High School and University

Concentration is the key to academic success, and indeed almost every task, but what if our Brain has actually never really learned how?

Never has mankind had the speed and access to information and for communication that we do today.

The opportunities for teaching, learning, business and networking are quite spectacular.

But, the very same mechanisms which allow us these opportunities – the internet, email, smart phones, iPods, tablets, and Social Media to name a few – also bring with them a world of distraction and challenges with which previous generations never had to cope. And the effects are plain to be seen in society.

The pandemic Attention Disorder diagnosis and hand-in-hand stimulant drug prescription has spurred much controversy and stimulated much research. One area of considerable interest is a study which came out of the Oregon State University. It found that the skills most likely to lead to school achievement and long-term academic success were that of concentrating, taking directions and persisting with a task, particularly when it became difficult. This even outweighed early introduction to mathematical concepts, music and reading.

An important take-away from the Oregon study is that children can be taught the skills of concentration, instruction following and persistence. It follows then, that if children are not taught these skills or the practice of such skills are not sufficiently reinforced by either parents or teachers, a child may indeed never learn how to. Perhaps, then, for many kids (and adults!) who can’t concentrate, it’s simply a matter of learning how – and the good news there is that neuroscience is showing how plastic our brains are, no matter our age.

So how do we learn concentration?

Enter Brain Gain Neurofeedback. A simple, safe method of teaching the brain to focus. Using the flow of healthy, oxygenated blood to the frontal lobe of the brain while a client participates in a cognitive activity (such as watching a program or playing a game), a feedback mechanism is created which indicates – in real time – how much attention the brain is paying to the task at hand. As long as the client remains focused on the activity, blood flow is naturally maintained or increased (through a clever physiological mechanism known as Neurovascular Coupling) and the program continues to play. The moment that the client becomes distracted and their attention wanders, activity in the frontal lobe decreases, followed almost instantly by a drop in the blood flow and the program comes to a halt, alerting the client to their loss of focus. Only once they have regained their concentration and restored blood flow, does the program re-start.

By participating in a Brain Gain training program:

A client ultimately teaches their brain to enhance the activation of their cognitive centres in the frontal lobe, as well as to maintain it for increasingly longer periods of time.

The frontal lobe is responsible for our Executive Functions such as concentrating, learning, problem-solving, following instructions and higher thinking; as well as also controlling many aspects of mood, behaviour, impulse control and social awareness. The beauty of Brain Gain is that it causes real, physical change in the brain which cements this process and leads to long-lasting results, unlike medication which wears off after a few hours

The frontal lobe is responsible for our Executive Functions such as concentrating, learning, problem-solving, following instructions and higher thinking; as well as also controlling many aspects of mood, behaviour, impulse control and social awareness. The beauty of Brain Gain is that it causes real, physical change in the brain which cements this process and leads to long-lasting results, unlike medication which wears off after a few hours.
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Step 1: TESCA
At Brain Gain we evaluate a client’s cognitive ability in detail before and after training. This is essential because it helps to identify attention problems and determine the success of training by comparing results before and after training. Our clients complete the TESCA test that was specifically developed in South Africa. This comprehensive test measures 6 attention abilities, and screens for emotional and specific cognitive developmental issues that may hold someone back from reaching their full potential. The test takes 30 minutes to complete and the results are analyzed and recommendations are made.
Step 2: The INTERESTING part!
Using the flow of healthy, oxygenated blood to the frontal lobe of the brain while a client participates in a cognitive activity (watching a program or playing a game), a feedback mechanism is created which indicates – in real time – how much attention the brain is paying to the task at hand. As long as the client remains focused on the activity, blood flow is naturally maintained or increased (through a clever physiological mechanism known as Neurovascular Coupling) and the program continues to play. The moment that the client becomes distracted and attention wanders, activity in the frontal lobe decreases, followed almost instantly by a drop in the blood flow and the program comes to a halt, alerting the client to their loss of focus. Only once they have regained their concentration and restored blood flow, does the program re-start.
Step 3: The EXCITING part!
Each client now does a second TESCA to compare post training results to pre-training results.

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