Western Association for Biofeedback and Neuroscience — Spring 2017 26 frequency training, we could not avoid the challenge of finding a new theoretical model for our approach. Hermann Hak- en’s Synergetics and its concept of circular causality filled the bill. Walter Freeman has elaborated the theory nicely. The feed- back model is simply unavailing when there are no discrete rewards. One must incorporate a feed-forward, predictive as- pect that invokes the brain’s intentionality when dealing with a continuous signal. Once that is accomplished, however, it is tempting to propose that the mech- anism underlying even standard operant conditioning is really the same. The brain is not merely a respondent. It is an active agent looking for confirmation of its ex- pectations, which includes looking for consistency in the various correlations it is observing at any time. This is in ac- cord with modern theories of perception, which are neither mainly top-down nor mainly bottom-up in the steady state. In- stead the process is largely dominated by the brain’s internal processing. (Remark- ably, this latter insight had already been achieved by William James.) Meanwhile, what was happening to the consensus position within the field? First of all, Sterman had already done his best to shore up the model by insisting on a refractory period after a given re- ward to permit the brain to consolidate the information. Now newly challenged by the infra-low frequency training, the proponents just got together to write yet another paean to the original formulation in 2011. Nothing had moved. Indeed, nothing could move! Infra-low frequen- cy training, which had been the apparent impetus for this paper, was never men- tioned. Struggling toward a new Agenda There has been an upside to all of the resistance over the years. The hazing to which the various ‘scientist-practitioners’ were subjected has also had some benefi- cial fallout. As the late Swiss artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser has observed, “The effec- tiveness of the positive becomes magni- fied when faced with the barrier of the negative—like water piling up behind a dam. Eventually it breaks the dam and can no longer be contained.” The internal hazing has had the virtue of preparing us for the external hazing yet to come. Thankfully the field is finally emerging from this intellectual tyranny to acknowl- edge what has in fact been moving the field forward, which is exploratory clini- cal research and instrumental innovation. What theoretical support can be found in defense of such an approach? As it hap- pens, a sound rationale does exist. In conventional scientific research the attempt is usually made to limit the num- ber of variables in play to a manageable number. The experiment is then con- ducted in that confined parameter space. When we confront the human brain, on the other hand, its intrinsic complexity is irreducible. We are not dealing with brain slices in petri dishes. What then? Under such circumstances, the best approach is one of trial and error. At the outset, how- ever, that just confronts one infinity (the complexity of the system) with another (the range of possible interventions). As a practical matter, the virtue of Bar- ry Sterman’s early research was that it gave us a firm foundation for a singular point of departure. It collapsed the infinity of