Boosting the cognitive functions according to the personal EEG profile
With the high level of dynamics and competition today many people encounter the necessity to optimize their cognitive performance, and there appear two questions: how to chose the most effective approach that at the same time is healthy? The problem is very complex and unfortunately there is not a unique recipe for everybody. But how the neuroscience can help us to find the best individual solution? The first step is to define the current needs, according to that how our brain is performing and an important help can be obtained by application of electroencephalographic approach (EEG). The quantitative EEG (QEEG) allows to obtain very detailed information about the brain functioning during resting state or during performance of different tasks. It is established that the brain map of a certain individual is like a fingerprint – the personal EEG is relatively stable with the years and therefore in some sense “typical” for a person. When many EEG parameters are considered, the EEG maps of different people show enormous variety. The EEG maps of persons with equal (according to the psychological tests) cognitive abilities can look very different, because beside of a certain common used psychometric term, like for example the attention, from psychophysiological (i.e. QEEG) point of view can be distinguished and assessed many different oscillatory processes having contribution to the process of ‘attention’. Consequently, combining psychological testing with QEEG gives several advantages, since the QEEG can be very precise in giving information ‘what exactly happens’ from functional point of view and eventually at which stage of a certain process the person encounter some problems. Such a detailed report about the different level of the functioning in the brain linked with a certain psychometric parameter, allows further to the plan individual interventions in order to modify brain activity and finally enhance the individual performance. A widely used non-invasive approach for boosting cognitive performance is the neurofeedbeck. An important advantage of the intervention is that it is non-invasive and safe. The QEEG can act as a navigator for planning the parameters and sequence of neurofeedbeck procedures and therefore to provide maximum tailored training of the brain functions.
With the development of neurointerfaces for home use, providing options for personalized optimization of cognitive functioning appears the next challenge for the neuroscientists.