Sensory Stimulus interpretation as self-directed is a precursor to psychosis

Psychosis is a state of mind where all sensory stimulus is interpreted as being directed to oneself.  

While it is natural for infants and children to interpret the world this way, we grow out of this mode between the ages of 3-5. 

As we mature, we start to learn that not everything that’s happening in the world is directed at ourselves.  

Feeling as if everything is directed at us results in anxiety and / or deep depression. 

It also reduces our ability to take on other perspectives, consider different views and be accommodating of others’ stances. 

Shocks, such as trauma, drug use (in particular, cannabis and cocaine) and isolation (such as lockdowns) can cause us to revert into this child-like state, without us noticing. 

Psychosis is a state that can occur, and recur, in persons diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Trauma and neurodegenerative conditions.  Note however that it is not a necessary condition for any of these.

Finding a balance between relational interpretation of sensory stimulus and detachment using neurofeedback
Cingulate hyperunity as identified on a Kaiser Neuromap indicates vulnerability to psychosis and/or anxiety and depression

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify whether someone is prone to relational thinking as defined above. 

Note that this shows us a vulnerability – someone in psychosis will have orange cingulates (red ellipse on the picture); however, having this feature on a brain map does not automatically mean the person is in a state of psychosis. 

It does suggest that the person will feel as though everything said or done around them is somehow concerning them, more than necessary or comfortable.  

This will likely cause anxiety and/or depression, a defensive state that is not always conducive to healthy interaction with others.  

Research confirms this phenomenon in fMRI studies.

Cingulate Hyperunity indicates ultra high risk of psychosis

Having identified this vulnerability using a Kaiser Neuromap, we can then apply neurofeedback training to restore healthy cingulate function

This is one of the first things we work on when doing Personalised Brain Training, and often this can be resolved within ten sessions.   

It is an important first step that also results in the person being able to take on more perspectives than their own and engage with others more meaningfully.

Generally, persons exhibiting at-risk cingulate states will have more issues that we can also address with neurofeedback training: 

 – mood regulation

 – social anxiety 

 – trauma

 – distractibility (attention deficit)

Addressing the above points can take 20 sessions or more, depending on severity.

healthy Controls show independent cingulates and reduced risk of psychosis

Daniel Webster has extensive experience working with psychosis, schizophrenia and trauma.  He also works for the NHS in post-psychosis rehabilitation. 

The Process:

Step 1: Brain Map

A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording.

A cap with 19 sensors is is fitted to our head and gels inserted to ensure connectivity.  The sensors only read – there is a tiny voltage on the surface of our head that these pick up.  The gels are easily washed out later.  This is also the last time we wear the cap (until a remap after ten sessions); training is done with single sensors. 

We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities.  

Findings are presented in a separate one-hour conversation where we discuss the key elements.

Step 2: Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback process explained, illustrating real-time analysis of brain waves and feedback given

 We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.  

Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs. 

Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable. 

Key is that we are interested in the movie – our conscious mind is engaged with the content, which forms the reward, and our preconscious mind – without our conscious effort – changes its behaviour in response to the feedback.

Capturing the ultradian cycle with neurofeedback Personalised Brain Training using Kaiser Neuromap

A two hour training session allows us to do 90-110 minutes of neurofeedback training during which we can work on various brain sites. 

This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies.  

We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children. 

Ideally, we do two or more sessions per week to start with.  

We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or about ten sessions.  

Generally, we would expect to doing twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary substantially. 

We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.