A new research project at Misericordia Community Hospital is using a program resembling computer games to study brainwaves.
The researchers are exploring whether or not the condition of children with anxiety or depression can improve through measuring brainwave activity, or neurofeedback.
“It’s a way to influence the brain’s electrical activity,” said Dylan Lampman, one of the study’s two neurofeedback trainers.
To start, each study participant will have an EEG assessment, or brain scan, to determine where there are deficiencies in the brain. Sensors attached to the youngster’s head and ears will display brain energy on an interactive display.
“It’s similar to learning to ride a bike,” Lampman said.
Participants will learn to make small corrections in their brain energy in the same way that people learn to make small corrections in leaning left or right to hold themselves up on a bike, he explained.
Researchers say they hope that the study will produce evidence that neurofeedback is an effective alternate treatment to medicines or therapy in treating anxiety or depression in children.