QEEG Brain Mapping
What is a Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG)?
Neurofeedback begins with administering a Quantitative Electroencephalography or QEEG brain mapping, a procedure very similar to the electrocardiogram (EKG procedure). Both brain and heart functioning can be quantitatively measured in electrical activity. QEEG brain mapping assesses overall brain functioning by comparing a subject’s brain waves to an age and gender controlled normative database. These highly reliable maps are then used to produce neurofeedback treatment plans geared to training an individual’s irregular brain wave patterns towards normalcy. In all neurofeedback interventions, sensors are attached to an individual’s scalp adjacent to specific areas of the brain that have been found to be deviant as measured by the QEEG brain maps.
QEEG brain mapping assesses overall brain waves to a normative database. Once the data is collected, a statistical algorithm provides an answer to whether that change occurred due to random chance. This mathematical algorithm, the source of electrical potential on the surface of the brain can be located in deeper structures of cortex. The method is the LORETA (low resolution electric tomographic analysis). The statistical validity of the QEEG is comparable to the MRI & fMRI to review the effectiveness of medications, diagnoses, treatment programs and interventions. The same high levels of clinical validity of QEEG discriminants have been published for a wide variety of psychiatric and psychological disorders.
The Quantitative EEG is a powerful assessment procedure to measure “real time” brain physiology. Abnormal activation (power) found on a QEEG evaluation may indicate dysfunction within a location of the brain or within a network of neurons responsible for certain functions. The QEEG is also a good measure of different brain network dynamics including how specific brain networks connect, share information; and/or have difficulties connecting with other brain networks. The QEEG also provides data on the speed of information sharing between brain networks.
A QEEG evaluation includes a statistically reliable database comparison of the individual’s brainwave patterns to sample populations of those of “normal individuals” of the same age and gender as well as from sample populations of persons with neurophysiological problems such as Attention Disorders, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, dementia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and disorders in the autism spectrum. The brain map generates a proactive treatment plan to work from and to retrain, rewire, and reprogram the brain to address physiological, cognitive and emotional problems through neurofeedback.
After a Quantitative EEG is completed, patients will receive a QEEG report that will summarize statistical data base comparisons, brain maps, and samples of typical and atypical EEG data. Patients will receive a comprehensive and clear explanation of the QEEG findings by Dr. Leiderman and neurofeedback treatment recommendations if indicated. The information obtained by the QEEG brain maps can be used to train brain activity towards a population norm. As part of the QEEG report, patients may also receive 3 dimensional Loretta images. The Loretta provides not only validation to QEEG findings, but includes 3-D images of other interior brain structures besides the cerebral cortex that contribute to one’s neurophysiological problems and that will be targeted in neurofeedback treatments.
Research on the QEEG has demonstrated a strong correlation between EEG brain wave abnormalities and a variety of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and learning disorders. In 2013, Dr. Leiderman and Mark Smith, LCSW, BCN, QEEGD (Leiderman & Smith, 2017) used Quantitative electroencephalography, QEEG brain mapping, and LORETA (low resolution electric tomographic analysis) to measure brain changes in complex trauma members before and after an intense two day group (two consecutive 8-hour group sessions). The reference of the peer reviewed article in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy is listed below:
International Journal of Group Psychotherapy: Leiderman, L.M., & Smith, M.L. (2017). Neuroimaging measures to assess the effectiveness of a two-day marathon group of individuals with early developmental trauma: A pilot study. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67 (1), 91-107. doi: 10.1080/00207284.2016.1203568
They also co-authored a chapter with Jackie de Vries, MS in the Handbook of Clinical QEEG and Neurotherapy entitled “Infra-slow Fluctuation (ISF) Training for Autism Spectrum Disorders” about the efficacy of ISF Training for those on the Autistic Spectrum. They used the Quantitative electroencephalography, QEEG brain mapping, and LORETA (low resolution electric tomographic analysis) to measure brain changes in subjects before and after ISF neurofeedback. The reference to this book chapter is:
Smith, M.L., Leiderman, L.M., & de Vries, J. (2017). Infra-slow Fluctuation (ISF) Training for Autism Spectrum Disorders. In T. F. Collura & J. A. Frederick (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical QEEG and Neurotherapy (pp. 488-499), New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.