Western Association for Biofeedback and Neuroscience — Spring 2017 22 sitioned into a clinical setting with Doug- las Quirk and Margaret Ayers, the field entered its inflationary phase, expanding rapidly to cover the clinical terrain. And if Sterman is regarded as the father of clin- ical neurofeedback, then Margaret Ayers was the mother. Hers was an entirely bot- tom-up process. As Sterman will attest, she did not have a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms or much pa- tience for theory. But that did not matter at this stage. Margaret’s skills were obser- vational in nature, and she reached a level of understanding of the clinical reach of SMR/beta training that was unmatched for many years. Here in microcosm we had the jux- taposition of traditional top-down, model-driven research with bottom-up, open-ended exploratory investigations. Both had their legitimate roles to play. The latter process was well described by John Polkinghorne: “Bottom-up think- ers try to start from experience and move from experience to understanding. They don’t start with certain general principles they think beforehand are likely to be true; they just hope to find out what reality is like. If the experience of science teaches anything, it’s that the world is very strange and surprising. The many revolutions in science have certainly shown that.” To gain elbow room in the clinical sphere, Ayers focused on minor traumatic brain injury, which held no interest for the field of medicine at the time, as well as stroke and cerebral palsy, for which the field of medicine likewise had nothing to offer. She had chosen wisely, in that she presented no threat to the pharmaceutical industry. Further, for the above condi- tions, clients saw almost immediate bene- fits of the training. A Further Reflection on our History The history of our field can be fruitful- ly surveyed in the perspective of left-brain versus right-brain orientation as well as top-down versus bottom-up methods. The essential task for the nascent biofeed- back community was to bring striking novelty of insight---which had original- ly come to us from India and Tibet--- into the embrace of Western scientific thought. We had a confluence of radical novelty with established scientific meth- odology. Since the process of validation was sponsored by conventional scientists, the means involved an accommodation to all the strictures of formal scientific re- search. To that project the new findings turned out to be unsuitable. It might be instructive at this point to recall just how stultifying, constricting, and regimented the atmosphere has been in our field over the past thirty years, in fealty to this overriding objective. Gary Schummer spoke to this point at the pan- el discussion. There was, first of all, the trashing of alpha-band training on the ba- sis of research that had been poorly done and misinterpreted to boot. Years later, Gary did a study of alpha training with HIV-positive individuals and found sig- nificant increase in immune system mark- ers. Because this was done after alpha training had been officially discredited, his work was thoroughly (and publicly) denounced by Sterman, with whom Gary had worked for five years! What happened to “Show me the data”? Gary’s data was completely solid, and it was completely discounted. Quite simply, Sterman did