What is HEG?
First developed by Dr. Hershel Toomim in 1994, hemoencephalography (HEG) is based on the ability of the body to actively increase blood flow in areas of the brain that are called upon to perform a specific task. For instance, when tasks that require attention and focus are being performed, blood flow to the frontal lobes increases in order to supply working brain cells with the oxygen and fuel (glucose) needed to efficiently sustain the task. The localized, task-specific, increase in blood and fuel to the brain is known as the Hemodynamic Response and this effect can be measured indirectly with Passive Infrared HEG (Pir HEG), which detects the increased heat generated by working brain cells, or with Near Infrared HEG (Nir HEG), which uses infrared light to measure blood flow in specific regions of the brain.
What is HEG Biofeedback?
HEG biofeedback is based on the principle that the brain hemodynamic response can be intentionally controlled and metabolic function improved using clinical biofeedback tools. Both nIR and pIR HEG are effective tools to measure brain activation and are used in a neurofeedback setting to provide important auditory and/ or visual rewards that help the individual to learn when blood flow and metabolism in specific domains of the brain are improving. When coupled to the appropriate learning task, HEG training can help to selectively enhance the function of those parts of the brain that are important for attention and focus. As with EEG neurotherapy, HEG training is non-invasive and safe, but unlike EEG-based methods, there are no electrodes or gels, making HEG training simple and direct.
How can HEG training be used?
HEG training has been shown to help improve both focus and attention for the trainee and is therefore a valuable tool to help enhance these skills in those with clinical issues such as Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In addition, with its ability to improve the general health of the frontal areas of the brain, HEG can be an important training modality when used in combination with EEG neurotherapy to help correct brainwave function for individuals suffering from other clinical issues such Depression and Migraines. While important for its clinical applications, the benefits of HEG training are also available to any individual who seeks to improve personal performance by enhancing their learning, focus and attention skills.