Description: This book covers the field of neurofeedback, specific approaches and systems used in neurofeedback, and treatments for particular disorders.
Purpose: According to the author, the main purpose is to provide a "comprehensive view" of neurofeedback.
Audience: The target audience is mainly clinicians and students involved in neurofeedback which would include clinical psychologists, but also may include neurologists. The editor has many years in clinical practice using neurofeedback and some scholarly work to complement his clinical practice. This is also true of some contributing authors, but other contributing authors do not appear to have any peer-reviewed publications in this area. Readers should also be aware that some of the contributing authors work for neurofeedback companies and one is the president of a company.
Features: The book is divided into four sections, which include an introduction, general concerns, general clinical applications, and specific clinical applications. The introduction is filled with details about the chronology of equipment development, the ebb and flow of the field, and political pressures. Interestingly, the author brings up the idea that flawed research was deliberately produced to undermine neurofeedback and that the U.S. government inhibits neurofeedback companies. The second chapter introduces many alternative explanations for the positive effects of neurotherapy (e.g., placebo, prayer, "subtle energies"), but these are not thoroughly explored from a scientific perspective and the author fails to mention several studies that have strongly implicated nonspecific factors in the efficacy of neurofeedback. The book then launches into general neurotherapy approaches that are covered in some detail, including the equipment used, sites that are targeted, and the progression through sessions. The chapters on the use of neurofeedback for treating various disorders, such as ADHD, depression, autism, and dementia are interesting and deserving of further research. Nonetheless, the scientific evidence for the use of neurotherapy with these disorders is cited in such a way as to support neurofeedback, while sidestepping the limitations. For example, Thompson & Thompson (1998) is cited to support improvements in intelligence and academic scores with neurotherapy, but the author fails to mention that subjects also received metacognitive training, there was no control group, and that the EEG changes were non-significant. There are a plethora of figures that help summarize the data, including a few color plates. The references are marginally up to date and the index is helpful.
Assessment: For those interested in learning more about the equipment and procedures used in neurotherapy, this will prove to be an interesting and informative book. It is probably one of the most complete neurofeedback books on the market. However, it still suffers from the same flaws as its predecessors: chiefly the lack of clear empirical support for this treatment approach and a tendency to offer skewed interpretations of studies to support the position of advocates for this approach (for example, see Lohr, Meunier, Parker, & Kline, 2001).