In one study, participants learned to turn up a brain region linked to motivation and focus. In another, patients with depression were able to alleviate some of their symptoms. But scientists doing this research say there’s a lot of work to be done before it can be applied clinically.

Could neurofeedback provide a balm for broken hearts? No research has been done in this area. But that didn’t stop Dessa from trying a sort of experiment on herself: nine EEG-neurofeedback sessions aimed at helping her brain escape the rut of romantic obsession.

She says she felt different when she was done.

“Before, I felt that I was really under the thumb of a fixation and a compulsion,” she says. “And now it feels like those feelings have been scaled down.”