“This is why we have to be a little cautious interpreting brain map data. It’s just variability from typical, and then we have to figure out if it’s actually applicable to the individual we’re working with”–Dr. Andrew Hill
Dr. Hill (@AndrewHillPhD) is the founder of The Peak Brain Institute where the Commander and Ben Greenfield spent some time recently experiencing brain mapping with the Q EEG. By using the Q EEG brain scan, Dr. Hill is able to look more closely at the brain to see what might be going on. His institute uses neurofeedback, scanning and meditation in conjunction to help you develop your cognitive capacity and help treat people with TBI or other cognitive dysfunction. Find out more about his work and the kind of training that they offer.
This podcast is supported by Ample. Ample is a new company that has brought you convenient and healthy meals in a bottle. Mark loves Ample and has started using them as his regular “MRE” or Meal Ready to Eat. The Ample meals aren’t just protein shakes, they are complete meals, including fiber and healthy fats as well as protein. Check them out. Listeners can use the code “unbeatable” on amplemeal.com to get 15% off their first order.
The Neurohacker Collective have recently come out with Qualia, an extensively researched nootropic that combines natural ingredients with the best synthetic ingredients to maximize our capacity to think effectively. When you purchase an ongoing subscription for Qualia at neurohacker.com, enter the code “unbeatablemind15r” to get 15% off the price of a monthly subscription.
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Other episodes of our podcast that you might be interested in are Mark’s interviews with Dr Daniel and Tana Amen on their work with the SPECT scan and the interview with Daniel Schmachtenberger of The Neurohacker Collective.
Transcript & Shownotes
Hey folks. Mark Divine here with you from the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Thanks so much for joining us today. My guest today is Dr. Andrew Hill who I just spent the day with, actually, last week. I’ve got some really, really interesting things to talk about with Dr. Hill. And before introducing him a little bit more fully let me remind you of a couple of things.
One, thanks very much if you rated this podcast. We have over 300 5 star ratings. It does really, really help with the ability for folks who are looking for something interesting along these lines to come find us. So if you haven’t, then please go to iTunes and support us there.
So Dr. Hill thanks for joining us. Dr. Hill is a Peak performance coach and an neurotherapist. He’s got a PhD in, gosh you know… I’d have a blast studying this stuff… But cognitive neuroscience from UCLA. He continues to teach over at UCLA. Courses in psychology and neuroscience and gerontology.
So Dr. Hill also spoke at our annual Unbeatable Mind retreat last year, or I think two years ago, right?
Dr. Hill: Yeah. I think it was.
Mark: So awesome stuff and we’re going to have a great conversation today about the brain and I learned some interesting thing about my brain last week, didn’t I, Dr. Hill?
Dr. Hill: We did yeah. We took a peek under the covers so to speak, and did what’s called a Q EEG, a quantitative EEG.
Mark: You know what’s interesting is I’ve been training… thinking that I’ve been training… well I have been training my brain in an intense way from a very early age. You see all the athletics, and then the Zen and the martial arts and then the Navy SEALs training and yoga and this and that. And I continue to do…
And it’s… There’s a lot of contextual things that have happened. There’s a lot of focusing. A lot of concentration. None of that showed up. What showed up was essentially the brain wave patterns and then some… not dysfunction, but some potential indicators of injury. I thought I was fascinating.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, I mean it’s pretty common that people show a little bit of damage here and there. It’s not that unusual. We’re discovering these days that even routine levels of impact can often produce damage. Recent studies out showing that high school kids who practice with the football team, but never play a game show damage at the end of the season.
Study out couple weeks ago showed that after a soccer heading drill, heading the ball 20 times in 20 minutes or something, you show big inflammatory markers. Gaba and glutamate release. And memory’s impaired by two thirds for a certain amount of time after you impact your head that way.
So it’s not really a question of if you have damage, it’s like, is it getting in your way? And how much of it may be? A little bit of wear and tear is going to happen. Certainly you, Mark, have lived a very variable life in all of your roles and all of your physicality. And cognitive load as well. And so your brain’s going to both react to that pattern itself, optimize. As well as occasionally take a hit. And dysregulate a tiny bit.
Mark: I think more than occasionally I took a hit. I mean no question all the fighting and the martial arts, controlled fighting you know. And blows to the head or even the body where your head is taking a hit to the mat.
And then we talked about this earlier, they’re starting to look at just shooting. So military warriors who do practice weaponry and then combat, is just the reverberatory effect of the repercussion of the bullet. And that repeated hundreds of thousands of times over a 20 year career is going to build up in some sort of micro-damage.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, yeah. Cumulative damage. I think we mention there’s a study out… It was a government program looking at, “can we quantify this degree of back pressure from the explosions? Especially of shoulder mounted weapons? And they released some little lapel buttons essentially that measure concussive force. And after running this program for a number of weeks they scrapped it because the devices were not sensitive enough and they were all picking up too high levels of force over time.
So when you get exposed to these kinds of “whoosh” of their air, that’s got pounds of force behind it again and again and again like what you describe, it does produce damage. It’s not really if, it’s how much in this case.
I would say about half the people who come in I find something… Some sort of damage. The good news is no matter what you find in a Q EEG… And I should back up actually, and say that the Q EEG doesn’t necessarily find things definitively. It shines a light on what might be unusual in your brain. Some of the patterns are more reliable than others in terms of what they mean.
The markers for ADHD and things are very well validated. Very valid. 94% specificity or something.
The markers for TBI, traumatic brain injury, less so.
Mark: Is that because the population hasn’t been studied in that much detail? So you don’t have the data?
Dr. Hill: A little bit. When we do a Q EEG we use a normal population of several thousand people. When we do a concussion or TBI analysis, we also bring in a database of people that have concussion or traumatic brain injury closed head injuries.
The bigger problem probably is that injury is a much more heterogeneous presentation than brain typical brain regulation is. So there’s lots more ways that things can go wrong. And there aren’t as many classic types of patterns. There are a few things we often see now at a gross level. Like, if you see excess Delta in the brain, you think of a crush injury. Its smushes the tissue and the tissue is not quite sure how to regulate anymore and so it defaults back to the slowest frequency, which is Delta. Almost like a pulse in the brain.
And then if you have in contrast, sheer damage, if you’re twisting and suddenly you decelerate in part of the brain rips away from surrounding tissues, then you get hot spots a very fast frequency like beta as the inhibitory interneurons connecting regions get broken.
So some of those patterns show up one way or the other but the stripes or force of damage through the brain or other forms of indication are really variable. And then you have things like sleep deprivation, which also show inflations of frequencies. And developmental issues.
EEG is very messy and noisy landscape. And to some extent it’s still a phenomenon or trying to explain.
So if you think you have injury and you find it in a brain map, okay, likely. And if you have a lot of symptoms it could be postconcussive and you find indications of concussion on a brain map. Then you start to believe it.
But if you simply find data, and it doesn’t really apply to you, then it’s interesting and it’s something to think about, but not necessarily something to…
Mark: Yeah, it’s like fishing for something that might not be there. Let’s… I mean, I’ve got so many questions. But kind of on that vein, if you know you’ve got… If you’re showing symptoms… There’s two ways to look at it.
One, if you’re showing symptoms like anxiety or depression typically the field of psychology’s going to look for some root psychological/emotional cause. And what you’re learning is that might actually be related to the brain injury. Which is then causing the symptom to appear.
You just gotta keep on looking in the right place… Or, looking in the subjective place, not an objective place.
Dr. Hill: absolutely. At least from my perspective, and I’m biased, I’m a physiologist. I look at the physiology.
Absolutely. And to some extent this is how I’m different as a neurofeedback clinician. I’m not a therapist. I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I’m a neuroscientist. And so for me, the level at which I focus on the stuff is at the… We call them, “Endophenotype,” or the presentations of subcomponents of patterns in the brain. And that’s the level I think about. Not anxiety, but stress response or switching attention stuff at the level of the brain. Not depression, but slow processing speed or laterality differences. Not memory issues, but slow processing speed, accelerated aging, focal damage.
So I’m really operating, looking for little pieces of the puzzle that I can say, “hey, this might be relevant to your bottleneck, or your goal.” It’s really much… It sort of halfway between a personal trainer and the medical model. But I like to work much more as a trainer where I help you get the data, help you interpret what might be going on, understand what your goals are, and then start to work on this.
And that’s the other piece of the Q EEG. The delight of working with Q EEG is anything you find becomes a target.
Mark: Right, right. And it’s a much more integrative approach. And so when you think about integral medicine, integral science, you’ve got to take a look at the I do we, and the it. So you’re approaching it from the “it,” the therapist’s approaching it from the “I.” But the reality is they both meet and middle somewhere and they both point to different issues.
And you can get a much quicker radar lock if you take… If you had a partner who say was a therapist and someone comes in and says, “hey, I’m experiencing these emotional things and I’m depressed and I have anxiety.” And then the therapist says “okay, tell me about your history.” And then they go down that road, and then he says, “go see Dr. Hill,” and then you come back with a Q EEG brain scan, which then says, “hey guess what? You have this going on in this region of the brain. And your patterns are doing this. Which is indicative of TBI or some trauma. And now suddenly the scope of where you… Together and in an integrated look is narrowed dramatically.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, I definitely was in those and environments, especially when I was working for… I helped out at a company called “Alternatives.” Which does a lot of moderation oriented… Alcohol, and other substance work. And working with psychotherapists in the environment was great and they really enjoy… And I still work with therapists who send their clients to me for brain mapping. And you know how the conversation… The therapist will say something like, “oh, I’ve been working on anxiety really aggressively for the past couple of minds. I’m not really getting anywhere.”
And I’ll say, ” oh, look at this. The brain looks like the anxiety markers are gone, but we’re seeing ADHD. This really looks like impulsivity.”
And the therapist goes, “oh really? Okay.” And then they shift their focus. Or vice versa. Someone’s got substance abuse problems and what you think is a substance abuse problem and you’re doing all the deep psychotherapy and family work and everything else. And you looking you see brain damage that’s going to be profound impulsivity or sleep regulation issues or other things like that. You have a different lens to go after the… Even just thinking about it… The neural feedback it helps you get another possible read on might might be going on as quantified humans we certainly like data. And this is essentially another form of slightly elegant data or we can get.
Mark: Now we talked… I did a podcast with Dr. Amen about six months ago, and he had similar work, but kind of in a different vein. And he was using the fMRI and then I think you mentioned to me that he’s kind of switching to the Q EEG… What’s the difference between the two?
Dr. Hill: So SPECT, Spectroscopy, it uses an fMRI magnet. Usually you take a radioactive tracer that tags to oxygen or glucose. And then you look at… I think Amen’s work is mostly on resting SPECT. So you look at resting SPECT. You look at resting metabolic activity throughout the brain as a function of how much radioactivity is being bound by the cells using the fuel.
This gives you sort of a broad sense of metabolic activity and what you get out of that are pictures of the brain that have shallow spots in the picture or places where there isn’t… where there’s not a lot of metabolic activity from the point of view of this test.
Q EEG in contrast is a resting baseline, eyes closed and eyes open set of measurements from your scalp and electricity versus metabolic activity. And the electricity patterns are then cleaned… we find the cleanest few minutes out of your 5 minutes or so. And then compare it to a database of many people and out of that get mostly z-score maps or standard deviation maps that are really framed about how unusual your brain is.
So we also get all the actual measurements you know, the ratios and speeds and amplitudes of everything. Connectivity. Etc.
The biggest difference between SPECT and Q EEG is that SPECT is largely judged from the clinical perspective and Amen’s kind of the only game in town when it comes to using SPECT and that’s I really not a coincidence I don’t think. I mean, it’s a very subjective interpretation and… I’m fairly good at reading Q EEG, I hear Dr. Amen’s very good at reading SPECT. Very intuitive, very able to peg somebody based on one. But unfortunately it’s a little bit more a clinical skill on his part, and a little bit less of a robust tool that has quote unquote “face validity,” or showing things you think it shows you.
And it’s a very different kind of measure it too. The scalp versus…
Mark: When you say it’s measuring metabolic activity, are you talking about hormones or what is the metabolic activity of the brain?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, so in SPECT it’s either oxygen or glucose in most forms. Or PET. It’s very similar technology. And you’re measuring burning rate of the cells, usually neurons and glial cells. I don’t know if vasculature is well visualized. I don’t think it is, certainly not in SPECT not. I don’t think it is in PET.
Which is a slight different phenomenon. And I forget which one uses glucose and would one uses oxygen. And in both cases… These to some extent were used as research tools and still are… The research case for them is like an fMRI, where you contrast or subtract two different conditions. You give somebody a behavior and attention task and then have them rest, and then as you measure metabolic rate under those two conditions and subtract the activity levels and show where in the brain things are hottest under the change. And you say, “Aah, that the metabolic…”
Mark: I can see why now with Amen’s research why he was such a proponent of nutrition and sleep because those are probably easy to measure because they affect metabolic activity so intensely, you know what I mean?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, broadly absolutely. And I’m also a big proponent of sleep. I think nutrition’s important, but for me sleep is the big sign that things are off. And I don’t measure nutrition, you know, necessarily.
Mark: Do you think that nutrition has an effect on EEG?
Dr. Hill: Grossly it does. And again Q EEG is a population driven metric, so it is this 10,000 foot view about how you’re fitting into the bell curve. And so we tend to go, “you’re a little unusual, or different from average, but just because you’re different from average by a standard deviation or a bit more doesn’t really mean a whole lot probably.”
And so when things get out of the corners of the bell curve. A couple standard deviations out of range, then you go, “okay this is at least unusual enough to probably be something you’re either using or is a bottleneck or something like that.”
Only big metabolic things show up in brain maps…
Mark: Such as extreme… You showed me the brain map of the extreme alcoholic. That would be a case where nutrition…
Dr. Hill: Absolutely. Yeah. Both nutrition and sleep were off in that case. The B vitamins are impaired. Alcohol over-aroused the brain so sleep can’t happen etc. etc. You know, there are some studies out there that showed changes in the EEG signatures with omega-3 fatty acids loading. For other ketogenic diets produce brains that are a little bit different in the EEG signatures, but this EEG, this Q EEG is resting EEG. The biggest time we see differences in the EEG under nutrition, would be under load or task or evoked or induced. Change in the EEG… To give you an example, back to keto, or paleo, or primal… If you’re doing one of those diets, your brain is much less likely to make seizure activity. and so prone to kindling those seizure hotspots that will grow into actual seizures and you go from a carb-laden diet into a eugenic or mostly keto level diet, and on the edge of that you’ll get more stable brain activity over time. And so the resting brain activity might not show all that much change, but you know, how your brain responds to a flashing strobe light or something might suddenly show a difference. Ictal versus non-, seizure versus no seizure activity.
Mark: Let me back up a little bit more to the thousand mile view here. Most listeners this podcast are highly functioning individuals and entrepreneurs, executives, CEOs, Fortune 1000 companies, elite athletes, Navy SEALs, whatnot. And all of us, and I’ll put myself in this category, like to think that our brains are pretty damn good. Working pretty well. And what I learned in my day with you is that that’s true. We can train around the neuro- plasticity of the brain is just astounding. We can train around early childhood injuries from soccer or football or all of us Navy SEALs who put 100,000 rounds down range and we can kind of overcome all that. However, we can still train to improve the foundational performance of our brains and that could, should, probably will show up increased effectiveness in other areas of our lives.
Dr. Hill: It will. And we’re really on the edge between a fix and a fitness metaphor here. And there may be things to go after but at least the third of my clients are people but without any identified… it’s a significant deficit who just want to squeeze more focus, sleep deeper, be more creative, etc. etc.
Mark: We talked about Ben Greenfield. So Ben is the epitome of someone who will do anything he possibly can to ensure that he can perform at his peak. There’s no “fixing” things necessarily with Ben anymore. There might be something I’m not aware of, but I don’t see it.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, Ben talks about that in his show. We found a few things in his brain, kinda like we found in yours, “Oh, this is some suboptimal stuff from my perspective.” From a population perspective, the patterns we found often mean some slight difficulty. And for someone like you, and someone like Ben, I’m a little bit less concerned about weirdness in the Q EEG. And less is things that suggest that there may be future problems lurking.
You mentioned that there were courses in gerontology. From a gerontological perspective we don’t necessarily care so much about “curing” brain problems. Yeah we do for diseases of aging. But memory, focus, cognition in normal people don’t actually degrade all that much. There is a trajectory of decline over time. And so the goal ends up being flattening the trajectory. And so we slide into 70, 80, 90 with the same cognitive resources, attention span, memory access, sleep abilities that we had in our 30s and 40s where they were kind of towards their optimal level.
So, yes, if people come in we can work on specific things. Seizures. Migraines. Depression. ADHD, whatever we’re calling it. But I am really oriented towards giving people tools for cognitive fitness, for mental fitness, brain fitness. Not so much fixing stuff and this is why I’m not too concerned…
Mark: Fixing things seems to be the first thing. It’s like if someone comes in to me and says, “hey, I want to be an elite athlete.” But they have dysfunctional mobility and they can’t do a proper air squat. Well we’ve got to fix that first to get the foundation strong. And then we can start to work on the performance oriented aspect of it. Seems to me it’s like that with the brain.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, absolutely. Often. The only caveat is that because I don’t diagnose, because I don’t view the brain from a therapy or pathology point of view necessarily, I tend to start at the fitness perspective a little bit even if you are profoundly ADHD, you have seizures, you got anxiety… There’s not a lot of difference in the brain map of somebody whose barely ADHD, and profoundly ADHD. Or high level CEO was able to power through tasks with incredible precision and somebody with OCD.
There’s some overlap in these patterns, and what looks a little unusual, pathological in one person ends up not being in someone else. And so you’re right, if there was a deficit that’s obvious, and in the case of body performance I would say deficits in performance are a little easier to spot. Because what’s typical is a little bit more well-established. But in the brain the variability’s a little wider and so the game ends up being a little bit more coaching game. How do you perceive your strengths and weaknesses? Where do the bottlenecks we think exists match your perspective on a good goal or an active bottleneck? And everything is… Becomes a moving target when it’s subjected from both sides a little bit.
And this is why I’m such a proponent of Q EEG, the quantitative part. Where we keep going back to the bed database. We keep reimaging, remapping your brain. I really don’t like the recipe book or magic formula technology kind of approaches to brain training. I really like to go in and here’s something that might be relevant. Let’s lean on it. “Oh it worked, let’s reassess.”
Mark: Are there other technologies or other tools that could narrow the scope? For instance, you do the Q EEG and see this kind of like, map of potential things that could be good or not so good. But then you could give someone, let’s say, a speed test. You could give someone a focusing test. You give someone a memory test. Now you’re starting to narrow it down. “Oh, what looked like in the Q EEG as a potential for OCD is actually just intense ability to focus because this guy’s done Zen meditation for 20 years.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, exactly. And usually it often works out the other way as well. I’ve recently… A friend of mine had me image his 18-year-old son or something. “He’s not going to class. He’s having trouble in school.” And I looked at his brain, and I was like, “wow, his brain looks great.”
There’s not a lot going on, maybe some inattention but really nothing profound. And I also mostly have… I have most everyone do an attention test called a CPT, a continuous performance task. And most adult humans perform at ceiling on this test. Kids don’t, often. Unless you have a significant attention problem, or a brain injury. And then sometimes there is a specific pattern of deficits in your sustained attention. So the Q EEG looked pretty good. Couple of slight tension markers. But the attention task, the actual tests of performance over 25 minutes or so showed a couple to standard deviations of problems. So this is why we have to be a little cautious interpreting brain map data. It’s just variability from typical, and then we have to figure out if it’s actually applicable to the individual were working with and so, you’re right. Neuropsych testing like a CPT, speed testing, other kinds of testing, forced reaction times, these all give us a little sense of how the brain’s working.
I will say the most accurate perspective on how the brain’s working seems to be the individual. From a 10,000 foot view where really bad at telling it for performing well right now. Our brains need to adapt. It’s why we can’t… It’s why we aren’t allowed to drink and drive. Because we can’t tell if we’re incapacitated. Machinery we use to judge is also incapacitated when we are impaired. And the whole point of view of maintaining survival level performance is grading our performance ability towards whatever our needs and perspectives are so we don’t monitor drops in performance very well. We adapt to them instead. A little bit perceptually.
Mark: Right. I want to come back to a couple topics. One is mindfulness and the other is training and before… I want to talk about the training you put me through and that we were talking about doing. But before that, most people on this call have been exposed to some kind of brain training like Lumosity or some of the new biofeedback like the Muse and the Halo, which I’m testing right now. And we talked about both these.
Let’s talk through these pros and cons, what about the standard Lumosity… Speed, memory, those types of things. Is that type of training effective?
Dr. Hill: No. Unequivocally, no. It’s a very short answer and it is very, very clear cognitive training– this game type training– you can get better in performance on the game score, but there is a failure of transfer effect. Where you can use the same theoretically trained to resource outside of the test context in a real or other environment. Failure of transfer.
So, for the most part there is zero evidence, there are some fairly damning evidence…
Mark: It’s not good for Lumosity the company.
Dr. Hill: No. And I mean, we pretty much got a clear read on that last year or two years ago when the FDA or FTC actually slapped them with a, “you can’t be saying this does anything,” kind of cease and desist. And all their marketing changed to describing the tests they were creating, not describing what would happen.
Working memory training is the only part of the training that has any benefit in the literature. And that shows benefit less than half the time in the literature. It’s a very weak effect.
Mark: You know on that memory thing, I recently read about a guy who became this master, genius memorizer guy. He could remember 500 names and he did it through visualization tricks and whatnot. And even he admitted there there’s very little crossover to remembering everyday things that he’s not actively gaming himself to try and remember. So it wasn’t improving his general memory.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, and there’s a lot of our anecdotal work for people who have massive memories. And they tend to use mnemonic devices like memory palaces and other chains. And right, people who use those will readily agree that they have gotten good at remembering information in patterns, but not necessarily using it anyway.
There are a few… If you look at the anecdotal literature, there’s a few of these people, circus performers and things who over time seem to develop superior autobiographical memory. Sort of very crisp episodic memory. And it ends up being a curse over time actually, because if you develop this near eidetic or photographic memory where you can sort of open your brain up like a file cabinet, scan through, look at pages, look at experiences, put them back.
If that occurs– and it seems to occur in incredibly rare cases– the consequence is that 20 or 30 years later, your mind is a constant storm. It’s being deluged by every experience and sensation and stimuli you have triggering a series of memories, which trigger more memories, trigger more memories. The signal-to-noise ratio is very, very poor in actually information at that point.
And so it can actually backfire which is probably why we forget. Why we actually don’t have perfect, episodic memory. Because if we did, we would not be able to have enough emphasis or bandwidth on the current moment.
Mark: Interesting. That dovetails with some other recent research that the sleep cycle is actually a pruning of memories. Did you read about that? It’s fascinating…
Dr. Hill: Absolutely. Yeah, the synapses build up all day long. Synaptic density… Plasticity happens nearly constantly. It’s not some special feature of the brain, it’s just one basic thing is changeability. Some things can up-regulate or accelerate, or increase plasticity, which is kind of exciting. But plasticity unchecked is not your friend. So you need ways to emphasize which aspects of plasticity are actually important. Which ones to keep, which ones to throw away. And the longer you wait, the more synapses, the more connections are being made between cells. When you sleep the weakest connections all get washed away and reset. And only the strong ones get consolidated and are persistent across time. And this is a major feature of learning. This is why the longer you’re awake, the less learning sort of works. And it’s also why you need sleep for actual deep, deep learning over time.
Mark: Yeah. Shows you the degradation of memory because of sleep deprivation, but also when you want to learn how to remember… So instead of practicing memory drills, remember what you want to remember before you go to bed. You know what I mean?
Dr. Hill: Mm-hmm.
Mark: To kind of reinforce these memories to make them stronger versus weak. If they’re weak memories or you haven’t really spent some time dwelling on them then they’re going to get pruned in the evening and you’re not going to remember.
Dr. Hill: Yeah. It seems to be three times for exposure within about 36 hours seems to be the peak learning for new information. So, you take it in once. If you then go back and make notes about it on your own right afterwards and then review those notes or write them out once more within another 24 hours. A couple sleep cycles in there. That’s sort of the maximal likelihood of cementing information is passive exposure, active encoding by rewriting at, and then reviewing it once within 24 hours.
Mark: Speaking is as well.
Dr. Hill: Sure. Another form of active encoding. Embodied cognition stuff. Getting it out of your mouth, out of your hands.
Mark: Interesting. So, gosh we could probably go for a couple hours…
The Halo, the Muse and Neural Feedback[33:16]
Mark: What about the Halo? I’m testing the Halo, generally this thing is supposed to… And had got some the Philadelphia Flyers I think? No. Not the Flyers. There are some professional sports organization using it, a bunch of CrossFitters. It works on the movement region of your brain, and it’s got a neuro-stimulative effect. And the claim is that it’s going to help accelerate my physical performance. Make my one rep max bench press better or my max push-ups or whatever.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, I haven’t looked at… I haven’t looked at the research on the Halo. I’m not sure what there is right now. But I have to say I’m fairly unimpressed with the slew of simulation technologies. Most of which are forms of TDCS or TMS. I believe the Halo is a TDCS device.
The general shape of the literature… the research literature on things like stimulation technologies be they TMS, TDCS, or other related technologies, seems to be low efficacy. Something like between one third and two thirds of people’s seem to have an effect. The effect is transient.
And so the way they’ve been used up until now… this idea that you’re going to go in and change the brain with a transient entrainment or simulation that you then remove is unfortunately a little bit broken conceptually. The Halo as an adjunctive device to hack plasticity and then go and train hard, as a way of making change happens faster– that’s plausible to me.
Mark: And that’s the way they pitch it. Use it for 20 minutes while you’re warming up and then you go to do your task without the device on. My problem with these types of things is– I think you hit her on the head– you’re going to get some short-term stimulative a fact or short-term plastic a fact. But then you kind of get hooked on the device, so pretty soon were all going to be wearing Halo’s, and muses and watches and a rock tape and there is no and big gadgets. Could you think you gotta have them on all the time. Because if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Dr. Hill: Absolutely. There is that. The problem with entrainment.
The other problem is that some of these TDCS and CMS’s type studies are showing that in terms of cognitive performance, information processing types of tasks, you sometimes get acceleration or enhancement of one resource at the expense of another. So, you know…
Mark: With the Muse is a possible problem I think…
Dr. Hill: It might be. It depends on why you’re using it. I like the Halo in terms of a adjunctive with exercise.
The Muse, my biggest problem is that it’s a forehead device for the most part. And the forehead is not really where you want to train for neural feedback. Really ever.
Nor is it a very effective place to measure many things because you need dry sensors that measure the skin. In a consumer device that seems to be the way people are going because of convenience. But the problem is, you really want to measure the motor ship from ear to ear. That’s the important part of the brain for regulatory staff. Not so much the frontal lobe in terms of an EEG signature. The best validated in things like Q EEG.
So, a) the forehead’s harder to interpret and b) the sensors you need when you’re using these passive sensors. You get a lot of noise of EMG or muscle noise. The problem with that is you need to filter noise out of the signal before you can measure it. And there’s issues with filtering EEG or really any signals such that the more aggressively filtered, the more you smear the signal in time.
And so a lot of what I’ve looked at up until now… I haven’t looked at the Muse deeply, but some of these other devices that were out in the past few years… I’ve looked at the signal, and looked at the time delay between introducing noise and seeing a little bit of noise show up in the signal. And it’s hundreds of milliseconds which means that this is no longer really useful for things like neural feedback.
And even Q EEG are measuring metrics… There’s a few metrics you can measure individual motivations. Like, Monastra had papers out many years ago that are now being jumped on by entrepreneurs. You can diagnose essentially ADHD from a single vertex electrode on the top of the head. Looking at a ratio of theta to beta. Eyes open, I think. It’s a really reliable measure for ADHD diagnostics.
And things like that can be measured somewhat… There is a four head measure being used in hospitals. It’s a very specific type of measure that looks at coupling between gamma and theta, and it’s used for depth of anaesthesia. So it’s actually a consciousness monitor. But those devices and the amplifiers attached to them are ridiculously more sensitive and sophisticated than what is out in consumer headband devices these days.
And so, it’s another case unfortunately, of the devices having more sizzle than steak, I think. And that dismay’s me a little bit because it means that people expect something from the devices they aren’t getting. And there’s stuff that the little bit harder to use and a lot more sophisticated and works. So it’s… The shortcut may actually make you think something doesn’t work or his and accessible when all that wasn’t accessible was something at the couple hundred dollar price point. But there is actually real things out there that you can get into.
Mark: that’s likely the state of the technology to. It seems to me like Muse and these things could be… With the virtual reality rich environment can be more effective as a technology as it evolves.
Neurofeedback and training[38:48]
So let me shift focus and talk about your training. You put me on this… You hooked me up and put a little attachments my head and my ears and then you queued up essentially a videogame. But there were no controls. So I to fly the Stealth bomber through these rings of fire, over the water and ships and stuff. It was actually really, really fun. But in a different way. I had to set aside this notion that I was going to be doing anything with your mind. I wasn’t like thought controlling this thing, but I actually was. But I was doing it with passive thought, not active thought. There was no hand controls, nothing but me just essentially trying to experience and correct me if I’m wrong, or tell me if I’m even close… Experience a range of alpha and beta. What did that feel like in my brain? What was actively or passively happening? And when I could feel that and keep that in that range then the jet flew straight. When I start to veer from that by active thought or my eyes switching or clenching my jaw then it would veer off course and crash.
Dr. Hill: You’re very close. How you describe it is how most people perceive it. The wrinkle is it’s probably not voluntary. And it feels like it is a little bit…
Mark: I thought so because I would practice my Apache fox walk technique, I softened my gaze and go into my deep breathing and just like really actively tried to… There I am again “try” to slow down my brain. And you’re saying that that was not…
Dr. Hill: Well, you changed your brain, but you didn’t control the software. And what I mean by that is the software’s adaptive so it’s always measuring what you’re doing and setting a threshold above or below where you are that it wants you to trend in to give you more rewards.
And if you change dramatically, it adjusts next to where you are a few seconds later. So most of what it’s measuring, most of what it’s training, is the EEG that just happened 100 ms ago. And that’s kind of on the edge of perceptual ability, so you were able to control your brain and that was reflected in the software. But you weren’t really able to effort fully control the software because of the slight time lag. Because it’s parameterizing or you’re only giving you rewards for certain things your brain is doing. And so I’m guessing that like many people you would agree the experience is more like letting it happen, then making it happen.
Mark: Yeah, and I was still looking for the leaderboard to see if I was ahead of Ben, but I didn’t see that.
Dr. Hill: (laughing) We should get you elite fitness guys all in a room training at once. We’ll get Laird in there and Brian MacKenzie…
Mark: (laughing) That’d be awesome.
Dr. Hill: Competing for a… head-to-head, so to speak.
Mark: So what is happening to my brain when I do that? How is that going to benefit me?
Dr. Hill: Sure. So we did a simple protocol with you. We often start people off on this protocol. It’s called SMR. SMR is sort of a magical frequency of neural feedback. It stands for “sensory motor rhythm” and it’s a rhythm produced by the motor strips. There’s a motor strip that runs from ear to ear. When the body’s at rest… And this is fairly critical… There is a special state that happens when the mind is alert and poise to act but not busily engaged. And the body is very relaxed as well.
We discovered that SMR state in the late… Well, we discovered that it was special and neural feedback in the late 60s. Barry Sturman, a professor at UCLA, was measuring learning. He was a learning oriented scientist and cats were is sort of test subjects. He had 30 to 40 cats in the vivarium where they lived, and he ended up exposing them to rocket fuel. NASA was trying to figure out how dangerous rocket fuel was and astronauts were reporting hallucinations and nausea and stuff.
And doing some testing of dose-dependent curves he found that cat had a very typical response. Hydrazine destabilizes the brain. And some of these cats…
Mark: Good thing PETA wasn’t around then, by the way.
Dr. Hill: It’s true. This is a previous sort of era of animal experimentation that would never pass subject review now. But back then it did.
Dr. Sturman found that a subset of his cats refuse to have seizures and needed like 2 1/2 times the exposure of this toxin hydrazine before they experienced all the instability in their brain. Stumbling, drooling, ataxia. Seizure, coma, etc. And he realize these cats had been trained early… Six months or so before, for proof of concept to raise SMR this frequency.
And I think the reason that Dr. Sturman chose SMR was cats make really obvious SMR. And I think it’s a predator thing. So if you’ve ever seen a cat lying in the windowsill watching birds you’ve seen this laserlike intensity in the eyes, but incredibly liquid body. And predators can spring into action from relaxation much more quickly than from tension. So you act from profound relaxation. So high SMR is an inhibited body, you aren’t acting on it. And also your active attention. Your sense of “gotta grab that,” “gotta really engage in think furiously” that also inhibited.
Turns out training up SMR in humans… Dr. Sturman had a lab assistant who was epileptic and fairly uncontrolled medication lies and she started having him train her brain to reduce more SMR. Lo and behold, she was able to get off all her meds and have some years of seizure free activity.
So there was a bunch of epilepsy work in the 70s that showed that yes you can make the brain more meta-stable through SMR training. And then we discovered that it also dramatically ramps down things like ADHD to the point of eliminating them. And even those things on tolerance to drugs and other interesting resets in the brain. And it also seems to be involved with sleep. In humans SMR is not obvious, and so in humans we make a lot of it in a state that’s obvious, called “sleep spindles.” These little bursts of SMR that happen as a memory consolidation aid when we’re deeply asleep, and not dreaming.
So, it’s this really interesting frequency now, that’s a lot of preamble but when you sat down flying your Stealth bomber, we were measuring a couple of frequencies we cared about. Once called theta. And one was SMR. They did is about 4 to 7 Hz and usually high theta means your distractible, a little bottom up in your attention. Things tend to get pulled by the environment instead of deciding what to focus on.
So moment to moment measurements of your theta and your SMR and whenever your theta went down and stayed down and your SMR went up or stayed up, the spaceship or the Stealth bomber flew more precisely towards the target, and you also got an audio reward. The ding ding ding ding ding would sometimes happen when your brain was moving in range. It would suddenly stop happening when your brain was out of range.
The whole trick of this is the brain prefers input to lack of input. And so we were gently applauding certain things it was already doing. Whenever those things showed up, “Okay, cool. that’s interesting.” And then when those things went away, brain was like, “hey, where’s my steering control? Where’s my audio feedback? I was listening to that. That was interesting. That was me.”
And then it suddenly resumes. The brain just happens to go back in that direction. So we teach the brain– the brain, not the mind– what it might want to do more of. After several days of shaping–this is operant conditioning–after shaping the brain’s activity a little bit further and further, you start to get performance differences. You see differently. Focus differently. You feel differently. Based on what you feel, we try something else. We do more of the same. So, is kind of like if you went to a new personal trainer who said, “Hey, I have this gym full of parts. We’re going to create a work out machine. We’re going to figure out what a muscle is. We’re going to exercise it and see if it feels stronger. But we’re discovering together what a muscle is for you, and what the right workout is for that muscle for you.”
Mark: So the training is very customizable? I mean it has to be customized based upon actual feedback and the results.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, and this is why Q EEG is so interesting. I get a sense of where you are at and how your brain operates x far away from typical, that helps me really design the protocol you need and it’s more likely to get you where you want to go more quickly.
Mark: That’s a baseline.
Dr. Hill: And also sidestep the likely side effects. You can cause harm. You can cause side effects with neural feedback if you keep doing things that produce weird facts and don’t adjust for them eventually those weird facts become permanent too.
Mark: Let’s pause right there. That is really interesting and I think that’s something for people to understand or appreciate and I think I mentioned to you that one of my yoga teachers said, “hey, if you’re an asshole and you meditate for 20 years, then it is likely you could be a bigger asshole.” Because there is no, like, feedback from anybody on what’s the effect of that meditation. Is that the right meditation for you? It’s there something else you should be working on? And what about some underlying issues that may be you’re not focusing on, and so now your magnifying those?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, the type of meditation, there is no feedback around. So you could be meditating yourself off in the wrong direction. This is true for anxiety. Anxiety is often not the right state to start meditation from. If you do the wrong meditation you can absolutely invoke anxiety, re-traumatize yourself, like PTSD etc. etc. etc.
Mark: The same is true for breath practices, which kind of worries me about, like, the Wim Hof craze. We know that breathing practice can create some warmth and do all that kind of stuff. But it can also have other psychological effects and one size doesn’t fit all and the ancient yogis used to warn against that. Said, “Listen, be very careful.” Do something really basic and simple but be careful when you go crazy like that because you never know what effect it can have.
So you want to have the baseline. That’s the Q EEG gives you that baseline, then you can target the initial training. But then you want to constantly be tweaking it for basically– based upon the results and the experience. That’s what you’re saying, right?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, absolutely. And even I think the best benefit when it’s tightly tailored to you is over time you end up dialing in your own desired brain states and brain changes in a very personal way. And what a successful change is is really your call and to some extent at your desire. You get to really decide, “I want to be more creative. Or more deeply rested. Or more laser-like focus.”
And it’s kind of delightful that we can decide that we don’t want to put up with something our brain is doing we don’t like. Or we want to reach for higher goals. And there’s a fairly reliable way to get some movement there.
Mark: How much time does it take? I think you mentioned 3, 4 months and you can see some serious results.
Dr. Hill: Yeah, 3 to 4 months is around the minimum I tell people that they’re going to need to get sort of long-term change. For some simple stuff, like sleep issues, anxiety, ADHD, 3, 4 months is really reliable for most people.
And you don’t have to wait 3 or 4 months to feel it. A couple weeks in and you’re really starting to notice something. Subjective stuff really mounting in an appreciable way.
If you have brain injuries, if you have developmental issues, then we’re talking more like 4 to 6 months to make a big change. And what changes when there’s more severe impairments might be a smaller degree of change. Like what success is if you’re a nonverbal, autistic kid who’s self-stimming and obsessive… Smaller changes, eye contact, reduction of obsession, that’s the goal, maybe.
But if you’re high-powered CEO, sleeping six hours and getting rock solid restorative rest from that. Having resilience to switch gears all day long without getting burnt out. Those are now the goals.
So a teenager with ADHD, getting rid of the measurable ADHD on behavior tests.
So it’s very individualized and this is why the fitness versus fix sort of breaks down very quickly for most people.
Mark: Knowing your peak brain centers you also offer mindfulness, and we even talked about maybe some Unbeatable Mind type training down the road which I think would be cool to have this integrated approach. But back to the mindfulness. How does that kind of work in concert with the neural feedback?
Dr. Hill: I sort of view neural feedback and mindfulness like a personal trainer and your coach within the sport or skill. So the neural feedback’s really the guy making you bang out reps. Work on that resource. Push you past your limits. Now it’s easy to do and it sort of involuntary so it’s very easy coaching in a lot of ways. There is very little motivation you have to keep the person… You aren’t holding their feet fire; you just listen to what they’re saying about how they’re feeling.
Where the mindfulness is helping you learn to use resources and explore internal landscapes and get voluntary control. And so I’ve done a lot of work in clinical environments with more acute problems, and I’ve observed when people do neural feedback and meditation of some sort, including mindfulness, everything works better. Adding neural feedback to anything makes it work better as plasticity goes way up. But meditation by itself, neural feedback by itself… Neural feedback and meditation, there’s like a multiplier that seems to kick in.
And, you know, there’s an Ashtanga yoga studio next to my Culver City office, and we have people who do the morning Mysore practice, and then come next door at 8 AM and take a shower in our shower and then sit down and do neural feedback. Meditate in the evenings with us. And when people stack the body, the mind, and the brain… I mean I’ve had folks come in and get really great results for a few months with concussion work, or injuries, but just not quite nail it down. And then they added Ashtanga and suddenly everything takes off again, and all the effects start to really burgeon more powerfully. And I have to believe it’s shoving all that oxygen and blood and glucose into tissues before you then exercise those tissues. Everything works better when you’re working the whole system.
And so, you know…
Mark: I love that. That to me speaks to the kind of… This notion of changing the state to essentially changing the state into a permanent stage shift. And so the mindfulness is more like integrate, make meaning of, and stabilize the training effect, show they have more long term and over time that becomes a more stage permanence as opposed to…
Dr. Hill: Yeah, and it’s really good for some people who already have a mindfulness practice, who have that ability. It’s not going to work well for a kid or somebody with profound injuries, or somebody who is… Just doesn’t think that mindfulness or meditations for them. They are sort of opposed to it.
There’s lots of ways to intervene in your psychological, mental, physical, physiological health. Human transformation over the past century suggests when you stack multiple interventions you get multipliers on effect. When you hit 3+ interventions, the likelihood of discontinuous change, where you’re going to develop and develop new resources, heal old things, becomes a nearly perfect chance. So between three and four interventions and that can be dietary, physical exercise, yoga, meditation, neural feedback… When you stack three or four of these things together you get change almost without any other option but change.
Mark: Yeah. That’s… You just basically validated the unbeatable mind training, which is stacking of physical, mental, emotional, intuitional, spiritual training. Done through daily rituals, through your physical training, which now you’re making integrated. And through spot drills. And like you said, the change is almost mandatory. You’d really have to either not do it, pretend to do it, or totally screw it up.
Dr. Hill: It is, exactly. And the change in neural feedback is totally involuntary, so if you show up and tell us what’s going on, we can steer your brain. And the spot drills become your life. You go out and sit in the boring boardroom and discover after 90 minutes you’ve actually not gotten distracted or you blow through a blight create a project with time to spare. Or you sleep really deeply, wake up reflect refreshed.
Those of the challenges in your… The spot drills are the practice. And this is why central biofeedback, or biofeedback on the brain, neural feedback is a permanent change where peripheral biofeedback on the PNS is not typically, unless you keep practising, because is voluntary skill which you must learn to turn on and turn off. Where central biofeedback is resources that you’re already turning on and turning off. So practice just happens as you live your life.
Mark: Now let’s kind of wrap this up by talking about how listeners can stack this skill of passive neural feedback into their daily life. Now it’s not easy. You and I… Largely because the technology hasn’t been miniaturized yet and made cost-effective, but it’s coming, it’s coming.
So right now you said that I can get… And I’m going to do this, so I wanna stay on after we close this off and talk. It’s similar to what you did with Ben, but I can get the little suitcase bomb thing that has the laptop, and neural feedback stuff, and then I can get trained on it and I can use it at home.
And I can put my trust son through it, which may help him with his ADD and maybe we could even come up with a program for our unbeatable mind inner circle peeps.
Tell us about that. What’s the state-of-the-art for now, if you wanted to add this as a practice?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, there’s a couple ways we do it. At home, we offer a sort of intensive followed by a period of remote supervision. Usually we suggest people do a three day… Actually, 3 half days intensive, with your brain map and we teach you one of the software packages that is relatively easy to use. It can’t do absolutely everything we do, but I can do most things we do with neural feedback. And it’s also 10% the price of the one they can do everything. That’s why it’s our home system.
And we can figure home system for you with a multichannel EGG. If you’ve got migraines we add H EEG, which is for red blood flow training. There’s a few other parts we’ve put together for you.
And then over the few days we teach you how to use it. and so you leave the office knowing how to use your neural feedback a little bit, even if you don’t know what to do. And then we monitor an electronic chart, and we give you these protocols to try, and access tech-support. And usually over those three months… The goals are a little bit different in a remote training. It’s not so much fix the problem a few months and be done. It’s not really cost-effective in that way. Cause your buying your own gear.
But, like you, if you have multiple people to train it’s really cost-effective. If you want to train long-term or you’re a peak performer with things to hack at for long-term then yeah.
And then for the first three months we supervise and give you support and help you dial in a bunch of different things that are working for you with the expectation that you’re going to run with it long-term. And if you want another brain map, you’d pop into on the offices and get assessed every so often to get a sense of what is good, and what you can go after next. And people can do that… We have two big offices. ones in St. Louis and once in Culver City. We have a few other satellite offices around.
Mark: So if you want to travel or you live near a Peak Brain Institute, that can be like a mind gym. You go in there like your yoga use next-door, every day or you can just go for an extended stay of a week or so, right?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, people come for three times a week for months. People come for five weeks and do every day or twice a day training intensives. Or people come for three days and leave with themselves set up to train with some support for a few months at a minimum.
And so we really try to make it accessible. There is the self training option really gets you skills because you don’t just want to nail down some ADHD or some sleep stuff. You’d be better resourced working with a professional to really dial in. The biggest bang for the buck every single session versus being a little imperfect and having to check back when you need new things. Those really matter if the sessions aren’t quite as effective, because there is no limit on sessions the way we do home training it’s your gear, it’s your equipment it’s your training process. And our job is to teach you to be a self trainer with whatever you’re doing, not charge you per session so once you have your set up it’s truly open-ended long-term for you. But that’s really about teaching you the skills, not about nailing down one specific thing. So… And also if you’re really ADHD, if you’ve got a lot of brain injuries, you might not have the organizational or step following ability to get out of your own way long enough to train your brain to get the benefit. I’m not sure what the equivalent is… Buying a treadmill and hanging laundry on it, but that’s not worthwhile. The kits we put together cost about 4K. And that’s a large investment if you’re not going to use it for more than a couple months.
Mark: Do you think that this will work with virtual reality? You know, like, a holodeck or… Not a holodeck, but a Hololens or Oculus Prime?
Dr. Hill: A little bit. I mean, they’re some of that going on. There are people developing neural feedback for VR. I have a hunch that is going to be a little bit of a hard thing to pull off. You played one of the simple games in the office, and that’s sort of the state-of-the-art in terms of animation. This flying game.
I’ve had… A couple years ago I had a father of a client… That eight or 10-year-old kid with ADHD was training and his dad wanted to try it. Now the dad was a test pilot for the Air Force and the Navy. A guy who was in experimental aircraft, pulling high G’s, doing all kinds of funky things to his body and brain for years. Five minutes into that’s flying game he needed a wastebasket. He was sweaty, hurling into a wastebasket in my office. Five, 10 minutes at most. Because the disconnect between… And he actually was steering too… Because I didn’t give this to you, but I could give you a joystick and then the degree of steering is affected by the brain parameterization. The degree of acceleration is affected by the brain, but you’re still steering.
And I think the disconnect between the signal of the controller and the delay or the parameterized behavior of the ship on the screen was very disconcerting to his brain. He was used to leaning on a throttle and having a multi-million-dollar piece of machinery respond instantly. Actually, what’s interesting is the software he used… Not the game, but the signal processing software, called eager, was built by a guy who used to build real time operating system’s first jet fighters. That’s why it works so well. Zero lag, sort of neural feedback essentially. Or very low lag.
But for whatever reason, this test pilot couldn’t handle distortions of his input system. I think that’s gonna happen to more people when it’s immersive to degree it’s VR.
Mark: Right, I can see that.
Dr. Hill: But that’s just a guess.
Mark: Fascinating. Very, very interesting. Well I think we better wrap this up. Folks been listening for a while and this has been fascinating Dr. Hill. I mean I applaud you for the work you’re doing. I’m anxious to continue my own training and to explore this a little bit further.
Peeps can find your Peak Brain Institute, what’s the actual URL…
Dr. Hill: It’s peakbraininstitute.com. Or peakbrainla, we have an outlet… same place. Can look me up on Twitter at AndrewHillPhD. And I think our Peak Brain LA has an Instagram as well, if you’re one of the young kids these days, that has Instagram.
Mark: Awesome. And what’s next for you? Any big initiatives on the horizon?
Dr. Hill: Yeah, well at this point were working to bring neural feedback down in cost and to more people. We have a lot of initiatives around that. One is we’re opening multiple Peak Brain Centers, and partnering with different clinicians.
Two is we’re trying to expand business. Program called the homecoming for veterans program. Which is a network of neural feedback practitioners who have pledged to always have a free chair… At least one client spot available for a veteran who is suffering from… Initially the program was started for PTSD although of course, it works really well for blast injuries as well.
And so all our centers are part of this organization of neurofeedback clinicians. You can look it up online. It’s homecomingforveterans.org I think. And you can look up a local clinician and ask for a spot and get a free training… the program says we’ll pledge to provide at least 20 sessions… we always do a minimum of 30 in our center, so that’s what we give to veteran.
We’ve had a couple folks come through it and really have great results. And so our next step is we’re trying to work with one of the big insurance companies that sponsors a lot… Or pays a lot of the services of the VA to sponsor much larger programs so we can get a lot more veterans run through quickly, and demonstrate efficacy. And then get neurofeedback into the VA a little more broadly. Cause it’s used here and there, but not broadly.
But we’re doing that on the veterans side, and then we’re trying to work on a lot more of the ability to manage home trainers, and make it… keep the quality of protocol selection and data coming back to us really high so we can break the clinical medical model of neurofeedback down even further and make it much more of a fitness and self-accessible model. Cause right now, the machine you sat in front of in my office was 10,000 dollars of software and hardware. And that’s just not accessible.
The machine I give people for home training is about 4 grand in software and hardware. Starting to get there, but then you still need some time, some support to use it. So my goal is to get this stuff down.
And we charge, I think 1200 bucks a month for memberships in the center. And we discount with multiple months. That’s still… a grand a month is too high for the average person. Unless you really have performance goals or deficits. And then it’s cheap to fix your ADHD or sleep problem. Your TBI or whatever it is.
So my goal is to continue to make the scalability of neural feedback bigger so we can drag it down in cost. And make it more like a Gold’s gym or Equinox gym for the brain. But things like the expansion of the homecoming for veterans program are some of my first goals around that.
Mark: Terrific. Yeah, well I love that. I love what you’re doing with vets. Thank you so much for that. Let us know how we can help.
I’ve got some ideas. One of my friends, Tom Chaby is building a town for veterans down in Florida. Which is going to be an in residence thing and I think that a Peak Brain outlet there would make a lot of sense. And even Unbeatable Mind. So we’re talking to him through our Courage Foundation about helping with that, so we’d love to hook you up with Tom as well.
Awesome. Well, Dr. Hill, thanks so much for your time. I super-appreciate it. I know listeners do too. This is just chock -full of really, really brain stimulating information. And it’s really motivating that we can use these tools and neurofeedback to actually improve… for mental fitness as well as fixing anything like TBI that might not be optimal. So that’s really cool. Appreciate that.
Dr. Hill: My pleasure, Mark. Thanks so much for having me.
Mark: You bet. Stay on. I wanna talk to you briefly about next steps for me as well.
And for everyone out there, you heard it. Dr. Hill. Check out the Peak Brain Institute. I highly encourage you to investigate this. At Unbeatable Mind we talk mostly about subjective training, but stacking… we get into objective stuff with the physical work and obviously baselining and stuff. But this is our first foray really into neural feedback and Dr. Hill’s a great ally of ours, and man, it’s important stuff and I really am behind it all.
So check it out, and let’s support him. And if you want to learn more about our inner circle program we’re going to probably do some tests with this next year, then check out unbeatablemind.com. And just search for the inner circle program. That’s our online coaching program… not our online, but our immersive coaching program.
All right, so in… before our next podcast, you know to do the work, train hard, stay focused, stack your training, and have fun.
Coach Divine out.