Conceptual proposal to demonstrate that peer-to-peer neurofeedback training will enhance artistic performance.
Brainwave biofeedback has been show scientifically to elevate the optimal performance levels of myriad groups: students, athletes, musicians, soldiers, etc. Google “motivating the musical mind” to find good quality research proving that neurofeedback was significantly better than other generic improvement conditions, such as aerobic exercise. Indeed the 40 hours of brainwave training improved performance quality by 17%. This is about the same effect size as a year of graduate education at the Royal Academy of London.
Consistent clinical reports describe enhancement of other groups and interests as well. Ample scientific research shows brainwave biofeedback to relieve numerous disorders. But all of these projects involved a professional administering the training.
Brainwave biofeedback or neurofeedback is trail and error learning while getting biological feedback. Brainwave biofeedback is a pleasant and relaxing experience. Since 1970, the technology for brainwave biofeedback has become much more advanced. So advanced, it is now very safe and simple to use. So simple, that peers can train each other with ease. For example, playAttention.com trains teachers to administer neurofeedback to their students (mostly elementary special ed students) with multi-media training and phone calls only.
The basic procedure is to paste sensors on the head that carry brainwave signals through an EEG and into a computer. Software controls the playing of a CD and dynamic graphics. A trainer uses the computer software to control several thresholds with a mouse. The thresholds allow only a certain amount of brainwave turbulence. Exceeding the threshold pauses the music and image. It is best for the pausing to be frequent (~a dozen times a minute) but to only extend the music track by 5-10%. There is a sweet spot of both pleasant and effective.
The process gradually trains the brain to operate more efficiently without needless surging. It is standard to administer 40 session lasting less than an hour, one to three times per week. But now robust benefits can now be expected with less training time. These wellness benefits are pervasive because the central nervous system is central. These are best described as increasing resilience and flexibility. Longitudinal evidence with various disorders show the results to be enduring. It is presumed that the wisdom of the body recognizes, accepts and adopts improved functioning when show how. The main caution is keep it pleasant and don’t too much too soon. Otherwise, a brief headache is the most common result.
Optimal performance research has not yet been done without the direct involvement of health care professionals, such as psychologists. But it could now be done at fairly low cost with a brief training and indirect supervision. The computer equipment would cost $1000, software (Zengar.com), EEG, and sundry supplies would be $2500. A licensed psychologist could install, train and supervise a group of trainers for $1000. Say, a total of $5000 for the project.
The research design would be many matched pairs of similar students who get neurofeedback training vs. those who do not. Students will get identical instructions to produce a work in one hour. Judges will view the work of the matched pairs pre- and post- training. Judges will be blind to the training condition and rate the work on a variety of criteria. As with the study at the Royal College of London, the hypothesis is that judges will rate the post-training work more highly than any other condition.