jump to navigation

-Improved Performance through Thought Control 2003-07-23

Posted by clype in Science.

Scientists have improved the performance of musicians by up to 17 per cent by teaching them to control their thoughts. The scale of improvement among 'The Royal College of Music' students taking part in the study was equivalent to one grade. Researchers from 'Imperial College London' used a technique called neurofeedback to help the students change their brain activity.

Sensors were attached to their heads that filtered out specific brainwaves. These influenced a video game displayed on a screen, which the students learned to control by altering particular thought patterns.


The training led to improvement in a number of areas, including musical understanding, imagination, and communication with the audience.

Two experiments were conducted, involving a total of 97 students. In both, students were assessed on two pieces of music before and after the neurofeedback sessions by a panel of expert judges.

Different types of neurofeedback focusing on enhanced attention and deep relaxation were used.

A number of students were also put through more orthodox physical exercise and mental skills programmes. Neurofeedback was in all cases found to improve performances to a greater degree than other forms of training.

But students given the 'deep relaxation' neurofeedback protocol improved the most.

Their improvement ranged between 13.5 per cent and 17 per cent.

Researcher Dr.Tobias Egner, from Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital, said:

'This is a unique use of neurofeedback.

'It has been used for helping with a number of conditions such as attention deficit disorder and epilepsy, but this is the first time it has been used to improve a complex set of skills such as musical performance in healthy students'.

The findings have been published in the journal 'Neuroreport'.

'"Thought control' technique boosts music students', Ananova 2003-07-23 We 12:01


Further Reading on Neurofeedback and Biofeedback: eegspectrum.com:
Neurofeedback: 'Brain Training' is used to help ADHD, depression, anxiety, migraines, panic attacks, PTSD, seizures, cognitive performance, mood and many other brain based problems

Finding a Provider: http://www.eegspectrum.com/Providers/International/UnitedKingdom/

Results for UK at time of publication of this Blog:

Dr. Beverly Steffert, B.P.S. Learning Recovery, 182 King Hedges Rd., Cambridge, England, U.K. CB4 2PB. Tel: 0122 352 8755. Fax: 0122 342 0304. eeg@learningrecovery.co.uk www.learningrecovery.co.uk

Dorothy Byrne, M.A., M.S.A.P., Min Cai Jones, T.C.M. Doctor. Dorothy Byrne, U.K. Centre for Psychotherapy & Neurofeedback, 35 Sutton Rd., E. Sussex, England U.K. BN25 1SG Tel: 0132 389 4008.
Dorothy Byrne, U.K. Centre for Psychotherapy & Neurofeedback, 10 Harley St., London, England, U.K. W1G 9PF. Tel: 0207 467 8380. Fax: 0207 467 8312. dorothymbyrne@hotmail.com

Melissa Foks, M.A. Learning with Neurofeedback 44 Burntwood Grange Rd., London, England, U.K. SW18 3JX. Tel: 0208 704 0781 Fax: 0207 207 0780 foksfam@aol.com http://www.learningwithneurofeedback.co.uk/



1. Tooth-Grinding - 2008-11-26

Neural feedback definitely has enormous potential and is amazingly useful. I don’t think there is much numerical meaning in saying that a musician’s skill improved “17 percent” (percent of what? measured how), but I certainly agree the improvements are noticeable. I have a friend who is getting great results treating his ADD with neural feedback. He is paying big bucks for the sessions, though, and I have hopes that this type of neural feedback can become an inexpensive attachment to anyone’s home PC. Now *that’s* a way to have computer really help a person.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: