Alpha neurofeedback improves the maintaining ability of alpha activity.
ABSTRACT The effects of alpha-neurofeedback (ANF) on electroencephalographic alpha-activity were investigated. Each session consisted of a 2.5-min eye-opened state and 17.5-min of ANF, which was divided into 16 1.25-min bins. Alpha amplitudes were gradually increased as the session was repeated. The maximum value at the start of ANF gradually decreased as time passed, but the slowdown of alpha-activity during each session was decreased as the session was repeated. The correlation between alpha-activity at the end of ANF and at the following session's eye-opened state was highly significant. These results showed that ANF enhances the ability of alpha-activity to maintain itself rather than the increase of alpha-amplitude during intrasession and that the maintained alpha-activity during former training remained until the next session.
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ABSTRACT: The neurobiological functions of an organism serve to assist its adaptation to behaviourally challenging environments, which commonly involves the learning and refinement of perceptuo-motor skills. The intensity and time scale at which this occurs is critical towards survival. Previous work has observed that the neurochemical and neuroelectric (EEG) operation of specific functional systems is upregulated during so-called ‘activated’ states of behaviour. Thus it has recently been shown that artificial (i.e. exogenous) stimulation of such systems via pharmacological or electrical means can successfully modulate as well as enhance learning and associated behavioural performance. We hypothesized that neurofeedback, which is implemented through non-invasive volitional control of electrocortical rhythms (EEG), offers an alternate and natural (i.e. endogenous) way to modulate and thereby stimulate analogous systems. Study 1 shows that neurofeedback is a viable and beneficial method for improving the acquisition and performance of perceptuo-motor skills in trainee microsurgeons, when compared to a wait-list control group. With the aid of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Study 2 demonstrates for the first time that 30 minutes of a single neurofeedback session directly leads to a robust and correlated change in corticomotor plasticity which is usually associated with learning or observed after exogenous stimulation. Lastly, Study 3 investigates the short-term modulation of one session of‘excitatory’ neurofeedback on the subsequent performance of a serial reaction-time task (SRTT), an experimental paradigm widely used as a model for procedural perceptuo-motor learning. In conclusion, this thesis contributes original evidence of direct as well as long-term functional enhancements following EEG neurofeedback, and supports its use as a safe, non-invasive and natural method for improving human perceptuo-motor performance and learning.03/2010, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: John Gruzelier
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ABSTRACT: Neurofeedback (NFB) is emerging as a promising technique that enables self regulation of ongoing brain oscillations. However, despite a rise in empirical evidence attesting to its clinical benefits, a solid theoretical basis is still lacking on the manner in which NFB is able to achieve these outcomes. The present work attempts to bring together various concepts from neurobiology, engineering, and dynamical systems so as to propose a contemporary theoretical framework for the mechanistic effects of NFB. The objective is to provide a firmly neurophysiological account of NFB, which goes beyond traditional behaviorist interpretations that attempt to explain psychological processes solely from a descriptive standpoint whilst treating the brain as a "black box". To this end, we interlink evidence from experimental findings that encompass a broad range of intrinsic brain phenomena: starting from "bottom-up" mechanisms of neural synchronization, followed by "top-down" regulation of internal brain states, moving to dynamical systems plus control-theoretic principles, and concluding with activity-dependent as well as homeostatic forms of brain plasticity. In support of our framework, we examine the effects of NFB in several brain disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) and post traumatic stress disorder (RISC)). In sum, it is argued that pathological oscillations emerge from an abnormal formation of brain-state attractor landscape(s). The central thesis put forward is that NFB tunes brain oscillations toward a homeostatic set-point which affords an optimal balance between network flexibility and stability (i.e., self organised criticality (SOC)).Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12/2014; 8(1008). DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.01008 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In continuing this three-part review on validation of EEG-neurofeedback for optimal performance evidence is provided for feedback influences on the CNS, the integration of EEG with fMRI methodology as well as anatomical correlates. Whereas parts I and II reviewed the considerable behavioural outcome gains and evidence for their feedback causation, part III lays bare the not inconsiderable methodological and theoretical conundrums. Cardinal assumptions amongst practitioners about specificity of topography, behavioural outcome and frequency bands are critically examined. The hitherto mostly neglected nature of feedback learning is reviewed including evidence of within- and between-session and successive baseline learning; the enduring impact on the tonic EEG; implications for experimental design, individual differences and the trainer-participant interface; distinguishing between the learning and mastery of self-regulation; connectivity, ratio, unidirectional and multimodal feedback protocols. A thorough grounding in human neuroscience plus interpersonal skills are considered prerequisites for scientific advancement and ethically sound practice.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 07/2014; 44. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.015 · 10.28 Impact Factor