Enhance Your Mind: Habits, Behaviors, and Tips to Operate a Peak Brain with Andrew Hill

Boomer Anderson
January 8, 2020
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Talking neurofeedback with one of the top peak performance coaches in the United States, Andrew Hill. Andrew and Boomer talk about Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback, and how to get your brain operating at its best.

Who is Dr. Andrew Hill?

Dr. Hill is one of the top peak performance coaches in the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA’s Department of Psychology and continues to do research on attention and cognition. Research methodology includes EEG, QEEG, and ERP. He has been practicing neurofeedback since 2003.

In addition to founding Peak Brain Institute, Dr. Hill is the host of the Head First Podcast with Dr. Hill and lectures at UCLA, teaching courses in psychology, neuroscience, and gerontology.


[2:29] How did Dr. Hill enter the neuroscience realm

[10:01] Transitioning from psychiatry cases to the Peak Brain Institute

[21:03] Dr. Hill explains what is brain mapping

[32:04] Dr Hill goes over my brain map assessment

[39:10] Explaining neurofeedback and the controlling process

[43:20] SMR training to eliminate ADHD and control autism

[46:21] Dr. Hill describes the operant conditioning

[48:53] Downsides to neurofeedback

[51:22] Neuroscientist perspective on the neurofeedback consumer devices

[55:51The effect of psychedelics and nootropics on the brain

[58:37] Lifestyle modifications that people can do to start training their brain better

[1:01:13] Dr. Andrew Hill answers the superhuman six


Temple Grandin TED talk

The Healing Power of Neurofeedback - Dr. Barry Sternman

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B.F. Skinner's Theory of Operant Conditioning

Dr James Hardt

truBrain nootropic stack

Free Mindfulness and Meditation classes

Living Dharma: Teachings and Meditation Instructions from Twelve Theravada Masters

Episode Transcript

Boomer Anderson 0:06
Welcome to decoding superhuman, this show is a deep dive into obsessions with performance and how to improve the human experience. Twice a week, I explore the latest science, technology and tactics with experts in various fields of human optimization. I’m your host, Boomer Anderson. Enjoy the journey.

Super humans. In early November 2019, I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time in Los Angeles, California. Not only was the weather amazing, but I, on three separate occasions, went into the Peak Brain Institute. I had electrodes strapped to my head I was playing video games with my brain and today is a result of some of those visits. My conversation today is with Dr. Andrew Hill. And the topic that we’re going to go really deep on is neurofeedback. Dr. Hill is one of the top peak performance coaches in the country. He holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA’s Department of Psychology and continues to do research on attention and cognition. He’s the founding director and lead neuro therapist at the peak brain Institute. And he sat down with me for this interview. During this time together, we went through exactly why somebody would want to get a brain map done. We talked about neurofeedback, we went through the results of my brain mapping, which frankly, made me a little vulnerable. In the moment, we talked about an impact of a longer term. We talked about the longer term impact of a concussion that I And we got into how really brain training can help optimize not only things like sleep and anxiety, but also focus, attention and performance. The show notes for this one or and enjoy my conversation with Andrew Hill.

Andrew, Dr. Hill are there. So let’s start things off with just a general question. neuroscience brain maps West African Jeremy, how did you get into the ladder?

Dr. Andrew Hill 2:45
The ladder the West African drumming Yeah. I’m sort of part of a an ecstatic tradition from the northeast, you know, group of, I don’t know, several thousand people who meet on the mountaintop a few times a year and drum until they you know, fall over And having transformative cognitive experiences essentially. So for maybe 25 years, I’ve been doing drumming and dancing and ecstatic work in that community. And I, you know, I don’t think it’s that different from science, you know, it’s all exploration of reality, essentially. I mean, that’s what shamanism is it’s pushing your mind hard enough that you have a shift in your perspective of reality come back to ground with new information, essentially. So it’s a different way of exploring, you know, human experience and more subjective reality in this case. So,

Boomer Anderson 3:28
so West African drumming came after the neuroscience,

Dr. Andrew Hill 3:32
other way around, actually. Well, I mean, it’s all intertwined, right? I mean, yeah, you know, pushing 50 years old and probably half of my life ago, I got into both those things. But I worked in human services for many years, I worked with folks who were multiple disabled and residential facilities, blind, deaf, nonverbal, CP, autism, etc. really severe, you know, institutionalized people who are moved into sort of group home situations and I ended up going from there to working in psychiatric hospitals, again, more cognitive sort of, you know, seeing how the edge cases of humans, if you will, our regulatory features fall over how developmental things fail. And then, at the same time, I was getting deeper into the Health and Human Services thing. I was doing my own personal exploration on mountain tops with fires and drums. Yeah, you know, and those things, both informed my perspective on what the mind and the brain are and how we can optimize and how they fall over and you know, what happens there, so,

Boomer Anderson 4:28
okay, so, I’m going to come back to this because it seems like you had a shift from dealing with these sort of frontier cases and autism, to what you’re doing now, a little bit. But let’s go to your brother and how he influenced you getting into this field because I’d love to hear more about why you chose neuroscience.

Dr. Andrew Hill 4:49
Yeah, I mean, I was always one of those, you know, kids who didn’t know how things work so I would probably get into the weeds on something but my when my brother was in about fifth grade, I think I grew up in the Boston area south of Boston and we have blizzards there. Yeah. You know, and I grew up in Philadelphia. So we’re sitting here in Southern California, it’s like you know, 70 degrees here and, and the December end of November So, but there was a blizzard and I was shoveling snow and my younger brother was sledding up and down behind the house and sled it out into the street and get hit by a car and got pinched between a car and a tree actually with this plastic sled and ended up in a coma for you know, eight nine weeks had a pretty significant brain injury at the frontal right so temporoparietal junction. So that those are the frontal temporal junction and ended up having a lot of sort of difficult experience coming back from that and re physical rehab and cognitive things but you know, as a fellow young person myself, I was struck by this sort of sudden change in cognitive status and his you know, awareness but fairly small, you know, a little areas brain that was a couple centimeters by couple of centimeters in the right front area was damaged and that produced this massive shift in you know what he could do obviously was unconscious for weeks and weeks at that point so that you know draw drew my attention to how sort of fragile this regulatory system is I’d already been working health Human Services and seen some of the breakdown the really severe breakdown and so I started moving more into psychiatric hospitals and crisis work and seeing how people ended up you know, moving into those extreme and coming out of the extreme hopefully cases come up my brother’s injury happened before you know, I ended up in you know, as an adult and then probably informed you know, working with people suffering working with brain you know, stuff but you know, there’s a happy ending his story he ended up you know, going through college and having no real cognitive issues and having you know, successful life and company and family everything else so he recovered from a pretty severe brain injury tends to happen the earlier in life you have a brain injury, the better you can recover from it. It’s severe, you know that with without a focal deficit on a specific deficit, if you’re young, you can end up with some lowering above all function, if you have injuries, really severe brain injuries when you’re young, but often the brain can reroute around enough if you have a severe injury when you’re young, so as an elder or you know, people who are, you know, done developing in the 20 set up, an injury often causes a specific issue, a motor issue, a sensory issue, a language issue, those are hard to recover from, but young people doesn’t usually stay problematic unless it’s a massive loss of tissue or something. Okay.

Boomer Anderson 7:31
And so, the older you get, the harder it is to recover sounds like any general injury as well, but also, there’s hope, right?

Dr. Andrew Hill 7:39
There’s absolutely helped me the plot plasticity is a lifelong phenomena. Even elders who are you know, having a lot of difficulty with their cognition and memory are still making hundreds of new neurons in their hippocampus. I have a camp by every day. So you know, you’re making probably a couple thousand neurons a day or something right now. And that is people excited to hear So Mike neurons is relatively new. Finding, you know, probably a decade or two ago, but doesn’t really matter the cells you have the existing cells you have can remap themselves you move to talk to talk to different neighboring cells. Within minutes. If you went into the piano lesson today, you know, already play piano by the end of the day, every single cell in the hand area and your motor cortex will have moved around. And it’s talking to different friends trying to optimize the motor control and learning that you just, you know, asked it for. So this really does produce learning and reorganization and you can essentially organize that connectivity between neurons above any potential functional limit of the neurons meaning there’s people who are have massive brain injuries in losing incredible amounts of their cortex, who are fine later on because the brain tissue that remains will reorganize, and adults, this massive plasticy dramatic reorganization often doesn’t happen. But it can happen people wake up from comas, having, you know, not much brain tissue left and they’re fine because the brain has you know, reorganized into very, very dense arrays of activity in the remaining tissue. The normal range of human brain size is something between like 800 or 600 cc’s, and like 2500 cc’s massive range of normal being whereas normal, it’s kind of the point. But shift happens your life, your whole life, you know, very aggressive shift when you’re young, the brains over growing and pruning over growing and pruning and there’s so much plasticity that it’s uncomfortable, ask any teenager, but then you still have that plasticity thrust of your life and you can actually do things to enhance it. Even after it dips down to sort of lower adult level learning, meditation, exercise, novelty, neurofeedback, all kinds of things can goose that plasticity and boost it pretty significantly, in a rapid time frame to above your day to day, you know, ability to change, it’s already built in and can’t ever go away. Your brain has to change. Okay, so

Boomer Anderson 9:46
this is, this is great, but I want to go back to you know, sort of how you’ve gone from the frontier of looking at psychiatry cases to now we’re at the peak brain Institute here in culver city. Sure. What made that that transition happened for you?

Dr. Andrew Hill 10:01
Well, I mean, ultimately,

I thought that different work, it’s just that I no longer only work with people who have particular diagnosed conditions, and I tend to drop away from the diagnostic label here into the whatever resource you want to work on. So I still work on you know, work with people who are, you know, profoundly autistic or mildly autistic and have seizures and you know, major communication issues and things. But we also that also work with you know, obviously a third of my clients are still that very severe, impaired person cognitively or developmentally impaired, major brain injuries, you know, major challenges they’re working through probably third of my clients, but a third are also the peak performers. You know, Ben Greenfield, other sort of super high end athletes, creatives, executives, the push the people who are squeezing every little bit of performance out of their body and brain. So the my first foray into neurofeedback, I’ve been working in for years and Christ in long term residential, which isn’t, you know, that exciting people don’t change that rapidly. And then in crisis, acute psychiatric work where people actually were getting better, but still not that often. It was more of a holding pattern in these crisis psychiatric hospitals I worked in, and then I get injured, fairly badly injured in the psychiatric hospital, I was working, I was in charge of training people doing hands on interventions or restraints, and leading the restraint teams and ever there was a crisis. And this was among the most acute psychiatric hospitals in the state at the time. It’s since closed property for good reason. But we were having, you know, 1012 emergency codes every eight hour shift around the clock, where people had to run rushing and put hands on somebody who is you know, at risk of harming themselves or others are everyone in sight. And we were understaffed, underfunded, and people are burnt out and undereducated and I did like three restraints back to back about 25 minutes and took a break and went to recuperate on the geriatric floor and help them nurse friend of mine lift somebody who had to be changed for a mealtime or something and blew out to diss my lower back is herniated profoundly. You know, is like an alpha male five, kind of the alpha five and a five s one. Wow. Yeah, both of them. And they were pretty severe. And I didn’t walk too well for a long time for like a good solid, you know, solid six months at least. And I spent a good year recovering from that the cute stuff and several years, you know, maybe even a decade or more recovering from it. But what it did was it took this active hands on job I had in a psych hospital as soon as you know, the highest job I could get, is it with a bachelor’s degree, if you will, and then it took me out of that role completely. And I ended up working in that hospital for another year as a case manager having my work signed off on by a master’s level therapist, and I couldn’t do the hands on work, but I had technical skills from having worked on the floors for years. And then the hospital close that I had to sort of decide, well, you know, what’s next? I have some human service skills. I have some high tech skills. And I went and actually got a job completely in pure high tech working in CRM database development, and that seems

Boomer Anderson 12:53
a little different.

Dr. Andrew Hill 12:54
Yeah, well, I had some tech skills just historically from college and things and this was a time I was looking for something different. And I, you know, this was in the, I guess, early 90s, or something. So the tech bubble was still growing. And I ended up going to work for one of the big at the time a small customer relationship management company that was taking on the big people like Salesforce and Oracle and stuff. And I learned a lot about, you know, essentially Well, before marketing automation was a thing I learned about, you know, pipelines and campaigns. And I used to go into electricity companies, because the time the Northeast, maybe maybe it was wide mature, was deregulating power companies. And so there was all these power companies at the Northeast that had sales forces who didn’t really know how to sell power, he said never had to do and maybe the sales guys were were brand new into sales, the brand the company for 20 years, or maybe they were British sales people didn’t actually know energy at all. So we had to go in and configure these custom CRM to match their business models and a brand new sales process and then deploy and so I had some fun for a couple of years doing that stuff. And then sort of a couple of things happened. You know, got less and, you know, excited to stay in high tech plus the tech bubble kind of corrected. Yeah. And I ended up, you know, looking for the next thing to do and decided that I kind of missed work with people. And I went and got a job at an Autism Center. Okay, that happened to use neurofeedback as their primary intervention. And I’ve been interested in neurofeedback or biofeedback and the brain historically hadn’t been aware of it but it was kind of a black art and expensive and you know, you couldn’t get trained in it really, unless you went and did it with somebody still kind of true.

And I went got a job in Providence, Rhode Island working in this center, which still exists the neuro Development Center which does a lot of autism work and I saw suddenly, people who normally in my prior experience don’t change, change. I saw autism actually shift rapidly and weeks I saw ADHD go away almost every time I saw seizure stop away I saw you know, language and eye contact come back sometimes the spectrum kids I saw, you know, major shifts in OCD and trauma and you know, other suffering driven qualities of these brains. And my previous 10, whatever 15 years, told me that these things weren’t generally that changeable and all of our best practices weren’t able to move them. And then I’ve seen this stuff change in weeks. I mean, it was it was amazing and really kind of flipped my perspective, what was possible. And after doing that work for a couple of years, I went back and studied UCLA to get a PhD because we didn’t really understand what was going on. We still don’t, some more of a phenomena we manage that a discrete space we work in, but it’s kind of like neurofeedback, like personal training. It’s very iterative. You get a fitness assessment done, you figured out what it is you want to work on. And then you iterate through trying different things, but the process is so two way ideally I think when done best. It’s a two way with the person who’s training that as I developed more skilled in neurofeedback, I developed more understanding what was happening in neurofeedback. I started to shift my perspective on this as a medical psychological intervention done to somebody and more into a process somebody engages in to after goals. They observe effects, they report back What’s happening is very iterative the way a good personal trainer it might be, but this is a bit more nuanced or a bit more variable than personal training. It’s kind of like, you know, I can measure how much bicep strength you have. But then what if you want more bicep strength? I’m not sure if you have one elbow or 17 per arm and have to kind of try some things. And just so it’s a lot more of a hunting pack in some ways, but the brain mapping the process of you do, which we did with you. Yeah, and then attention testing that gives me a sense of how you’re unusual. And we go after the bottlenecks. And you know, that’s the same process if I’m working with a profoundly autistic nonverbal kid, the seizures, or a high level CEO making nine figures who can’t wind down at night. It’s exactly the same process. It’s always individualized. Look at your brain, look at your executive function or attention performance. Sometimes these kids can’t do it. That’s also its own, you know, finding and then we go over your data together and try to figure out which are the things that are unusual against the population of people like you are the things that might really be the bottlenecks you care the most about. And then The neurofeedback process exercises those things up and down and makes usually permanent change in a few months. So I was working in the narrative elements that are in Providence I was starting to see ADHD go away in three to six months and autism actually shift in that same time frame. It was shocked many and we’ve refined our processes, I find that for many people, in making that shift from acute people into more, you know, broad performers and also high performers. For me, it’s really about just providing access and agency to the tech. So while most neurofeedback providers see a lot of kids and a lot of developmental issues, you know, we see some of those absolutely, but I see as many high level athletes, as I do children, I see as many CEOs as any people PTSD, sometimes as the same people, but like but you know, it doesn’t really matter to me so much if you have a symptom or diagnosis. And all I care about is you have a goal and that goal can be a performance you know, goal. I want to relax deeper on the starting block so I can you know, kick into action faster, or it can be a symptom driven go I want to not be traumatized by driving on the highway because that car accident had last It doesn’t matter to me so much I care about the people as individuals. But the history isn’t all that important. What’s important is during this sort of screen of the likely physiological features that you want to work on, and to that and I flipped the model a little bit neurofeedback peak brain, we generally don’t do a clinical history with you, we go over your brain maps sort of cold, I have some data for you pulled up, but I haven’t interviewed you or talked about anything, in terms of trying to work on I just looked at your attention performance and your brain map and I now have a few ideas about what it is you might be experiencing. As general traits, you know, high level features and I’ll you know, predict some of things could be true for you. And if they are true if my guess is my hypotheses from your brain maps are true, then we believe the assessment data and Okay, this stuff is relevant to your goals. Yeah. So it’s not a diagnostic process. People often are like, Well, what do you know about me if my brain Why don’t actually anything? I know what’s happening usually, or I don’t know what it means. You might know what it means. So I’ll ask you two questions. Oh, this could mean x. Does that sound plausible? The screen was But I joke now that if you want answers, go see a doctor, you know, you want questions come see a scientist. Yeah, we mostly tell you what we don’t know. And ask you, you know, well, what about this? And have you thought about that? And could this be interesting and relevant? So the metaphor is closer to a sort of a personal trainer slash scientist at peak brain. And that’s the only real difference but the clients you work through, often very, very similar. The big difference is if someone has a deep psychiatric or therapeutic need, I can’t be the only person on their team because I’m a PhD in neuroscience, not in clinical psych or medicine or anything else. I shouldn’t be doing clinical driven symptom, you know, focus curative work, but I’m happy to help you their stress response, but you have massive intrusive PTSD, you probably should my therapist as well. I’m happy to help you with your, you know, PR separation, but if you have life disrupting OCD, you might want a psychiatrist and a psychologist. You know, it just depends on what your needs are. If you have a speech and language issues autistic kid I don’t do speech and language, you know, therapy, or physical therapy, some of the brain injury or occupational therapy. But you should decide for yourself as an informed consumer who I want to take control X and Y resource. Sometimes that’s engaging with systems are going to injure either symptom, we get diagnosis and do the medication or do the therapy. And sometimes it’s okay I want to go after this stuff like, because I have a goal. You know, you can go after your abs because you have a core injury or because you want to have nice apps doesn’t really matter. From my perspective. It’s as long as you’re like ABS Okay, here’s the program for apps. I mean, we don’t have a program for ABS music. If we did people in Russian but we do have programs for like amazing executive function control over your attention, good listening skills, deep creativity, deep awareness of your emotions, we can boost your immune system we can drop PTSD and OCD reliably and eliminate ADHD and most forms of anxiety reliably. So it’s really a question of what do you want to do with your resources?

And but essentially, the work we’re doing is very, very similar to most good neurofeedback, assessing your brain, be very evidence based going back to the assessments frequently. Then just gradually moving your brain over time. Let’s talk about that

Boomer Anderson 21:03
assessment because you’re here yesterday. Yeah. Took me through a process. And many people listening to this are like, this sounds great. What does? What is brain mapping? How would you explain it to somebody? Because it seems I mean, this is the initial assessment that you will short everybody.

Dr. Andrew Hill 21:22
Yeah, it takes about an hour to do an assessment at peak brain. And we do two things. One is what we call a brain map or a quantitative eg, which is a resting baseline of average brain activity. We don’t pick up what you’re thinking you’re feeling. And we’d also don’t pick up if you’re tired that day or for a few days, the averages are very stable. And the results of a brain map meaning how unusual your brain is compared to average people is stable year after year. It’s the same result every single time you do it unless you have major distortions from like major fatigue or injury or medication or something. Or you make changes from things like meditation or neurofeedback or aging. Otherwise, it’s the same high level feature set. But again, we have to generate hypotheses from it, then the attention test measures how well you can perform under extremely boring conditions. You might agree that tests was not the most exciting.

Boomer Anderson 22:06
Yeah, it was. Well, first off, I was a little fatigued, going into it, and then going through the the test was a little bit. Yeah, I mean, it’s an intention test, right? Yeah,

Dr. Andrew Hill 22:17
it’s supposed to be TDs. We do see flashing number on the screen a three inch high number, or we speak a number over the speakers and the numbers either a one or two, it’s all it is. and your job is simply to click the mouse for the ones, but it’s sitting one trial per second, there’s 440 trials. So it’s like 20 plus minutes between the warm up and cool down and it’s really boring, you know, 112. And very quickly, you start to miss the ones which is inattentive features, and you click or you click on the twos, which are impulsive response control features, and we look in ways in which you fail on the activation or inhibition. We tease apart audio versus visual short term marriage versus long term marriage sustained focus, the sense of things, and then look at the patterns of errors against other people and for ADHD, like, if you have issues with stain focus is an auditory versus visual problem that’s very particular, that gives me a very valid reason. Okay, here’s your performance. And then the brain mapping is a bit different instead of valid, it’s just stable. It’s just you know, it’s real data, but it’s hard to interpret. So for the brain mapping, we stick a cap on your head, this will swim cap in one of several colors. And we scored it full of gel conductive gel and measure what your brain is doing, what electricity it’s producing, at 21 locations. And we then take those 10 minutes of recording time baselines, and we compare them to a database of people who are your age and see how unusual your brain is. And then both the attention test in the brain maps are plotted on the sort of bell curves of population differences, the scores, really standard deviations, essentially. And we then try to find the things that are most unusual, and if they’re more than a standard deviation out of range, more than an unusual amount of variability against population. It might be something interesting enough to go hey, this thing’s can get in the way. How large is this database? Depends the attention populations, a few thousand people, the brain mapping depending what we’re looking at is between a few hundred and a few thousand. So it’s not necessarily population level database. So Strictly speaking, we call these things z scores, not standard deviations, okay? for those folks who aren’t statisticians, Z score is simply a standard deviation divided by the average of your sample notice. So we have a few thousand people, there’ll be some people in that database who are exactly like you, your age, everything else. But then there’ll be other people, let’s say, you know, another hundred people who are next few decades above, and a few people who are the next few decades below an age, the only thing that changes the brain dramatically is a sum mathematically, we put what’s called a regression line through this database of thousands of people and plot you on that line. So you’ve been compared to an average sort of typical heavily clean brain. But my goal isn’t to say, why aren’t you average? Let’s make you average because I don’t care that you’re not average, like here. Let’s find the ways in which things are sticking up where the sore thumbs in the stats and what do those often mean for people and do those things fit your goals or not. That’s really what matters not so much what’s, you know, again, I can’t tell what’s on what’s good or bad, I can tell what’s unusual nothing. And then from there, to some extent, you’re the person making the meeting, I’m just teaching you to read the maps. And the peak brain, we have this policy of never charging for remapping. So you do one map. And then a few months later, if you want more maps, and you see features in your brain become stable over time, you also see things you’re doing in your life shift features in your brain, like C packing, or nootropics, or exercise regimens will slowly start to shift things in your brain. So

Boomer Anderson 25:30
So what are some of the things I can come up in this brain map? Because there’s a lot of people listening to this, that travel quite a bit? Yeah. And so I’m imagining chronic jet lag could potentially come up, but what are some of the things that you can observe and say, or what are some of those peaks that you say, Hey, what’s going on?

Dr. Andrew Hill 25:48
Yeah, it’s all these regulatory features that the most reliable stuff and brain mapping is stuff that all brains do. The features of attention management, stress management or anxiety feature sometimes Sleep regulation, broad stuff like that. So I can often spot and then some of the markers are valid like the ADHD markers are 94% accurate. The inattentive add markers are about 80% accurate, not that accurate. And those are some of the best ones we have. Everything else is more like Oh, hey, here’s a here’s a hint it can mean this. Is that true for you? Like might see speed of processing issues, for instance, that can be from a lot of causes, but tends to produce brain fog and word finding issues and short term memory issues. I do see I’ve already looked at your brain. I walk through it systematically with you but I do see some brain fog kind of wiped out. And it’s not just from traveling the past few days before you got here. It looks pretty product, some Delta waves that are pushing back.

Boomer Anderson 26:39
Yeah, I think there’s a history that we can go through years and investment banking interview to that one, I’m sure and

Dr. Andrew Hill 26:46
that probably explains the other feature I saw on your brain which is one of the switching systems be a little bit extra active. The poster a singular this thing that tends to scan the environment and know if your behaviors congruent it safe is a little extra active for you compared to the average person your brains evaluating the environment a little bit more than average. So

Boomer Anderson 27:03
if I worked in a corporate culture where I was constantly worried about somebody putting the old knife in the back, yeah,

Dr. Andrew Hill 27:09
this this back midline resource is elevated chronically, when the environments dangerous and unpredictable,

Boomer Anderson 27:15

Dr. Andrew Hill 27:16
It’s elevated briefly, when you do something that needs correcting, like you’ve dropped your phone in the football, the car you’re fishing around for the sense of public throwed because the singlet through a flag on the place, but behavior environment when conflict, had you alert to change your behavior?

Boomer Anderson 27:31
So just thinking about my own life here, history with and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before just a history of like anxiety that would potentially lead to this situation. Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill 27:44
So again, I would flip it, I would say, Oh, hey, here’s a resource you have on the back midline of your brain, there’s a little bit of a hotspot and it’s in the poster simulate. And it’s about it’s almost a standard deviation higher than average, not a very large one. It’s not a likely feature, but it’s there. So I’d say all For some people to have a back midline hotspot and beta waves that means they’re evaluating or actually ruminating a little bit sitting there and chewing on things and thinking about what I just said yeah it’s the dog with a bone kind of phenomena but it’s very visceral as a worry component usually towards the back middle Okay, the front middle which for you is actually doesn’t show any excess and beta waves but does shall we call hyper coherence and beta or over connectivity and beta okay means that the anterior cingulate the front single, it is a bit over connected moment to moment not letting go and that produces PR separation, mentally being stuck sabac Mills viscerally worried the front is the thoughts being stuck. So the Rockets ramped and again, this is over connected for you. I don’t know what it means for you. But I guess for many people, this can mean things like songs just stuck in your head, you know, OCD, biting your nails, that kind of stuckness a behavior where you know, you don’t want to do it, but it’s just kind of happening.

Boomer Anderson 28:49
So song stuck in the head if I had like a freak auditory capacity, or what I think of as just, yeah, sort of the useless superpower now because she’s Come out and everybody can identify the song right right now I used to be able to just rattle off song lyrics. Okay, could that be what I’m talking about what we’re hearing here is it’s something completely different more like dwelling on thought

Dr. Andrew Hill 29:13
it’s probably the latter I mean, you’re probably talking maybe related and the only superpower can be also be kryptonite. But this is the evaluator. Okay? This is about your scanning and evaluating the back and the front is about you will basically the back midline post your single it is deciding what’s necessary. The front midline is what is important. So the front me like it’s hot, we do things like always the Avalon is you have a non gemenon We also do things like bite our nails. We also things like I love that person, love that person, love that person. It’s the focus being stuck on something and not necessarily anything else. It’s the what you’re switching to what’s important. You know, the back midline is what is necessary but it’s starting with dangerous the front is what I need what is important to me positive and negative. And again, I can’t look at this back midline and go oh, you have PTSD. I know you’re back Midlands, but elevated you don’t read sensitive ruminating you might be hell you sounds like you are. Okay, next question. that’s valid. Next question, is it important to care about it you want to work on it because it’s reliable you got about two standard deviations there between connectivity markers and amplitude markers for liable to change. So give it you know, 20 3040 sessions of neurofeedback for half an hour each and three times a week for three months. In this we reduced by couple standard deviations you will literally feel like your mind is unclenching you can put down stuff that you don’t want to think about whenever you decide to, if you turn that down, you can pick right back up if you want to as well that’s the nice thing about neurofeedback. We don’t remove the resource we unstick it we don’t blanket you with a new state like a drug might we just all that stock is that stock Okay, let’s let’s let’s train that under your control now. months from now you have control over that resource. Other thing we’re seeing for you is low power of alpha, it’s blue here. So relatively low amounts of the brainwave that rests.

Boomer Anderson 30:50
So low power of alpha even if I am a meditator

Dr. Andrew Hill 30:53
yeah at rest with your eyes closed your brain is not making as much alpha waves ahead as the average person okay and you aren’t shutting off your visual system with your eyes closed. Your brain staying a little bit hyper vigilant. This is why yesterday when I was going through the process with your team, my eyes were still moving your brain actually, okay, this is your brain learning that if you close your eyes, it better stay ready to process anyways, as the world might not, you know, might want to check out what’s happening and you don’t necessarily

Boomer Anderson 31:19
have the tiger on the savanna or whatever it is. Yeah, so

Dr. Andrew Hill 31:22
this is hyper vigilance sometimes, or at least you could start a downshift and totally get ramped up pretty well, but it’s hard to find that smooth spot, chill guy, but my guess is some of that’s practiced versus innate. So and then we also see connectivities high the slow brainwaves, deltas and betas and the amplitude, the amount is high and delta. That usually means a lot of fog and fatigue burnout, some of us may be influenced by your acute fatigue, you know, jet lag, whatever recently. This is more of a chronic phenomena. This is a couple standard deviations of activity. Two and a half indications extra Delta waves in the back right of your head. This is a some brain fog, most likely potentially an injury spot right there. concussion

Boomer Anderson 32:00
So if I had concussions when I was younger, a handful of them this could be it.

Dr. Andrew Hill 32:04
Okay? I don’t know if it is doesn’t matter if it is in terms of neurofeedback, but what matters is oh this can produce some brain fog, some lack of deep sleep and so maybe chronic issues filtering auditory information it’s hard to like process always get tired auditorily the head if those things things seem valid, whether or not it comes from an injury, or just the cookie factory model you are, we can go after it. So it doesn’t matter so much whether I understand what’s happened as long as I understand which resources you’re walking around with. Okay, this looks like brain fog valid or not. Yeah,

Boomer Anderson 32:33
valid to a certain extent. I think there is some environmental influences here. I told you I was at Summit Series all weekend and yeah, it was a little bit of a sleep deprivation

Dr. Andrew Hill 32:43
naps are not affected by a few days of that interesting. It has to it takes a lot to pick the brain and attention test Yes. Okay, near death for you show some issues and focus and vigilance and some impulsivity broadly attention test scores are coming in about one and a half to two standard deviations below average for executive function. They’re coming in like 70s and left avenues for how they can activate your focus how you can stay out when things are boring. And also, you know, clicking on the wrong stimuli is your about one and a half to two standard deviations which can be driven by fatigue. Okay? The brain maps are not affected by fatigue, let’s it’s very, very severe. Okay, so chronic fatigue being, you know, the years and years of what I’ve done to myself. And what I’ve done now is pulling out faster brainwaves are, which will tell me a little bit about how your brain is operating in terms of sleep. And alpha waves not fast you think and delta waves while while your rest, the alpha waves are running a bit low here below one several places, there are some below zero, you know, slower than average. That means your internal processing speed feels slow at times you feel sluggish. When you’re tired. You might even be experiencing things like word finding issues in short term memory issues when you’re wiped out like I can’t wait. What’s it like delayed, you know, towards iPhone?

Boomer Anderson 33:44
Yeah, the true to a certain Yes, yeah,

Dr. Andrew Hill 33:47
yeah. So that’s probably a hint of it, the processing. The Delta is both very, very slow and a few places kind of fast. It’s two different phenomena showing up. Delta typically runs about zero, you know, average speeds. You start getting chronic sleep deprivation starts to push back and run fast during the day it’s rounding out micro sleeping after years of that it gives up and stops being producing and runs very very slow. I think we’re seeing as this flipping over from fast and too slow like you’re on the edge of like actually more deep burnout from lack of interesting you have a chronic issue in sleep. It looks like it’s actually getting worse.

Boomer Anderson 34:20
Okay, that’s I mean, given that I’ve focused on it so much in the past couple of years I wish it was going the other direction but happy to

Dr. Andrew Hill 34:28
my hunch is this is actually at least partially a stress response problem and partially concussion problem okay, and just doing regular c packing things will not affect that you have to work on the cushion or the anxiety to get rid of the sickness. Okay, I think I chicken it out I can tell what’s going on here. But the mean the anxiety makes sense

Boomer Anderson 34:44
things It looks like a more significant feature in the brain fog is more systemic feature than any actually sleep issues. Okay. So I think the person who like doesn’t necessarily so I do all the quote unquote hacking things like brain fog, right? No grains, no sugars, etc. Yep, fasting, all of that, but This could be something different

Dr. Andrew Hill 35:01
well this will make a rapid change the resources and we’ll see how they feel. I would definitely suggest some sleep hacking things maybe some things you haven’t tried I tend I find the biohackers often do the thing that seems like it will work but once someone says something is true people often get the wrong information out there and I really don’t like how about hackers are doing intermittent fasting

Boomer Anderson 35:21
I agree with you so let’s explore this a little Yeah,

Dr. Andrew Hill 35:24
so T the best way to eat for your brain is actually a fast in the afternoon and evening not in the morning. Yeah, you trust the morning first thing the morning of course but but all the IAF and intamin fasting and times you do folks they all many of them anyways will do things like fast until six or seven, have a big dinner and go to bed. Or they’ll you know, eat well 10 hours a day or something I really think the best time to fast at the end of the day for circadian rhythm reasons. So the rule of thumb is go to bed hungry and you’ll wake up full of energy and feeling fed and go to bed fall you wake up hungry and tired because you if you go to bed with any insulin in your system, calories still being burned, or, you know, absorbed, essentially, then you will suppress growth hormone release when you’re asleep, if you’re north of about 40, you’re not making any of the growth hormone, except in that two hour pulse you’re getting about, you know, two hours of sleep. So, if you’re doing enough, you’ll get away with this. Not put on body fat or have a lousy sleep, and you can snack up until you go to bed. But if you’re, you know, 30s and 40s, you can’t, and you’ll wake up super tired and you have no energy because what’s happening is the, the insulin prevents the growth hormone release, which means you’ll get yanked down in deep sleep, it’s gonna be like almost no deep sleep. And then after a while, you stop remembering your dreams because you’re making good deep sleep to consolidate the memories of the dreams. And it’s a vicious cycle and then you you start doing things like falling asleep, rapidly, but not sitting very deeply. Yep. You have things like starting to dream, the moment you fall asleep, which is kind of a sign that you’re you’re having your star for REM. And there’s a few things going on here suggesting your your delta waves are off I either kind of persistent like your brains having a hard time waking up and awake. Generally, that means It’s also having a hard time going all the way deeply asleep it’s a bit stuck between those two states

Boomer Anderson 37:05
and so here right protocol would be like early time restricted feeding rather than

Dr. Andrew Hill 37:10
Yeah, so the big the big thing is for security and training for food are don’t eat before bed at least three, four hours. Okay? You know, no calories for at least three hours have a you know, water herbal tea if you need ritual or something, but no, no calories and then faster couple hours in the morning as well. An exercise in the morning before you eat, and keep your morning wake time. consistent. I don’t care what your bedtime is. Okay, those are the three big things. Evening fasting is the first one morning consistent wake time and then morning exercise before eating in order of importance. So if all if there’s one just don’t snack at night for secondhand stuff, awesome.

Boomer Anderson 37:48
So let’s we’ve talked about it a little bit here. And I do want to come back to the brain that makes sure everyone we click stop on the record and just ask you a bunch of questions on that, but in the interest of time, so neurofeedback. Yeah. Can we go a little bit into that because yesterday your team had me fly dragons with my brain through a different loops and I felt a little bit like the Game of Thrones. Let’s interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to talk a little bit about a product and company I’m in love with and that is the V light. My particular device is the neuro alpha. And let me tell you a little bit about my end of one benefits, better sleep, better focus and less anxiety when it comes to things like public speaking, and increased ability to really drop into flow. But you can check out their website which is full of all kinds of scientific articles and research in this world of intra nasal photo bio modulation. And if you want to check out a device, we have a little bit of a coupon code for you. You can use the coupon code superhuman to get 10% off your purchase. That’s v light vi e li gh and use the code superhuman for 10% off Can we talk just neurofeedback and feel guilty? I didn’t really burn some cities it wasn’t quite the last episode of greener A Game of Thrones but a lot of flying

Dr. Andrew Hill 39:10
so so people often don’t understand what we’re talking about when neurofeedback, they think you’re controlling the process of neurofeedback is entirely almost entirely involuntary, right? You wouldn’t you would probably agree. You’re watching a dragon fly across the sky, whatever it was steering in certain directions and audio is coming and going. Essentially what we’re doing is measuring your brain we have three wires in your head, couple your clips, and then one wire on your scalp. And we’re measuring two different brainwaves a theta or three actually the two main ones were trading theta and low beta called SMR and theta brainwaves and their highs colic, Aaron the brake lines of your car, you can’t inhibit things such as ADHD, poor inhibitory tone, okay kind of stuff, and low beta or SMR. When that’s high amplitude. It’s a calm state focused poised, you know, mentally self control and the tissue itself is control. It’s not gonna procedures running you know instability events. So SMR training with state inhibits very very common thing to do in neurofeedback. The field was built on it you know, when 50 years ago SMR was discovered is a big feature for training key explain SMR

Yeah, so the easiest way to talk about it is to point at cats because everyone’s seen a cat lying on a windowsill watching birds. And generally the cat will relax its body deeply and sharpen its gaze and often make little noise will tip of the tail is twitching or something but the body is actually fully liquid because predators cats are obligate carnivores, they only eat other animals they cannot eat, you know, plant matter unless it’s part of an animal, stomach or something but you shouldn’t be eating plant matter. Don’t feed your cats we can die. It’s really bad for me.

Boomer Anderson 40:45
He’s just upset half the world but that’s not the listener base. There we go

Dr. Andrew Hill 40:49
cat but then cats. dogs eat whatever dogs are omnivores. Cats have to have meat or obligate carnivores. Any carnivore sees a prey animal and will deeply relax instantly with its body But sharpen its mind because you can leap into action onto the prey much faster if you’re relaxed. So you trigger involuntary SMR and cats when they see prey animals and so that’s what you know your your Tabby on the counters liquid, but watching the birds and jittering that’s SMR and humans SMR is sleep spindles are sigma and does a bunch of stuff we’re not carnivores the same way we don’t have the same deep relaxation tone. We do have the same SMR effect that our muscles are matok system. You may have watched Temple Grandin TED talk on she’s not just a scientist who discovered that the cow squeezing machines they used to pacify the cows before slaughter also feel really good. And this is actually known from when I was working in group homes for years we used to do deep tissue pressure because it made very calming events and these people use heavy pillows and or weighted blankets for them. They got really good it feels very calming. The reason is constraining your body causes us Mr. To be squeezed somebody that relaxed deeply like a like a kid. That’s the SMR state very Hell of a tightly humans do SMR to keep us asleep when we’re asleep, to resist seizure states and instability vents in our brain. So Dr. Sterman, Dr. Barry started UCLA 1967 was working with cats who’s cats again, and NASA asked him to examine how dangerous rocket fuel vapors were because our astronauts were getting sick and experiencing some things and he started testing vapor exposure on cats. And of the 32 cats he was testing a handful of a quarter the refuse to have seizures, and needed to three times exposure to show the same instability, instability that’s a 24 cats having seizures at like 45 to 60 minutes and eight cats not having seizures at 120 minutes. I couldn’t figure out why one group was completely seizure resistant until very late the process and one group was showing all the class dose dependent, all the classic dose dependent curve sort of events until he realized had used these these seizure you know superhero cats he’s resisting cats and other experiment month before to see if we Ever there SMR waves climbed on their own. If you squirted chicken broth into the mouth if it increased the amplitude the next day and see trained up there SMR a little bit proved it could be trained with offering conditioning shaping the brains behavior and rewarding things you want to happen more. And yes, it can make a change and months later these cats were seizure resistant. So his next step his lab manager was an epileptic was not well controlled on medication that went through all her data and created machine for her and she went off off her meds over a couple of years and been seizure free. And that was the start of the field and late 60s, around SMR. Now we know SMR training generally eliminates ADHD because the column cat has notoriously still and mentally focused is the opposite of ADHD, whose motorically fidgety and mentally bouncing all around literally your calm cat in the window sill is the opposite brain state of ADHD between up SMR you eliminate ADHD and almost everybody for classic Ah, within a handful of sessions, like you know, a few months 3040 Sessions is almost all always reliable for a few standard deviations of changing alkylation it’s incredible and you know permanent change for ADHD and things I mean other stuff Autism is never fully done process for many people. You continue to work on the brain because lots of stuff going on and schizophrenia you’re never done or you know other things or ongoing disease processes or things that are pushing back. But anxiety, stress, sleep, attention, mood, even severe stuff like PTSD and OCD often stay resolved in a few months of training.

Boomer Anderson 44:26
So anxiety sleep, a lot of people listen in a sleep stress nutrition are Top of Mind issue, right? And so these you mentioned 30 to 40 sessions, you can start to see increase if we’re going to set up measurement tools you can use like you’re ordering I guess there are some issues we’re

Dr. Andrew Hill 44:43
not 30 sessions and to start to see you know, about three to five sessions in two starts pretty excited noticing things you feel it usually people feel up by the end of the second week, which is six sessions in almost everybody. Obviously 10% people feel the first or second time, but 10% don’t really feel it until you like At the end of the first month doesn’t sessions and like yeah I kind of feel something how’s your sleep oh actually have some really well but there’s a notice that the changes day to day but they are getting the same resource yes because I did the one session

Boomer Anderson 45:12
yesterday yes slept pretty damn well I

Dr. Andrew Hill 45:14
might be sensitive that’s what we have a short session we did 20 minute session for you today if you have time I’ll give you a full 30 minutes sessions to push and see what happens and tonight if you see extra well again then we start going okay you might be sensitive or sometimes if you’re lucky this SMR protocol we often start with this one will produce the windshield wiper fairy you walk out of the office like oh my god the world’s crisp and clear and bright and calm What’s going on? Give me new glasses you like what the heck and people rush back in sometimes what am i experiencing this is amazing. If you get that first lift the first crack in the brain fog the first drop and the distractibility can feel incredible it is subjectively felt and then we go back and map your brain and measure your attention every 20 sessions of neurofeedback, okay. So we’re doing at least two cycles, usually three cycles of that, you know, 40 to 60 sessions and I can often make for ADHD people come in with three to four standard deviations of, you know, performance impairments and brain map, you know, out of range issues, if you will. And they typically do four months of training and are above average when they leave, and it’s permanent. So we eliminate it, get them above their above above a typical baseline typically in general for the average person. So,

Boomer Anderson 46:21
upbringing conditioning, yeah, you mentioned it briefly. Just want to kind of double click on that. Sure. How would you explain it other than it’s just, those are those the things that I hear when

Dr. Andrew Hill 46:32
I’m flying out transitioning is rewarding or applauding certain things the organism is doing so we can do more of that life. This is not Pavlov’s dog. We’re not taking something that your brain doesn’t do like a bell or light and to me does do like salivating and making them together. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re taking stuff your brain already does it make it do more or less of that this is Skinner’s pigeons Skinner was a Skinner and Pavlov that you conditioned And Skinner had pigeons cenarion conditioning and says called are associated as a form of associative learning. All learnings associate learning really but what we’re doing is we’re you know, Skinner put pigeons in a box and while in fact three times in a certain pattern it is already pack, so to get pigeons back three times the first day, when they get nearer the lover, you give them a couple of food, but the next day the pack on at least once and the third day it’s three times and you shape progressively reward success approximations, and any learning system any organism any brain sets of cells will learn this what you can approximate if you provide a feedback signal reward the brain finds interesting and the case of neurofeedback if we only ding ding, ding ding ding and make the dragon fly in some directions. When your brain drops its data and raises its SMR whenever the brain happens to move in the wrong direction if we withhold the applause, that the dragon stops flying in a straight line that things go away the brains like hey, I was watching that with information go. The brain happens to move the right direction the software goes yeah Job rain, and it’s reinforced. The operant conditioning part is every few seconds, we move the goalposts. So we’re plotting a trend the brain might be on or not applauding a trend it’s already on, you can’t really feel it in the session, you can’t control it. What usually happens after a few sessions is tomorrow, your brain does more about produced the extra input today is you feel that your sleep, your stress, your attention shifts subtly, and you go, Oh, I felt this, and then it wears off the next day. But it’s the right thing. We do it again, and it builds the resource after a handful of sessions. You have much more access to it. After a couple dozen sessions. It’s permanent access. That’s amazing.

Boomer Anderson 48:37
People are listening to this and asking what’s the downside? Yeah, and I’ve heard anecdotally of some of your experiments with yourself and things that you can potentially do. Yeah. Are there are there downsides to neurofeedback? And, you know, yeah, I’d love to hear some of the experiments.

Dr. Andrew Hill 48:53
I mean, yes, there’s there’s downsides but mostly it’s in this sort of vein of personal training. If you don’t work out the wrong way at the gym. You You can see what you want pectoral muscles. Okay, great. Here’s your chest press workout today. And tomorrow you come in like guys, I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders like I can’t move. Oh, sorry, we worked out a little hard. Let’s back off of that machine today or let’s you know be iterative. That’s the trick and neurofeedback is not exactly knowing what will happen. So if you ignore the side effects like I’ve had, I had a client when I was working for somebody else, a client came in had done this eight year old boy his mother had found a neurofeedback provider gotten the system gotten one protocol and an 80 sessions in a row. He went from autistic back to profoundly autistic lost his language losses. icontact started screaming all the time, when he’d been you know, okay as an eight year old but having some needs and she was beside herself. She didn’t understand that neurofeedback isn’t one thing. It’s like, can you hurt yourself? Go and work out the gym? Absolutely. Can you also transform your life profoundly? Absolutely. If you to the wrong workout and ignore the effects you’ll get into trouble. Yeah, it’s a little self limiting though. Just like you wouldn’t continue to hurt The gym it stopped doing it. If your anxiety gets spiked your secret start off again and again and again and your feedback you’re doing it obviously, and bad practitioners just lose clients that way good practitioners go, Oh, this protocol made you feel super focusers today, but then you couldn’t fall asleep. Okay, let’s back off on frequency how that feel, oh, you’re focused and you could fall asleep great was dialing in. And so I really do rely on a lot of feedback, no pun intended from the clients on what’s happening day to day. So we do this gentle push for half an hour. And then you have a subtle unfolding of the effect about 24 hours. We have you thought surveys and what’s happening, your sleep, your stress, your mood, your attention, so that when you come back in a couple days later, we go Oh, a protocol last Thursday seemed to work right. You feel pretty good. Great. Let’s do it again. Okay, but if we ignore the side effects, you could get more and more and more and more anxious more and more spacey, more and more burnt out. And so yes, you have to kind of be on top of the process and watch what’s happening or you can produce the wrong shifts and resources.

Boomer Anderson 50:58
I want to ask you about some of these technologies. Jeez, that exists right now. I’m sure we can go through a handful of them. I know we have. Why don’t we just start with something like the Muse? Right? Yeah. And, you know, the Muse medic biofeedback meditation headband. Yeah. What what are your opinions on? We’ll start there. And then I have a few other ones. Sure. Yeah.

Dr. Andrew Hill 51:22
I think it’s a bit of a consumer device. And I think it’s a bit vaporware. Actually, I mean, I don’t really think sitting there are feedback. There’s a bunch of reasons why I think the device like the Muse is useful to look back at session data and figure out what your brainwaves were doing later on. I also don’t love where the Muse is measuring. I think most of the places you want to measure for most of these things is actually the strip of tissue ones year to year. That’s where SMR is measured, and the Muses measuring forehead. And that’s just a noisy place to measure. It’s not near the parts of the brain, you want to measure for most things. And unfortunately, these dry sensor devices like the music, the several out there, the rise sensor devices, you’d rubberized the No sensors, electrodes, but they’re picking up tons of noise, especially the forehead was muscle tension huge amounts of noise. And if you want to filter out noise filter in the frequency range I high frequency muscles out of the brainwaves, you break the timing relationship of the signal so you get noise sales off the head, you filter them, the time you and filtering them the time relationship with the signal is not related with the brain just did broken the time relationship, you can’t give feedback on the signal tell someone that they’re doing something in real time if you broken the signal processing, so essentially you can’t do neurofeedback with dry electrodes because the sampling is too aggressive filtering through aggressive to to make the time the timing work. If you have jitter and the time coupling of the brain to the to the system the learning process fails. Plus again a hate where those most consumer devices are measuring the head really in the front and on the ear to ear and not the on the forehead. Okay, that we’re just taking engineering, you know, it’s easy to measure the foreheads that’s what I go after. Okay, so I think it’s a it’s a device that’s unfortunately too expensive for what you’re Getting from it. I’d rather spend twice as much money, get real neurofeedback devices and start using them, honestly, to.

Boomer Anderson 53:06
There’s other technologies or experiences out there that promise a profound Zen experience and seven days. Yeah. What do you feel about these?

Dr. Andrew Hill 53:18
There’s nothing special, okay with any of these profound like five to seven days most of our five days now what you accomplished and throughout sort of who accomplished meditation states and meditation learning, but the neurofeedback, they’re doing and I’ll name brands, I mean, if we’re talking about bio cybernet or four years of Zen, they’re basically the same program. James hard. Dr. Hart would disagree that the same program as would Dave Asprey. Yeah, but from my perspective, they’re pretty much the same technology. And and I believe that all we’re doing working with here is alpha synchrony alpha coherence training, Alpha Theta training, which are very deep, powerful techniques in the field, some of the best stuff we do in terms of peak performance and flow state. But the brain doesn’t change in five or six days. You may have enough experience if I made you into a sweat law for five sweat lodge or five days or you know, Sundance or do I Alaska, you’d have an experience but you wouldn’t be any different necessarily Two weeks later, unless you decided to integrate the lessons you learned during the experience to cognitive thing. So maybe you’ll have a hypnagogic state experience or creativity bursts, and then during Alpha Theta alpha synchrony, but you haven’t taught the brain to get there. If you want to get that I’ll, I’ll teach you your brand new that over a few months, and at the end of that process, you’ll have reliable access to flow state.

Boomer Anderson 54:31
So the integration aspect

Dr. Andrew Hill 54:32
is just completely it just takes more than five or six or seven or 10 sessions for change takes about a month minimum for neurofeedback change generally. And this is not enough training in there. So we have a program that we can build an exact same, you know, alpha synchrony alpha coherence if you want to, and we get you set up for training for up to a year for it’s between a third and a quarter of their one week prices on their programs. So we feel that neurofeedback should be done over time. It takes 40 5060 sessions to make really big shifts. And there’s no reason to charge 15 or $20,000 for a weekend or a feedback. If you want to spend half that much money, I’ll get you up with your own hardware and software and remote mentoring. You can train yourself and your family for a year. Yeah, and pay less than half of that money. And I’m going to talk to you about that

Boomer Anderson 55:21
later. So the Okay, let’s skip one of these and go into psychedelics. nootropics Yeah. The impact on the brain. How do you look at that in terms of is it worth it? Is it can you just get a better effect out of neurofeedback? What do you feel

Dr. Andrew Hill 55:37
in terms of psychedelics? I don’t have a good answer. I have clients coming in to do one of two things. They come back after having done massive dosing. Yeah, after I lost events or whatever they’re doing, they’re Burning Man, you know, 10 day. And I’ve clients at microdose and the macro dosing folks that are sober show, no brain changes later on. Okay, the micro dosing folks that are chronically using, I can’t tell what’s happening because the brains aren’t clean enough. It’s what them versus not them, you know? No good sense there nootropics I’ve done a fair amount of actually brain mapping on so then a bunch of little small little in house studies looking at the QE G and the attention testing me I used to work for true brain I helped found true brains nootropic stack, and I designed all the initial blends, and when we’re designing them, we had all of our college interns, you know, take them and check the activity. We had all kinds of interesting stuff instrumentation going on. We brought in sang Lucci the big trading train the traders company in New York City. And those guys we had 1520 of those guys doing simulated trading with new turbine in their system when doing brain mapping, looking at you know, effects of activation states and things. So over the past few years, I some other nootropic partners, I can’t name names so much so they want me to talk about this, but I’ve looked at the brain activity effects of several different compounds in the field and

Boomer Anderson 56:59
I don’t Water works better than the compounds wise.

Dr. Andrew Hill 57:03
There’s no there’s no one common that works better. There are some blends that seem to be a little bit less aggressive work better for more people. But I think your tropics about dialing in what works for you I also think the tropics are a risky thing because many people think that nootropics are all the smart drugs and I’m much more a fan people dialing in only the nutritive things not the drug things that have side effects I don’t believe the word nootropic should apply to anything with a side effect. So even caffeine is not an trophic you know, honestly, but l tyrosine. Probably isn’t so it’s magnesium and so it is you know da da so as you know Prasad him I’m big for the race of him class is the relatively side effect free I also think that I have many friends developing dropping compounds and have companies I think many of my colleagues are putting too much stuff in their products. There’s too many things and they’re too strong for some people or you know, people I don’t respect as much who I have a few of those in the field will fairy dust you know, 17,000 things just to get name, you know, on the label. I think the tropics are a bit of a wild west. It’s why I created true brain With with Chris Thompson but I also think from the perspective of neurofeedback and meditation and educ, and mindfulness and nutrition, you should be doing all the foundational things first, and so people want to do nootropics often Am I great? Let’s talk about those things month to month three. Once we’ve really short up all the big broad things, no, it’s moving. No, we’re getting that we can if you need to be on stage and public speaking or you won’t have a specific strategy or anti aging strategy. Let’s dial something in strategically and smartly. Not just throw everything at you to get a shift subjectively. I’d rather create a permanent change with neurofeedback and mindfulness.

Boomer Anderson 58:37
Many people are listening to this and may not be able to make it to Culver City right away. What are some lifestyle modifications that people can do in their everyday life to start training their brain better?

Dr. Andrew Hill 58:50
Sure. Well, there’s lots of things you can do and there’s many things you probably should do. I mean, mindful mindfulness and meditation among the easiest things do and do it routinely takes some practice. isn’t some effort but you’re counting on the gear with it all the time you can do whatever you want. And so I really encourage folks develop you know, 1015 minute meditation practice every morning, you should have that. Beyond that some of the obvious stuff we know to be true, you know, drop all the sugar out of your diet, bring up the good, the good quality fats, stuff like that. And then sleep protect your sleep and there’s some sleep hacking tricks that are really important. I even before bed super important exercise in the morning before you eat fish, acadians reinterment and keep a nice consistent wake time, seven days a week roughly. Those are really good things for circadian improvement and you can do next level things that are you know, more interventions like seiner or ice bath cycling are pretty powerful for driving cortisol down over time. You know, we have a meditation tutorial, I think on the website under our free classes, links, you can pick it up there are folks who also come visit us in all over the world. We have offices in currently in Orange County, down Newport Beach and we’re in Culver City now we’ve got a big office in St. Louis, a small office in Malmo, Sweden, a small office in London. So you can come to Copenhagen as well. Right? Yeah. Right across the water from Malmo can actually have more presence in Malmo than Copenhagen. I’ve got families all over Copenhagen training and a small you know, business ago. There’s the bridge.

Yeah, this is twist. It’s been over there. It’s amazing bridge. For folks that haven’t seen it. It’s great bridge this, this train runs across, I don’t know, it’s about maybe it’s about eight miles or something across the water. They’re halfway across the ocean from Malmo, Sweden to Copenhagen. The train dives underneath the ocean on an island is pretty amazing. So it’s a cool little community there. But many people live in Malmo and work in Copenhagen and vice versa. So it’s right tight. We a lot of Southern sort of Scandinavian people training but most of them are home trainers, athletes, executives, biohackers train themselves actually have a physical office. What I have is a brain mapping assessment station in southern Sweden there, okay. And we also have an LMS wellness and Chelsea in London, which is a posh sort of high end. biohacking center folks get their brain mapped,

Boomer Anderson 1:00:55
so I can go get my brain map to Namo London, wherever I am in Europe

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:00:59
or California coast to me is a company in Culver City, St. Louis. Plus, I have a few other partners in other places in the country. So awesome. And that is one of your training, we get you set up with your own gear and send you home and, you know, work remotely for the first year.

Boomer Anderson 1:01:13
Beautiful. So want to transition now into sort of the final rapid fire questions? Sure. And let’s start with the book that has most significantly impacted your life and how you perform in it. Hmm.

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:01:29
It’s a good question. I’m not sure that I have a sort of, you know, scientific or research answer. I’m not sure I it, I have to say, probably something by jack kornfield would be in my account. You know, we all have been in one of those answers. And one of those books were the collected things that jack put together. And jack kornfield and Jessica steward of book, wisdom of the ancient masters I think which is like chapter from each of their teachers across the world and talking about different Buddhist and perspective. So you I’m a scientist, neuroscientist, but the more deeply get into science and more people get into spirituality, the more those two things seem to converge I’m like, you know, an atheist Buddhist basically, it has a very deeply spiritual bent. Sounds familiar? You know, he has a lot of that has since happening. But to me that that probably has had more of an impact on how I practice my day to day how I carry myself and most of things then actually any, you know, educational book, so,

Boomer Anderson 1:02:22
favorite piece of technology purchased in the past year. This can be across anything, it doesn’t have to be. Yeah, really.

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:02:31
I in the past year, I got a really nice chest freezer and put my cow and when I when I buy large amounts of cash,

Boomer Anderson 1:02:36
that’s great. I get

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:02:38
grass fed cow, you know, from a farmer delivered, you know, more out of time, you know, couple times a year. Nice cheap freezer, really gives a nice life back.

Boomer Anderson 1:02:45
So yeah, I need one of those for for Europe because our European refrigerators as I’m sure you’ve experienced our freezers, quite underwhelming. Yeah, for sure. How do you unwind?

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:02:57
I do a lot of Ashtanga Yoga. I really want I start off my day with yoga generally. So I tend to unwind before I, before I have to deal with anything, okay? And then I try to just maintain a pretty even tone. I’m actually used to handle I carry a lot more stress and, you know, things that I do now, pretty dialed in. I mean, I don’t want to refer you back yoga meditation of the past in the past five years since running peak braining. I walk my talk and you see my staff you may you may have noticed on my 20 somethings staff seem like they’re like 90 year old meditators all kind and calm and low key and have good listening skills, a great atmosphere, you walk in the equinox, and it has their ABS hanging out here. Everyone has their like good listening skills hanging out. Because this is what they work on is there, inhibitory tone and calmness and laser like focus and creativity. So it’s nice to be able to provide that, you know, sort of pro brain health community here. So,

Boomer Anderson 1:03:49
Dr. Hill Thank you so much. My pleasure.

Dr. Andrew Hill 1:03:53
Pleasure. Oh, and I enjoyed it. Thanks.

Boomer Anderson 1:03:57
Alright, superhumans I told you that one was going to Get a little bit vulnerable for me. Little did I know that Andrew is going to bring up a concussion that I haven’t really paid attention to for decades. I’ll link to my brain mapping report in the show notes which are If you enjoyed this episode, you head on over to iTunes and leave us a five star rating. The goal is really to get more ears. listening to the show. We’re a top 100 business and careers podcast in four different countries. Now I’d love to see us return to a top 100 business and careers podcasts in the United States. So please leave a rating leave some love and share it on all the social medias. I love you guys have an epic day

Andrew Hill
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