Brain-Trainer for BioEra Instruction Manual

Current version

Version 1.017

Brain-Trainer for BioEra is a complete neurofeedback system that includes the powerful assessment of TQ and some of the most versatile and user-friendly training designs in the world. The whole structure of the program is made “by trainers for trainers”. With the Brain-Trainer software, you can use many different types of feedback: video files, games, MIDI music, brightness. And there’s much more coming soon as the software gets improved and updated.

Sign up for our free Brain-Trainer U course on Brain-Trainer for BioEra Software.

Disclaimer:
The Brain-Trainer software is intended for psychological training education and scientific research and should not be used as a medical technology.The Brain-Trainer software is still in development and being constantly improved. Some issues may arise as you use it and we expect to have all of them fixed in the next updates. If you have any problem with the Brain-Trainer software, please report it by sending an e-mail to bt4be@brain-trainer.com

Download and Install Brain-Trainer software

Download

Save downloads from your Brain-Trainer account > Downloads.

  • These will download as .zip files.

Open your Downloads folder and “unzip” (extract) the files.

  • Right-click on the file and select Extract all. You will see the files in the unzipped folder.

Install

If you are using version 1.011 or older, please uninstall the previous version first.

If you are using version 1.012 or newer, you can now run the .exe installers. The process takes about 5 minutes. Double-click to install.

Features

This is the main screen of the Brain-Trainer software:

Brain-Trainer home panel

Brain-Trainer auto-update iconBrain-Trainer for BioEra software will automatically update every 7 days. The Brain-Trainer icon at the bottom left opens the Updater to manually check for updates to the software. We recommend you not skip updates.

Click the Brain-Trainer icon at the bottom left. This opens the updater. If there is a new version you will be prompted to update (y/n). Click y for yes and press Enter. You will be prompted to close Brain-Trainer for BioEra and press Enter again. This will initiate the update process.

 

The lamp in the top-right corner indicates which device is currently being used, as well as its status. A green light means the system is receiving data from the device. A red light means there’s no data being sent from the device and may indicate an issue with the device connection and/or setup.

If it’s the first time you run the Brain-Trainer software, the device is set to “Simulator”.

Protocol loaderProtocol loader allows you to load a pre-saved protocol for a specific client and even create all protocols for the Whole-Brain Training Plan to send as a folder for a client.

Select settings on a protocol and click the Save icon. Select client name from the drop down list. Select the block of the training plan the protocol is indicated for and name the protocol. Click Save. Now this protocol will be available for selection when selecting designs.

HOW TO:

In the right-bottom corner, there are three very useful buttons that can be used when something doesn’t work as expected.

The “panic button”  refreshes all the elements in the screen and gets the design back to the working mode. It can be used anytime you make a change that is not automatically detected by the system.

The “reload button” closes and reopens the design. It can be useful if you have a frozen screen and the panic button doesn’t solve the issue. It should be used also when you make any changes in the device setup.

The “diagnostics button” creates a diagnostic file for troubleshooting the software. Open any design and click the top button in the right-bottom corner. Then send the diagnostic.zip file that is created in C:/Brain-Trainer for BioEra.

The gear icon at the bottom center opens the Device menu. Here you can set up your devices and select device settings. After changing to a new device, you must click the button “Click here to reload”.

Device menu

Setting up the Brain-Trainer for PN Wiz devices (Q-wiz, U-wiz, etc.)

  1. Plug the PN Wiz device in the USB port.
  2. Click on the cog icon to open the Device menu.
  3. Select Device setup.
  4. Select PN Wiz in the dropdown menu. Tip: Click to expand the dropdown menu and press the P key five times.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Open the second tab, Serial Port.
  7. Select the serial port in which your PN device is connected. In this example it’s COM3, but yours might be another one. Be careful with this selection as choosing the wrong port may make the program freeze.

If you do not know the COM port number assigned to your device when installing it, you can find it in the computer’s Device Manager.

  • Open the computer’s Device Manager (In the search field type “Device Manager” and select it).
  • Click arrow to expand Ports (COM & LPT) to see which port the Pocket Neurobics Wireless Dongle is using.

[Coming soon: what to do if you get a frozen window]

  1. Click OK. Tip: If the OK button doesn’t appear, try to resize the Device Selection window slightly.
  2. If you get an error message, click Close
  3. The device name will switch to PN Wiz, but with a red light
  4. Click on the Reload button. The design will close and reopen.
  5. You will probably get a green light. That means your device is correctly set.

Setting up Brain-Trainer for Neurobit Optima

    1. Plug the Neurobit device in the USB port and turn it on.
    2. Click on the cog icon to open the Device menu.
    3. Select Device setup.
    4. Select Neurobit in the dropdown menu. Tip: Click to expand the dropdown menu and press the N key.
    5. Click Apply
    6. Open the third tab, Neurobit settings.
    7. Select your Neurobit device in the first dropdown list. In this example, the device is Neurobit Optima+ 4 USB, but yours might be another one.
    8. Click on the Open button.
    9. In the new window, load your settings.
    10. Click Load.
    11. If you are not already there, navigate to the C:/Brain-Trainer for BioEra/Neurobit Files folder. Select the appropriate file. If you are not sure of which file to choose, then select EEG 4C (L) Linked.
    12. Click Open.
    13. Click Close.
    14. Click OK and close the Device menu.
    15. The device name will switch to Neurobit with a green light. That means your device is correctly set. If it is not green, be sure your device is turned on. If you have changed from another device, press “Click here to reload”.

Setting up Brain-Trainer for OpenBCI Ganglion

  1. Connect the Bluetooth in a USB port and turn on the Ganglion power.
  2. Click on the cog icon to open the Device menu.
  3. Select Device setup.
  4. Select Ganglion in the dropdown menu. Tip: Click to expand the dropdown menu and press the G key.
  5. Click Apply
  6. Open the second tab, Serial Port.
  7. Select the serial port for your device in the first dropdown list.

If you do not know the COM port number assigned to your device when installing it, you can find it in the computer’s Device Manager.

  • Open the computer’s Device Manager (In the search field type “Device Manager” and select it).
  • Click arrow to expand Ports (COM & LPT) to see which port the Bluetooth is using.
  1. Click Apply.
  2. Click the 3rd tab, Ganglion settings to confirm that Mode is set to EEG, EMG or ECG.
  3. Click OK and close the Device menu.
  4. Click the button “Click here to reload”. When you select a design, the device name will switch to Ganglion and the light should be green. If it is not, be sure you have your device powered on.

Setting up Brain-Trainer for J&J PhysioAmp

  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Open Brain-Trainer for BioEra.
  3. Click on the cog icon to open the Device menu.
  4. Select Device setup.
  5. Select J&J from the dropdown menu. Tip: Press the J key to find it quickly.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click the tab J&J settings.
  8. Under Device select for GP-12e (4 channels): C2++; for GP-8e (2 channels): GP8
  9. Click Apply and OK.
    Configuration will default to 4C EEG linked or 2C EEG linked. This can be used for most EEG training of 1 or more channels. If you do not see these configurations please contact us for an update.
  10. Now click the button “Click here to reload).

Setting up Brain-Trainer for Alpha200

NOTICE: Do not attach the Alpha200 amplifier to your computer until AFTER you have completed the software installation process.

  1. Download the file AlphaAmp_W7_64.exe
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Now you may connect the Alpha200 to your computer.
  4. Open the computer’s Device Manager (In the search field type “Device Manager” and select it).
  5. Click arrow to expand Universal Serial Bus controllers to locate the unknown USB.
  6. Right-click and select Update.
  7. For a second time, right-click and select Update.
  8. Open Brain-Trainer for BioEra.
  9. Click on the cog icon to open the Device menu.
  10. Select Device setup.
  11. Select Alpha200 in the dropdown menu. Tip: Press the A key to find it quickly.
  12. Click Apply.
  13. Click OK.
  14. The device name will switch to Alpha200.
  15. Click on the button “Click here to reload”. The design will close and reopen.

Design Options

TQ – TQ Trainer’s Q assessment

Gather data for creating a Whole-Brain Training Plan. Select 2 channels or 4 channels according to your amplifier. “No-artifacts (tests version)” is under development to collect data while excluding data with artifact.
Trainer's Q artifact test

TQ 4C no-artifacts

HEG – Hemoencephalography

heg design options
General HEG: Increases blood perfusion to the prefrontal area of the brain for attention, impulse control, mood stability. Trains both “closed focus” (increase training) and “open focus” (decrease training). Select up, down, both or in “free mode” train either as desired. Select feedback based on direction (going in desired direction), threshold (signal in relation to target) or Attention Index. Auto-capture of baseline and auto baseline recalculation are optional. Pre-select length of time training up and down.

design options for heg

Free mode
Direction indicator (Up)

General HEG Session

Setup

Connect your amplifier to your computer. Connect the HEG headband to your amplifier and turn on the amplifier if needed. Place the headband on the head at one of the recommended positions.

  1. Select “HEG” design and when prompted, select General HEG.
  2. Select your device. (For Optima+, click the gear icon and select USB or Bluetooth.)

Baseline will set automatically if you leave “Autocapture baseline” checked.

Green indicator under session time indicates Climbing; Blue indicator denotes diving.

Feedback

MIDI: Tones are higher on the scale the higher the HEG ratio goes.

Video Start/Stop: Video plays when signal is above threshold.

Video Brightness: Video is brighter as the Attention Index increases and dimmer as the Attention Index decreases.

Points/click: AI points are scored and you will hear a click sound when Attention Index is meeting the target.

Shadow: Brightness and volume increase as Attention Index increases.
Tip: Click the clock icon and position your shadow window. You will have 5 seconds before the window becomes fixed.

LIFE Game: Increases blood perfusion to the prefrontal area of the brain for attention, impulse control, mood stability. Trains both “closed focus” (increase training) and “open focus” (decrease training). Control direction with A (down) or D (up) buttons.

LIFE HEG Session

Setup

Connect your amplifier to your computer. Connect the HEG headband to your amplifier and turn on the amplifier if needed. Place the headband on the head at one of the recommended positions.

Open Brain-Trainer software and click “HEG”. Select “LIFE game” when prompted to select a design. Select your amplifier if needed. (For Optima+, select USB or Bluetooth.) TIP: If the indicator light is not green, click the panic button at the lower right.

Play
  1. Start the session by clicking the white Play button. The signal should be coming into the software and you should see the green trace of the HEG signal on the screen.
  2. Click “Run LIFE”. The State Changer window will open.
  3. Click “Connection” at the bottom of that window.
    In the level selection screen, if you type U, all the levels get unblocked.
  4. Select “START SOCKET”. The signal will be visible in the window now.
  5. Click “PLAY GAME”. There is no need to calibrate.
Controls

SPACE BAR changes the direction (up or down.

FRE – Frequency

fre design options

FRE1+: 1 channel, 2 channels summed, 4 channels summed. Signals are summed before going forward to filters, thresholds, etc.

FRE2C: 2 channels with individual signals (not summed)

FRE4C: 4 channels with individual signals (not summed). For your convenience, a button is available for RH Bipolar protocol settings to auto-load.

Design setup

FRE%1C: Used for % / ratio training, typically SMR%. Use sliders to select frequencies between 0.1 and 20 Hz. Use sliders control arrows to increase or decrease by 0.1 Hz.

FRE% frequency selector

CON – Connectivity

connectivity design options

Multiband Coherence: Train multiple bands up or down simultaneously. High frequency coherence is trained down; low frequency coherence is trained up. Reverse (Rocking) button allows training the opposite direction.

design setup mbc

Sync: Trains synchrony in 1-3 bands simultaneously.

Multivariate Coherence (test version): Special protocol for frequency + coherence training based on Rob Coben’s Four Channel Multivariate Coherence Training: Development and Evidence in Support of a New Form of Neurofeedback. The MVC design is specifically to be used for those who are “difficult” or “stuck” clients and decisions are to be made based on the QEEG. It is still somewhat experimental and we are still learning about it ourselves. Here is an interesting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaFkhAfasXI

It is often used for clients with autism on the right hemisphere. The TQ7 does not measure coherence within the same hemisphere so some guessing would be needed. What shows up in the frontal lobes may also be similar to the right hemisphere. A common set of placements could be F6 T4 T6 P4 C(A2) choosing the similar coherence and frequency choices as you would choose for the frontals.

BAL – Balance

Alpha-Beta Asymmetry: Balances alpha and beta between left and right or front and back site pairs. Select alpha and beta, alpha only or beta only in Design setup.

Difference: Decrease the difference between two bands in 1, 2 or 4 channels or decrease both the sum of two bands and the difference between two bands. To increase instead of decreasing, you may enter the “reward” frequency as the Inhibit band and enter the “inhibit” frequency as the reward band.

ALP – Alpha

alpha design options

Alpha Up: Increase percentage of alpha over entire EEG, 10 Hz alpha over entire alpha band and decrease non-alpha frequencies. Select range for dominant frequency: 8-12 Hz (default) or 6-12 Hz.

Alpha-Theta:  Deep states / Peak performance protocol.

HEG options and Shadow feedback

Video player feedback

If you have issues playing videos, we recommend downloading and installing K-Lite Codec Pack. Basic is fine. “Server 1” is usually enough. This should allow you to play any video format in Brain-Trainer software.

Super Tux Kart game

Running BioEra Pro

A full version of BioEra Pro is installed with your Brain-Trainer software. Most trainers will use only the Brain-Trainer interface and designs. For advanced trainers with knowledge of programming designs themselves, BioEra Pro can be run on its own. To run BioEra Pro, open C:\Brain-Trainer for BioEra. Find the file bioera.exe (application) and double-click. Bioera.exe gives access to the full function of BioEra. You may see a window asking for a password. Click cancel. Then a message is shown that it is in “run only” mode. This only refers to the specific design. It is possible to create a new design or load a design from the computer.

Troubleshooting

Device selection

Ganglion- when selected but not connected, Device setup is not available

Workaround:
– Go to the folder C:/Brain-Trainer for BioEra
– Run bioera.exe
– It will open Brain-Trainer for BioEra along with the programming window (signal diagram)
– In this window, go to Tools –> Device selection and configuration. Then you will be able to select another device.

Videos

If you have issues playing videos, we recommend downloading and installing K-Lite Codec Pack. Basic is fine. “Server 1” is usually enough. This should allow you to play any video format in Brain-Trainer software.

General issues or bugs

Open Brain-Trainer through C:\Brain-Trainer for BioEra\start_debugger.bat. Perform the steps that created the issue and copy the text in the console window. Send to bt4be for analysis.

This manual is under construction. If you have any issues, send an e-mail to bt4be
Copyright © 2020, Brain-Trainer International, Inc.

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