Brain-Trainer for BioEra Instruction Manual

Current version: 1.1.1 See changelog

Introduction

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 much more.

 

Enroll in 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

Resources

software overview
Software overview
 
protocol guide
Protocol settings guide
 
conversion table for training plan
Conversion table for TQ7
 

Download and Install Brain-Trainer software

The first step toward using your Brain-Trainer software is the software installation. This means you must have one or more software setup installer files on your computer that you will run. In order to run the setup file it must be saved on your computer.

The main setup file is the minimum required to run Brain-Trainer for BioEra software, but you may also have purchased additional modules for HEG/LIFE 2.0, Shadow or Games. If your purchase includes the full installation with all modules, you will have 4 setup installers in total. When additional modules are purchased, they may not be visible in your list of downloadable files immediately. When your order is processed the installers will be added to your downloads and you can then download them.

Download

Save downloads to your computer. The obvious location is your computer’s Downloads folder. You can then open the Downloads folder to find any files you have downloaded.

Once a file is saved to your computer and extracted if needed, it is ready to be run.

Install

You may wait for your hardware to arrive before installing software.(PREVIOUS USERS: Before installing your software, check whether there is already a version on your computer. If have installed version 1.011 or older, please uninstall that version before proceeding.)

Double-click each file to run the setup installer. If prompted “A newer version of the K-Lite Codec Pack is available! Do you want to download the latest version?” click “No.” Exit the Codec Guide page if it opens in a browser. You will not need it.
do not update codec

Connect your SanDisk USB software dongle key to a USB port on your computer. This dongle must be plugged in when you want to use the software. Brain-Trainer software will not run without the USB dongle key.

Signatures

If you have purchased additional modules, they will require additional files to be placed on your USB dongle key to unlock the components of the software. These will be sent to you by email.

Open your software

Double-click the Brain-Trainer for BioEra shortcut found on your desktop to open your software.

Check for new updates and update your software to the current version. (See next section.)

Update

To check for updates manually, click the Brain-Trainer icon at the bottom left to open the Updater.

Brain-Trainer for BioEra software (v1.1) offers the option to select automatic updates and to designate how often it will check for updates. The recommended period is every 7 days. We recommend you not skip updates. If you do not want automatic update checks, uncheck the box “Check for updates automatically every (days):”

Device Connection

  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Open Brain-Trainer for BioEra.
  3. Click on the Source to open the Device menu.
  4. Select your J&J device from the dropdown menu. Select GP-8 (2 channels) or GP-12 (and C2+, 4 channels).
    Device Configuration will default to 2C EEG for the GP-8e. This can be used for EEG training of 1 or 2 channels. Linked references require a jumper wire that connects to the amplifier ports.If you have the GP-12e or C2+, this selection should be 4C EEG linked. This can be used for most EEG training of 1 or more channels. Other configurations are available for independent references. If you do not see these configurations please contact us for an update.
  5. Close  the Device Menu.
    If the Source is not green, select Reload design (green square at top left).
  1. Plug the Neurobit device in the USB port and turn the device on.
  2. Click on the Source to open the Device menu.
  3. Select Neurobit in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Device configuration
  5. 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.
  6. Click Apply.
    .
  7. Click on the Device settings: “Open” button.
    In the new window, load your settings.
  8. Click Load.
  9. If you are not already there, navigate to the C:/Brain-Trainer for BioEra/Neurobit Files folder. Select a file to start out with. If you are not sure of which file to choose, then select EEG 2C (L) Linked to try out your new software. When training EEG, you will select settings appropriate to your protocol. 2-channel training with linked references uses “2C (L) Linked,” for example. Refer to your training plan to know how many channels and whether references should be linked or independent.HEG settings are automatically loaded when the HEG design is opened, so no settings selection is necessary for HEG.“Electro-Cap” settings are only for use with an electrode cap with ribbon cable. TC26 Trainer’s Cap uses regular EEG settings as for electrodes.

    Users with the Optima 2 USB will use a separate set of settings in their own folder.
  10. Click Open once you have selected your settings file.
  11. Click Close on the Settings window.
  12. Click OK and close the Device menu.

The device name will switch to Neurobit. A green light means the program is receiving a signal from the device. If it is not green, be sure your device is turned on.

The Pocket Neurobics driver must be installed before connecting to the software. If you have not already done so, download the PN Wiz Driver. Save and then right-click to run as administrator. Then continue with connecting to the software.

  1. Plug the PN Wiz device in the USB port.
  2. Click on the Source to open the Device menu.
  3. Select PN Wiz in the dropdown menu. Tip: Click to expand the dropdown menu.
    The device name will switch to PN Wiz with a green light. That means the program is receiving a signal from the device. There is no need to select a COM port in this software version.

Device configuration should default to Mode 4ch EEG, Radio channel: USB only, Power: on, Link EEG References: On. Generally these do not need to be changed. 2 settings you may want to change are 1) to select TQ Assessment steps (TLC 4C Assess) and 2) to select electrode cap sites (EEG Cap Setup chart: Show/Hide).

Close Device menu when finished.

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 Source to open the Device menu.
  10. Select Alpha200 in the dropdown menu.
  11. The device name will switch to Alpha200.
  1. Connect the Bluetooth in a USB port and turn on the Ganglion power.
  2. Click on the Source to open the Device menu.
  3. Select Ganglion in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Source again.
  5. Click Device configuration.
  6. In the drop menu, select the serial port in which your Ganglion 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 Bluetooth is using.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click the Ganglion settings to confirm that Mode is set to EEG, EMG or ECG.
  9. Click OK and close the Device menu.
    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.

Software Features

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

The colorful buttons in the center are buttons to select protocols – “designs” – for training or assessment. Clicking any of them will open a sub-menu from which to choose the type of training you want to do. The protocols are categorized into the following types:
design buttons

  • TQ – Trainer’s Q assessment
  • HEG – Hemoencephalography blood perfusion training
  • FRE – Frequency band training
  • CON – Connectivity training
  • BAL – Balance training
  • ALP – Alpha training

More information on protocols is found in the Design Options section.
status checkerStatus checker (top left) indicates whether the program is turned on or off. When it is green, the program is receiving a signal from the device.
When red, the program is stopped. Click to select an action.

“Refresh design” 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.

“Reload design” closes and reopens the design. It can be useful if you have a frozen screen and the refresh does not solve the issue. It should be used also after making changes in the device setup if the device does not connect (green Source color).

online manualThis icon links to this online instruction manual.
Click to open.

The update checker checks for new updates and prompts the user to update now.
You can set automatic updates as often as you prefer.

device statusThe colored box in the bottom center 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.

This also opens the Device menu. Here you can set up your devices and select device settings. If it is the first time you run the Brain-Trainer software, the device is set to “Simulator”.

Session saving configuration allows the user to choose an alternative location to save client files rather than the default “session” folder.
This is done from the Main Screen.

Protocol loaderProtocol loader allows you to load a pre-saved protocol for a specific client.
See Saving protocols and Loading saved protocols.

Designs have additional icons.

designs menuDesigns menu allows you to select a protocol for training.
This appears the same as on the Main menu of the program.

Protocol saverProtocol saver allows you to save a pre-configured protocol for a specific client and even create all protocols for the entire Whole-Brain Training Plan to send as a folder for a client. See Saving protocols and Loading saved protocols.

signal testerSignal tester shows the raw EEG and histogram to check for signal quality.
Click and drag corner to resize window.

feedback managerFeedback manager opens window to customize feedback settings.
(playlist, volume, brightness, etc.)

Sound configuration opens settings for changing feedback sounds.
Select MIDI sounds or click sound.

Midi sound control turns MIDI feedback tones off or on.
Click to turn off or back on.

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. Choose this options at times when you need to do fewer than the recommended 3 conditions (EC, EO, Task) for the client. This is necessary sometimes when a client cannot sit still for a condition or task.
 

TQ 4C real-time artifacting

The purpose of real-time artifacting is to collect data while excluding data with artifact. Use this when you want to record each site until enough artifact-free data are collected.

HEG – Hemoencephalography

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).
 heg selections

LIFE Game for HEG

Beautiful graphics in game format to display the brain’s activity as it trains in both directions for closed focus and open focus.

General HEG:

Select up (increase), down (decrease), both or free mode (either as desired).

FRE – Frequency

Trains frequencies up or down as well as relationship between frequency bands.
 fre design options

FRE1+

Select from 1 channel, 2 channels summed and 4 channels summed. Signals are added together before going forward to filters leaving a single target for all sites in each training band. For your convenience, a button is available for pre-set protocols Centering (2-channel summed), Trauma Release (1C) and Windowed squash (4C) under Design setup.

“Reset success rate” button will reset threshold targets after using Trauma protocols.

FRE2C

2 channels with individual signals (not summed) and separate targets for each channel. Preset protocols are available on this design for Beta/SMR, Dual Bipolar and Dual Bipolar (Calming) under Design setup.

FRE4C

4 channels with individual signals (not summed) and separate targets for each channel. A preset protocol is available for RH Bipolar protocol settings to auto-load.

FRE%1C

Used for percentage / ratio training, commonly SMR%. Use sliders to select frequencies between 0.1 and 20 Hz. Use sliders’ arrows to increase or decrease by 0.1 Hz.
FRE% frequency selector
Sliders will keep the last values that were used the next time the design is opened. Use reset buttons to set sliders to commonly used bands (12-15 Hz, 9-12 Hz).High Beta inhibit is generally left on.

CON – Connectivity

 connectivity selections

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. A collection of multi-voice songs is available. Each voice is enabled according to a target being met.
design setup mbc

Sync

Trains synchrony in 1, 2 or 3 bands simultaneously in 2 channels.
design setup

Multivariate Coherence (MVC)

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.

BAL – Balance

Trains relationships of frequencies between areas of the brain or between frequency bands in different sites.
 balance selections

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.
alpha beta design setup

Difference

Decreases the difference between two bands in 1, 2 or 4 channels. Select the bands you want to train in Design setup.
difference design setup

Sum & Diff

Decreases both the sum of two bands and the difference of two bands between different sites in 2 channels. Set the frequency range that you want to train.
Sum & diff settings

ALP – Alpha

Trains middle frequencies of 8-13 Hz.
 alpha selections

Alpha Up

Increases percentage of alpha over entire EEG, 10 Hz alpha over entire alpha band and decreases non-alpha frequencies. Select range for dominant frequency: 8-12 Hz (default) or 6-12 Hz.
alpha up design setup

Alpha-Theta

Deep states / Peak performance protocol. Trains with songs as default to enhance the brain state. There is an option to deselect this background music.

Design Features

Session controls

Pause, Play and Stop buttons are at the top left of the designs for starting and stopping a session. Notice that the active (available) button- Play – is blue before the session is started. While a session is playing, the active buttons – Pause or Stop – are blue.

After a session is stopped, the Play button will become a “Restart” button. Restart must be pressed before making any further selections, including opening a new design.

session controls stopped
session controls playing
session control restart

Session Timer

The session can be stopped at any time during training using the stop button. Alternatively, the session time can be set using the session timer. Click the time display and a slider will be visible. Click and drag the slider to set the number of minutes the session will last. A chime will sound when the session ends.
session timer

Device Settings

Settings for your amplifier can be accessed by clicking on the amplifier name. You can load settings or add a new device here.
device settings

Session Playback

A session that has been recorded can be played back using the Device settings.
Click the device and from the drop menu select “Playback.”

Signal Tester

Signal quality can be checked using the Signal Tester. Open the Signal Tester window by clicking the  wave icon. The Signal Tester window can be sized larger by clicking and dragging the corner of the window.

EEG Oscilloscope

This displays the raw EEG. Signal quality can be checked and the EEG can be visualized and assessed.

Power Spectrum

This spectral display shows the amplitudes for all frequencies.

signal tester

Feedback selection

MIDI music is set as the default feedback. Other available feedback options are shown depending on the design and which modules are installed.

The feedback manager is a control panel from which settings are selected for the feedback that is chosen.

MIDI tones and Click sound

Default audio feedback “Sound configuration” allows a user to change the properties of MIDI and click sounds used for feedback in most protocols.
MIDI sound configuration is for advanced users only.

MIDI sounds can be muted if desired by clicking the blue speaker icon.
Click to mute and unmute.

Record Session

To record a session (assessment or training), click the box “Record session.” This will show the option to select or add a client. The file name can be customized by adding a complement to the filename if desired.
record session

Client folder

A client folder can be created from the design by using the “Add client” icon. Session recordings such as Assessment files are saved to this folder. This is visible when “Record session” is selected.

Design settings

Activate channels, select frequency bands and feedback type, select special protocol settings, set session timer. Any variables set in a design will be “remembered” the next time the design is loaded, including feedback type and client selected.

Saving protocols

You can select settings for a client according to his/her training plan and save the protocol to the client’s folder. This allows you to save an entire set of protocols for the Whole-Brain Training Plan that can then be sent to a client for training. Specific blocks can be indicated.

Loading saved protocols

The “Load protocol” folder icon in the top right of the design will allow you to select protocols with their settings that you have saved. Select client, block and protocol.

Thresholds (targets)

Thresholds are target levels that are set for training. Feedback is usually given when the target is met (training signal is either above or below the threshold bar). Most designs set thresholds automatically or switch to manual after baseline gathering period (e.g. 30 seconds).

Threshold properties can be changed but should be done so by advanced users only..


Feedback Options

Training can be done with just the default MIDI (sound) tones and click sound or you can select enhanced feedback from our available options.

Click – contingent audio feedback

Brain-Trainer designs generally have a default “click” sound feedback that will be heard in addition to visual feedback. The click sound can be heard when the training targets are all met for 1 second.

MIDI – continuous audio feedback

Brain-Trainer designs generally have default “MIDI” sound feedback created by the brain that can be used alone or in addition to visual feedback.

Video player feedback

Video feedback comes as part of Brain-Trainer for BioEra’s main application. Use a video playlist as stop/go or bright/dim feedback.
NOTE: Make changes to the video playlist before starting the data stream.

  1. Open the Video panel..
  2. Load videos to playlist and select settings options.
  3. Close video panel.
  4. Start session. (Play).

Shadow feedback

Shadow feedback is an add-on option for feedback. A shadow window overlays any screen or window that you choose. It can be resized lik any window by clicking the corner with your mouse and dragging it until it is the size or shape that you want.
NOTE: Start the data stream before starting the shadow.

  1. Select design settings
  2. Select shadow settings
  3. Start the session
  4. Start the shadow
  5. Fix shadow to start feedback

Games Feedback

Games feedback is an add-on option for feedback. The games panel has a selection of 8 games plus the option to load your own flash game that is compatible with Brain-Trainer, such as other BioPLAY games, that are not included with Brain-Trainer software. Required inputs for such games are:

  • Input 1: On/Off (boolean)
  • Input 2: On/Off (boolean)
  • Input 3: Variable (percentage)

HEG options and Shadow feedback

HEG is an add-on module for training the prefrontal area of the brain. HEG general training can use feedback based on the signal going in the correct direction, the signal going above the threshold target (or below in diving) or based on the Attention Index (keeping the signal at or above the previous signal sample).

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

Please see our troubleshooting page for Brain-Trainer for BioEra software.

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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