Slow cortical potential neurofeedback in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Is there neurophysiological evidence for specific effects?

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Neumuensterallee 9, 8032, Zurich, Switzerland.
Journal of Neural Transmission (Impact Factor: 2.4). 10/2008; 115(10):1445-56. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-008-0104-x
Source: PubMed


This study compared changes in quantitative EEG (QEEG) and CNV (contingent negative variation) of children suffering from ADHD treated by SCP (slow cortical potential) neurofeedback (NF) with the effects of group therapy (GT) to separate specific from non-specific neurophysiological effects of NF. Twenty-six children (age: 11.1 +/- 1.15 years) diagnosed as having ADHD were assigned to NF (N = 14) or GT (N = 12) training groups. QEEG measures at rest, CNV and behavioral ratings were acquired before and after the trainings and statistically analyzed. For children with ADHD-combined type in the NF group, treatment effects indicated a tendency toward improvement of selected QEEG markers. We could not find the expected improvement of CNV, but CNV reduction was less pronounced in good NF performers. QEEG changes were associated with some behavioral scales. Analyses of subgroups suggested specific influences of SCP training on brain functions. To conclude, SCP neurofeedback improves only selected attentional brain functions as measurable with QEEG at rest or CNV mapping. Effects of neurofeedback including the advantage of NF over GT seem mediated by both specific and non-specific factors.

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    • "To date, only a few studies followed this attempt, though with different methods and outcomes (Zuberer et al., 2015). Some studies used the training data to categorize participants into learners and non-learners (Strehl et al., 2006; Studer et al., 2014), based on the ability to create negativity in the feedback and/or transfer condition, or via median split according to the differentiation between negative and positive shifts of brain potentials (Drechsler et al., 2007; Doehnert et al., 2008). Other studies used mean training performance to calculate correlations with the clinical outcome (Drechsler et al., 2007). "

    Clinical Neurophysiology 11/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2015.11.013 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    • "In children with ADHD, increased CNV amplitudes after SCP training compared to a waiting-list group had also been reported previously (Heinrich et al., 2004). Even though in a study by Doehnert et al. (2008) in children with ADHD a decrease in CNV amplitudes was observed after both SCP training and group therapy, this decrease was less pronounced in those children who successfully learned SCP self-regulation. Also in adults with ADHD, preliminary results after 15 SCP sessions indicated a trend toward a CNV amplitude increase (Mayer et al., 2012a,b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofeedback (NF) is being successfully applied, among others, in children with ADHD and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B), and slow cortical potential (SCP) training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present randomized controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59), the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes, and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. NF training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects didn’t reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol specific effects on attention and motor system excitability reported.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 07/2014; 8:555. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00555 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Prior research classified the subjects into learners or non-learners according to their learning ability. Some studies reported the cases of non-learners even after repeated training sessions (Kotchoubey et al., 1999; Hanslmayr et al., 2005; Kropotov et al., 2005; Doehnert et al., 2008; deBeus and Kaiser, 2011; Escolano et al., 2011; Weber et al., 2011; Zoefel et al., 2011; Enriquez-Geppert et al., 2013b; Kouijzer et al., 2013). In Weber et al. (2011), about 50% of subjects were non-learners in sensorimotor rhythm (SMR; 12–15 Hz) neurofeedback. "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals differ in their ability to learn how to regulate the brain activity by neurofeedback. This study aimed to investigate whether the resting alpha activity can predict the learning ability in alpha neurofeedback. A total of 25 subjects performed 20 sessions of individualized alpha neurofeedback and the learning ability was assessed by three indices respectively: the training parameter changes between two periods, within a short period and across the whole training time. It was found that the resting alpha amplitude measured before training had significant positive correlations with all learning indices and could be used as a predictor for the learning ability prediction. This finding would help the researchers in not only predicting the training efficacy in individuals but also gaining further insight into the mechanisms of alpha neurofeedback.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 07/2014; 8:500. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00500 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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