Dr Allder shares his insight with the BBC
Consultant Neurologist Dr Steve Allder was featured in an article on BBC.co.uk about the use of smart headbands to help calm the mind, particularly popular amongst athletes wanting to focus.
The headbands use neurofeedback or EEG (electroencephalogram), technologies which are used by doctors to diagnose conditions such as epilepsy and stroke. The headbands measure brainwaves, using an AI algorithm to monitor the signals and report via a mobile phone app. The readings comprise scores between 0-100, with 100 being the calmest and through this feedback can help train the brain to be more relaxed, thus helping reduce stress and promoting a state of calm.
Various neurofeedback headbands are being developed and can also measure and report on other vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, body movement and posture to help refine and retrain.
Dr Allder comments, “There is an increasing interest in optimising the ‘mind’ in sporting performance. There is strong empirical support that the sporting performance can be both helped and hindered by an athlete’s ability to control their mind. The most accessible techniques are breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques. Both techniques give an individual increased explicit access to their ‘mind’. They in turn can then start to appreciate how their mind can help them or hinder them when performing and how with practice they can shift to mind states that are most helpful when most needed.”
To read the full article visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58813873