Advanced Mental Training to Maximise your Success

Brain training the military

The future of military might may not just be in bigger and better hardware of warfare, but in fitter and faster brains of military personnel.

The Brain Training Company is at the cutting edge of mental fitness training.  What was seen ten years ago as kooky executive training or fringe athletic training to achieve the mental edge, may now become a mainstream component of military training.

It is demonstrably possible to improve someone’s mental fitness; be that to increase IQ, manage stress better, enhance levels of focus and concentration when under pressure, or learning information at a greatly increased speed.  The foundation of this at The Brain Training Company is brainwave training.  Developing the ability to consciously control brainwave activity.  From this there are knock on benefits, such as greater neural connectivity and increased blood flow to the brain.

For military personnel this is a critical step in improving personal performancefaster and better decision making when under pressure.

This article from Wired.com looks at this topic:

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Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention

For many years now, the courses of The Brain Training Company have promoted the importance of cerebral balance and synchrony between the two hemispheres.  Clients have gone on to show enhanced personal performance; be that in the classroom, boardroom or in sport.  This is an interesting article looking at the significance of synchronized brainwave activity and its role in mental focus and attention.

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USA National Sporting Clays Champion: Gebben Miles

Hot off the Press:

Congratulations to Gebben Miles, who has just become the 2009 USA National Sporting Clays Champion.  It was a tight finish going to a shoot-off.  However Gebben maintained his mental focus and concentration to take the title.

Apart from being such a talented shooter, Gebben will be a wonderful ambassador for shotgun sports as the 2009 National Champion.

“Henry, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me and the level of care you have. You are an awesome person and thank you for being a part of my National Championship!!”

“Henry helped me develop a powerful pre-shot mental routine. He has been like a dependable friend looking after my mental game. I learnt how to control my mental states for strong focus and concentration, regardless of the pressure.”

– Gebben Miles. USA National Champion 2009

Rise in youth hyperactivity prescriptions

Extract from the Independent:

The number of prescriptions for drugs to treat hyperactivity in children is on the rise, figures suggested today.

…Data obtained by the Conservatives found more than 420,000 prescriptions were written for under-16s in 2007 – up 33 per cent on 2005 figures. More than 40,000 prescriptions were also written for 16 to 18 year-olds, up 51 per cent since 2005.

In 2007, the NHS spent more than £17 million on the drugs….

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Effect of brainwaves on movement and peak performance

This scientific study proves and reinforces one of the training objectives in our Peak Performance for Sport training course:- the importance of being able to control beta brainwave production.  Note especially the sentence I have highlighted and put in bold text.

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Study highlights effect of brain waves on human behaviour

Boosting a certain type of brain wave can slow people’s movements, UK researchers have discovered. The findings, published online by the journal Current Biology, offer the first direct evidence that brain waves can influence behaviour in otherwise healthy individuals. They could also lead to the development of new drugs for medical conditions characterised by either uncontrolled or slowed movements.

Different types of brain wave have different frequencies and different locations. In this study, the researchers investigated beta waves, which have a frequency of around 20 Hertz (Hz). Earlier studies have shown that beta waves are linked to sustained muscle activity, such as that employed when holding a book. Beta activity drops just before people initiate movement.

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study shows exercise improves brain power

Physical exercise is usually associated with improved physical fitness.  However now there is proof that exercise will improve your mental fitness as well.

A recent study at the University of Calgary has show that those people who participate in light exercise are mentally fitter than those who do not exercise. The study was published in the journal, “Neurobiology of Aging”, and finds that physical fitness helps improve brain function because physical exercise benefits blood flow in the brain and, as a result, aids cognitive abilities.

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Chimps beat humans in memory test

You have to watch the video footage of this news report – it is incredible.

Recent research shows that chimpanzees have near photographic memories. Memory tests were performed for both chimpanzees and humans. The chimps were far better than the humans. With just a quick glance at the information (less than a second), they could then select hidden numbers in the correct order.

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Stand on your head to boost intelligence.

During this last week there have been some interesting discussions about how blood flow affects the brain.
Some alternative medicine practitioners have for many years advised their clients to stand on their head to boost their memory or improve concentration.

However, this isn’t quite so ridiculous at it may at first sound.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US now have research to show that blood flow affects nearby neurons.

This is nothing new, but perhaps just more definitive proof of what I have been saying when working with clients. For instance, it has been agreed that low blood flow to the brain is related to instances of poor mental health, such as ADHD.

Within my own field of work I have been using a system of Audio-Visual Entrainment or Stimulation (AVE) as part of my Brainwave Conditioning System. Part of the benefit of AVE, beyond the effect on brainwave activity, is that there is an increase in blood flow to the brain. This is especially shown in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain.

With AVE there is no need to stand on your head to gain benefit, but simply to sit quietly for about 30 minutes wearing headphones and eye glasses.

Of course, with this research from MIT there will now be a drive in the developments of medicines to increase blood flow to specific areas of the brain. However, there are other ways like AVE which can also produce beneficial results.

 

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Right Brain vs. Left Brain

Last week I received an email with a so-called brain test. The sender wanted to know why the brain reacted in the way described in the test. Attached to the email was a computer generated back and white image of a female dancer.

By coincidence, I came across the same image in an online news article today, so perhaps this is now going round the internet. Have a look at the image for yourself here.

When you first look at the image, which way round did the dance appear to be turning? Are you able to get it to change direction? With a few minutes practice you should be able to control the direction she turns.

But how does this effect occur? Is it really a right vs. left brain issue, as suggested in the article? Unfortunately no sources for their claim on this are mentioned.

My opinion is that it is more to do with how to brain interprets visual input, rather than left / right brain. With this image it is a flat two tone picture. There is little reference point of perspective for the brain to use.

If you create your own reference point in your imagination, such as thinking whether the girls hair is towards you or away from you as she turns. The same can be done with her foot and if it is towards you or away from you. As there is not possible to know this, by using your imagination and telling your brain this is what you see, your brain will create the image and perception to what you believe in this moment. A classic optical illusion.

In our training courses we measure brainwave activity to compare left hemisphere brainwave activity with the right hemisphere. It is possible to measure the amplitude of activity and thus which side is more active. Where optimal levels of performance are achieved, be that in a sport or other activity, a balance of brainwave activity is seen. Conversely, we often notice that those who struggle to perform well, especially in academic skills, that they have a significant imbalance of brainwave activity.

There are other images, like this dancer, where your brain has to fill in the gaps of information it cannot see. Have you seen the drawing of the cube and you have to work out if the corner is towards you or away from you? You can see that and other illusions here.

The brain is a very clever piece of kit. If it is not sure as to what it sees, it creates that impression. This might include the child’s imagination that they see the shape of monsters in their bedroom, when it is just how the moonlight falls on a pile of clothes.

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A political brainwave

With all the current election talk in the UK, this article seemed both topical and amusing.

Scientists believe they can now identify a person’s political voting preference by analysing their brainwave activity – whether they tend to be more conservative or liberal in their political behaviour.

For much of the last decade, my work at The Brain Training Company has been fascinating. Much of the pleasure from this has been from working in a field which at first was seen as rather alternative, but is now seen as essential for the high performance individual. Although this is a business rather than a research laboratory, fascinating trends have at times emerged from our own EEG (brainwave activity) data.

Olympic athletes now contact us to learn our brainwave training techniques. Only two Olympic Games ago, I was approaching them to offer the benefits and was often met with scepticism. In the executive arena, FTSE 100 companies are incorporating theories of brainwave training to improve their training plans. How times have changed – our “Elite Training” team is full with Beijing Olympic hopefuls and top executives.

It is so refreshing to have reached this point. Rather than being the quirky outsider, our work is now recognised as the cutting edge of peak performance training and I am often consulted as the authority on the subject.

How far will this all go? If you can measure and identify someone’s political persuasion through brainwave activity, is it possible to change it?

We are now into an age of mainstream brain training. It is available to everyone and should be embraced by everyone. It is my personal passion to see this knowledge introduced into education systems.

If it is possible to improve someone’s exam grades by two levels, simply by teaching them a few brain-friendly study skill techniques, when will this be adopted by the masses? At the moment we provide training where requested, usually at INSET training days. However shouldn’t this be in the curriculum?

If it is possible to help a child reduce the symptoms of ADHD with brainwave training and reduce their medication, when will doctors start prescribing a course of brainwave training?

I believe it will be sooner than we expect.

 

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