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Community keeps us safe, joyful, and sane

I love my work. At EEGer, we get to explore mysteries at the boundaries of neuroscience, learning, games, neurofeedback, signal processing, and tech support. The zen of tech support I'll come back to another day. One of the facets of our work that inspires me the most is interacting with the community.

I first met EEGer clinicians at the Neurofeedback Interchange Conference in April 2013, where Karin and I recorded some interviews of participants, and I was blown away at the pragmatic enthusiasm of people in the EEGer community. Most of all, I found your passion for this brain-training process compelling and contagious. I heard stories of how therapy and neurofeedback helped people recover and thrive from debilitating anxiety, addiction, trauma, traumatic brain injury, even epilepsy and Parkinson's.

This community embodies a rare combination of skills, understanding, and curiosity. In short, this is what motivates me to cultivate tools and resources, to continue development of the software and games, to provide learning opportunities, to upgrade the hardware, and to improve our tech support process. We have a ways to go. But I am so grateful for the opportunity, and for the benefit of the doubt I feel when I'm interacting with the clinicians and home users that reach out to us.

Responses to my writing last week about attachment theory are a great example of this. I was nervous about the post, since I'm not a clinician, and have no formal training. I do believe in learning and humility, and hoped that my presumption would not land offensively. Thank you to those who shared your thoughts, and offered new ways of approaching the questions.

There is strong research evidence for the importance of secure attachment, in early childhood development as well as in the therapeutic alliance. A growing portion of this research is in developmental systems theory, in which the resilience to adversity of the child or adult is viewed as dependent on not only on cognitive coping strategies but on interconnected relational systems, such as family, housing, freedom from threat of violence, and so on.

While the importance of context may seem obvious, much of public discourse about mental health does not adequately address the role that context plays in self-regulation and behavior.

In other news, this study from several weeks ago challenges our long-held notion that we are hard-wired for threat-detection first. Apparently, we respond more quickly to screams of joy.

May you enjoy some screams of joy this week!

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