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Annals of General Psychiatry
Voluntary modification of musical performance by neurofeedback
Olga Bazanova* and Eugenia Mernaya
Address: State-Research Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia
* Corresponding author
Neurofeedback displayed significant improvements in the
overall quality of the musical performance. Few investiga-
tions showed that predictors of good psychomotor per-
formance are low integrated EMG of muscle non-
participating in execution and an increased EEG alpha
activity (Bazanova et el, 2003; Pantev et al, 1998; Petsche
& Etlinger, 1998).
The main objectives of the present investigation was to
study the impact of simultaneous individual alpha-EEG
stimulating and EMG decreasing biofeedback (Alpha-
EEG/EMG BFB) on electrophysiological indices in musi-
cians by comparing responses of musicians to usual prac-
tice and practice combined with biofeedback training.
Materials and methods
The aim of the neurofeedback training of 51 musical stu-
dents was “to attain a state at which achieving high quality
musical performance would be complimented with a feel-
ing of easiness and comfort”. Firstly, they had their usual
practice (30 minutes), followed by rest and another 30-
minutes lasting practice combined with Alpha-EEG/EMG
BFB. Efficiency of Alpha EEG/EMG BFB session was calcu-
lated as the ratio between the sum-duration of the success-
ful periods during the Alpha EEG/EMG BFB session and
the whole length of the session.
Usual practice caused decrease while practice combined
with biofeedback increase in individual alpha-activity
indices in the alpha-2 band. In the same time usual prac-
tice increased muscle tension, while practice with biofeed-
back decreased EMG. The score of self-estimated “quality
of sound” was higher after practice combined with alpha-
EEG/EMG-BFB than after usual practice (p=0.021). Effi-
ciency of the biofeedback depended on the power in
alpha-2 band, individual alpha peak frequency, individ-
ual alpha band width and individual amount of alpha
suppression in response to open eyes.
Enhanced somatosensory and auditory feedback during
performance on the instrument facilitates the online
modification of musical execution skill
1.Bazanova O.M, Gvozdev A.V, Mursin FA., Tarasov E.A, Shtark M.B:
Dimensionality and exceptional functioning of the musical
creativity and performance. Proceedings of the 3rd Conference
“Understanding and creating music” Dipartimento di Matematica Seconda
Universit degli Studi di Napoli .
2. Bazanova O.M, Aftanas L.I: Analysis individual EEG alpha activity
peculiarities for enhancement Neurofeedback efficiency.
3.Pantev C, Oostenveld R, Engelien A, Ross B, Roberts L.E, Hoke M:
Increased auditory cortical representations in musicians.
Nature 1998, 392:811-814.
4.Petsche H., Etlinger S.C: EEG aspects of musical thinking: listen-
ing, imagining and composing. High Ability Studies 1998,
from International Society on Brain and Behaviour: 3rd International Congress on Brain and Behaviour
Thessaloniki, Greece. 28 November – 2 December 2007
Published: 17 April 2008
Annals of General Psychiatry 2008, 7(Suppl 1):S100doi:10.1186/1744-859X-7-S1-S100
<supplement> <title> <p>International Society on Brain and Behaviour: 3rd International Congress on Brain and Behaviour</p> </title> <note>Meeting abstracts - A single PDF containing all abstracts in this Supplement is available <a href="http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/files/pdf/1744-859X-7-S1-full.pdf">here</a>.</note> </supplement>
This abstract is available from: http://www.annals-general-psychiatry.com/content/7/S1/S100
© 2008 Bazanova and Mernaya; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.