While Neurofeedback is only beginning to receive mainstream attention, many people I speak with are surprised to learn that Neurofeedback has been around for more than 50 years.
Back in the 1960s, Dr. Joe Kamiya conducted a study using EEG sensors paired with a simple reward system to determine whether people could learn to change their brainwave patterns. This was the first time someone did EEG neurofeedback training.
Dr. Kamiya’s studies about Alpha/Theta neurofeedback were among the first to show a clinical use for this technology. The potential clinical applications were vast, and a group of researchers began to study how Alpha/Theta Neurofeedback could be used to help people with conditions ranging from ADD to addiction to learning to be calmer.
This isn’t just a story about Dr. Kamiya’s life and research. Early in my career, I was very fortunate to meet Dr. Kamiya, and that meeting ultimately led to him becoming my professional mentor and dear friend and together we had lunch several times each month for years.
I first met Dr. Joe Kamiya back in 1990 at a convention of the Biofeedback Society convention in California. I read about his groundbreaking work back in the 1980s as a student in The University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland. So, when I saw him presenting at the conference in San Francisco, I knew I wanted to introduce myself to him.
I had just begun my own experimentation and clinical work with Neurofeedback, and as we got to talking we realized that we lived only 5 minutes away from each other. We agreed to meet for coffee to discuss our research and our work and the amazing power and potential of Neurofeedback.
These lunch and coffee meetings became a regular occurrence. Dr. Kamiya mentored me and would advise me on protocols to use in my clinical work. As we got to talking more about our shared personal interests, our professional relationship eventually blossomed into a lasting friendship.
I am incredibly grateful to Joe for all of his groundbreaking work that led to the creation of this field that has become my profession. Because of his research and work, countless people have experienced the power of Neurofeedback and have seen meaningful improvements in their lives. I am also deeply grateful for his mentorship and his ongoing friendship.
Thank you, Dr. Kamiya, the father of Neurofeedback.
Thomas G. Browne, Ph. D. January 27th, 2016