I.N.I. is committed to exploring the brain’s plasticity for improving cognitive well-being. We are currently exploring research studies on diverse patient populations whose cognitive functions have been impacted (PTSD veterans, high-performance athletes). Current studies are exploring methods of meditation, functional MRI, and neurofeedback training to improve patient symptoms, and therefore, improving quality of life. By utilizing the advancement of neuroimaging, we hope to enhance comprehension of cognitive decline for diagnostic and treatment purposes.

PTSD Imaging

This study will examine whether a functional MRI can be used to image Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the brain and illuminate more of the neural circuitry involved in PTSD. We hope to use our findings from this study to contribute to better treatment for patients with PTSD.

PTSD and Meditation

I.N.I. will research the effects of meditation on the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is categorized within Trauma and Stressor-related disorders. Our research will help those with mild to severe symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety attacks. Over a 3-month period, participants will engage in group meditation sessions twice a week for 60 minutes each. This will determine effects on trauma level intensity, sleep, and mood. I.N.I. will use fMRIs to measure brain activity before and after the meditation sessions. Data analysis will also be performed using the various health outcome instruments. I.N.I. hopes to prove that meditation decreases the main symptoms of PTSD as well as increases well-being in daily activities.

By using a particular form of meditation, the trauma-related symptoms for individuals with PTSD will decrease. Meditation allows individuals to be accepting and non-judgmental of his or her emotions. In previous studies, meditation is reported to produce changes in the mental state of mind and resting electroencephalogram patterns that continue after the active practice. The process of relaxation during meditation may help PTSD symptoms because it reduces the re-experiencing distress the individual has after a traumatic event.

Neurofeedback and Pain

Neurofeedback (NFB) training, also referred to as electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, provides individuals with real-time feedback of brainwave activity with the purpose of enhancing awareness of and control over neuroelectric-specific brain behavior. Past research has examined the relationship between brainwaves and pain suggesting that chronic pain relief was associated with high levels of slow-wave activity (theta and alpha-ranges) and decreased faster-wave activity (beta-range).

A case study involving patients with chronic lumbar radiculopathy and neurofeedback training will explore the effects of NFB on pain. Our goal is to utilize brain mapping and neurofeedback techniques to ameliorate chronic pain.