Can Neurofeedback Make You Smarter?

Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive and non-drug treatment aimed at helping patients leverage the mind-body connection to reach a deeper state of relaxation and improve cognitive functioning to reduce symptoms linked to brain dysregulation.

The Drake Institute’s neurofeedback treatment protocols are carefully designed on a patient-by-patient basis to address their underlying brain dysregulation linked to symptoms, and with practice, patients can learn to generate healthier brainwave patterns to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.  

With all that neurofeedback has to offer in helping treat ADHD, Autism, and anxiety disorders, many people wonder if neurofeedback can make you smarter.

Neurofeedback can improve cognitive functioning and efficiency, has been shown to improve IQ scores, and helps one function at their best to improve their overall productivity, performance, and quality of life.  [i]

For over 40 years, the Drake Institute has used neurofeedback technology to help patients reduce unwanted symptoms related to disorders like ADHD, autism, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

This article will discuss how neurofeedback works and whether neurofeedback can raise your IQ.

If you’d like to learn more about how neurofeedback may help you perform at your best, call the Drake Institute at 800-700-4233 or fill out the free contact form.

What Is Neurofeedback & How Does It Work?

Neurofeedback therapy, sometimes referred to as EEG-Biofeedback, is a non-invasive and non-drug treatment that falls under the biofeedback umbrella.

While biofeedback measures and records the physiological activity as indicators of dysregulation, neurofeedback utilizes brainwave activity to identify areas of dysregulation.

At the Drake Institute, 19 sensors are placed around the patient’s scalp in specified locations related to different brain functions. Using advanced technology, the activity in these areas is measured and displayed in a way that is easy for the patient to interpret via visual and auditory feedback, like an animated car on a screen. To move the car, the patient must guide their brain activity towards healthier patterns.

With the help of trained staff, patients learn self-regulatory techniques to shift their brainwaves into more functional, healthier patterns. As they do this, they are strengthening the networks and pathways within the brain, which can lead to a reduction in symptoms.

What Are The Benefits Of Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback therapy offers benefits to patients seeking to reduce symptoms related to stress, anxiety, and other disorders, and due to the self-regulatory nature of the treatment which is a form of operant conditioning in learning, patients can experience these benefits after treatment has ended.

Neurofeedback benefits include:  

  • Drug-free
  • Non-invasive
  • Self-regulation training
  • May reduce the frequency and severity of depressive episodes, anxiety symptoms, panic attacks, and more
  • Improved cognitive functioning
  • Improved emotional stability
  • Improved IQ scores
  • It can be used alongside other treatments, like medication and therapy
  • Self-generated improvement
  • Long-lasting effects

Is Neurofeedback Therapy Safe? 

Neurofeedback therapy is a safe and effective treatment technology in which no external or artificial stimulation is applied to the brain during treatment, and no drugs or medications are used.

In our clinical experience for over 40 years, the side effects of neurofeedback therapy are typically rare, mild, and short-lived.

Think of neurofeedback therapy as working like a thermometer. Just as a thermometer measures and records your temperature without changing it, neurofeedback treatment only measures and displays your brainwave activity without altering it, but by displaying your brainwave activity, you can initiate and reinforce desirable changes in brainwave activity.

Our treatment protocols are developed by our Medical Director and target the symptoms linked to abnormal brainwave activity in order to safely reduce symptoms.

Does Neurofeedback Therapy Have Any Side Effects?

Because neurofeedback therapy doesn’t involve the use of drugs or invasive procedures, side effects tend to be rare, mild, and temporary.

All of our neurofeedback protocols administered at the Drake Institute are developed by our Medical Director and delivered in our two clinics, with rare side effects reported.

What Can Neurofeedback Therapy Treat?

Neurofeedback therapy is used to treat disorders that originate from brain dysregulation. Within the brain are intricate functional networks that can be measured through QEEG brain mapping. When these pathways are disrupted or damaged, abnormal brainwave activity can be detected and linked to symptoms.

Neurofeedback therapy aims to improve brain network functioning. At The Drake Institute, customized treatment protocols are developed to help each patient improve neural pathways and strengthen brain wave patterns to reduce unwanted symptoms.

We use neurofeedback to treat:

  • ADD & ADHD
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Insomnia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Can Neurofeedback Therapy Raise Your IQ?

Clearly, neurofeedback therapy is a powerful training/treatment in helping people reach their cognitive potential, but can neurofeedback make you smarter?

Research has shown that neurofeedback can improve IQ scores.

IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a standard measurement of functions such as working memory, fluid reasoning, and verbal comprehension. Neurofeedback can help you achieve neural patterns that allow you to improve cognitive functioning. [ii]

For example, if you have trouble concentrating during exams, so you never do well on them, the cause of your poor results isn’t necessarily your IQ. Instead, your brain may be experiencing brain activity consistent with ADHD or anxiety.

Neurofeedback teaches patients the self-regulation techniques to guide their brainwave functioning towards more desirable patterns that allow them to concentrate.

So can neurofeedback therapy raise your IQ?

Yes, neurofeedback can raise your IQ, and it could also make it easier for you to reach your cognitive potential.  

How The Drake Institute Uses Neurofeedback Therapy

For more than 40 years, the Drake Institute has pioneered neurofeedback therapy to treat a variety of medical conditions like anxiety, stress, PTSD, ADHD, and more.

Here are the advanced treatment technologies used alongside neurofeedback therapy at the Drake Institute:

Brain Mapping

Before our professionals can design a treatment protocol, they must first obtain a map of the patient’s brain activity.

To complete qEEG brain mapping, 19 sensors are placed around the scalp to measure brain activity in predefined locations. These measurements are recorded and sent through an FDA-registered reference normative reference database and compared to same-age, asymptomatic individuals.

This comparison allows our medical professionals to create a customized treatment protocol designed for each individual patient.


In some cases, we may use neuromodulation to further support neurofeedback therapy.

During neuromodulation, we use neurostimulation technology to gently guide the brain towards desired, more functionally appropriate brainwave patterns.

Contact The Drake Institute Today!

Neurofeedback is an invaluable tool for those with ADHD, Autism, anxiety, depression, and other brain-based disorders and for anyone wishing to improve their general brain function. Many of our patients see improvements in memory, concentration, mood, and sleep.

If you’re interested in learning how neurofeedback therapy can improve your brain functioning, give the Drake Institute a call at 800-700-4233 or fill out the free consultation form.




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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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