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Electroencephalography (qEEG)

Effective for:​

  • Identifying memory, cognitive and brain function issues and performance

  • Psychiatric and brain injury detection

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

  • Neurotherapy

  • Neurofeedback

  • Provides information for creating treatment plans

  • Tracking progress for therapies and treatments

What is a Quantitative Electroencephalography (qEEG)?

A qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) is a diagnostic tool that measures electrical activity in the form of brain wave patterns. It is sometimes referred to as “brain mapping.” Brain waves are the rhythmic electrical impulses generated when the millions and millions of neurons inside your head communicate with each other. Brain waves can reveal important information about your overall brain function, including stress levels, thought patterns, and emotions. A qEEG can reveal brain wave patterns that are associated with impulsivity, cognitive inflexibility, anxiety, and other symptoms.

There are 5 types of brain wave patterns:

  • Delta brain waves (1 to 4 cycles per second): very slow brain waves, occurring mostly during sleep

  • Theta brain waves (5 to 7 cycles per second): slow brain waves, occurring during daydreaming, relaxation, and twilight states

  • Alpha brain waves (8 to 12 cycles per second): brain waves occurring during relaxed states

  • SMR (sensorimotor rhythm) brain waves (12 to 15 cycles per second): brain waves occurring during states of focused relaxation

  • Beta brain waves (13 to 24 cycles per second): fast brain waves occurring during concentration or mental work states

How qEEG can help

A qEEG is a very valuable component of the comprehensive evaluation at Amen Clinics. It helps understand the cortical electrical activity in the brain. It can show if activity in the brain is too high or too low, and it can reveal how your brain cells are communicating with each other. It can be helpful in many ways, including:

  • Identifying cognitive and psychiatric problems

  • Showing how your brain wave patterns can be improved

  • Predicting medication response, such as how you are likely to respond to antidepressant medication

  • Providing valuable information in creating a personalized treatment plan (which may include biofeedback techniques such as neurofeedback, sound, and light therapy) to help balance your brain

  • Tracking your progress with different therapies and treatments

  • Providing objective information used to create your personalized neurofeedback program or other guide other therapies, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) and others to strengthen your brain

qEEG gives us additional information about how your brain functions and can be used for baseline information as well as to track progress with treatment. We can use the information from qEEG as a guide to determine the most effective solutions to help you change your brain and improve your memory, boost focus and attention, reduce depression, minimize anxiety, and enhance overall performance.


Who can benefit from a qEEG?


A qEEG can be performed on people of all ages: adults, adolescents, children, and even babies. Biolife Health Center has access to over 10,000 performed qEEGs to help identify brain wave patterns associated with a variety of conditions, including:

  • ADHD

  • Anxiety and Stress

  • Autism

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Chronic Pain

  • Depression

  • Memory Issues

  • PTSD

  • Sleep Problems

  • Brain Injury

  • Panic disorder

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

  • Schizophrenia

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Dementia

  • Sleep problems

People struggling with mental health symptoms may benefit from an evaluation that includes qEEG testing.

Note: At Amen Clinics, we also use qEEG for patients who are pregnant or who are concerned about radiation exposure for any other reason.

What is the scientific research on qEEG?

There are literally thousands of research studies on qEEG for a wide variety of clinical indications, including memory problems, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), ADD/ADHD, and processing issues in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For example:

  • A distinctive brain wave pattern is associated with depression.

  • Researchers have used qEEG to distinguish depression from other conditions, such as dementia, schizophrenia, and alcoholism.

  • Memory issues typically show up as too much theta or too much delta activity.

  • Children and adults with ADD/ADHD tend to have high theta and delta brain wave activity, and kids and adolescents with ADD/ADHD tend to have lower beta brain wave activity compared to those who don’t have the condition.

What to expect when you have a qEEG


At BioLife Health Center, we use state-of-the-art qEEG equipment, computers, and software. Having a qEEG is a simple, painless process that takes a total of about 30 minutes. In a room at one of our clinics, you’ll sit quietly while a cap is gently placed on your head. The cap looks similar to a bathing cap, except that it has electrodes attached that pick up the brain’s electrical activity. The electrodes on your scalp are connected to a device that captures the signals from the brain. That device is then wired to a computer that will read and interpret the signals the electrodes are receiving from the brain.


The qEEG is a two-part process:

  1. The electrodes will record your brain activity while you sit quietly for 5-8 minutes with your eyes open.

  2. The electrodes will record your brain activity for an additional 5-8 minutes while your eyes are closed.

  3. Based on these two recordings of neural electrical activity, the computer monitor will show colored patterns or maps of your brain. With this information, we are able to evaluate your brain wave patterns and detect any imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms. This can help us create a personalized protocol to help balance your brain and minimize your symptoms.

Is qEEG safe?

QEEG is noninvasive, painless, and safe to use. The electrodes in the cap that are placed on the scalp are like a “read-only” program that receives signals from the brain. The electrodes do not alter brain activity in any way; they simply reveal areas where brain wave activity is healthy, underactive, or overactive.

qEEG results example

Preparation for Neurofeedback or Biofeedback and/or QEEG Assessment 

Important: Please continue to take any prescribed medications per your physician’s instructions

Things to avoid prior to testing:

  • Caffeine:  8 hours prior to testing

  • Nicotine: 3 hours prior to testing

  • Alcohol: 12 hours prior to testing

  • Marijuana: 24 hours prior to testing

  • Over-the-counter medications, other recreational drugs, herbal teas and/or other herbal preparations and any other stimulants (including ephedrine) - 24 hours prior to testing

  1. Avoid antihistamines, cold remedies, and allergy medicines unless prescribed by your physician.  If you are using prescribed versions of these medications and your physician has instructed you to take these “as needed” it would be best if you did not use them prior to your evaluation unless you cannot function without them.

  2. If you are or your child is taking stimulant medication (Ritalin, etc.) or other ADHD medication (such as Strattera) please check with your physician regarding delaying the morning dose until after the evaluation is complete.  This is not mandatory, but if the medication is taken, testing will produce results that are influenced by the medication rather than being a true picture of the un-medicated state of the individual being evaluated.  If your child normally takes “medication holidays” on weekends for example or if your physician agrees, then plan to avoid the AM dose until after the evaluation.

  3. If the stimulants are prescribed for narcolepsy, please have someone drive you to the appointment if you will be delaying the AM dose.

  4. Please eat according to your usual schedule, get a good night's sleep (8 hours or more if possible), and arrive 10 minutes early.

  5. Please wash your hair and scalp the morning of the session and DO NOT use any styling gels, hair spray, hair treatments, conditioners, oils.  Hair MUST BE COMPLETELY DRY TO THE SCALP prior to the appointment.

  6. Please brush and/or comb the hair to remove tangles and remove clips, pins, extensions, hairpieces, wigs, and any other head covering.

  7. Please remove any earrings in your ear lobes prior to all of your appointments.

  8. You may expect to get a small amount of sensor paste or gel in your hair (washes out easily with water).  If you are scheduled for a QEEG your head may end up with a lot of gel in your hair.  You may want to bring a hat or scarf to cover your head after the appointment.



"I have doing qEEG sessions for about two months, and have seen a remarkable improvement in managing anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. The sessions have become something I look forward to. It's really amazing to see such results without having to use medications. Pretty cool stuff."

Evan L. 

"I would have panic attacks and didn’t feel comfortable in public. I had a difficult time starting any projects and couldn’t fathom finishing anything. I was treading water in regards to being a mother and wife. I am very pleased with my results. Even my skeptical husband has been impressed and is so happy that my mind and emotions are functioning properly again."


"Our 14-year-old son began having migraine headaches. He would have one to two per week. He has had weekly sessions since that time and has not experienced a single migraine since he began the therapy. It is an incredible relief to have found a way to help our child when he was in such debilitating pain.


 "After having a dramatic change in health, I decided to see a neurologist to find out why I was having a breakdown. My family is happy that I’m managing myself great and my social gatherings are back to normal. This isn’t a get quick fix, this takes time but it’s worth the investment."

Diane D. 

  • What is Biofeedback?
    Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately “feedback” information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.
  • What conditions are helped by Biofeedback training?
    Successful outcomes, not limited to those listed below, have been reported by Neurofeedback Practitioners for: ADD/ADHD, addictions. anger, anxiety, autism, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, closed head injuries, concentration, depression, headaches and migraines, learning disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pain management, reading skills, seizure disorders, sleep disorders and stroke recovery. Biofeedback has also proven effective when used for Peak Performance Training, such as developing memory skills, focusing abilities, and increasing concentration.
  • What childhood conditions is Biofeedback successful in treating?
    Biofeedback has been used to treat seizures and subclinical seizure activity, problems of attention and learning, bipolar disorder, autistic spectrum, and other conditions.
  • Why does Biofeedback work?
    The brain is amazingly adaptable. It is capable of making adjustments to improve its own performance if given cues about what to change. When the brain is regulating itself well and is alert and attentive, brainwaves (EEG) show particular patterns. We challenge the brain to maintain this “high-performance” alert and active state. Gradually, after 20 or more training sessions, the brain learns to stay at this high-performance state for longer periods of time and to retain these new skills.
  • Do the effects of Biofeedback training really last?
    If the problem being addressed is one of brain dysregulation, then the answer is yes, and that covers a lot of ground. Biofeedback involves learning by the brain and if that brings order out of disorder, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, and thus reinforce them.
  • How is Biofeedback training done?
    At a training session, sensors are placed on your body. The sensors pick up information on your brain’s and body activity at very specific locations. (No electricity enters your brain. The sensors merely read information from the brain and body and relay it to the Practitioner’s computer.) You then sit back in a comfortable chair as you watch a computer monitor that displays a computer game, a movie, a bar graph, music, sounds or simply colors that change as your brainwaves change. The Practitioner monitors your brainwaves and sets training parameters which are based upon information obtained during your comprehensive intake process. This process gives your brain instantaneous feedback about its performance during the training session. On a subconscious level it begins to “work out” and It begins to produce more of the helpful type of brainwave patterns and less of those that are correlated with the symptoms you wish to address. With practice, your brain learns new patterns. Desirable neuronal pathways are strengthened and new pathways are created.
  • How long do sessions last?
    Each session takes between 45 and 60 minutes. The actual training period lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. Additional time is needed beforehand for sensor placement and adjustment. We also speak with our clients briefly before and after each training session to monitor how things are progressing. We reserve 60 minutes for each client to ensure that no one is rushed and that there will be time to discuss the results you are experiencing.
  • How many sessions will I need?
    Results from Biofeedback training are seen gradually, over time. Initial progress can be seen within 10 sessions for most conditions. A typical treatment program consists of between 15 and 30 sessions, depending upon the conditions being addressed, with the average being 15 sessions. Current understanding among Biofeedback providers is that it takes a minimum of 20 sessions for learning to be consolidated so the client can maintain the gains that have been made. Sometimes a client will complete 20 sessions, take a year off, and then return to complete training.
  • How frequent should the training session be?
    When starting neurofeedback training, sessions should be regular and frequent at two or three (or more) sessions per week. As learning begins to consolidate, the pace can be reduced.
  • What happens if Biofeedback clients are taking medication?
    With successful Neurofeedback / EEG Biofeedback training, the medications targeting brain function may very well no longer be needed, or they may be needed at lower dosages, as the brain takes over more of the role of regulating itself.
  • What is the research on Biofeedback?
    Research continues to show that biofeedback therapy training, results in patients learning to control their own brain activity, while effectively “retraining” their own brain waves toward healthier patterns. Since its inception in the 1960s biofeedback has been rigorously studied. A recent review of the term biofeedback on the National Institute of Health’s database ‘PubMed’ reported that Biofeedback has gained attention in recent years showing only 948 articles and peered-reviewed research published between 1990 and 1995, and 2,267 published since 2010 to present. For current researh articles and publication visit our research page here.
  • What is Neuroplasticity and how Biofeedback plays a role?
    Historically the brain was seen as hard wired with each area having its own function; when that area was injured the function was lost. Today the concept of neuroplasticity has replaced the hard wired model. Neuroplasticity refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels ranging from cellular changes due to learning to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory and recovery from brain damage, all from which Biofeedback can help.
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