8 April 2016

Psychophysiology on Display at Upcoming Sports Psychology Conferences

In the highly competitive world of elite and professional sport every part of an athlete's training regimen matters. Peak performance physiology training allows athletes to see their progress as they practice.

Sport psychologists are increasingly turning to psychophysiology to help athletes mentally prepare for their game and learn to reach an optimal performance zone quickly and consistently. Psychophysiology training involves the use of equipment designed to monitor physiological signals like heart rate variability, brain activity, emotional arousal, peripheral temperature, breathing and muscle tension.  This information is fed back to the athlete in real time. Athletes can see how their body reacts to the environment, thoughts, emotions and stress. With training they can be taught how to recognize and control these reactions thereby enhancing performance.

Imagine you are in penalty kicks in a World Cup Final. If you score you win. There are two billion people watching on TV and 100,000 are in the stands. As you walk towards the ball, you look around the stadium. No one is seated. You see your country's flag everywhere and the weight of your country is on your shoulders. How do you feel? If you are like most people, your shoulders are tense, your breathing is shallow, your hands are sweating, and your heart and mind are racing. This is Stress.
But what if you had a tool to learn how to counteract this stress? 
Widely used, visualization is most powerful when practiced in a deep state of relaxation.  Using Psychophysiology training we can ensure mental rehearsal is having a maximal transfer to performance.

Imagine an athlete who has a two minute shift in hockey, and spends the next four minutes on the bench. Is he able to make a maximal recovery so he is mentally focused for his next shift? What happens to performance if he is not? Heart rate variability training can teach him how to recover completely.

Reaction time is crucial for many sports: passing the puck, goalies making a diving save; reacting to your opponent's tennis serve; getting off the starting block – and more. When working to shave hundredths of a second off a time, milliseconds matter. Reaction time training with a device that is accurate to 0.5 MS is essential.

Learn more about adding peak performance physiology training to your practice at these upcoming international conferences.


April 14-16, 2016
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Exhibitor: Thought Technology

May 27-29 2016
Bologna, Italy
Exhibitor: Righetto Srl.


June 15-18, 2016
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Exhibitor: Thought Technology



July 6-9, 2016
Vienna, Austria
Exhibitor: MediTech


September 28 - October 1, 2016
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Exhibitor: Thought Technology


As part of its “Learn From the Best” program, the Biofeedback Federation of Europe has teamed up with experts in the field of Sport Psychology to create software suites that guide the user in peak performance physiology training. Our Optimizing Performance and Health suite is based on the methods of Dr. Vietta (Sue) Wilson, a pioneer in the field whose training techniques are used by professionals around the world. It is a general method applicable to all sports that goes from initial intake and assessment all the way through to biofeedback and/or neurofeedback training. In addition, we offer suites to train for specific sports like tennis, golf and baseball. All BFE software suites are compatible with the Thought Technology BioGraph® Infiniti™ platform.

16 February 2016

Show Me the Data!

How Peak Performance Physiology Training  Can Enhance Your Sport Psychology Practice

Anyone working with elite or professional athletes knows that the days where one trains only for their specific sport are over. Training regimens can include weight training, endurance training, sports nutrition, yoga for flexibility, and even things like hypoxic chambers and cryotherapy. And, of course, there is mental training.

The Next Level In Science and Mental Conditioning
Mental training plays an important role in helping to shape the mental and emotional state of the athlete to increase their ability to deal with pressure and to thrive under difficult conditions. But, how do you know if your training is having the desired effect?

"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." - Lord Kelvin

An athlete’s emotions and thoughts lead to changes in physiology that are both measurable and controllable. Peak performance physiology training involves the use of equipment that monitors a variety of physiological signals and feeds this information back to a computer where the information is displayed in real time. Athletes can see how their body reacts to emotions and stress, and can learn how to control these reactions. They can objectively tell when they lose focus or are hindering their own performance, then correct it and get their body and mind back in the game.

Back to the Data...
"So initially I asked myself...let's see if we can put together some information because coaches are used to having data. They have data from the medical department, they have data from scouting, oppositional scouting, technical analysis. They have data coming from the strength and conditioning department - so they have data. They don't have data from the psychologists. So I said, let's see what we can do." - Bruno Demichelis
At the BFE 18th Annual Meeting in Rome, Dr. Bruno Demichelis (22 years of experience with AC Milan and work with Chelsea football club and the Vancouver Canucks) and Dr. Tim Harkness (Chelsea football club) gave a keynote address on the use biofeedback and neurofeedback in sports. Their presentation focused on what they have gleaned from the psychophysiological data of over 250 elite athletes they have trained. You can view the full presentation below.

What is Peak Performance Physiology Training?
Athletes using peak performance physiology training learn to  bring themselves to a place that combines mental clarity and sustained energy with a sense of inner calm and active engagement. Virtually everyone experiences these moments of flow at some point in their lives. Elite athletes learn how to access them when they need to.

heart rate; respiration rate; skin conductance; muscle activity; peripheral body temperature; brainwaves; reaction time

Peak performance training involves understanding one's self and learning how to put one's body and
mind in a state to perform at the maximum level. A good example is how tension carried in the shoulders can decrease the range of physical movement,  which in turn affects performance. Your brain creates the tension so, change the brain, lose the tension. Similarly, an athlete's breathing techniques might not be optimal, but since every person is different there is no "one size fits all" solution. An athlete's respiration rate can be assessed in order to determine the best breathing techniques specific to that individual. The concept of focus is used a lot in sports, but often athletes don't know what that is in terms of physical calmness and mental intensity. Focus can be taught through brain training and can help to minimize over-anxiety and 'trying-too-hard', while still maintaining the commitment to do well.

Benefits of Training
  • Improved Focus - maintain concentration on the task at hand, with fewer instances of distraction.
  • Quicker & More Efficient Recovery - there are only so many seconds between each set, pitch, hit or shot. Make sure you use all that time to improve your capacity to be ready for the next game-changing moment.
  • Eliminating Interfering Self-Talk - your worst enemy can be yourself. Learn to keep your head in the game and push out that voice of self-doubt.
  • Improved Visualization - studies show that the better an athlete can visualize their success, the better they perform.
  • Decreased Reaction Time & Better Discrepancy - the faster your brain processes the events around you, the earlier you can react appropriately to them. Learn to be faster than your opponent.

Optimizing Performance and Health Software Suite
Developed from the clinical research and method of Dr. Vietta 'Sue' Wilson, the pioneer of peak performance physiology training and sport psychology,  the Optimizing Performance & Health suite is a full program that allows practitioners to assess and train an athlete's performance and response to stress. This software package's records objective physiological readings in its assessment and presents them in an easy to read report. With data in-hand, the athlete and coach can understand where the body or mind is holding the athlete back from their best level of performance.  Re-training of physiological reactions then takes place with live biofeedback/neurofeedback, so that the athlete can put their mind in right state to correct their maladaptive reactions and thinking.

The following physiological markers of performance are examined in the Optimizing Performance & Health suite's assessment and retraining: heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV), respiration, skin conductance, peripheral body temperature, muscle activity and brain waves.

All BFE software suites are compatible with the Thought Technology BioGraph® Infiniti™ platform.

22 January 2016

The Learning Curve for Infiniti Users

Two of the most popular requests the BFE receives from our clients and supporters are for:
  • the ability to produce qEEG assessments using the familiar Thought Technology neurofeedback equipment;
  • assessment reports that automatically analyze the EEG data to produce a personalized training plan. 
As is the tradition that the new year bring new possibilities, the BFE is excited to announce that as of 2016 we offer a software suite that accomplishes both of those requests and more: the newly re-vamped Learning Curve (TLC) Suite also known as the Trainer's Q and whole-brain training plan.

The Learning Curve (TLC) Suite
The Learning Curve (TLC) Suite is a brain assessment method that allows a clinician to amalgamate data from up to 20 different EEG sites on the head, into the specialized TLC report. This multi-faceted TLC report, developed by Peter Van Deusen at Brain Trainer, provides clinicians with three main functions:
  • a multi-view report that describes the patterns in the EEG, including the relative speed of the EEG waves, key bandwidth amplitude ratios, brain maps (similar to those seen in QEEG maps), breakdown of amplitudes across the head, differentials between analogous sites of the left/right hemisphere;
  • automatic analysis of the EEG brain data in the form of training recommendations for a complete whole-brain training plan;
  • an executive summary narrative report detailing findings from the EEG data in an easy-to-understand manner for both the clinician and patient;
For an example of the TLC report, please view this link. The final two pages of the report are the whole-brain training plan and executive summary narrative.

Sample Screens & Reports

The TLC Suite also includes a subjective report of the client's history and symptoms, which integrates into the TLC report and alters the training recommendations for the whole-brain training plan. This means the software takes the specific client's circumstances into account and alters its recommendation based on what would be personally best for them.

A major advantage of the TLC suite and method is that it is an EEG pattern-based assessment tool rather than population-based tool. In other words, it is descriptive rather than normative: it focuses the trainer's attention on patterns in the EEG that have been identified in QEEG research to be correlated with various symptom constellations and clinical syndromes, guiding the trainer toward interventions likely to have rapid positive effects. It does not base its analysis and recommendations on imperfect population databases.

Multiple Language Reporting
An exciting feature for our multi-lingual software users around the globe is that the full TLC report can be viewed in any of four different languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish or Italian.

Reasonable Price with No Limits
As initially stated, use of the TLC Suite assessment and report allows for the output of data comparable to a full QEEG evaluation, without the cost of purchasing excessive hardware and software to support such a method. All an individual needs is the standard ProComp 2 or Infiniti encoders, made by Thought Technology, along with 2 or 4 EEG-Z sensors/channels of EEG for collecting brainwave data.

Unlike other assessment methods, the cost for this automated EEG analysis tool is a one-time fee with no limits on the numbers of evaluations that can be run through the system. There are no yearly fees for use and no future upgrade costs.

How Does the TLC Suite Work?
The assessment within the TLC Suite gathers brain data in sets of 2 or 4 sites (depending on your preference) over a 3 minute period. The same assessment protocol is repeated at different sets of brain sites, until all desired locations have been monitored. The data from all the assessment protocols are then imported into the TLC report, which analyzes the numbers to output a whole-brain training plan. The full assessment data acquisition period can be accomplished in only 1-hour.

Open House on the TLC Suite - February 25, 2016
Jon Bale, the BFE's research manager, will be hosting a free open house (10:00-11:00 am - Eastern Time US & Canada) for anyone that is interested in getting a first-hand glimpse of the TLC Suite. This is a perfect opportunity to see the software in action, to ask questions from the BFE's main software manager, and get an idea how this package will enhance your practice.

This event has already taken place. Click here to view the recording.
View details of software suite.

FREE Upcoming TLC Case Study Event with Peter Van Deusen - February 16, 2016
On February 16th, the BFE is pleased to welcome Peter Van Deusen who will be presenting a case study of client who's brain assessment was analyzed using the TLC report to produced a personalized while-brain training plan. This would be an excellent opportunity for clinicians to see the TLC report in action, and ask question directly from the creator.
This event has already taken place. Click here to view the recording.

About Peter Van Deusen
Since 2001, he has taught thousands of practicum workshops in neurofeedback around the world, after spending the 90's running multiple training centers in Atlanta, USA, and personally training hundreds of clients with a wide range of issues. As a trainer himself, with a background in management of change (hospital turnarounds), his focus has been on putting the power of brain science in the hands of front-line trainers, making it faster, less expensive and more accessible. His Trainer's Q assessment (TLC assessment) and Whole-Brain Training approach (TLC report) are offering a powerful alternative to normative databases and z-scores.

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