Why a QEEG Brain Map is an Important Diagnostic Tool

QEEG brain map - Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

What is a QEEG?

A brain map is an objective measure of brainwave activity that gives us information about the function of the brain in specific regions of the brain (e.g. the frontal lobes which are the attention center of the brain) and how the brain processes information from site to site or how it communicates. Think of brain communication as how many highways a brain has; with the more highways, the easier it is for one to pay attention, learn, and regulate. 

QEEG data allows us to see unique patterns of your brain and understand what areas have too much or too little brainwave activity, as well as normal, poor, or hyper communication between sites.  This visual representation of the brain waves allows us to see what areas of the brain are working too hard or not enough. 

When we know what regions are under or over working, we don’t have to guess about what is happening with behavior because we know exactly what each region can do. For example, if your child had too much activity in the limbic system, then we would see emotional and behavioral regulation issues. Having this kind of knowledge is the key to helping your child pay attention, be calm, and be successful in school. 

A QEEG brain map or a brain check is a critical first step in the process of beginning neurofeedback, which is a therapy that can create lasting change. A QEEG brain mapping is a science-backed tool that can help with clinical conditions such as ADHD, executive functioning, anxiety, OCD, PANS/PANDAS, Lyme, learning and processing issues, and depression. 

What is the Process of a QEEG?


A brain map involves putting a special cap on that has built in sensors and then using conductivity gel so the sensors can measure your brain activity at 19 sites. Data is collected with eyes closed and eyes open for about 5 minutes each. It is an easy process for kids and adults and can be done in as little as 15 minutes.

The data is edited to remove artifact, such as eye blinks and other body movements. Next, the person’s data is compared to a database of others in a similar age range. Reports vary depending on the QEEG software, but generally give information about function over each structure and about the communication between brain sites. It is important to note that both the function over specific brain regions and brain communication are equally important functioning in the brain and regulation in each can go a long way in improving mental health symptoms. 

Is a QEEG Safe?


For many, because a QEEG brain map is a new concept for them, they have questions about if it could be harmful in any way. The answer is no!  A QEEG brain map is simply measuring surface electrical activity of the brain and that data goes into computer to be analyzed.

There is no radiological components to this process and we are only taking EEG brainwave data.

What some do need to be aware of is the sensory components of the QEEG process, especially for those that have sensory needs. In order to get an accurate reading of brain wave activity, the cap must be snug and conductivity gel is applied. While most are unaffected, some of our sensory sensitive kids and adults welcome our thoughtful comfort pre-planning to ensure a positive experience.

Are There Different Types of QEEG Software?


There are different types of QEEG software and hardware used to measure brain wave activity. All QEEG hardware is approved by the FDA and selection of both software and hardware is largely determined by the preference of the clinician and despite what you are told, they are all effective measures of surface brain wave activity. The real difference in a QEEG brain map is the experience of the clinician interpreting your brain map and Dr. Roseann has interpreted thousands of QEEG brain maps. 

What is the Difference Between an EEG and a QEEG?


Many confuse a QEEG with an EEG but the two are different ways of looking at brain wave activity. EEG is the raw brain wave data and most often used by neurologists to look for seizure and pre-seizure brain activity. A QEEG is an analysis of EEG at multiple sites and then is processed to give a visual representation of a person’s brain wave functioning. Most QEEGs look at 19 sites but there are also ones that look at 10 sites and as many as 200 sites. 

What is a QEEG Analysis Like?

QEEG brain map - Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge
Picture of a pre and post neurofeedback QEEG brain map – Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

A QEEG with Dr. Roseann involves looking at the data and a clinical intake. Collected data is statically analyzed and condensed into a digestible and useful report. As part of clinical intake, a brain map helps guide treatment, as well as measure treatment. Here is an example of a QEEG brain mapping ADHD.

Does Dr. Roseann do her own QEEG Analysis? 


Dr. Roseann interprets every QEEG brain map done at our center and designs custom protocols for all her clients. Not every neurofeedback provider is able to interpret a QEEG test and make a neurofeedback protocol. In fact, most send the collected data to an outside consultant, so they aren’t able to fully understand the data nor make real time changes. QEEG interpretation is a combination of scientificatic knowledge and a whole lot of experience and Dr. Roseann has interpreted thousands of QEEG brain maps. 

How QEEG Can Help?


A  QEEG brain map helps in several ways that provide objective information used to create personalized care plans in our BrainBehaviorReset™ Program. QEEG brain mapping measures electrical activity in the brain, compares these measurements to normative values, and creates a visual topographic map that spatially defines areas of the brain and measures their functionality compared to normative values.

The benefits of brain mapping include distinguishing parts of the brain, identifying symptoms and their root causes, developing targeted treatments, and understanding how the brain communicates with the rest of the body.


The QEEG brain mapping is beneficial in several ways, including:

  1. Identifying cognitive and psychiatric problems
  2. Showing how brain wave patterns can be improved
  3. Providing valuable information in creating a personalized treatment plan (which may include techniques such as neurofeedback and CALM PEMF ™) to help balance your brain
  4. Developing a treatment protocol that targets the specific areas of your brain that are causing your symptoms
  5. Distinguishing various structures in the brain, which can provide the right information to guide treatment
  6. Understanding how the brain communicates with the rest of the body, which can be highly beneficial in the treatment of a wide variety of disorders.
  7. Identifying the root cause of certain psychological or physiological symptoms
  8. Tracking your progress with different therapies and treatments
  9. Providing objective information used to measure program progress

How Can a Brain Map Help Mental Health?


One of the greatest weaknesses in mental health is that most clinicians are basing a diagnosis on clinical opinion without using objective data. A brain map is an objective tool that gives us clear information about what areas of the brain are working or not. 

At our center with both our at-home neurofeedback and in-person neurofeedback clients, we use a QEEG to “check under the hood” and get the right information, so we can design the right wrap-around treatment protocol. Neurofeedback is part of Dr. Roseann’s trademarked BrainBehaviorReset™ program that focuses on improving alertness, increasing calm, and helping kids feel good about themselves.

How Can QEEG Brain Map Data Track Treatment Progress


At our center, we use a QEEG brain map to track the progress of not only neurofeedback, biofeedback and PEMF therapy, we can also use it to track the progress of other treatments. For example, we have used a QEEG brain map pre and post gluten removal and even to measure the effect of meditation. It is a wonderful objective data tool that measures brain changes. `

What Does The Research Say About a QEEG Diagnosis?


Research supports that QEEG brain mapping is more effective than behavioral ratings in identifying those with ADHD. QEEG is 89 % accurate as a diagnostic test versus behavioral rating scales which were 47% to 58% accurate (Snyder, Quintana, Sexson, Knott, Hague, and Reynolds, 2008). 

Having done thousands of clinical intakes, QEEG brain map data can give insight into the root causes of a child’s or teen’s behavioral, emotional, learning, attentional, or social issues in a way an interview can’t. 

Does a QEEG Brain Map Really Work?


People ask, Does Brain mapping really work?” and after someone has one, they know the answer is, “YES!” QEEG Brain mapping is a wonderful diagnostic tool that really gives individuals and parents accurate information to get the right treatment. Remember, if you don’t know what the right issue is, how can you get the right treatment? You can’t!  That is why a brain map or a brain check is a critical step in treatment and Dr. Roseann feels so strongly about how essential they are in guiding treatment. You can’t work with her without one. 

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen? 


Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions, so you are in the right place! 

There are 3 ways to work with Dr. Roseann: 

You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s professional speaking page to see how we can work together. 

Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” 

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2023

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