Comparison: LENS Neurofeedback vs. traditional Neurofeedback

Comparison: LENS vs. traditional Neurofeedback

Comparison: LENS vs. traditional Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a complex technique born in the early 70s. Since them, it has happened several technical and technological developments. In this article I’m comparing LENS Neurofeedback vs. the former version of Neurofeedback, which many people in the field call traditional Neurofeedback.

 

LENS vs. traditional Neurofeedback: things in common

Let’s start with what they have in common. Technically, both LENS Neurofeedback and traditional Neurofeedback are sharing:

-the need of a computer and software

-the use of an EEG amplifier

-special sensors and electrodes

-brain features as brain waves, amplitudes, frequencies

feedback of information

 

Major differences

The key point is that the feedback from the LENS is provided in the form of an electromagnetic wave (extremely weak and brief current) through the same sensors that are hooked on the patient’s scalp.

 

In contrast, traditional Neurofeedback delivers the feedback by means of images (through a TV screen), sounds (through headphones or speakers) or vibration (for example through a teddy bear).

 

LENS disrupts maladaptive communication brain patterns. Immediately afterwards the brain starts reorganizing itself into a more functional pattern.

 

Traditional Neurofeedback, on the other hand, relies on learning theories from the 50s of the past century for the patient to modulate the amplitude of certain deviated wave frequencies.

 

Sessions: what are they like?

In a regular traditional Neurofeedback session the patient remains still for 20 to 40 minutes in front of a computer / TV screen (named secondary screen), focused on what is being shown there. Neurofeedback practitioner adjusts in real time the reward thresholds at the brain frequency bands that are aimed to be trained based on a normative criterion. Patient’s brain comes to learn how to modify these amplitudes thanks to sound, visual and / or kinesthetic rewards.

 

In a LENS Neurofeedback session, however, the patient with eyes closed receives a few-seconds length feedback that the practitioner has previously set up.

 

The frequency for traditional Neurofeedback sessions usually ranges from 2 to 5 days a week, during a treatment that usually lasts 20, 30, 40 or more sessions.

 

With LENS Neurofeedback, frequency of sessions is usually once a week. LENS treatment ends in about 10 to 15 sessions on average.

(I’m just roughly generalizing in both cases, obviously)

 

ISNR 2017 award recipient - Dr.Len Ochs Ph.D on the development of the LENS Neurofeedback system in the 90s.

ISNR 2017 award – Dr.Len Ochs Ph.D on the development of the LENS system in the 90s.

 

LENS: 100% Neurofeedback

A determining feature in the operation of LENS is that the feedback is calculated and sent based on real-time recordings over the patient’s brain activity. The EEG amplifier collects the information from the electrodes placed on the scalp, at a speed of 256 cycles per second (which is very common in Neurofeedback) and the LENS software processes 16 times per second that information to build up a feedback signal based on current the Dominant Frequency.

 

In summary, the signal that LENS Neurofeedback sends back to the patient’s scalp is a feedback of their own brain activity, which is set based on certain features. Hence, it is an effective Neurofeedback system.

 

Which one is better?

 

This is the one million question. Which, LENS Neurofeedback or traditional Neurofeedback, performs the best? But the answer is not so simple as it’s linked to another questions. It depends on the patient, it depends on the pathology, it depends on the therapist, it depends on the session duration, it depends on the goals.

 

LENS Neurofeedback and traditional Neurofeedback are at the same time different and complementary. I prefer to look at it this way. The ease of use of LENS Neurofeedback together with the shortness of the sessions make LENS an ideal tool to combine. Its great results make it an excellent ally to enhance any other therapy.

Gonzalo Belaustegui

I'm co-founder of OchsLabs Europe, LENS distributor for Europe. My academic background was on Business Administration and Management, and on Actuarial Sciences. I have worked for 12 years in the health sector. I have spent the last 5 years among biofeedback, neurofeedback, LENS, qEEG and tDCS devices.