked about the necessity of me knowing what I want and how important it is to be able to articulate that beyond “get better, recover from brain injury” when it comes to LORETA neurofeedback. I need to know who I want to be so that LORETA training doesn’t inadvertently take me somewhere else. After all, though we want to normalize my initiation, we don’t want to normalize my intelligence. The things that make us unique or are an essential part of who we are are not the things to normalize.
(On a side note, I don’t think those educated and working in the medical system understand how powerful these brain-training technologies are and how they engender permanent effects, not the temporary symptom-management effects of pills. My neurodoc suddenly understood this a few weeks ago. It was rather amusing.)