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Neurofeedback is a method for training the brain to self-regulate its activity. It can help people with everything from increasing their ability to concentrate to relieving anxiety and stress. The technology has been around since the 1920s. But it has required a lot of electrodes to be attached to the head, which in turn has required specialists to make it work well.
Now, however, there is a much simpler variant made by Swedish Mendi . They have developed a solution, with the same name, which consists of a headband and an app. You just put on the headband and then go through various exercises on the app.
- During training, the neurons are seen in real time, in a three-dimensional image that is created when infrared light in different lengths measures blood flow and oxygenation in the brain. The activity in the frontal lobe is registered through the headset and the user's brain activity is then reflected via the image on a screen, says Rickard Eklöf, founder of Mendi and former researcher at KTH in a press release.
There are two types of exercises that can be done with Mendi:
· Focus training. The user focuses powerfully on their brain signal, which is displayed on the screen in real time. Through thought activity, the user should make the activity on the screen increase, and one of the tasks is to make the value in a digital meter rise.
· Control training. The user has to think intensively about a situation earlier in life where he felt calm, safe or in control. The task is to stay in the positive feeling during an entire workout, which can be between 3 and 15 minutes long.
The exercises should then affect the brain for a while.
- The training changes different connections in the brain and strengthens them, by the user, for example, focusing on staying in a certain emotion. You can see a direct link between how you feel and how the brain performs, says Rickard Eklöf.
Anyone who wants to should also be able to use their Mendi system to help brain research. Mendi is in contact with several research groups that are interested in taking part in anonymised data from volunteer users of Mendi.
Medi was launched as a kick starter project in 2020 and the first headbands have now begun to be delivered. In May, all 9,500 pre-ordered headbands will be delivered and then it's time to start selling the headbands to a larger market. It is intended that the areas of use will also be expanded in the future.
- We have ideas for about 50 possible future training areas, says Rickard Eklöf.