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
Table of Contents
Files Menu 13
Client Menu 23
Tools Menu 42
Print Menu 46
Options Menu 49
Help Menu 77
Help manual 77
Dongle Info 78
Plan Session 82
Popup Menus 102
Autogoal Popup 102
Volume Popup 104
Tactile Popup 105
Uncouple Popup 111
Help Screens 112
Control Keys 114
Zscore Display 120
Client Software 138
EEGer Game Set 138
Score Screen 139
Spectral Mirror 146
Support Programs 150
Main Menu 151
This device is to be used for general relaxation training when used with supported amplifier/encoders.
US Federal Law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of health care practitioners.
Operators of this device are expected to be health care practitioners trained in neurofeedback or technicians trained in neurofeedback supervised by health care practitioners.
When using an EEG sensor, the result of the sensor's slight susceptibility to strong Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) could be to artificially increase the microvolt reading and, in almost every case, to obviously corrupt the raw waveform. By paying regular attention to the display on the PC screen of the raw EEG waveform, it should be possible to readily identify whether or not obvious extraneous artifacts are present or to confirm that the signal is “clean”. If you observe random or increased signal readings unrelated to user activity, move the amplifier/encoder and client away from any radiating device.
You can also test for susceptibility of the active sensors by clipping the three electrodes together and observing the display for non-zero readings or variations. If you are unable to resolve the conditions, contact Technical Support.
Do not mix electrode types. Electrode connections using mixed combinations of metals can lead to incorrect reporting of EEG data.
Do not forget to clean and sanitize electrodes between use. Follow the electrode manufacturer's recommendations.
Ensure that proper connection of the electrodes to the client is made. This is most easily checked by measuring the impedance of the electrodes to the head using some measurement device.
Follow all the instructions in the instruction manual for the amplifier/encoder to be used.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Improved presentation of feedback games
Advanced support for double-blind studies
Recording/display of operator name
Device monitoring/warning during live sessions
Recording of all settings/options for each session.
Display of modification status of session plans
Additional amplifier options
Additional feedback modes (some experimental at this point)
As part of the EEGer4 updates, provision for future modes and capabilities were made.
Support for EEGer4 is provided by EEG Education & Research Inc. and EEG Store.
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.
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.
Typical overall operation consists of
Selecting a client from the list of clients
(Possibly) reviewing the planned session
Beginning a session
Selecting a feedback display (game)
Making adjustments during the session
Post-session, reviewing the results.
EEGer4 has been designed to facilitate this process and automate full data recording.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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.
Each EEGer game has a complex set of sound feedback capabilities that can optionally be used. These are described in Appendix 9.
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.
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.
A confidence test of the system is performed as follows:
Start EEGer and observe no errors reported on screen.
Click on the button labeled “Select Client”
Locate and select “SMR eegdemo” (highlight and click open or double-click)
Notice that the remaining buttons are now available (and the “Select Client” button is now labeled “Change Client Selection”)
Click on “Choose Layout” is the current layout is not the desired one (for now, select 5-trace)
Click on “Plan Session” to verify the current session plan. Click on OK at the bottom to exit the session planning.
Click on “Replay a Session”
When the list of files is displayed, select the “normal eeg” selection (select and click OK or just double-click).
If using a Thought Technology amplifier/encoder, turn it on.
Select a game to use (in this case, select Highway).
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.
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.
Press F9. If an “Insufficient data” message flashes, wait a little while and press F9 again.
Press F5. Notice that the PAUSE message in the lower left changes to RUN
Press F11 once more and listen for reward beeps.
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.
Details of each of the menus listed below are described in greater detail in each corresponding section.