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SMR waves

The Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) is also called mu rhythm [How to reference and link to summary or text] (find a more detailed article there). It is a 12 - 15 Hz oscillatory spindle rhythm of the EEG, MEG, and ECoG that appears over the sensorimotor cortex.

It is associated with a reduction of motor output and sensory input. It is thought by some that people with learning disabilities,[1] ADHD,[2] epilepsy,[3] and autism[How to reference and link to summary or text] may benefit from an increase in SMR activity via biofeedback/neurofeedback. Neurofeedback practitioners believe - and have produced experimental evidence to back up their controversial claims[4] - that regulation of the SMR can be learned. The existence of the SMR spindle is not well known outside of neurofeedback circles.

Phenomenologically, when a person is producing high amounts of SMR he is in a calm and alert state of consciousness.

See also


  1. PMID 6542077
  2. Vernon, David, Tobias Egner, Nick Cooper, Theresa Compton, Claire Neilands, Amna Sheri and John Gruzelier (January 2003). The effect of training distinct neurofeedback protocols on aspects of cognitive performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology 47 (1): 75-85.
  3. Egner, Tobias, M Barry Sterman (February 2006). Neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy: from basic rationale to practical application. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 6 (2): 247-257.
  4. Tobias Egner and M. Barry Sterman, “Neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy: From basic rationale to practical application,” in press

Further Reading

  • Robbins, Jim (2000). A Symphony in the Brain.
  • M. B. Sterman and W. Wyrwicka, “EEG correlates of sleep: Evidence for separate forebrain substrates,” Brain Research, vol. 6, 1967, pp. 143–163.
  • W. Wyrwicka and M. B. Sterman, “Instrumental conditioning of sensorimotor cortex eeg spindles in the waking cat,” Physiology and Behavior, vol. 3, 1968, pp. 703–707.
  • Warren, Jeff (2007). "The SMR" The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness.

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