Neurofeedback for peak performance athletes

by biohackingperformance
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What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is the training by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We monitor the brain's activity in real time with the help of EEG sensors placed on the scalp, during which the athlete can observe if the patterns of brain waves are in the optimal area or not. We reward the brain for producing optimal brain wave activity, which the brain learns progressively. This is a gradual learning process, as is the development of muscle memory or fine motor control in sports. Neurofeedback training has been used among professional and amateur athletes to increase athletic performance.

For athletes to focus on one task, parts of the brain must produce more high-frequency brain waves called beta. In order to have an extraordinarily fast, relaxed reaction time, the brain must produce medium-frequency brain waves. Often the fine line between victory and defeat comes down to the benefits of brain processing.



Most sports produce mild brain microtrauma that allows for a full recovery. However, certain contusions can cause serious health risks. A repeated contusion that occurs immediately after an initial contusion can be particularly dangerous. In addition, an athlete suffering from a concussion is at risk of developing post-concussion syndrome, which is characterized by persistent symptoms such as headache, attention deficit, irritability and mood swings. Careful and scientific measurement of brain activity is extremely important to know if the athlete has suffered a loss of brain function and when the athlete is fit to return to play.

The AC Milan football club has been using neurofeedback and biofeedback training since 2006 and based on their win (UEFA Cup - 2007), it was adopted by Real Madrid. Chelsea started using it in 2009. Neurofeedback and Biofeedback are used for performance training by:

  • The Pro golf circuit
  • Formula 1 teams
  • NASA astronaut training centre
  • United States Olympic Training Center
  • English Institute of Sport (Olympic Training Center)
  • Canadian National Olympic Sports Centers
  • Norwegian Olympic Training Center
  • Taiwanese Olympic Team
  • Singapore Olympic Sports Council
  • US Special Forces and Navy Seals training
  • United States Army's Centers for Enhanced Performance
  • Wingate Institute of Sports & Physical Education, Israel
  • Human Performance Institute, Australian Special Forces
  • West Point Military Academy

among others...


Neurofeedback in performance sports

The effect of neurofeedback training on sports performance in athletes: a meta-analysis

Neurofeedback as additional training to optimize athlete performance: a systematic review with implications for future research

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