See Inside February/March 2006

Train Your Brain

Mental exercises with neurofeedback may ease symptoms of attention-deficit disorder, epilepsy and depression--and even boost cognition in healthy brains


At first the computer game looks awfully easy for an eight-year-old--like something out of the Stone Age of arcades in the 1980s. A red triangle "arrow" appears on the monitor's blue screen, and then the nose of a cartoon airplane glides into view from the left. If the arrow points upward, Ben must make the plane climb. When he succeeds, a spiky yellow sun beams.

A second glance shows that all is not as it seems. For one thing, Ben has no joystick. Instead several electrodes glued to the boy's face and to the skin under his hair let him pilot the plane by thought alone.

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