ISF Neurofeedback

Neuroscenter Clinic

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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¿What is ISF Neurofeedback?

ISF Neurofeedack is an advanced type of Neurofeedback training that focuses on the lower frequencies of the brain. The acronym ISF stands for
infraslow fluctuation.

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback, which is a method for collecting information
by monitoring bodily conditions, in order to promote control through conditioning over normally involuntary activities.

By performing an electroencephalogram, it is possible to identify different brain areas that present dysregulations or dysfunctions. This, together with an appropriate evaluation of the situation, conditions and behavior of each individual person, allows us to determine the areas of the brain that require to be worked on.

ISF works with ultra-slow waves to regulate the autonomic nervous system
and its flight, fight or freeze reactions to certain stimuli or situations. The goal is to
o regulate the activation of brain areas related to chronic autonomic stress, helping to connect the emotional and autonomic systems.

The heart, the digestive system, and the autonomic nervous system, depend on these ultralow frequencies
for their coordination, so we can say that ISF Neurofeedback coordinates
brain and physical processes.

The objective of ISF training is to achieve mental and physical homeostasis,
in order to achieve a state of calm and conscious attention. This state helps to overcome
annoying and unpleasant conditions, as well as to treat mental illnesses in a better

In addition to this, ISF Neurofeedback training allows those who receive it to improve their
sleep patterns, to feel more in control of their emotional life, to improve their attention and
concentration, and to improve behaviors and habits, all of which is manifested in our jobs,
school, or daily activities.

History of ISF Neurofeedback

The appearance of Neurofeedack ISF is closely related to the technical evolution of the amplifiers used in Neurofeedback.

AC coupled amplifiers with a cutoff frequency of approximately 0.5 Hz have over half a century of history. These allowed Neurofeedback researchers and practitioners to observe faster oscillations, which were considered the most important features in the EEGs of that time. . Until then, attempts to record low-frequency events led to different problems with these amplifiers, prompting the installation of the aforementioned high-pass filter.

All EEG contain AC and DC current if these are not filtered. The implementation of a high-pass filter eliminated direct current (DC) in most EEG amplifiers, allowing only the fastest frequencies to pass. As a consequence of this, all the information related to ultra-low waves was lost.

In the 1950s, chopper-stabilized amplifiers were introduced. These amplifiers allowed the recording of direct currents (DC) for the first time. As these evolved, researchers were able to observe phenomena that occurred at these frequencies, which were below the conventional threshold.

Until very recently, all the amplifiers available for Neurofeedback training were
AC amplifiers. These allow training at higher frequencies, but are less suitable for working with low frequencies, so these frequencies are eliminated for most Neurofeedback designs.

Direct current (DC) coupled amplifiers have grown to proliferate in the last three decades, drawing attention to the energy below the cutoff filters, and driving the development of SCP (Slow Cortical Potential) training.

This event was precipitous for the emergence of ISF training. In 2006, the availability of DC amplifiers, allowed to do research with this type of equipment and ILF (Infra-Low training, precursor of Neurofeedback). This showed that the use of DC amplifiers minimized the obstacles and drawbacks of AC amplifiers, allowing light to be shed on frequencies that until then had been ignored and hidden, since it was impossible to observe them efficiently.

¿How do ISF sessions work and how long does it take to see results?

ISF Neurofeedback sessions begin with the patient sitting comfortably in a chair or armchair. Electrodes are placed on the scalp, in order to monitor the electrical activity of the brain. The initial goal is to find the optimal training frequency for each particular case. This is about finding that frequency where we feel more relaxed, comfortable and alert, and where the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are in greater balance, that is, to reach a state of homeostasis.

It is important to stress that this is a non-invasive technique, meaning that no foreign element is introduced into the body, nor is electricity applied to the brain. n. It is simply about reading brain activity so that the computer can create information in the form of feedback for the patient, reading the waves at ultra-low frequencies.

The training itself is quite simple, it is based on a sound, a tone, which oscillates, and which is a reflection of the brain’s activity. The client listens to the tone, and then the training begins, regardless of the attention paid to it, since the brain is capable of capturing much more information from our environment than we normally think. In this way the brain recognizes the tone as a reflection of itself, actively monitoring it,
which allows it to change.

Sessions usually last 30 minutes, although they may vary in each case. The process of finding the optimal training frequency for each patient can take several sessions, and requires active communication between patient and therapist to find it. Once found, this ideal frequency is repeated, so that the brain learns to be in this state. This is like learning any other activity, that is, based on repeating the training with ISF, the brain learns to remain in this state by itself in a natural and sustained way
over time.

The results obtained with ISF Neurofeedback are usually faster than with conventional Neurofeedback techniques. It is often possible to observe beneficial changes in just a few sessions, and after several sessions patients report feeling positive changes and feeling more regulated, stable and calm, being able to handle much better situations that they had difficulty dealing with in the past.

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