Dear John, I will be in Fort lauderdale keynote speaking too. I will do my best to help putting this situation with americans back to normalcy. I have a very good relationship with Dr. Lubar (actual President of iSNR) and I will talk to him as I will talk to you in trying to have all problems resolved in the best possible way for all. You said they are not contacting you as member-at-large since February. This is really bad! It is unfortunate, although somehow necessary, that in science evolution is very slow. I am convinced NF has a brilliant future. I am also convinced that Europeans will have a key role in this. It will be crucial to open as many positions for students and young reearchers as possible. I am trying to so something in this sense here in France (more on this I will tell you in Fort Lauderdale). Also, I think it could be a good idea in the near future to institute a committee for media communication (radio, TV, magazines, etc.): the more there will be attention in the public opinion the more it will be easy to receive grants and other support. Basically the problem is that NF is still largely unknown. Finally, you mentioned a bias toward EEG (indeed there is no reason why fMRI neurofeedback is so much welcome while EEG neurofeedback has been starving). Very interesting concept. You know, the more something is expensive the more people tend to believe is valuable... When jay Gunkelman in Monterey offered a lunch to european members to discuss the formation of the european chapter, I was a young student and a snicked in. Thanks God Jay is a generous person and let me in. All this european stuff was exciting at that time and it is exciting now. Kind Regards, Marco Marco Congedo, IRISA, Rennes, France "Gruzelier, John H" <j.gruzelier@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: Marco, Thanks for your continued and sterling support for the European society concept. Without repeating myself all over again, let me refer to some of the other issues you raise. In writing about the Board's views to i-SNR, on more than one occasion, I made it paramount that we would remain affiliated with i-SNR and maintain a strong and special relationship with i-SNR. This has not been altered by any subsequent events. Since then i-SNR has twice written to members inviting them to stay with i-SNR rather than remain with the European society; hard copy of such a letter was received here today. This could be construed as aggressive and indeed regressive (and here I repeat words relayed to us by members). This in no way alters the Board's intention to work towards a close and special relationship with i-SNR. It in no way alters my intention to engage fully with the meeting in Florida, as a keynote speaker and as the initiator of a clinical forum concept. The fact that as a member of their Board, as the International-Member-At-Large, I have received no communication from them since February, in no way alters this view of working towards a close and strong relationship with them. When we meet in Florida it will be easier to convey and reinstate this. The future is to work together, but not necessarily in the historical mould. Further, there is no intention from the Board to rival i-SNR. But, a new concept is needed to bring more people into the field to nuture it, and to facilitate cross fertilisation in neuroscience. Our field demands the respect of neuroscientists, who until some months ago were man to man of the opinion biofeedback doesn't work; consider Gazzinga's handbook, stating just that. The evidence that it does (consider Birbaumer's work, even reaching publication in Nature, 1999) was simply not getting through. New initiatives, such as the Board is proposing are necessary. In this regard consider also the publication in Brain as long ago as 2001, Critchley et al, with an fMRI investigation of biofeedback relaxation. Unlike the shouting from the roof tops that has greated the Stanford recent fMRI publication, there has been a deafening silence - presumably people just don't know of it, or are they simply biased towards EEG? Since then the London group with Critchley has carried out a successful RTC with epilepsy using GSR. They will present this at our next meeting. Somehow, and the Board suggests a constructive way, scientists must come together to share and expand horizons, with the ultimate aim, of course, of treating patients better. Narrow specialisation alone will not achieve this. Regarding international comparisons, Europe has the advantage of offering a fresh start, one that is unencumbered by the baggage that will inevitably attach itself to a pioneering endeavour that was spawned in the US, as with much else in contemporary science. There is much to criticise about biofeedback in its general sense in the US, simply because it is there. Pioneers like Dr Lubar and Dr Trudeau are doing a valient job in a very difficult climate. When you consider that there are apparently 6000 NF practitioners alone in the US, and consider how many NF research papers of merit? The Board has concluded that we need a new and fresh initiative to expand and bring credit to our field, and from our European perspective this will be of benefit to both sides of the Atlantic. [While finishing this a young man has just been referred on to me attracted to our MSc in Integrative Neuroscience. he tells me this is because of what he is reading about biofeedback.] Biofeedback fell into disrepute once, we don't want this happening again, especially now with the emergent new evidence of its value. We must work together innovatively to make sure this doesn't happen. Nor can we sit back and just let things happen, as things are already 'happening' out in the counties as NF practices spring up... Finally,it is wonderful to hear of your other updates of new evidence and awarenesses. It is your generation that will reap the benefits, while my generation is put out to pasture. All the best, John -----Original Message----- From: esnr-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:esnr-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Marco Congedo Sent: 22 June 2004 16:22 To: esnr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [esnr] How Do I see It ### This message has been posted to both the iSNR and E-iSNR forum ### I am very happy in Europe it started a public discussion forum about the future of the newborn society. I am very excited about this endeavour and I am sure that the community over here is finally ready to apport substantial contributions to the field of Neurofeedback (NF). The discussion started on the proposal of making the european chapter of iSNR (E-iSNR) an independent society. In my point of view the problem is not if such a society should be completely independent from iSNR or affiliated to it; the problem is how much the two communities will be able to co-operate in mutual help and support of each other in the future. In this regard, I would be glad to see some serious action taken toward this goal. Recently the board of the European Society provided 13 reasons for forming an independent society in Europe. In general, they seem to me sound, and at the last meeting in Winterthur I was among the promoters of many of these points. In particular, The financial agreement between E-iSNR and iSNR is unbearable, and the need for an evolution in the focus of the society (see below) is not currently addressed by iSNR. However, there is one point on which I completely disagree. It is said that the NF field is not accepted by the scientific community because of the lack of validation. It is said that the European Society should promote higher standards for research in NF. Implicitally, it is said that americans did not so far. Whereas this was probably true since a few years ago, the landscape is rapidly changing. Please let me tell you what I see: - In a very recent paper by DeCharme et al. (2004), (Stanford University) published on "Neuroimage" (THE reference in Neuroimaging with impact factor > 5.0) you find in the introduction: "It has been documented over many years that subjects can be trained to regulate autonomic functions and less spatially localized measures of brain activation such as EEG activity or EEG spectrum (Lubar and Deering, 1981; Nowlis and Kamiya, 1970)." The paper is on fMRI NF. - In a recent medical paper on ADHD by Katie Campbell Daley (Harvard), in " Current Opinion in Pediatrics", (2004). you read in the discussion: "The Therapy most promising by recent clinical trials appears to be EEG biofeedback". As far as I know, she is not in the NF community. -I just came back from the Human Brain Mapping Conference in Budapest. This is the gigantic conference behind the journals "Neuroimage" and "Human Brain Mapping". They focus mainly on fMRI, but there is a lot of EEG too, GOOD EEG research. There was a panel on REAL-TIME applications. Around 300-400 people attended and there was a great interests. Presenters were Stephan Posse (New Mexico), Nikolaus Weiskopf (Tubiengen University) and James Voyvodic (Duke University). Topics were fMRI Neurofeedback and Brain Computer Interface. Let me assure you that the validity of Neurofeedback was GIVEN FOR GRANTED in all their talks. We assist to an ironical situation: while Neurofeedback has not been able to impose itself, support is now coming from related fields that need the NF literature to support their claims. This phenomenon is growing exponentially. The number of publications on fMRI neurofeedback and Brain Computer Interface is growing steadily and people involved in this research is working in the best institutions worldwide. That is to say, real-time applications are now the big fashion and the cutting-edge research in the fMRI community. As people involved in Neurofeedback we cannot miss this train, which will bring the field at the centre of the attention of the medical and scientific community. In this direction, here at IRISA (France) we are just submitting a paper to JNT delineating a crossroad for research in Neurofeedback and Brain Computer Interface, regardless the acquisition method (EEG, fMRI, NIRS, etc.). In summary, I do NOT think NF is in bad shape and the affirmation of the field seems to me an irreversible process. Enjoy the ride! Also, I heard some unfair comments about americans colleagues. This harts me. When I was looking for a PhD program (1998) in NF there were only two available programs in the world. Guess what, they were both in the States. I joined Dr. Lubar's laboratory at University of Tennessee and it was a great experience. I can assure you all, my esteemed european colleagues, that Dr. Lubar is extremely interested in research and in scientific endeavours. There was a period I enjoyed very much programming some LORETA stuff. In computer programmation progresses are slow but steady. He was walking in the lab early every morning smiling and asking: "So, What's new today?". He then sat down and listened. This is NOT the attitude of someone who does not care about research, and at the age of Dr. Lubar very few people are able to keep such motivation for research. Above all, we have to be aware of history. When americans researchers started playing with NF, back in the sixties, european colleagues even didn't know what NF was. In Italy we have a saying: "Don't spit in the plate where you have been eating". Thus, while I will try not to do it, I invite my esteemed colleagues here in Europe to do the same. To conclude, I renew my invitation to both boards for mutual respect and co-operation as much as possible, for the benefit of all. I have the impression that all members in the NF community, regardless the soil they step on, ask for this. We all want reciprocal help and co-operation, not competition. The most exciting thing about NF is that it is growing up. Please let us prevent any spoiling. Finally, let me remind everybody that we should be grateful to those engaging themselves as officers of our beloved societies, since they are not paid for this, thus I do not think that bitter comments about their work are appropriate. With my best wishes for a pleasant work. Yours Sincerely, Marco Congedo, PhD IRISA (National Institute for research in Informatics and Random Systems), Rennes, FRANCE __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages! http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!