EEGer4

Neurofeedback

Software





Operator's Manual

Version 4.4.0











Technical Support: EEG Education & Research Inc. (800) 789-3456

Customer Support: EEG Store (888) 521-9803

Initial issue 1 May 2015

Update 22 October 2015

Update 12 October 2016



Contents

Table of Contents

Contents iii

General Information and Cautions 1

Indications for Use 1

General Warnings 1

Precautions to Observe 1

Other Warnings and Contraindications 2

Warnings 2

Contraindications 2

Possible Adverse Reactions 2

What's New in EEGer4 4.0 3

Introduction 4

General Concepts 6

Overall Operation 6

Protocol 6

Protocol Class 6

Layouts 6

Session plans 7

Feedback and reward modes 7

Additional modes (zscore) 8

Tailoring Games 8

Sound Capabilities 8

Editor 8

Remote (supervised) Clients 9

Testing the system 9

Clinician Software Menus 10

Files 11

Client 11

Tools 11

Utilities 12

Print 12

Options 12

Help 12

Files Menu 13

Export... 13

Consultation Import/Export... 15

Archive/File Management... 17

Client Menu 23

Create New Client ID 23

Add Protocol Class to Existing Client 25

Edit Details for Existing Client 26

Select Layout for Existing Client 27

Custom session plans 28

Session Plans 28

Preset filter setups 31

Remote-Use Client Actions 33

Clinician menus for remote use 33

Initialize EEGer remote-use USB memory stick 33

Check Status of EEGer remote-use memory stick 37

Retrieve EEGer remote-use data from USB memory stick 37

Create EEGer remote-use update file for emailing 37

Create code for telephone update of remote sessions 38

Remote-use client menu 38

Read EEGer remote-use update file received from clinician 39

Check status of EEGer remote use USB memory stick 40

Request telephone update of remote sessions from clinician 40

Rebuild client index file 41

Tools Menu 42

Tailor Installed Games 43

Utilities Menu 45

Print Menu 46

Options Menu 49

EEGer configuration Options 49

Devices 50

Device Options 52

Preferences 57

Setup 59

HIPAA 61

Data Locations 62

Time Constants 63

Synchrony 64

Fonts 65

Special 66

Keyfile Settings 68

Change Colors 70

Change background 71

Edit boilerplate file for editor use 73

Change review ratio frequencies/ratios 73

Create ANI Biofeedback 2-Channel Key 75

Create ANI Biofeedback 4-Channel Key 75

Request telephone update of dongle authorizations 76

Help Menu 77

Help manual 77

Run tech support menu 77

Statistics 78

Dongle Info 78

Com Port Info 78

Keyfile Information 78

About 79

Buttons for Client Activities 80

Select Client 80

Plan Session 82

Autogoal settings 87

Begin Session 88

Review Sessions 89

Spectral of a Session 90

Replay a Session 94

Session Screens and Controls 97

Brainwave Display 97

Popup Menus 102

Autogoal Popup 102

Feedback Mode Popup 103

Volume Popup 104

Tactile Popup 105

Peripheral Control Popup 105

Therapist Display Control Popup 106

Game Feedback Display Control Popup 107

Game Control Popup 108

Band Control Popup 109

Expert Settings Popup 110

Uncouple Popup 111

Help Screens 112

Control Keys 114

Long-term Display 118

Spectral Mirror Display 119

Zscore Display 120

Realtime Summary Display 122

Review 123

Client Software 138

EEGer Game Set 138

Score Screen 139

Beta/SMR Protocol Displays 139

Boxlights 140

Highway 141

Island 142

Theta-down Highway 142

Mazes – Fixed Dots 143

Mazes – Variable Dots 143

Jumpbox 144

4mation 145

Spectral Mirror 146

Long-Term Display 147

Iris 149

Support Programs 150

Alpha-Theta Display 150

Main Menu 151

Appendix 1: How the Feedback process works. 153

Appendix 2: Vocabulary 155

Appendix 3: EEGer Computer Performance Settings 161

Appendix 4: EEGer Remote-Use Client Instructions 164

Appendix 5: EEGer Remote-Use Clinician Instructions 167

Appendix 6: Identifying COM Ports 172

Appendix 7: Fixed color codes 173

Appendix 8: Feedback and Reward Modes 174

Appendix 9: Sound controls 176

Appendix 10: EIOTEST 178

Appendix 11: Game Initialization Tool 181

Appendix 12: Zscore 183

Appendix 13: Editor 187

Appendix 14: Game Tailoring Options 188

Appendix 15: Coherence 195

Appendix 16: Protocol Transfer Utility 197

Appendix 17: Remote Flash Utility 206

Appendix 18: Special Startup Options 210

Appendix 19: Tech Support Menu 212

Appendix 20: Study Manager 214

Appendix 21: Common Problems and Fixes 220

Appendix 22: Supported Amplifier/Encoder Devices 224


General Information and Cautions


Indications for Use

This device is to be used for general relaxation training when used with supported amplifier/encoders.


General Warnings


Precautions to Observe




Other Warnings and Contraindications


Warnings

It has been noted that EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) may engender a “rebound effect” in some clients, i.e., biofeedback training for relaxation may result, sometime later, in an elevated level of arousal, heightened sensory awareness and increased vigilance. This is usually transitory and fades after a short time.



Contraindications

EEGer is contraindicated in clients with the following conditions:


Individuals who are unwilling or unable to understand the general principles and goals of the feedback used. This includes individuals with excessive behavioral problems or low IQ.


Individuals who experience anxiety or other unpleasant experiences in connection with EEG biofeedback training.


Certain individuals may be unable to learn to control their EEG through biofeedback. Therapy should be discontinued if periodic monitoring of therapeutic progress indicates that the client is not learning despite adequate review of instructions for feedback.


Among those individuals who experience a “rebound effect”, some may find it mildly uncomfortable. In some of these cases it may be necessary to alter the level of relaxation being trained or discontinue biofeedback training altogether.


Possible Adverse Reactions


There have been some anecdotal reports of dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, excitability and/or anxiety associated with an EEG biofeedback session.. These symptoms are usually mild and pass within a short time. If they persist, the supervising health care professional should change the training parameters or discontinue biofeedback training altogether.


What's New in EEGer4 4.0


EEGer4 version 4.4 is a highly modified and updated version of the older EEGer 4.2 and EEGer4 4.3 neurofeedback software. As part of the development process, there has been an extended test process carried out to verify operation of all components of the software.


Significant changes in EEGer4 are:


Support for EEGer4 is provided by EEG Education & Research Inc. and EEG Store.



Introduction


EEGer4 is a software suite designed to provide visual and aural feedback based on electroencephalograph (EEG) brainwave signals. Neurofeedback is used to teach the brain to modulate excitatory and inhibitory patterns of specific neuronal assemblies and pathways based upon the details of the sensor placement and the feedback algorithms used, thereby increasing flexibility and self-regulation of relaxation and activation patterns.



Here is how the feedback process typically works:


The feedback loop begins with the client. Sensors 'pasted' to the client's head pick up microvolt-level EEG signals which are amplified and converted to digital voltages by the A/D subsystem at a nominal rate (usually 256 Hz).


The samples are converted to equivalent peak-peak voltages. All filters in the software are Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filters. The raw samples are lowpass-filtered to remove 60 Hz ambient noise and threshold-limited to remove muscle (EMG) artifacts. The resulting lowpass signal is fed to a number of 'streams' of processing which are very similar.


In each stream, the lowpass signal is bandpass-filtered into various frequency bands (of the clinician's choice) using IIR digital filters. The filter output is fed to an exponentially-weighted moving average filter which produces a short-term average (peak-to-peak) voltage for further use. The time constant of the averaging filter is selectable but is usually 0.5 seconds. The moving average goes two places: directly to the client (game) software/display and to a comparator. The comparator produces a threshold-exceeded signal whenever the clinician-adjusted threshold voltage is less than the current moving average of the stream.


All the threshold-exceeded signals are processed by the reward decision logic which declares a 'reward' when streams defined as “Inhibit” are all below threshold and streams defined as “Reward” are all above threshold. Rewards are also limited at some rate so that each sound can be separately heard. The reward command is sent to the client computer/display.


The client software logic plays a prerecorded sound file (usually a short beep) whenever a reward is commanded, giving aural feedback to the client that all therapist-specified (amplitude) conditions were being met. The client software also draws simple graphics images giving a continuous (25 Hz) display of the ratio of amplitude to threshold for each stream of data.


The client's EEG response to the aural/visual signals is then sensed and fed back into the loop.

This entire process is shown in Diagram 1.


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Diagram 1.

General Concepts


A neurofeedback system is comprised of four components: electrodes (sensors), amplifier/encoders, software, and the computer(s) used.


There are several manuals for EEGer4 users. The Operator's Manual (this one) contains information on all the controls and displays provided by EEGer4. The Technical Manual contains details about the interconnection of data for all the processing, the filter and (supported) device characteristics, and structures of various data outputs.


Overall Operation

Typical overall operation consists of

  1. Selecting a client from the list of clients

  2. (Possibly) reviewing the planned session

  3. Beginning a session

  4. Selecting a feedback display (game)

  5. Making adjustments during the session

  6. Post-session, reviewing the results.


EEGer4 has been designed to facilitate this process and automate full data recording.

Protocol

A “protocol” is the name used to describe the sequence of actions to be used for a neurofeedback session (frequencies, times, site locations, etc.). EEGer provides “Session Plans” as a way of documenting and preselecting the desired protocols.


Protocol Class

There are three different “protocol classes” provided by EEGer as a method of organizing similar data. AT class is for Alpha-Theta training data, SMR is for Beta-SMR training data, and EXP is a Beta-SMR-like class where screening and baseline data can be separated from actual training data.


Layouts

Layouts define what data is presented on a session screen. The layout definitions specify how many traces of information are displayed and the order of the display. Different protocol classes can have differing layouts available. A typical (SMR) protocol class usually has layout selections like these:



For example, the “5-trace” layout has (from top to bottom) two raw/lowpass input data traces, one inhibit trace, one reward trace, and another inhibit trace. The “6-trace,inhibit” layout has two raw traces, two inhibit traces, one reward trace, and another inhibit trace.


Details of the content possibilities for each layout are contained in the Technical Manual.

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Session plans

Each client has an individual session plan (protocol) for each layout in each protocol class.

Session plan setup is fully described in its own section later in this document.


Feedback and reward modes

Within each layout, a number of feedback modes are defined. Operators can select from any feedback mode within a layout - but cannot select a feedback mode that isn't already defined within a layout. The selection can change during session (pre-)planning or during a session itself.


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Many of the feedback modes have a selection of reward modes available. The specific reward mode can be selected during session planning and changed during an actual session. Reward modes available of course depend on the specific feedback mode in use but the following is a typical list:

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Additional modes (zscore)

Zscore modes and operation are described in Appendix 12. Zscore is an optional capability provided by purchase and installation of the zscore software from Applied Neuroscience, Inc. (ANI).

Tailoring Games

Each feedback display (“game”) has a number of options that may be used with it. EEGer provides a large set of options that can be “tailored” for each game on either a semi-permanent basis or for one single session. Examples of this are the sound used for reward occurrences, reward rates, graphics used, colors, etc.

Sound Capabilities

Each EEGer game has a complex set of sound feedback capabilities that can optionally be used. These are described in Appendix 9.


Editor

EEGer has a built-in (simple) text editor that operates during sessions (live or replayed) and during the post-session reviews. Data is saved separately for each client.


Remote (supervised) Clients

EEGer has a special remote-use mode for remotely-supervised (home) users. The mode includes features that allow/disallow protocol changes and set time frames and quantity limits for remote users. Also, methods are provided that allow the clinician to update/extend/alter the protocol plan for a remote client.


Testing the system

A confidence test of the system is performed as follows:

  1. Start EEGer and observe no errors reported on screen.

  2. Click on the button labeled “Select Client”

  3. Locate and select “SMR eegdemo” (highlight and click open or double-click)

  4. Notice that the remaining buttons are now available (and the “Select Client” button is now labeled “Change Client Selection”)

  5. Click on “Choose Layout” is the current layout is not the desired one (for now, select 5-trace)

  6. Click on “Plan Session” to verify the current session plan. Click on OK at the bottom to exit the session planning.

  7. Click on “Replay a Session”

  8. When the list of files is displayed, select the “normal eeg” selection (select and click OK or just double-click).

  9. If using a Thought Technology amplifier/encoder, turn it on.

  10. Select a game to use (in this case, select Highway).

  11. Verify that there are no error messages on the bottom line of the brainwave display. Error messages (in yellow or red) mean some problem or issue needs to be resolved.

  12. Verify that there is NOT a flashing yellow or red message at the lower right side of the display. Such a message means the amplifier/encoder has not been seen by the computer.

  13. Press F9. If an “Insufficient data” message flashes, wait a little while and press F9 again.

  14. Press F11

  15. Press F5. Notice that the PAUSE message in the lower left changes to RUN

  16. Press F11 once more and listen for reward beeps.

Clinician Software Menus


The EEGer main screen as shown at startup (no client selected). Notice the RED warning message (“Demonstration Only -...”) meaning a successful live session cannot be performed. YELLOW messages are information about upcoming limitations (expiration dates, session counts, etc.). F1 can be pressed at any time to show the help file. Also, Alt-Tcan be pressed at the main screen to bring up a tech support menu for aiding in technical support.


There are two rows of selections. The top row consists of Windows-style menus for program-wide actions. The second row is a row of buttons for client-specific actions. Until a client is selected, only the leftmost button (Select Client) is active.



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Details of each of the menus listed below are described in greater detail in each corresponding section.



Files

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Client


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Tools