The cognitive era

Written by Karen Long

"In five years we'll be playing video games with just our brains," says Veronica Seberger, RN, BSN, BCN, a board-certified neurofeedback trainer. Maximizing our cognitive power and tuning up our gray matter is a concept that's already accepted on the east and west coasts and is just starting to take off in the Midwest including here in Wichita thanks in part to Veronica and her husband, Dr. James Seberger, and their direct-care practice, Cognitive Performance & Health.

Not only can neurofeedback improve symptoms of everything from anxiety, depression and ADHD/ADD to memory loss, emotional/development trauma and inattention, but it can also boost memory retention, amplify processing speed and build peak performance, like a well-oiled machine humming on all cylinders.

Many of CPH's clients don't have debilitating issues, they just want to do things faster, according to Veronica. "Speed is really what people want." Neurofeedback can help with that, along with boosting visual and verbal memory, cognitive flexibility and executive function. "Those are all learned things it's about teaching your brain to do something."

A new model of the brain

Every teacher needs a solid baseline to start with, and that's where Dr. Seberger comes in. He uses quantified EEG and standard neuro-psychological testing to identify where a client falls on the "neurocognitive index," and to create a multi-colored brainmap lit up to indicate levels of activity.

"It is fabulous to actually be able to show on a screen depression, anxiety, foggy-headedness and rumination we can measure these down to the one percent and show where they are in the brain," explains Dr. Seberger. Using a personalized, focused combination of diet, exercise, supplements, sleep therapy and counseling as needed, along with neurofeedback, Dr. Seberger has seen his patient's neurocognitive index double.

"We have a new model of the brain. We've always known it was electrical, but I try to literally improve brain power."

Restoring body and mind

Because the brain is part of the body, Dr. Seberger tests for neurotransmitters, levels of inflammation, GI bacteria, and also takes steps to enhance mitochondria production, the body's energy-producing cells.

Over and over again the Sebergers emphasize the importance of quality, restorative sleep. "Just yesterday," says Dr. Seberger, "a patient said to me: I did a lot of neurofeedback but I think the greater benefit came four, five or six months later." The long-term effects of being free from anxiety lead to more restful sleep and improved memory.

There's also a cascade of effects when decreased anxiety leads to reduced cortisol, freeing up hormonal building blocks for progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, which are essential for growth and healing throughout the body.

"This isn't really magic, having the brain recover and be trained to be in a more relaxed state. The body follows because hormones are affected."

Filtering and attention focusing

Part of Veronica's neurofeedback training was learning to do neurofeedback herself. Her trainer, following her results onscreen remarked, "You have a lot of theta have you ever had a brain injury?" When Veronica was five years old she sustained a concussion on the playground, and her brain waves still showed signs of the trauma. Decades later this affected how she related to her three children: During the busy after-school hours she'd find herself feeling overloaded and frustrated.

"The frontal lobe does a lot of filtering and attention focusing," says Dr. Seberger, "She just ran out of steam, and at the end of the day it was worse. After training Veronica comes home and makes dinner and she's able to filter, and all of these other things don't bother her nearly as much."

Look for endurance coming as part of peak performance in the cognitive era.

"We say 'resilience.' It builds this capacity to respond to a great extent when you need it. It's tremendous."

Veronica Seberger

Veronica Seberger, RN, BSN, BCN leads an open discussion for the public in the CPH offices at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. This 90-minute talk is filled with fun discussion and snacks while learning about all neurofeedback has to offer.

Cognitive Performance & Health
10111 East 21st N, Suite 315
Wichita, KS 67206

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