What is Brain Mapping?
Brain mapping is a technique to more fully understand the brain’s function and structure. There are a number of different techniques for brain mapping, including, fMRI, SPECT, PET scans, and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG). At Professional Edge, brain mapping consists of understanding the amount (or amplitudes) of the five main brain waves and how efficiently the brain is functioning.
The Main Brain Waves
There are five main brain waves, consisting of: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and high beta. They are each important and play unique role in how a brain functions. For example, if you have ever experienced a “busy brain”, you may be an excess of fast brain wave activity. Too much fast brain wave activity can make it hard for the brain to slow at night to get a good night’s sleep. Brain sluggishness or “brain fog” is associated with too much slow brain wave activity, especially in the front of the brain. Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to have excess theta in the frontal lobes, which significantly interferes with his or her ability to concentrate and retain information in the traditional classroom setting (especially with topics outside of his or her preferred interests).
How Do I Know if My Brain is Normal?
At Professional Edge, we use quantitative electroencephalography, which allows us to see how the amplitudes of the main brain waves in your brain compare to an age-matched database of normal men and women. We are also able to compare how the brain functions, that is how efficient is it (amplitude), how well does it delegate tasks to appropriate areas (coherence), and how well do neurons work together (phase lag) in their local and distant regions.
How Well is My Brain Performing Compared to High Performers?
In addition to comparing yourself to normal, age-matched peers, the Brain Optimization Index (BOI) by Neuroguide allows you to see how well your brain compares peak performers. This database includes individuals who have an IQ of 120 or more, top ranked professionals, and elite military officers.
Thinking about having a glass of wine with dinner tonight?
You might want to rethink that idea. Below are brain mapping images of the same person. The top line is the brain the day after drinking two glasses of wine at dinner. Bottom line is the same brain but no alcohol was consumed the evening before. The bright red areas indicate that this person has 3 Standard Deviations (SD) higher of slow brain wave activity than other age-matched peers. That’s 99% higher! Green indicates normal, healthy brain behavior and the yellow and orange indicate elevated brain wave activity (yellow is 1 SD and orange is 2 SDs, 68% and 95% higher compared to peers, respectively).