The Effect of Passive-Infrared Hemoencephalography (pIR HEG) on Athlete’s Performance
This single case study explores the effects of a specific form of biofeedback on sports enhancement. Three college athletes from three different sports (baseball, volleyball, and basketball) were each subjected to five weekly sessions of passive infrared hemoencephalography (pIR HEG) from a licensed psychotherapist who had been trained in this form of biofeedback. Sports data were collected prior to the session, during the sessions, and after the sessions. In addition, card sorting and thermal imaging were done by the therapist during each of the five brain-training sessions. The results were mixed. The baseball and volleyball players demonstrated modest gains in their specific sports measures and in the card-sorting process, whereas the basketball player’s measures were flat. The thermal imaging was also inconclusive. However, two out of three subjects reported subjective improvements in focus and concentration on the field and in their daily lives. In addition, two of the subjects reported improvements in their rate and intensity of headaches, which was not a specific goal of the treatment, but one which is routinely seen from pIR HEG treatment. There are significant limitations to this study that make it impossible to generalize. Further studies with longer treatment times and larger numbers of subjects are recommended.
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