Article

Neurofeedback as Supplementary Training for Optimizing Athletes’ Performance: A Systematic Review with Implications for Future Research

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Self-regulation plays an important role in enhancing human performance. Neurofeedback is a promising noninvasive approach for modifying human brain oscillation and can be utilized in developing skills for self-regulation of brain activity. So far, the effectiveness of neurofeedback has been evaluated with regard to not only its application in clinical populations but also the enhancement of performance in general. However, reviews of the application of neurofeedback training in the sports domain are absent, although this application goes back to 1991, when it was first applied in archery. Sport scientists have shown an increasing interest in this topic in recent years. This article provides an overview of empirical studies examining the effects of neurofeedback in sports and evaluates these studies against cardinal and methodological criteria. Furthermore, it includes guidelines and suggestions for future evaluations of neurofeedback training in sports.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Neurofeedback training (NFT), sometimes referred to as "brain-training", provides a means of understanding neurocognitive processing during movement execution (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). To use NFT successfully, it is important to select the appropriate EEG readings. ...
... Future work is required to clarify which frequency bands, at which sites, are most important to focus on so as to improve specific types of sport performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
... In fact, it has been argued that NFT may be beneficial regardless of the feedback type (Thibault & Raz, 2017). For this reason, it is important, as mentioned above, to select EEG target areas based on well-founded rationales (Cheng, 2017;Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
Presentation
EEG neurofeedback training (EEG NFT) is a technique to help the athletes modulate their brain waves by providing the real-time feedback signals captured by the athletes themselves. The aim of using EEG NFT is to facilitate the athletes to achieve the adaptive psychological states and, thus, leading to superior sports performance (Gruzelier, 2014). The beneficial effect of EEG NFT can be discussed by the theoretical framework of psychomotor efficiency hypothesis. Psychomotor efficiency refers to the processing efficiency in the cortical activity in sports performance (Hatfield & Hillman, 2001). Superior performers achieve the high psychomotor efficiency by attenuating the irrelevant cortical processing. Encouraging reports from previous studies pointed out a close relationship between the cortical activity in the sensorimotor area and psychomotor efficiency (Cheng et al., 2015). In this presentation, one of the promising EEG markers will be discussed, which is the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), 12–15 Hz of the EEG frequency band in the sensorimotor area. Higher SMR activity has shown a tight connection to improved cognitive performance and superior sports performance. Specifically, the reduced interference at the sensorimotor area, as reflected by higher SMR power, leading to the superior psychomotor efficiency during the preparation period in sports performance. Further studies focusing on building up the EEG NFT protocol based on SMR power is recommended in ameliorating the understanding of psychomotor efficiency hypothesis for sports performance.
... In addition, according to the current standards of neurofeedback experimental research, there are still some problems in these two studies. Mirifar et al. (2017) suggested that neurofeedback combining visual and auditory feedback may be more effective than visual or auditory feedback alone. However, the two kinds of SP-NFT mentioned above only use visual feedback. ...
... These research limitations are one of the main reasons why NFT technology has been controversial and has not gained as much popularity in the kinematics field (Gruzelier, 2014;Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
... According to previous studies, an effective neurofeedback experiment should preferably include at least five training sessions, and the interval between two training sessions should be at least 1 day (Mirifar et al., 2017). Therefore, our study design included six sessions of SP-NFT in 3 weeks, in which each participant would undergo two sessions a week with an interval of at least 1 day in-between ( Figure 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous literature on shooting performance neurofeedback training (SP-NFT) to enhance performance usually focused on changes in behavioral indicators, but research on the physiological features of SP-NFT is lacking. To explore the effects of SP-NFT on trainability and neuroplasticity, we conducted a study in which 45 healthy participants were randomly divided into three groups: based on sensory-motor rhythm of C3, Cz and C4 (SMR group), based on alpha rhythm of T3 and T4 (Alpha group), and no NFT (control group). The training was performed for six sessions for 3 weeks. Before and after the SP-NFT, we evaluated changes in shooting performance and resting electroencephalography (EEG) frequency power, participant’s subjective task appraisal, neurofeedback trainability score, and EEG feature. Statistical analysis showed that the shooting performance of the participants in the SMR group improved significantly, the participants in the Alpha group decreased, and that of participants in the control group have no change. Meanwhile, the resting EEG power features of the two NFT groups changed specifically after training. The training process data showed that the training difficulty was significantly lower in the SMR group than in the Alpha group. Both NFT groups could improve the neurofeedback trainability scores and change the feedback features by means of their mind strategy. These results may provide evidence of trainability and neuroplasticity for SP-NFT, suggesting that the SP-NFT is effective in brain regulation and thus provide a potential method to improve shooting performance.
... Neurofeedback training (NFT), sometimes referred to as "brain-training", provides a means of understanding neurocognitive processing during movement execution (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). To use NFT successfully, it is important to select the appropriate EEG readings. ...
... Future work is required to clarify which frequency bands, at which sites, are most important to focus on so as to improve specific types of sport performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
... In fact, it has been argued that NFT may be beneficial regardless of the feedback type (Thibault & Raz, 2017). For this reason, it is important, as mentioned above, to select EEG target areas based on well-founded rationales (Cheng, 2017;Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
The brain is the main locus of control for our behaviour and psychological states. Superior sport performance occurs when both the physical and mental dimension of an athlete converge in an adaptive manner to meet the challenges of the task. This chapter provides an overview of how the brain works for athletes at different levels of expertise and discusses how brain activity can be controlled to achieve superior sports performance. The multi-action plan model provides an alternative perspective for understanding the relationship between performance effectiveness and the utilization of resources in sports performance. The chapter discusses several limitations arising from the current literature and makes suggestions for future research in the hope of establishing a consensus on protocols to be followed in future studies. It provides an overview of neurofeedback training (NFT) studies used to investigate sports performance and proposes various criteria that might be used to assess the effects of NFT in sports domains.
... Experienced athletes show a consistent performance at optimal levels (Filho et al., 2021), and all performance situations in sports require reaction time (Mirifar et al., 2017) and cognitive skills (Liu et al., 2017), so it is necessary to look for adequate and effective training protocols in the literature. There is a consensus that meta-analysis is at the top of the evidence in the scientific pyramid. ...
... These processes can be improved through NFB training (Mikicin et al., 2015;Mirifar et al., 2017Mirifar et al., , 2019Salimnejad et al., 2019). The critical characteristics of optimal performance include good reaction time levels and mental abilities (Blumenstein and Orbach, 2020). ...
... Thus, NFB training can significantly improve athletes' reaction time (Mikicin et al., 2018) and cognitive performance (Schönenberg et al., 2017;Crivelli et al., 2019). However, there are still gaps to be filled out on the inference of the protocols on the effect size on the performance of athletes (Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). The study aims to evaluate the effect of NFB on the reaction time and cognitive performance of athletes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Our study evaluated the effect of training with neurofeedback (NFB) in improving athletes' reaction time and decision-making. A computerized search in PubMed, PsycINFO, Scielo, Web of Science, EMBASE, Scopus, BVS, and Cochrane databases was performed to identify studies published from 2011 to June 2021. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO. The quality of studies that was peer-reviewed and included was assessed using the Review Manager tool, Cochrane Risk of Bias, and design and reporting quality according to the CRED-nf checklist. Standard mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and combined using a random-effects model. A total of 07 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (173 athletes) met the inclusion criteria. Significant effects of NFB in the experimental group in relation to reaction time were found, indicating an improvement in sports performance [standardized mean difference (SMD) = −1.08; 95% CI = (−1.90, −0.25), p = 0.0009] and cognitive performance vs. decision-making with moderate effect [SMD = 1.12; 95% CI = (−0.40, 1.85), p = 0.0001]. However, the control group had a very small effect on cognitive performance [SMD = 0.19; 95% CI = (−0.20, 0.59), p = 0.086]. NFB could improve athletes' reaction time and decision-making, effectively increasing their performance in the sports field. Future studies should focus on standardized protocols for NFB training. Systematic Review Registration http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/ , identifier: CRD42021258387.
... PERFORMANCE (Morgan & Mora, 2017), and brain activity (Mirifar et al., 2017). Among these approaches, EEG neurofeedback training (NFT) is of particular relevance because of its direct impact on brain function (Cooke et al., 2018;Hung & Cheng, 2018). ...
... Specifically, the training process involves the number of NFT sessions, the frequency of NFT sessions, the length of treatment, and verbal instructions. Despite the number J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f PERFORMANCE of NFT sessions, the frequency of NFT sessions, and the length of treatment (Mirifar et al., 2017) have been focused in previous studies on EEG NFT, verbal instructions have been overlooked. In research domains involving functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) NFT, verbal instructions with a cognitive strategy have been provided to guide individuals into the optimal mental state to enhance motor performance (Zhao et al., 2013). ...
... This approach supports a vital precondition for EEG NFT. The verbal instruction as feedback should match the brain activity feature in the sport context (Gong et al., 2021;Mirifar et al., 2017). The FSI approach provides a new method for EEG NFT in sports and may overcome the traditional EEG NFT shortcomings in changing EEG activity to effectively improve sports performance (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
A recent meta-analysis has shown inconclusive results on the effectiveness of traditional electroencephalography (EEG) neurofeedback training (NFT) protocols in changing EEG activity and improving sports performance. To enhance the effectiveness of EEG NFT protocols, we explored a new approach to EEG NFT, namely the function-specific instruction (FSI) approach. The basic tenet underpinning effective verbal instruction is to induce mental states as the verbal instructions consider the meaning of the brainwave function in the target region and the EEG power magnitude. This study aimed to test whether a single session of FSI is efficacious in improving frontal midline theta (FMT) activity and putting performance. Method: Thirty-six skilled golfers with a handicap of 14.05 ± 9.43 were recruited. A consecutive sampling method was used to form three groups: an FSI group (n = 12), a traditional instruction (TI) group (n = 12), and a sham control (SC) group (n = 12). In the pre- and post-tests, each participant performed 40 putts from a distance of 3 m, and the number of holed putts was recorded. The participants were asked to perform 50 trials in a single session of NFT. Putting performance improved significantly from before to after NFT in the FSI group. Moreover, the FSI group demonstrated a significant decrease in FMT power, whereas the SC group demonstrated a significant increase in FMT power from before to after NFT. These findings suggest that the FSI approach is more effective in enhancing sustained attention and putting performance in skilled golfers than TI.
... Neurobiofeedback training. Our results corroborate results from previous studies, suggesting that when humans have the possibility to receive interoceptive and neural feedback of their neurovisceral status during targeted training, this allows adaptation of the control mechanisms of self-regulation (e.g., Mirifar et al.) 41 . The theoretical framework was based on the neurovisceral integration model that integrates extensive evidence linking the autonomic and central nervous systems into a functional and structural network involved in the emotional regulation of behavior 18,19,42,43 . ...
... We suggest that use of NBF in cognitive stress conditions leads to adaptations in the perception of the participants' neurovisceral states and the managers' ability to self-regulate these states by increasing the managers' resilience in stressful situations. In keeping with this, it has shown that NFT's effectiveness in improving symptoms in clinical samples and in enhancing performance in non-clinical samples, for example in musicians 44 and athletes 41 . Finally, recent research demonstrates that NFT/BFT (then NBFT) reduces anxiety, improves attention, and ultimately enhances performance skills (for reviews, see Morgan and Mora 45 ; Mirifar et al. 41 ). ...
... In keeping with this, it has shown that NFT's effectiveness in improving symptoms in clinical samples and in enhancing performance in non-clinical samples, for example in musicians 44 and athletes 41 . Finally, recent research demonstrates that NFT/BFT (then NBFT) reduces anxiety, improves attention, and ultimately enhances performance skills (for reviews, see Morgan and Mora 45 ; Mirifar et al. 41 ). Together with our results, these findings suggest that improved self-regulation, neuro signals and interoceptive signals, may help to improve cognitive perception in stressful situations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Top-level management teams are particularly exposed to stress factors as they frequently have to make important decision under stress. While an existing body of research evidence suggests that stress negatively affects decision-making processes, very little is known about possible strategies to reduce these negative effects. The aim of the current work is to investigate the effect of training self-regulation ability through neurobiofeedback on managers’ intertemporal and risky decision making. Twenty-three managers were assigned to the experimental or the control condition. All participants performed, two decisional tasks, before and after a training phase. The tasks were administered through mouse tracker software, in order to measure participants’ delay discounting and risk taking propensity on both explicit and implicit choice parameters. During the training phase, the experimental condition received a training protocol based on stress assessment tests via neurobiofeedback signals (i.e., temperature and skin conductance), with the goal of improving self-regulation ability while the control condition was administered a control training. The main result of this study is to have conclusively demonstrated that NBF training increases an individual's ability to self-regulate stress-related psychophysiological phenomena. Consequently, the improved ability to manage one's own reaction to stress enables a reduction in instinctive behavior during a probabilistic choice task.
... It has been found that EEG activities are associated with a particular mental state or cognitive function (Thompson and Thompson 2015). Particularly, higher levels of alpha synchronization are associated with well-practiced and overtrained tasks in sport (Mirifar et al. 2017) and related to inhibition of conflicting or irrelevant information, which contrasts with desynchronization that relates to excitatory processes (Klimesch et al. 2007). Enhancement of alpha activity by NFT has shown benefits on processing speed (Angelakis et al. 2007), better memory function (Guez et al. 2015;Nan et al. 2012), reaction time (Ziółkowski et al. 2012) and focus on a concrete task (Hsueh et al. 2016). ...
... The main strength of the study and what makes it so important is that it answers one of the major limitations pointed out by the scientific community about the ideal duration and number of sessions per week for NF learning in neural bands (Dekker et al. 2014;Maszczyk et al. 2018;Mirifar et al. 2017;Perry et al. 2011;Xiang et al. 2018), demonstrating that a more condensed protocol is more effective than a less condensed protocol. However, we do not know if more than three (e.g. ...
... A control group was used to exclude the task practice effect. These last two arguments are two factors of protocol robustness (Mirifar et al. 2017;Xiang et al. 2018). The point of this comparison between protocols is to provide potential guidance for future investigations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback training has been an increasingly used technique and is taking its first steps in sport. Being at an embryonic stage, it is difficult to find consensus regarding the applied methodology to achieve the best results. This study focused on understanding one of the major methodological issues—the training session frequency. The aim of the investigation was to understand if there are differences between performing two sessions or three sessions per week in enhancement of alpha activity and improvement of cognition; and in case there are differences, infer the best protocol. Forty-five athletes were randomly assigned to the three-session-training-per-week group, the two-session-training-per-week group and a control group. The results showed that neurofeedback training with three sessions per week was more effective in increase of alpha amplitude during neurofeedback training than two sessions per week. Furthermore, only the three-session-per-week group showed significant enhancement in N-back and oddball performance after training. The findings suggested more condensed training protocol lead to better outcomes, providing guidance on neurofeedback protocol design in order to optimize training efficacy.
... Ryan (1962) showed that increased pressure impairs performance of a difficult motor task (Ryan, 1962). Furthermore, and interestingly, the frontal region of the brain is highly active in the induction of conscious fear as a proxy for an "under pressure condition" (Beckmann et al., 2013;Mirifar et al., 2017). Similarly, Ioannou et al. (2016) reported that, under pressure conditions, induced processing involves motor control networks in the prefrontal region of brain (Ioannou et al., 2016). ...
... Three hypotheses were formulated. First, following others (Gallicchio et al., 2016;Janelle et al., 2000;Mirifar et al., 2017;Wilson et al., 2006;Zhu et al., 2011), we expected that, compared to a mock neurofeedback condition, quiet mind training (QMT) would have a more positive impact on the acquisition of dart throwing skills. Second, we expected that, compared to a mock neurofeedback condition, QMT would result in suppressed alpha power. ...
... For example, athletes may benefit from neurofeedback training in general more than non-athletes. Athletes are highly motivated to succeed and to do whatever is necessary to improve performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). Likewise, interaction with the feedback process is much easier for athletes because they experience various types of feedback during training and practice. ...
Article
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Quiet Mind Training (QMT) on Alpha power suppression and fine motor skill acquisition among novice dart players. 30 novice dart players were randomly assigned either to a QMT or a control condition. Playing skills and Alpha power suppression were assessed at four time-points: at baseline, retention test 1, under pressure conditions, at retention test 2. Over time, Alpha power suppression increased and radial errors decreased but more so in the QMT condition than in the control condition. In contrast to the control condition, darts performance and Alpha power suppression in the QMT condition were also stable under pressure conditions. Results indicated that QMT successfully suppressed Alpha power and improved implicit learning skills.
... Recently, one of the most commonly used techniques is neurofeedback training (DOMINGOS et al., 2021). According to Mirifar (2017) and Balconi (2019), "neurofeedback is a psychophysiological technique aimed at raising awareness of the central physiological relationships of internal experiences and teaching adaptive regulation of such relationships and related thinking". ...
... Sports with different aspects use other neurofeedback-based training programs: some that stimulate concentration and mental focus by modifying the sensorimotor rhythm, and some that help to relax and reduce excitement and performance constraints by modulating EEG bands (alpha, theta). anxiety (MIRIFAR et al., 2017;BALCONI et al., 2019). ...
... Neurofeedback can also be a great way to determine and train the optimal level of optimal nervous system activity, arousal, in an individual (NÉMETH-BALOGH, 2021) Overall, neurofeedback is a promising non-invasive procedure that can be used to develop skills related to self-regulation of brain activity (MIRIFAR et al., 2017). However, further testing and comparison of protocols is needed in the future to better understand how increased alpha waves contribute to more effective athletic performance (DOMINGOS et al., 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing athlete performance is an eternal challenge in the world of sports. The success of the training work performed can be checked by performance diagnostics. Proper brain processing is essential for skill learning and the implementation of effective motor performance. It was important for brain mapping technology to improve the capabilities of imaging devices in order to measure cognitive-motor performance in the field. The primary purpose of this review was to summarize the frequency of applications of EEG and its associated neurofeedback in sport. Examine the differences and characteristics of protocols. Assess whether there is this uniform, standardized protocol for each sport and how often it is used among both elite and amateur athletes. Electroencephalography was initially used most in sports in which the stable setting was followed by only minimal movement. These include sport shooting, archery and golf and baseball. Later, it was possible to analyze more complex movements with EEG, such as cycling. One of the most commonly used techniques is neurofeedback training, but despite some research on the topic, the arena of neurotechnology in sports psychology still exists in its rudimentary form and is constrained by a plethora of technological problems.
... Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback in which psychophysiological signals, derived not only from the autonomic functions but also from the somatic and central systems, are transformed into external signals and "fed back" to a person, who becomes consciously aware of his or her brain activity and can learn to change and influence it (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). Neurofeedback was developed in the 1960s, when researchers demonstrated that both humans and cats could be trained to modulate cortical alpha rhythm and sensory-motor rhythm (SMR), respectively, through operant conditioning (see Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
... Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback in which psychophysiological signals, derived not only from the autonomic functions but also from the somatic and central systems, are transformed into external signals and "fed back" to a person, who becomes consciously aware of his or her brain activity and can learn to change and influence it (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). Neurofeedback was developed in the 1960s, when researchers demonstrated that both humans and cats could be trained to modulate cortical alpha rhythm and sensory-motor rhythm (SMR), respectively, through operant conditioning (see Mirifar et al., 2017). Although EEG biofeedback is the most used approach, neurofeedback has been recently extended to other techniques, such as fMRI, transcranial dopplersonography, and NIRS (Gruzelier, 2014). ...
... Professionals or researchers have first to determine the target frequency band and the related brain area to train before starting a neurofeedback training (NFT). It was proposed that NFT can lead to better cognitive processing and learning via enhancement of the conduction velocity in neural networks by modifications in white matter pathways and gray matter volume (Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
Article
The use of brain technology in practice, and its combined use with other technologies, needs careful attention. This chapter introduces the main issues related to the use of these technologies in practice. It discusses the multimodal and multidimensional framework of intervention in sport psychophysiology, the technical and the methodological issues related to its use, the neural processes involved in sport performance, as well as the use of these technologies during performance and the implementation of ecologically valid protocols. Neurofeedback and brain stimulation techniques are also presented. The chapter concludes with ethical considerations and remarks about the use of brain technologies in sport and exercise sciences, since many concerns have been raised about the compatibility between sport values and brain enhancement techniques, which might be viewed as a kind of neurodoping.
... Therefore, it reveals a great potential, as a complementary or alternative therapy, to deal with physical or mental disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [3,4], autism spectrum disorder (ASD) [5], and schizophrenia [6]), when the conventional treatments are not successful or induce nega-tive side effects. In addition to clinical applications, in recent years, research has spread to nonmedical fields and newer protocols have been applied [7,8]. ...
... For the same application, very different training intensity parameters have been used. For instance, regarding clinical purposes, Marzbani et al. [2] report a number of sessions ranging from 21 to 100 for autism spectrum disorder and from 18 to 40 for ADHD, while for the improvement of sports performance, Mirifar et al. [8] present studies with a number of sessions ranging from 1 to 20. ...
... Thus, the actual choice of parameters represents a compromise between the contrast between (4)) and W trend (equation (5)) measures for the INTENSIVE and SPARSE groups within session for the upper alpha (UA) band. 8 Neural Plasticity groups and the feasibility of the experiment. As training intensity encompasses numerous parameters, more groups or distinct experiments would be needed to test the influence of each of them on training performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback training has shown benefits in clinical treatment and behavioral performance enhancement. Despite the wide range of applications, no consensus has been reached about the optimal training schedule. In this work, an EEG neurofeedback practical experiment was conducted aimed at investigating the effects of training intensity on the enhancement of the amplitude in the individual upper alpha band. We designed INTENSIVE and SPARSE training modalities, which differed regarding three essential aspects of training intensity: the number of sessions, the duration of a session, and the interval between sessions. Nine participants in the INTENSIVE group completed 4 sessions with 37.5 minutes each during consecutive days, while nine participants in the SPARSE group performed 6 sessions of 25 minutes spread over approximately 3 weeks. As a result, regarding the short-term effects, the upper alpha band amplitude change within sessions did not significantly differ between the two groups. Nonetheless, only the INTENSIVE group showed a significant increase in the upper alpha band amplitude. However, for the sustained effects across sessions, none of the groups showed significant changes in the upper alpha band amplitude across the whole course of training. The findings suggest that the progression within session is favored by the intensive design. Therefore, based on these findings, it is proposed that training intensity influences EEG self-regulation within sessions. Further investigations are needed to isolate different aspects of training intensity and effectively confirm if one modality globally outperforms the other.
... In the high stakes world of competitive sports, even a minute of variation in performance can result in a marked difference, in the form of either success or failure (Park et al. 2015). This has resulted in an increased interest in exercise science researchers and sports professionals in exploring new ways to increase performance (Mirifar et al. 2017;Park et al. 2015). Self-regulation is one such technique that has an imperative role in enhancing task performance (Mirifar et al. 2017). ...
... This has resulted in an increased interest in exercise science researchers and sports professionals in exploring new ways to increase performance (Mirifar et al. 2017;Park et al. 2015). Self-regulation is one such technique that has an imperative role in enhancing task performance (Mirifar et al. 2017). Neuro-feedback training, also known as encephalogram (EEG) feedback training, is one way of self-regulation and is a promising non-invasive approach meant for altering brain activity (Linden et al. 1996;Logemann et al. 2015;Mirifar et al. 2017). ...
... Self-regulation is one such technique that has an imperative role in enhancing task performance (Mirifar et al. 2017). Neuro-feedback training, also known as encephalogram (EEG) feedback training, is one way of self-regulation and is a promising non-invasive approach meant for altering brain activity (Linden et al. 1996;Logemann et al. 2015;Mirifar et al. 2017). It is not only used in clinical conditions but is also used to develop self-regulation skill and enhance task performance in sports (Colzato et al. 2017;Linden et al. 1996;Logemann et al. 2015;Rostami et al. 2012;Mirifar et al. 2017). ...
Chapter
Participation in a sports activity is highly competitive, and self-regulation via neuro-feedback training is one way of increasing performance by helping athletes to control focus and reducing anxiety. A cross-over design randomized, controlled trial was conducted at the tenpin bowling National Training Center, to determine whether the use of a EEG-MUSE neuro-feedback training enhances the performance and reduces the anxiety of tenpin bowlers. Eleven physically healthy tenpin bowlers, aged 15–21 years old were randomly allocated into the two conditions, the control and EEG-MUSE neuro-feedback training. Participants, when received the EEG-MUSE neuro-feedback intervention, obtained higher game score (358 ± 28) as compared to the control (344 ± 23). However, the difference was not significant (p > 0.05). The Revised competitive sport anxiety inventory (CSAI-2R) scores were also not significantly different between both conditions. Short-term neuro-feedback training did not improve bowling performance. A more extended period of neuro-feedback training may be warranted.
... For example, Gruzelier et al. (2014) believe that SP-NFT has great potential to improve sport performance and is an effective training method (Gruzelier, 2014a). However, Mirifar et al. (2017) believe that the quality of existing studies can differ, with only a few having used strict double-blind, placebo-control experiments, so their results may not support the effectiveness of SP-NFT (Mirifar et al., 2017). Xiang et al. (2018) conducted a meta-analysis of previous SP-NFT studies, and their statistical results show that SP-NFT is an effective brain regulation method that could influence motor behavior by changing participants' EEG characteristics (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... For example, Gruzelier et al. (2014) believe that SP-NFT has great potential to improve sport performance and is an effective training method (Gruzelier, 2014a). However, Mirifar et al. (2017) believe that the quality of existing studies can differ, with only a few having used strict double-blind, placebo-control experiments, so their results may not support the effectiveness of SP-NFT (Mirifar et al., 2017). Xiang et al. (2018) conducted a meta-analysis of previous SP-NFT studies, and their statistical results show that SP-NFT is an effective brain regulation method that could influence motor behavior by changing participants' EEG characteristics (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... Finally, the verification of NFT's training effects involves whether the behavioral outcome changes significantly due to NFT and whether a significant correlation exists between the NFT learning and the change in behavioral outcome. Similar to other interventions in the medical field, NFT also uses controlled experiments to test the effect of training, which includes the following details (Mirifar et al., 2017;Ros et al., 2020): ...
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback training (NFT) is a non-invasive, safe, and effective method of regulating the nerve state of the brain. Presently, NFT is widely used to prevent and rehabilitate brain diseases and improve an individual’s external performance. Among the various NFT methods, NFT to improve sport performance (SP-NFT) has become an important research and application focus worldwide. Several studies have shown that the method is effective in improving brain function and motor control performance. However, appropriate reviews and prospective directions for this technology are lacking. This paper proposes an SP-NFT classification method based on user experience, classifies and discusses various SP-NFT research schemes reported in the existing literature, and reviews the technical principles, application scenarios, and usage characteristics of different SP-NFT schemes. Several key issues in SP-NFT development, including the factors involved in neural mechanisms, scheme selection, learning basis, and experimental implementation, are discussed. Finally, directions for the future development of SP-NFT, including SP-NFT based on other electroencephalograph characteristics, SP-NFT integrated with other technologies, and SP-NFT commercialization, are suggested. These discussions are expected to provide some valuable ideas to researchers in related fields.
... In sum, research in sport generally suggests that NFT can be effective for performance enhancement (e.g., Mirifar et al., 2017) and training of SMR, and alpha bands are the most effective protocols for improving sport performance (Xiang et al., 2018). However, existing research remains limited and has several methodological limitations. ...
... Although research to date generally suggests that NFT/BFT enhances athletic performance (Mirifar et al., 2017), there remains a dearth of scientific evidence derived from well-controlled studies examining the impact on sport performance (e.g., Thompson et al., 2008;Xiang et al., 2018). Considering the equivocal empirical support, it is often the inability to draw a direct link between NFT and performance that precludes causal inferences. ...
... Despite general conclusions regarding the effectiveness of NFT/ BFT on sport performance (e.g., Mirifar et al., 2017), evidence from well-controlled studies demonstrating (a) enhanced performance, (b) neurological adaptations due to training, and (c) neurological adaptations during performance remain sparse (e.g., Xiang et al., 2018). Thus, the purpose of this stratified random controlled study was to examine whether (a) a SMR-NFT and BFT program could improve ice hockey shooting performance, (b) the implementation of a SMR-NFT intervention leads to neurological adaptations during performance, and (c) neurological changes account for improvement in shooting performance. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback training (NFT) and biofeedback training (BFT) intervention on ice hockey shooting performance. Specifically, the purpose was to examine (a) whether an NFT/BFT program could improve ice hockey shooting performance, (b) whether the implementation of an SMR-NFT intervention leads to neurological adaptations during performance, and (c) whether such neurological changes account for improvement in shooting performance. Using a longitudinal stratified random control design, results demonstrated that while both SMR-NFT/BFT and control groups improved performance, the rate of improvement for the SMR-NFT/BFT group was significantly higher than the control. Participants in the SMR-NFT/BFT group demonstrated the ability to significantly increase SMR power from pre- to postintervention in the lab. However, no significant changes in SMR power were found during shooting performance. This result may be suggestive of differing cortical activity present during motor-skill preparation.
... J. Vernon, 2005) or, in the case of the alpha band, due to the several intervals suggested (da Silva, 2013; Thompson & Thompson, 2015). Although Mirifar et al. (2017) rightly proposes the need to understand the cortical activity (site)personalized event-locked EEG-profile -that is associated with good performance and poor performance (Mirifar, Arash, Beckmann, Juergen, & Ehrlenspiel, Felix, 2017), this baseline condition is still unrealistic for many sports because it is impossible to assess in sports involving movements of the head (movement artefacts). On the other hand, to reduce the variability when performing the training in the alpha band, it is possible to work at the individual alpha band (IAB) to specialize NFT (Balazova et al., 2008;Klimesch, W., 1999). ...
... As Mirifar et al. (2017) point out in a recent systematic review, many protocols applied in sport are based on positive results found outside the area of interest (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). Therefore, the main aim of the study was to understand if a NFT protocol implemented in a non-athletic population can improve short-term memory and reaction time in athletes. ...
... As Mirifar et al. (2017) point out in a recent systematic review, many protocols applied in sport are based on positive results found outside the area of interest (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). Therefore, the main aim of the study was to understand if a NFT protocol implemented in a non-athletic population can improve short-term memory and reaction time in athletes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Neurofeedback training has been an increasingly used technique in sport; however, most of the protocols used in athletes are based in the results obtained in nonathletic population. Purpose: Understand if a specific neurofeedback training protocol implemented in a nonathletic population can improve short-term memory and reaction time in athletes. Methods: A total of 45 subjects participated in the experiment (mean ± SD for age: 23.31 ± 4.20 years). For athletes, 12 neurofeedback training sessions were performed; for the nonathletes, 15 neurofeedback training were performed. Each session had 25 min of effective neurofeedback training. Results: Despite the nonathletes group’s increased standard alpha band (SAB) relative amplitude and individual alpha band (IAB) relative amplitude after 12 sessions of neurofeedback training (p < .005), only the athletes intervention group had positive results in reaction time (p < .001 in oddball test). Not only was the null hypothesis rejected by the differences of IAB and SAB relative amplitudes between and within protocols but also by the performance tests. Conclusion: Neurofeedback training increases the relative amplitude of the bands in the nonathletes group; however, only the athletes have shown to improve performances tests after 12 neurofeedback training sessions.
... Following this study, several other NF experiments have been led in the aim of enhancing athletes' performance in different sports including golf 11,12 , swimming 13 , dance 14,15 or athletics 16 . Mirifar et al. 3 provided a systematic review of these NF studies. They included 14 studies, among which six investigated the self-regulation of Sensori-Motor Rhythms (SMR) (12-15 Hz on C3-C4 or Cz), two investigated the self-regulation of alpha-power over the sensori-motor cortex, two investigated the self regulation of the α/θ ratio over Pz, one investigated the self regulation of α and θ power over frontal areas and one investigated the self-regulation of slow cortical potentials over temporal areas. ...
... Indeed, it happened that the same protocol had different effects within the same or similar task, while it also happened that different protocols resulted in similar effects within a sport. Mirifar et al. 3 stressed the fact that the quality of the studies included in the review was not always satisfying. Similar conclusions have been drawn by Xiang et al. 17 following their meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials dedicated to the assessment of the efficiency of NF procedures to improve sport performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Advances in sports sciences and neurosciences offer new opportunities to design efficient and motivating sport training tools. For instance, using NeuroFeedback (NF), athletes can learn to self-regulate specific brain rhythms and consequently improve their performances. Here, we focused on soccer goalkeepers’ Covert Visual Spatial Attention (CVSA) abilities, which are essential for these athletes to reach high performances. We looked for Electroencephalography (EEG) markers of CVSA usable for virtual reality-based NF training procedures, i.e., markers that comply with the following criteria: (1) specific to CVSA, (2) detectable in real-time and (3) related to goalkeepers’ performance/expertise. Our results revealed that the best-known EEG marker of CVSA—increased α-power ipsilateral to the attended hemi-field— was not usable since it did not comply with criteria 2 and 3. Nonetheless, we highlighted a significant positive correlation between athletes’ improvement in CVSA abilities and the increase of their α-power at rest. While the specificity of this marker remains to be demonstrated, it complied with both criteria 2 and 3. This result suggests that it may be possible to design innovative ecological training procedures for goalkeepers, for instance using a combination of NF and cognitive tasks performed in virtual reality.
... Since these pioneering works, SMR have been broadly used for BCI and neurofeedback in order to improve motor skills. While SMR BCI studies generally consider a broad SMR EEG band including both mu (7-11 Hz), low beta (12-15 Hz or even 12-20 Hz) and high beta (20-30 Hz) frequency ranges, in most ''SMR neurofeedback'' studies, the so-called ''SMR'' do not include mu rhythms and are generally focused on ''low beta'' frequency range [56,65]. ...
... Following this study, several other neurofeedback experiments were conducted in the aim of enhancing athletes' performance in different sports, e.g., in golf [17,82], swimming [28], dance [36,81] or athleticism [63]. Mirifar et al. [65] proposed a systematic review of these neurofeedback studies. The authors included 14 studies, of which 6 investigated self-regulation of low beta SMR (12-15 Hz on C3-C4 or Cz-up-regulation) and 2 investigated self-regulation of alpha power over the sensorimotor cortex (mu rhythm up-regulation). ...
Article
Many Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and neurofeedback studies have investigated the impact of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) self-regulation training procedures on motor skills enhancement in healthy subjects and patients with motor disabilities. This critical review aims first to introduce the different definitions of SMR EEG target in BCI/Neurofeedback studies and to summarize the background from neurophysiological and neuroplasticity studies that led to SMR being considered as reliable and valid EEG targets to improve motor skills through BCI/neurofeedback procedures. The second objective of this review is to introduce the main findings regarding SMR BCI/neurofeedback * Corresponding author. Service d'explorations fonctionnelles du système nerveux, clinique du sommeil, CHU de Bordeaux, place Amélie Raba-Léon, 126 C. Jeunet et al. in healthy subjects. Third, the main findings regarding BCI/neurofeedback efficiency in patients with hypokinetic activities (in particular, motor deficit following stroke) as well as in patients with hyperkinetic activities (in particular, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD) will be introduced. Due to a range of limitations, a clear association between SMR BCI/neurofeedback training and enhanced motor skills has yet to be established. However, SMR BCI/neurofeedback appears promising, and highlights many important challenges for clinical neurophysiology with regards to therapeutic approaches using BCI/neurofeedback.
... It has been proved that NFT promotes improvement of cognitive ability, reaction time and visuospatial abilities [33,34], giving individuals a base to create self-regulating strategies [35]. This, in addition to being essential for stabilization and increase in performance [36], can be improved through the use of NFT and consequently can lead to a higher performance [35,[37][38][39]. These data are in conformity with previous studies that connect increased values of HRV with ANS activity and better performance [40], in addition to a reduction in stress both in athletes and in cardiovascular and chronical pain patients [36]. ...
... This, in addition to being essential for stabilization and increase in performance [36], can be improved through the use of NFT and consequently can lead to a higher performance [35,[37][38][39]. These data are in conformity with previous studies that connect increased values of HRV with ANS activity and better performance [40], in addition to a reduction in stress both in athletes and in cardiovascular and chronical pain patients [36]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback training is a technique which has seen a widespread use in clinical applications, but has only given its first steps in the sport environment. Therefore, there is still little information about the effects that this technique might have on parameters, which are relevant for athletes' health and performance, such as heart rate variability, which has been linked to physiological recovery. In the sport domain, no studies have tried to understand the effects of neurofeedback training on heart rate variability, even though some studies have compared the effects of doing neurofeedback or heart rate biofeedback training on performance. The main goal of the present study was to understand if alpha-band neurofeedback training could lead to increases in heart rate variability. 30 male student-athletes, divided into two groups, (21.2 ± 2.62 year 2/week protocol and 22.6 ± 1.1 year 3/week protocol) participated in the study, of which three subjects were excluded. Both groups performed a pre-test, a trial session and 12 neurofeedback sessions, which consisted of 25 trials of 60 s of a neurofeedback task, with 5 s rest in-between trials. The total neurofeedback session time for each subject was 300 min in both groups. Throughout the experiment, electroencephalography and heart rate variability signals were recorded. Only the three sessions/week group revealed significant improvements in mean heart rate variability at the end of the 12 neurofeedback sessions (p = 0.05); however, significant interaction was not found when compared with both groups. It is possible to conclude that neurofeedback training of individual alpha band may induce changes in heart rate variability in physically active athletes.
... Neurofeedback training (NFT) has been an emerging technique applied in sport and has its main focus in self-regulation skills, such as reaction time and short-term memory who are essential for athletes' performance [10,11]. Thus, the noise or the absence of the noise are factors that contributes positively or negatively to the performance and of the few studies done with NFT in athletes, none reports the influence of the noise in the performance of the athletes and the success of the NFT protocol that was applied [12,13]. ...
... A control group was used to ensure that learning depended on NFT and not on other factors. These last two arguments are two factors of robustness [12,13]. The point of this comparison between protocols is that it should emerge as a guideline for future investigation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Considering that athletes constantly practice and compete in noisy environments, the aim was to investigate if performing neurofeedback training in these conditions would yield better results in performance than in silent ones. A total of forty-five student athletes aged from 18 to 35 years old and divided equally into three groups participated in the experiment (mean ± SD for age: 22.02 ± 3.05 years). The total neurofeedback session time for each subject was 300 min and were performed twice a week. The environment in which the neurofeedback sessions were conducted did not seem to have a significant impact on the training’s success in terms of alpha relative amplitude changes (0.04 ± 0.08 for silent room versus 0.07 ± 0.28 for noisy room, p = 0.740). However, the group exposed to intermittent noise appears to have favourable results in all performance assessments (p = 0.005 for working memory and p = 0.003 for reaction time). The results of the study suggested that performing neurofeedback training in an environment with intermittent noise can be interesting to athletes. Nevertheless, it is imperative to perform a replicated crossover design.
... However, the provision of neurofeedback for cognitive and performance enhancement raises ethical concerns, given that the evidence is mixed or lacking. Although one multi-part review found support for the use of EEG neurofeedback for enhancement (Gruzelier 2014a(Gruzelier , 2014b, more recent work has criticized the variability in methodology and the lack of placebo controls (Dessy et al. 2018), raising questions regarding whether neurofeedback can truly enhance performance (Mirifar et al. 2017;Mirifar et al. 2018;Xiang et al. 2018). While it is not unethical per se to offer the public an experimental treatment, the provision of such services requires informing clients of the mixed evidence and of the experimental nature of the procedure. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback is a technique that has been in existence for many decades, it has remained controversial, largely due to questions about efficacy. Yet neurofeedback is being widely offered to the public, often at great expense. To date, however, there has not been empirical data on which providers are utilizing neurofeedback, what they are offering it for, and how they are advertising the technique. The present study aimed to fill that gap by systematically analyzing the websites of neurofeedback practitioners in the USA. To that end, we obtained data from four directories of neurofeedback providers, extracting practitioner names, geographical locations, professional training, and website URLs. Only websites offering neurofeedback services (N = 371) were included in the next step, wherein two coders independently coded the websites based on a codebook developed from preliminary analyses. We found that nearly all websites (97.0%) contained claims about at least one clinical indication, most commonly anxiety, ADHD/ADD, and depression; however, only 36.0% of providers had either a medical degree (MD) or a doctoral-level degree in psychology. The majority of websites advertised neurofeedback for cognitive (90.0%) or performance (67.9%) enhancement, and roughly three-quarters utilized language related to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In sum, there is a considerable divergence between the scientific literature on neurofeedback and the marketing of neurofeedback services to the general public, raising concerns regarding the misrepresentation of services and misleading advertising claims.
... The NFT is also being used to mitigate the anxiety [16], depression [17], stress [9]. The memory performance [18], sports performance [19], dance performance [20], and music performance [20] also improved by the NFT. The video and game contents used as stimulus of NFT for ADHD and ADD [21] to decrease the theta (4−7 Hz) [22] and to increase the beta (15−30 Hz) in the youngsters (the increase theta is associated with low vigilance and inhibition of beta is associated with reduce attention [23]). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The EEG-neurofeedback modality has direct implication on alpha asymmetry. The efficacy of EEG-neurofeedback may be affected by the stimulus contents. This research investigated the effectiveness of 2D and 3D game stimulus content (GSC) on stress mitigation during neurofeedback training (NFT). The effectiveness is compared between stimulus contents by measuring the mean prefrontal alpha asymmetry using quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) analysis. For this, ten healthy participants among university students were recruited and performed twenty-minutes neurofeedback training (NFT) on Fp1-Fp2 within a period of sixty days to record forty sessions of data. The statistical analysis of the data after the neurofeedback training showed an effect of game contents on alpha asymmetry. The graphical analysis of alpha power showed that the 3D game content was more effective than the 2D game content. The outcome of 3D game stimulus content showed effect on the prefrontal alpha asymmetry and improve the treatment efficacy of neurofeedback for stress mitigation.
... Motivation and mood are two powerful factors that influence learning, especially in the NFT and BCI domains (Nijboer, 2008). Consequently, assessing participants motivation and their positive and negative affect before and after NFT sessions and asking them how they thought they performed could have been a useful tool to check for lacking challenge (Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017), frustration and even learned helplessness that may mediate NFT learning performance. In this study any unusual circumstances, such as participants reporting lack of sleep, headache, or frustration with no perceived NFT improvement was recorded on the NFT Session Coding List (see Appendix D). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Introduction: Alpha/Theta neurofeedback treatment (A/T NFT) has been administered to adults with anxiety disorders since the late 1960s, yet the efficacy of this treatment remains unclear. The present, single-blind study, for the first time, uses an active placebo NFT control group to test the A/T NFT protocol for trait anxiety on prodromal and clinical adult female participants. The effects this treatment has on activation and arousal states, self-perceived anxiety levels, neural oscillations, and other parameters were assessed. Methods: Twenty-seven women ranging in age from 19 through 69 who had scored higher than the 66th percentile in the STAI trait anxiety sub-scale (75% of whom had previously been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder) were randomly assigned to either the experimental (EG) or the control group (CG). The EG (n = 14) received ten sessions of A/T NFT in which alpha and theta EEG amplitudes were uptrained at Pz. The CG (n = 13) received ten sessions of active placebo NFT at Pz. During successive sessions beta- (15–19 Hz) and high beta amplitudes (20- 24 Hz) were uptrained or downtrained. Growth curve modeling (GCM) and traditional 2x5 repeated measures ANOVA were performed on the NFT sessions data to model individual and average group learning curves. Cognitive variables, such as treatment outcome expectancy, personal attribution styles, use, types, and efficacy of cognitive strategies in NFT, and correlations between NFT learning performance, time of day the NFT sessions were held, and a participant’s best or worst time to learn, were also investigated. Results: The analysis of individual learning curves, GCM, and ANOVA all confirmed that the majority of participants of the EG up-regulated absolute and relative A+T amplitudes within a NFT session, but so did the participants of the CG. However, a non-significant trend for the EG to have steeper learning curves was observed. Participants of both the EG and the CG felt significantly more deactivated by the end of a NFT session and reduced their self-perceived anxiety on all anxiety measures (STAI, BAI, GAD-7) by the end of the NFT trial. Although a trend could be observed that the EG reduced anxiety scores more than the CG, these differences did not rise to statistical significance. Lastly, no significant changes in the pre-post trial QEEG were found, although a trend of higher combined relative A+T power at the end of the trial was observed in the EG. In the EG the use of mental strategies was correlated with lower T/A ratio difference scores between the beginning and the end of the NFT trial but not with increased relative and absolute T+A amplitudes. The Time-of-day participants prefer or avoid learning did not correlate significantly with alpha or theta NFT amplitudes, i.e., NFT sessions being held during sub-optimal times of day were not associated with poorer learning performance. Conclusions: For both EG and CG absolute and relative T+A amplitudes increased within sessions and absolute and relative alpha increased across sessions although the CG protocol had not included an uptraining of alpha or theta amplitudes, nor low beta amplitudes (below 15 Hz) which may have represented upper alpha peak frequency in some of the younger participants. Thus, upregulation of beta and upper beta in NFT may be associated with alpha frequency uptraining due to functional coupling of alpha and beta EEG frequencies or it may be due to placebo and other non-specific effects such as EEG frequency drifts, alpha’s idling mode and inhibitory role during task performance, or perhaps simply that some frequency bands (alpha) are more susceptible to change and easier to train. Especially the inhibition of flanking bands in the NFT protocol, i.e., beta bands in A+T training, to prevent frequency drifts, will be necessary along with detailed GCM modeling of all frequency bands to see if and how the bands change over time and how those processes relate to NFT learning curves. Keywords: neurofeedback, EEG biofeedback, quantitative EEG, trait / state anxiety, anxiety disorders, active placebo control, alpha/theta protocol, growth curve modeling.
... Although a large number of high-quality studies using RCT designs demonstrated a positive effect of EEG NFT on sport performance, a small number of RCT studies failed to show effects. This equivocality may be due to variations in the training target selected and/or the training duration (Hung & Cheng, 2018;Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017). A data-driven approach for selecting training targets is recommended for future studies because this approach provides higher ecological validity (Cooke et al., 2018). ...
Chapter
When it is applied in sports, biofeedback training (BFT) is a technique that can enable athletes to modify their psychophysiological behavior by regulating their biological signals (referred to as modalities) in response to real-time feedback, which may result in desirable psychological processes and/or behavioral outcomes, such as improved accuracy in shooting performance. The most common modalities include heart rate variability (HRV), electrodermal activity (EDA), muscle activity (EMG), respiration rate, blood pressure, and neural activity (neurofeedback training, NFT). Electroencephalography (EEG) has been the most commonly applied NFT method for sport performance enhancement. In this chapter, we review the current evidence, provide commentary on the level of evidence, and offer directions for future research.
... Moreover, neurofeedback facilitates the repair and enhancement of cognitive functions [6]. Several studies reveal the efficacy of neurofeedback while improving cognitive functions in healthy participants [7], [8] and effective therapeutic enhancement in patients to normalize their brain activity [9]. The efficacy of neurofeedback remains a concern among researchers. ...
Article
Full-text available
The selection of stimulus contents for neurofeedback has direct implications on the efficacy of neurofeedback therapy. In particular, a suitable selection of stimulus contents facilitates the achievement of sustainability during neurofeedback sessions, which has been considered challenging during clinical practice. To further elaborate this point, this research investigates the efficacy of different neurofeedback stimulus contents (audio, video, and games) for stress mitigation. The effectiveness of the contents was measured by statistically comparing quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) features, such as alpha power and alpha asymmetry before and after neurofeedback sessions. In addition, the topographic maps of activities were constructed for a visual description. In this study, 29 study participants were recruited, and the EEG data were recorded during multiple neurofeedback sessions. ANOVA and post hoc testing verified the statistical significance of the results of the various stimulus contents, whereas a t-test verified the significance of stress mitigation because of neurofeedback. The results indicate that games exhibit higher effectiveness than audio and video contents for stress mitigation. In addition, the topographic analysis demonstrates the efficacy of neurofeedback training for stress mitigation. In conclusion, the effects of neurofeedback therapy could be enhanced while selecting suitable stimulus contents for neurofeedback protocols.
... Specifically, the efficacy of an intensive 14-day treatment supported by the use of a highly usable and portable neurofeedback device was measured during two assessment phases (T0, T1), during which cognitive, electrophysiological (EEG), autonomic (biofeedback), and neuropsychological outcome measures were collected. Empirical observations added to the limited pieces of evidence suggesting that neurofeedback, through the modulation of electrophysiological central activity (Balconi et al., 2017;Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017), could be an effective method for strengthening attention and emotional regulation, coping with stress, adaptive orientation of mental resources, focusing, and sensorimotor efficiency Crivelli et al., 2019). Again, those observations are also in line with other studies that, in different applied contexts, have observed the effectiveness of different neurofeedback-based training programs as valid enhancement tools able to provide a real-time performance feedback that leads to improved behavioral and physiological markers of neurocognitive efficiency Crivelli et al., 2019;Enriquez-Geppert, Huster, & Herrmann, 2013;Koberda, Moses, Koberda, & Koberda, 2012). ...
... As such, EEG has been proposed as a neural measure to characterize sporting performance states in elite athletes (e.g., Bertollo et al., 2016;Di Fronso et al., 2016). Further, research exploring EEG signatures of expert performance in sports has led to empirical studies investigating the modifiability of neuromarkers linked to optimal sporting performance through neurofeedback training (NFT) (Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). This line of research has not only explored the potential mediating role of EEG correlates in the relationship between sports training and performance but also promoted the development of multimodal training combining sports and neurosciences. ...
... Various biofeedback modalities (notably heart rate variability and surface electromyography) have been used to enhance performance psychology in athletes (Rijken et al., 2016;Jiménez Morgan and Molina Mora, 2017;Rusciano et al., 2017). EEG-based biofeedback (i.e., neurofeedback) has also been shown to improve athletic performance (Vernon, 2005;Cheng et al., 2015;Mirifar et al., 2017;Liu et al., 2018;Xiang et al., 2018). EEG studies on expertise and skilled performance have mostly reported on changes or differences in alpha and beta power, which are often interpreted as reflecting cortical activation and sensorimotor rhythm, respectively. ...
Article
Full-text available
The elite sports environment provides a unique setting for studying human performance, where both cognitive and physical demands are high. Successful performance in sport is contingent upon key cognitive skills such as attention, perception, working memory and decision-making. The demands of competitive sport also increase loading on the central nervous system (CNS). Neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) offer the potential to investigate the cognitive demands of sport, neuroplasticity of athletes, and biofeedback training. However, practical and technical limitations of these methods have generally limited their use to laboratory-based studies of athletes during simulated sporting tasks. This review article, provides a brief overview of research that has applied neuroimaging technology to study various aspects of cognitive function during sports performance in athletes, alternative methods for measuring CNS loading [e.g., direct current (DC) potential], possible solutions and avenues of focus for future neuroergonomics research in sport.
... Neurofeedback feasibility studies have yielded first promising results in different non-clinical and clinical applications ranging from athletic performance (Mirifar et al., 2017) to motor rehabilitation for neurodegenerative disorders and stroke (Krucoff et al., 2016;Linden and Turner, 2016). In neuropsychiatry, small randomized controlled studies have shown benefits for different disorders. ...
Preprint
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Neurofeedback training has been suggested as a potential additional treatment option for MDD patients not reaching remission from psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Here we systematically reviewed neurofeedback studies employing electroencephalography, or functional magnetic resonance-based protocols in depressive patients. From a total of 585 screened studies, 24 were included in our final sample (N=480 patients in experimental and N=194 in the control groups completing the primary endpoint). We evaluated the clinical efficacy across studies and explored its relationship with the number of sessions as a potential proxy for a dose-effect response. We also attempted to group studies according to the control condition categories currently used in the field that affect clinical outcomes in group comparisons. In most studies, MDD patients showed symptom improvement superior to the control group(s). However, most articles did not comply with the most stringent study quality and reporting practices. We conclude with recommendations on best practices for experimental designs and reporting standards for neurofeedback training.
... Although longitudinal research on training neural performance determinants in sport is limited, the findings support our pilot study indicating a correlation between changes in visuomotor performance and N2 latency after a 4-wk stroboscopic training (11). Furthermore, it is in accordance with a neurofeedback training that has previously established brainbehavior relations by training athletes to consciously control their cortical oscillatory activity (39). Similar to the results of this study, Jeunet et al. (40) reported a direct relation between changes in brain activity and a multiple-object tracking with ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Stroboscopic training has repeatedly been shown to improve visuomotor abilities. However, although performance improvements were attributed to visual processes, information on the neurophysiological mechanisms is missing. Part 2 of this study investigated the effects of stroboscopic training on neural visual and motor functions and its contribution to training-induced changes in visuomotor reaction time. Methods: Forty-five young elite badminton athletes participated in this study, of which 32 (age, 13.7 yr) were included in the final data analysis. Participants were assigned to an intervention (stroboscopic vision) or control group (normal vision). Before and after a 10-wk training and after a 6-wk retention period, participants performed visual perception and reaction tasks in response to visual motion stimuli. The N2 and N2-r motion onset visual-evoked potentials, its linear combination (Vlc), and the BA6 negativity potential were determined using a 64-channel EEG. Results: A significant TIME-GROUP effect was observed for the Vlc score (P = 0.019, ηp2 = 0.18), indicating a lower Vlc in the intervention group. However, post hoc tests did not reach significance. Within-subject correlation analyses revealed that changes in reaction speed were related to latency changes in N2 (r = 0.59, P < 0.001), N2-r (r = -0.64, P < 0.001), and the combined Vlc (r = 0.68, P < 0.001). Regression analyses across participants including multiple (N2/N2-r) or single (Vlc) predictors provided an explained variance of >60% (N2/N2-r, r2 = 0.62; Vlc, r2 = 0.64). No training effects or correlations were observed for the BA6 negativity. Conclusions: The results indicate that faster visuomotor reactions after stroboscopic training are accompanied by accelerated visual perception and processing, whereas motor processes seemed to be unaffected. Stroboscopic training may be promising to specifically address the visual system in visuomotor-demanding sports.
... Several studies have reported beneficial effects of standard trainings in children (Gevensleben et al., 2009), adolescents (Duric et al., 2012), and adults (Mayer et al., 2012) suffering from the disorder and some studies reported equal or even superior effectiveness of neurofeedback training compared with medication (Fuchs et al., 2003;Meisel et al., 2014), but see (Geladé et al., 2016;Ogrim and Hestad, 2013). Moreover, neurofeedback has also been shown to be effective in enhancing cognitive and motor performance in nonclinical populations (Mirifar et al., 2017;Zoefel et al., 2011). While usually 30 or more sessions were administered over a period of several weeks there is also evidence suggesting significant improvement after shorter periods (Hillard et al., 2013), and beneficial effects on attention, concentration, and calmness have been described even after one session of neurofeedback (Kluetsch et al., 2014;Ros et al., 2013). ...
Article
In neurofeedback applications, neural activity is recorded, processed in real-time and fed back to the user in order to facilitate self-regulation of the putative neural mechanisms that underlie cognition and behavior. Numerous studies suggest that neurofeedback interventions are an efficacious treatment particularly for patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In recent years, however, findings of several well-controlled studies raised doubts concerning the proposed mechanism of action behind the behavioral effect of neurofeedback. This study investigated the impact of expectation on the efficacy of a sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training. In a within-subjects design 30 blinded volunteers with ADHD symptoms received a standard SMR training session after inducing no (no-expectancy condition), positive (placebo condition), and negative (nocebo condition) expectations regarding the effectiveness of neurofeedback (by telling them that they would train a specific frequency band that was previously shown to be either unrelated to attention, should improve attention, or interfere with attentional processes). After each training, participants were presented with a cog-nitive test and subsequently requested to rate their performance on it. We could show that participants were able to successfully modify their EEG signal during training. Further, we found an effect over trainings on objective attentional performance. Most importantly, we found that the expectancy of positive or negative treatment effects considerably changed participants' perception of neurofeedback's efficacy even in the absence of any objective evidence. This study presents strong first evidence for a substantial effect of self-confirming response expectancies as one factor underlying the efficacy of neurofeedback. Future research has to carefully consider the impact of such psychosocial mechanisms when evaluating the (specific) efficacy of neuromodulatory treatments.
... Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback (i.e., EEG biofeedback) that can be utilized in modifying human brain oscillations and in developing skills of self-regulation of brain activity (Cheng & Hung, 2020). For instance, it can be used to teach athletes to regulate brain activity within a frequency band to enhance performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). More precisely, neurofeedback training enables the individual to effectively manage their central nervous system by teaching them how to (a) recover mentally (e.g., increasing alpha power); (b) use a narrow focus (e.g., increasing low beta power, and decreasing theta and high beta power); and (c) develop the ability to switch between these two states Ros et al., 2020). ...
Article
Objectives The aim of the current study was to systematically review the literature on the integration of technology in psychological skills training (PST) to optimize elite athletes’ performance. Design Systematic review. Method Published English, Italian, and Russian language articles were identified using electronic databases. Eighteen articles (out of 3753 records) fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and their quality was assessed using the Mixed Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Six papers were judged to be excellent and four to be high quality. There were significant methodological inconsistencies across eight studies. An overall score of quality assessment ranged from 20% to 100%. Results The included studies implemented various technologies, in combination with PST, to identify, monitor and/or have an intervention aimed at optimizing elite athletes' performance. The results suggested that the integration covered different meanings, i.e., functional integration, integration between technologies and measures, integration between technology, theoretical framework, and psychological skills training. There was no distinct consistency between the studies with regards to the theory or model used. Conclusions Technology and mental training should not be viewed as interchangeable facets of performance enhancement, but rather as complementary ones – where technology integrated in psychological skills training can lead to identify and monitor optimal performance and to implement more effective interventions.
... In summary, BFT/NFT helps athletes learn how to effectively self-regulate physiological arousal and focus in the competitive environment. Both have been shown to reduce anxiety (Gevirtz, 2007), improve attention (Gruzelier et al., 2006), develop self-efficacy (Davis & Sime, 2005), and ultimately enhance performance (e.g., Blumenstein & Hung, 2016;Mirifar et al., 2017;Morgan & Mora, 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... This suggestion receives further support from a study showing that flow-inducing situations, which are characterized by a challenge-skill balance, are associated with increased functional connectivity between key regions of cognitive control and reward networks, indicating that flow as a form of intrinsic reward contributes to cognitive control allocation (Huskey et al., 2018a). In contrast to mindfulness interventions, various NFT protocols have been used in order to enhance athletic performance, but resulted in mixed outcomes (Gruzelier, 2013(Gruzelier, , 2014aJeunet et al., 2019;Mirifar et al., 2017). For instance, upregulation of sensory motor rhythms at central electrode sites resulted in better golf putting performance of the training relative to a control group (Cheng et al., 2015), whereas combined downregulation of alpha and theta activity at frontal-midline sites failed to show transfer to golf putting performance (Ring et al., 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Flow is defined as a cognitive state that is associated with a feeling of automatic and effortless control, enabling peak performance in highly challenging situations. In sports, flow can be enhanced by mindfulness training, which has been associated with frontal theta activity (4-8 Hz). Moreover, frontal-midline theta oscillations were shown to subserve control processes in a large variety of cognitive tasks. Based on previous theta neurofeedback training studies, which revealed that one training session is sufficient to enhance motor performance, the present study investigated whether one 30-minute session of frontal-midline theta neurofeedback training (1) enhances flow experience additionally to motor performance in a finger tapping task, and (2) transfers to cognitive control processes in an n -back task. Participants, who were able to successfully upregulate their theta activity during neurofeedback training (responders), showed better motor performance and flow experience after training than participants, who did not enhance their theta activity (non-responders). Across all participants, increase of theta activity during training was associated with motor performance enhancement from pretest to posttest irrespective of pre-training performance. Interestingly, theta training gains were also linked to the increase of flow experience, even when corresponding increases in motor performance were controlled for. Results for the n -back task were not significant. Even though these findings are mainly correlational in nature and additional flow-promoting influences need to be investigated, the present findings suggest that frontal-midline theta neurofeedback training is a promising tool to support flow experience with additional relevance for performance enhancement.
... The power spectrum estimation method used in this study was Welch algorithm spectral with a 3 s Hamming window, 50% overlapping, and was zero-padded to 512 points (Akbar et al. 2016;Feng et al. 2010). We used a Welch algorithm to decompose EEG data to the following frequency bands: delta (0.5-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz), SMR (12-15 Hz), beta (15-30 Hz), and gamma (30-45 Hz) (Mirifar et al. 2017). Then we calculated the power value of each frequency band. ...
Article
Full-text available
Timely relief of anxiety in healthy people is important, but there is little research on this topic at present. Neurofeedback training allows subjects to regulate their specific brain activities autonomously and thus alter their corresponding cognitive functions. Inattention is a significant cognitive deficit in patients with anxiety. Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) was reported to be closely related to attention. In this study, trainability, frequency specificity, and brain-behavior relationships were utilized to verify the validity of a relative SMR power protocol. An EEG neurofeedback training system was developed for alleviating anxiety levels in healthy people. The EEG data were collected from 33 subjects during SMR up-training sessions. Subjects attended six times neurofeedback training for about 2 weeks. The feedback value of the neurofeedback group was the relative SMR power at the feedback electrode (electrode C3), while the feedback values for the control group were pseudorandom numbers. The trainability index revealed that the learning trend showed an increase in SMR power activity at the C3 electrode, confirming effects across training. The frequency specificity index revealed only that SMR band activity increased significantly in the neurofeedback group. The brain-behavior relationships index revealed that increased SMR activity correlated negatively with the severity of anxiety. This study indicates that neurofeedback training using a relative SMR power protocol, based on activity at the C3 electrode, could relieve anxiety levels for healthy people and increase the SMR power. Preliminary studies support the feasibility and efficacy of the relative SMR power protocol for healthy people with anxiety. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11571-021-09732-8.
... Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback (i.e., EEG biofeedback) that can be utilized in modifying human brain oscillations and in developing skills of self-regulation of brain activity (Cheng & Hung, 2020). For instance, it can be used to teach athletes to regulate brain activity within a frequency band to enhance performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). More precisely, neurofeedback training enables the individual to effectively manage their central nervous system by teaching them how to (a) recover mentally (e.g., increasing alpha power); (b) use a narrow focus (e.g., increasing low beta power, and decreasing theta and high beta power); and (c) develop the ability to switch between these two states Ros et al., 2020). ...
The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on performance have recently been investigated, with several studies assessing changes in brain activity. The aim of the current systematic review was to identify the neural correlates of mindfulness practice that enhance performance. We completed searches on Scopus, PubMed, EBSCO, and Web of Science in February 2020. Peer-reviewed studies that implemented mindfulness-based interventions or compared groups of mindfulness meditators with non-practitioners and measured the neural activity underpinning performance were eligible. The quality of the studies and evidence was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the GRADE system. Of the 1836 records identified, 20 published articles (925 participants) were found, including 8 experimental, 5 quasi-experimental, and 7 cross-sectional studies. None of the studies were rated as having a low risk of bias. The quality of evidence was graded to be low and very low. The main finding that emerged was the potential enhancing effect of mindfulness practice on performance monitoring abilities, which are highly important to detect and adjust to errors. Overall findings did not provide a robust evidence for neural correlates of mindfulness practice aimed to enhance performance, highlighting the need for future research. This study is registered on PROSPERO, number CRD42020185471.
... This could be a promising advance, particularly because some studies suggest that modulation processes in the PFC could be related to volition (Cross-Villasana et al., 2018). With a better understanding of these neurophysiological underpinnings, it might become possible to train "muscle volition" with neurofeedback training and, hence, support successful affect regulation (Mirifar et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
Im Sport spielt neben der Motivation von Athleten auch Volition, welche häufig als Wille oder Selbstregulation beschrieben wird, eine entscheidende Rolle. Zur Volition wurden verschiedene Modelle entwickelt, die sich in einigen Facetten unterscheiden. Zahlreiche Studien der letzten 30 Jahre untersuchen den Einfluss volitionaler Aspekte auf sportliches Handeln, wobei das Persönlichkeitsmerkmal Handlungs-/Lageorientierung Art und Effizienz von Volition im Sport beeinflusst. Zwar verfügen Handlungsorientierte über eine bessere Fähigkeit zur Selbstregulation und sind oftmals erfolgreicher als Lageorientierte, jedoch kann es auch umgekehrt sein. Volitionale Aspekte unter Einbeziehung von Persönlichkeitsmerkmalen können daher auch für Interventionen in der Sportpraxis nützlich sein.
... The development of a strong mindset and resilient attitude will give an athlete the edge during the moments of competition where they are physically pushed to their limit. The use of neurofeedback in training and in the therapeutic process is being researched as an effective means increasing efficiency in sports performance (Mirifar et al., 2017). The ability to incorporate new thinking patterns, in addition to increasing awareness of the mind-body connection, can help an athlete advance their training level at record paces. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Internalizing disorders (IDs; e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)) are the most prevalent form of psychopathology experienced worldwide. Current first-line therapies (e.g. pharmacotherapy) offer high failure rates and substantial side-effects. Closed-loop brain training of electrophysiological signals, also known as electroencephalographic neurofeedback (EEG-NFB), has been shown to be an effective and safe treatment for these conditions, however, there remains much doubt regarding the existence of specificity (i.e. clinical effects specific to the modulation of the EEG variable(s) of interest). This systematic review and meta-analysis was undertaken to determine if there is evidence for EEG-NFB specificity in the treatment of IDs. Methods: We considered all randomised, double-blind, sham/placebo-controlled trials involving humans with at least one ID diagnosis without exclusion by language, locality, ethnicity, age, or sex obtained. We searched various electronic databases and registries including Scopus, PubMed, MEDLINE (Ovid), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Ovid), Embase, Allied and Complementary Medicine (Ovid), PsycInfo (Ovid), PsycExtra (Ovid), the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), ClinicalTrials.gov, and the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR). Searches for all databases & registries were last run on 15 May, 2021. Outcomes of interest included self/parent/teacher reports and clinician ratings. Because the included trials utilized different measurement scales to assess clinical outcomes, we utilised standardised mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) calculated from change-from-baseline (CFB) scores. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was performed utilising post-treatment (PI) scores. When appropriate, we contacted trial authors to obtain additional information. A meta-analysis was performed utilizing inverse variance and random effects modelling with results displayed in a forest plot. Additionally, the risk of bias for individual studies was assessed via the RoB 2 (revised Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomised controlled trials) and the certainty of the pooled results was rated using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations) framework. Results: Of 705 unique records identified, 17 full-text reports were evaluated and 4 completed trials (n=152 adult participants) met our criteria, however, only 3 (n=102 adult participants) had publicly available data and were included in our meta-analyses. The overall risk of bias for the individual trials included ranged from ‘some concerns’ to ‘high’. The primary analysis favoured genuine EEG-NFB over sham with a pooled SMD = 0.41 [95% CI 0.01, 0.80]; p = 0.04) with no evidence of heterogeneity (Tau2=0.00, Chi² p=0.96; I² = 0%). Similarly, the sensitivity analysis favoured genuine over sham (SMD = 0.36 [95% CI -0.04, 0.75]; p = 0.07). Per the GRADE, the overall certainty in the evidence was deemed ‘very low’. Discussion: Our primary analysis suggests that EEG-NFB does have specific effects in the treatment of IDs as evidenced by our finding of an overall small mean effect size (0.41). Nonetheless, a mean effect size ranging from nil (0.01) to large (0.80) is also reasonably compatible with the data, given our assumptions. Similar results were evident in our sensitivity analysis. Moreover, the certainty of the pooled results was rated as ‘very low’ due to concerns surrounding reporting biases and imprecision. More randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled trials are needed to verify the existence and, if present, degree of EEG-NFB specificity in the treatment of IDs. Registration: This review was registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO; registration number: CRD42020159702).
... High-level athletes need to participate in various forms of competitions. After the competitions, systematic physical fitness and special skill training are also required, and daily training is often at a higher intensity level [1][2][3]. is kind of long-term, high-intensity training will cause the physiological load of athletes. Always in a state of high load, it is easy to cause sports injuries to athletes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sports injuries of high-level athletes restrict the improvement of sports performance. Under this premise, an efficient and accurate sports injury assessment method is needed to detect potential sports injuries and conduct injury prevention training. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel sports injury prediction algorithm based on visual analysis technology. The proposed algorithm first takes the time-frequency of sensed data as the convolutional neural network (CNN) input. The one-dimensional time series collected by the sensor is converted into two-dimensional images using the Gram angle domain algorithm. The one-dimensional sensed data provides a new perspective and provides a basis for better use of convolutional neural networks and computer vision technology. Second, combining the residual network’s structure and advantages and hole convolution and multihole convolution kernel residual module is proposed. It improves the model’s ability to extract features at different scales while effectively controlling the parameter scale. Based on these modules, a single-sensor-based athlete action recognition algorithm is proposed. Several comparative experiments have been conducted on a public data set containing only acceleration sensors to verify the proposed algorithm’s effectiveness.
... For this, the user is presented with realtime feedback related to brain activity and must develop and optimize self-regulation strategies to improve the control performance (Strehl, 2014;Sitaram et al., 2017). Applications of neurofeedback range from performance optimization in sports (Mirifar et al., 2017) to clinical applications, where the main objective is to target abnormal functional structures to reduce or even eliminate symptoms (Thibault et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Affective neurofeedback training allows for the self-regulation of the putative circuits of emotion regulation. This approach has recently been studied as a possible additional treatment for psychiatric disorders, presenting positive effects in symptoms and behaviors. After neurofeedback training, a critical aspect is the transference of the learned self-regulation strategies to outside the laboratory and how to continue reinforcing these strategies in non-controlled environments. In this mini-review, we discuss the current achievements of affective neurofeedback under naturalistic setups. For this, we first provide a brief overview of the state-of-the-art for affective neurofeedback protocols. We then discuss virtual reality as a transitional step toward the final goal of “in-the-wild” protocols and current advances using mobile neurotechnology. Finally, we provide a discussion of open challenges for affective neurofeedback protocols in-the-wild, including topics such as convenience and reliability, environmental effects in attention and workload, among others.
... This could be a promising advance, particularly 603 because some studies suggest that modulation processes in the prefrontal cortex could be 604 related to volition (Cross-Villasana et al.,2018). With a better understanding of these 605 neurophysiological underpinnings, it might become possible to train the "muscle volition" with 606 neurofeedback training and hence, support successful affect regulation (Mirifar, et al.,2017). 607 ...
Article
Volition is an essential component of sport and exercise. It comprises self-regulation processes complementing motivation to facilitate successful action. Therefore, sport psychological interventions or psychological skills training to a large degree involve volition. Essentially, three theoretical approaches to volition have stimulated sport psychological research: The theory of action control, the Rubicon model of action phases, and the Resource depletion model. These three models will be outlined and evaluated with regard to their contribution to sport psychological research. Despite their contributions, research on the exact mechanisms underlying volition is still in its infancy. Based on new developments involving affective neuroscience and self-control success, potential mechanisms are suggested. Subsequently, it will be discussed how these developments can advance the well-established theories mentioned above.
... Neurofeedback feasibility studies have yielded first promising results in different non-clinical and clinical applications ranging from athletic performance (Mirifar et al., 2017) to motor rehabilitation for neurodegenerative disorders and stroke (Krucoff et al., 2016;Linden and Turner, 2016). In neuropsychiatry, small randomized controlled studies have shown benefits for different disorders. ...
Article
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Neurofeedback training has been suggested as a potential additional treatment option for MDD patients not reaching remission from standard care (i.e., psychopharmacology and psychotherapy). Here we systematically reviewed neurofeedback studies employing electroencephalography, or functional magnetic resonance-based protocols in depressive patients. Of 585 initially screened studies, 24 were included in our final sample (N = 480 patients in experimental and N = 194 in the control groups completing the primary endpoint). We evaluated the clinical efficacy across studies and attempted to group studies according to the control condition categories currently used in the field that affect clinical outcomes in group comparisons. In most studies, MDD patients showed symptom improvement superior to the control group(s). However, most articles did not comply with the most stringent study quality and reporting practices. We conclude with recommendations on best practices for experimental designs and reporting standards for neurofeedback training.
... As such, they have been used extensively to explain a person's brain state during sport and exercise (Cheron et al., 2016;Perrey and Besson, 2018). For example, EEG indexes have been used to study: the differences in brain activity between champions and novices (Del Percio et al., 2008;Babiloni et al., 2010;Cheng et al., 2015;Wang and Tu, 2017;Wang et al., 2019) and to maintain optimal sporting performance through neurofeedback training (NFT) (Cheng et al., 2015;Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have reported that exercise can influence cognitive performance. But advancing our understanding of the interrelations between psychology and physiology in sports neuroscience requires the study of real-time brain dynamics during exercise in the field. Electroencephalography (EEG) is one of the most powerful brain imaging technologies. However, the limited portability and long preparation time of traditional wet-sensor systems largely limits their use to laboratory settings. Wireless dry-sensor systems are emerging with much greater potential for practical application in sports. Hence, in this paper, we use the BR8 wireless dry-sensor EEG system to measure P300 brain dynamics while cycling at various intensities. The preparation time was mostly less than 2 min as BR8 system’s dry sensors were able to attain the required skin-sensor interface impedance, enabling its operation without any skin preparation or application of conductive gel. Ten participants performed four sessions of a 3 min rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task while resting and while cycling. These four sessions were pre-CE (RSVP only), low-CE (RSVP in 40–50% of max heart rate), vigorous-CE (RSVP in 71–85% of max heart rate) and post-CE (RSVP only). The recorded brain signals demonstrate that the P300 amplitudes, observed at the Pz channel, for the target and non-target responses were significantly different in all four sessions. The results also show decreased reaction times to the visual attention task during vigorous exercise, enriching our understanding of the ways in which exercise can enhance cognitive performance. Even though only a single channel was evaluated in this study, the quality and reliability of the measurement using these dry sensor-based EEG systems is clearly demonstrated by our results. Further, the smooth implementation of the experiment with a dry system and the success of the data analysis demonstrate that wireless dry EEG devices can open avenues for real-time measurement of cognitive functions in athletes outside the laboratory.
... Theta brain wave (4-8 Hz) can be detected in deep relaxation, sleep, and meditation. Delta wave (0-4 Hz) is the slowest and low-frequency band associate with deep sleep and dreamless sleep (Kim, Seo, & Laine, 2018;Mirifar, Beckmann, & Ehrlenspiel, 2017;Surangsrirat & Intarapanich, 2015). ...
Thesis
The Microbiota-gut-brain axis discovered in the last decade and contemporary researchers are exploring the new dimensions of this phenomenon. Psychobiotics that are derived from probiotics contain psychotropic properties, and correct administration can positively affect psychological states. Competitive football players who go through strenuous training and frequent competitions are more vulnerable to undergo stress and anxiety. Up to date none of the studies were conducted to identify the effect of probiotics on psychological conditions among competitive footballers. Thus, the objective of the current study is to determine the effect of daily probiotics supplementation on perceived stress and competitive anxiety among football players. This quantitative research study used randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled design purposively recruiting 20 male footballers (age 19.0 ± 0.72 years; weight 64.29 ± 6.21 kg; height 170.50 ± 5.88 cm; BMI 22.15 ± 2.09 kg/m2) and randomly divided them into two research conditions where they received either probiotic (Lactobacillus Casei Shirota strain 1×109 CFU) or placebo supplement over 8 weeks. Psychophysiological methods were used to measure perceived stress and competitive anxiety at the baseline, week 4, and week 8 during the intervention. Psychological measures were taken using self-reported inventories and electroencephalography, heart rate and electrodermal responses were used as physiological measures simultaneously with a cognitive test. Anthropometric body composition measures and diet records were taken at the baseline and at week 8. Data statistically analysed using mixed factorial ANOVA and independence t-test. Results revealed that probiotic group compared to the placebo group significantly decreased the cognitive state anxiety scores (18.20 ± 3.94 vs 23.11 ± 4.81, p = 0.02), somatic state anxiety (13.00 ± 2.83 vs16.78 ± 3.03, p = 0.01) and perceived stress scores (12.30 ± 1.70 vs 14.67 ± 1.66, p = 0.00) but no statistical significant was found in self-confidence (34.80 ± 3.16 vs 32.89 ± 3.62, p = 0.23). Physiological responses such as heart rate and electrodermal responses (p > 0.05) showed no significant difference between probiotic and placebo groups after 8 weeks. Similarly, brain waves showed no significant difference during the study period except for the theta wave and delta brain wave (p < 0.05) at week 4. The reaction time of the cognitive task showed significant improvement in the probiotic group (p < 0.05), thus, the accuracy percentage showed no significant difference between groups. Similarly, no difference was found in anthropometric, body composition and nutrient intake between the two groups. In conclusion, daily probiotic supplementation showed a promising approach to regulate perceived stress and competitive anxiety among football players and according to the brain wave and cognitive test, results probiotics proves its positive effects on sustained attention. Nevertheless, more research needed to elucidate the present results. Athletes may use probiotics as a potential nutritional therapy to relieve psychological distress associated with daily training and frequent competitions. Probiotic supplementation may indirectly enhance athletic performances by improving not only psychophysiological responses but improving secondary health benefits among the athletes.
Preprint
Its my essay about fundamental of EEG neuron feedback for improving athletes skills that employed before.
Chapter
Negotiating skills are not part of the traditional lawyer’s training. Today, however, advanced skills are required of the lawyer to settle disputes consensually before trial. Cognitive, psycho-social and communication aspects should be trained in a purposed way. Cognitive knowledge and brain technology may be combined to develop targeted empowering programs during negotiation training. This article outlines the methodology for a pilot study that investigates the cooperative problem-solving skills development through neuroscientific devices that are non-invasive, portable and therefore usable in ecological contexts. The use of Brain-Computer-Interface would allow trained negotiators to explicitly develop mind tools and skills, with greater interaction between intuitive and analytical thinking systems.
Chapter
Gerade im Leistungssport kommt es oft darauf an, sich auf den Punkt zu konzentrieren, Leistungsreserven zu mobilisieren und den inneren Dialog positiv zu gestalten. All dies sind Beispiele für Selbstregulation. Menschen unterscheiden sich darin, wie gut ihnen eine solche Selbstregulation gelingt und auf welche Weise sie versuchen, sich selbst zu regulieren. Unterschiedliche Formen der Selbstregulation können für verschiedene Situationen geeignet sein und unterschiedliche Effizienz haben. In diesem Kapitel geht es darum, Formen der Selbstregulation zu differenzieren und Persönlichkeitsunterschiede bei der Nutzung von Selbstregulation aufzuzeigen. In diesem Zusammenhang werden verschiedene psychologische Konzepte der Selbstregulation dargestellt. Ferner wird auf die Entwicklung von Selbstregulation und das Training von Selbstregulationsfertigkeiten über mentales Training eingegangen.
Article
Full-text available
Biofeedback trainings are frequently used both to treat some diseases and to increase the performance of healthy individuals. Great progress has been made in this regard in various fields. Biofeedback is a method used in fields such as art, surgery, and military service, as well as sports, in order to increase mental and physical performance. In addition it can be said that various researches related to this topic may be carried out in the future, and comprehensive scientific resources will thus be needed. The aim of this review is to conduct a comprehensive literature review about biofeedback practices and to present a scientific resource in Turkish that will meet the need. For this purpose, the findings obtained by examining the studies in the relevant literature were compiled and presented to the reader in a systematic way. In this context, firstly, the basic logic of biofeedback training is explained and the measurement tools along with their functions are presented. Afterwards, the contribution of biofeedback training to self-regulation skills is explained in detail and its effect on the autonomic nervous system is discussed. Then, biofeedback practices used in different fields are summarized. Finally, by referring to the use of biofeedback in the field of sports sciences, relevant researches in the field of sports in Turkey are assessed.
Article
Neurofeedback based on bioelectrical activity of the brain can serve as an additional means of sports training. However, its effect on the body of athletes is not fully understood. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effect of a neurofeedback course on high-level athletes based on maximal oxygen uptake and haemodynamics. Materials and methods. A placebo-controlled study of the effects of a neurofeedback course was conducted, involving 102 high-level athletes of both sexes (mean age 20.2 ± ± 1.8 years) with mean levels of spectral power of heart rate variability in the VLF, LF, and HF ranges. The main group included 69 subjects, the placebo control group, 33 subjects. The neurofeedback course included 15 sessions and was performed according to the protocol of increasing alpha power in the C3A1 lead. Results. Statistically significant effects of the neurofeedback course, exceeding the placebo effect, were established: a decrease in diastolic blood pressure and an increase in pulse pressure (PP). Diastolic blood pressure was characterized by an absolute decrease of 2.0 mm Hg in the main group and 0.7 mm Hg in the placebo group, while pulse pressure, by an absolute increase of 1.5 and 0.4 mm Hg, respectively. Moreover, statistically significant changes resulting from the neurofeedback course were identified, which, however, did not exceed the placebo effect: an increase in the mean value of the relative maximal oxygen uptake by 0.30 ml/(min∙kg) in the main group and by 0.46 ml/(min∙kg) in the placebo group; a decrease in the mean heart rate (HR) by 1.5 and 0.7 min–1, respectively, and a decrease in the mean value of the double product index by 1.9 and 1.1, respectively, without any statistically significant differences between the groups. The neurofeedback course and placebo did not produce statistically significant changes in systolic blood pressure, PP x HR coefficient, and autonomic Kérdö index.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the main characteristics and challenges of the elite sports environment, derived impacts on the athlete’s body and mind, as well as implications of the training process. “Elite Sports” is a common but not well-defined phrase. In this chapter, we refer to the elite sports environment as “the top competitions in a sport (e.g., world championships/series, Olympic Games, etc.) and the training process with the purpose to compete/succeed in competition.” Main characteristics are the search for optimal, on point performance through constantly improving fitness for a specific context of top competition. This implies a high investment of energy and time over a long period. Elite sports competes globally and is in the focus of public attention. Therefore, elite sports is not just extreme in terms of extraordinary physical and mental demands imposed by the movement task but also in respect to the special social and more or less superficial environment in which it takes place. The main challenge of elite sports is to handle physical, psychological, and social stress in the right way. Utilizing it as the motor for the human adaptation capacity in the training process and promoter of optimal performance. High loads of biopsychological stress are needed to optimize fitness. The meaning of the concepts of resilience and antifragility is discussed. Foremost, it is important to balance the stress with sufficient recovery, as well as coping with and minimizing stressors, which are counteracting the adaptive process.
Article
Objectives This study aimed to investigate the effects of mental training applied to combat sports athletes. Methods A systematic review was conducted, following the criteria recommended by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, from inception up to February 2021, with an electronic search in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus databases. As eligibility criteria, this review included original studies that carried out any type of mental training, with or without a control group, acute or chronic, in combat sports athletes, of both sexes, age >16 and < 45 years old, from any competitive level, and evaluated the effect of these interventions on psychological measures. The quality assessment was conducted through the application of the Cochrane Collaboration tool. Results In total, 1921 studies were found and after application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 21 articles were included in this review. A total of 417 subjects were investigated from the 21 studies. As results, despite the variations in the type and characteristics of the interventions, studies showed that mental training seems to improve anxiety, mood, self-confidence, emotions, cohesion, emotional balance, and relaxation, in addition to physical and athletic performance. Conclusions This systematic review based on the evidence from the selected studies indicates that mental training seems to be beneficial for athletes in combat modalities, while combat sports can benefit from mental training in preparation, competition, and recovery. However, the interpretation of these findings must consider that there is limited scientific production with good quality studies investigating the effects of psychological intervention protocols in athletes of combat sports in different combat modalities. Prospero register number CRD42020169793.
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback is an effective tool in sports psychology to train athletes to enhance performance levels. Archery players are required to concentrate on accuracy during archery performances, which tends to be attained by a peak sensory motor rhythm of the electroencephalography component. The selected subjects of university level archery players have intervened with neurofeedback for four weeks. Measurements were taken to find the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT) on heart rate deceleration, pre-competition pleasure level, post-competition pleasure level, pre-competition arousal level, post-competition arousal level, performance level, precision, sensory motor rhthm (SMR)/ theta ratio and SMR epoch mean of archers during competition. Statistical analysis reveals that pre-competition pleasure level (p< 0.05), pre-competition arousal level (p< 0.05), post-competition arousal level (p< 0.01) and SMR/ theta ratio (p< 0.05) showed statistically significant changes [deleted after the effective twelve sessions of SMR neurofeedback training] in the experimental group but not the control group. After twelve sessions of NFT training the experimental group archers were able to regulate the psychological status and EEG components during archery performance. The result of the present study suggests that neurofeedback training improves the archery players’ regularity in scoring by enhancing accurate arrow shoot attained by controlling and regulating psycho-physiological and electro-encephalographic measures.
Article
Full-text available
Brain dynamics is at the basis of top performance accomplishment in sports. The search for neural biomarkers of performance remains a challenge in movement science and sport psychology. The noninvasive nature of high-density electroencephalography (EEG) recording has made it a most promising avenue for providing quantitative feedback to practitioners and coaches. Here, we review the current relevance of the main types of EEG oscillations in order to trace a perspective for future practical applications of EEG and event-related potentials (ERP) in sport. In this context, the hypotheses of unified brain rhythms and continuity between wake and sleep states should provide a functional template for EEG biomarkers in sport. The oscillations in the thalamo-cortical and hippocampal circuitry including the physiology of the place cells and the grid cells provide a frame of reference for the analysis of delta, theta, beta, alpha (incl.mu) and gamma oscillations recorded in the space field of human performance. Based on recent neuronal models facilitating the distinction between the different dynamic regimes (selective gating and binding) in these different oscillations we suggest an integrated approach articulating together the classical biomechanical factors (3D movements and EMG) and the high-density EEG and ERP signals to allow finer mathematical analysis to optimize sport performance, such as microstates, coherency/directionality analysis and neural generators.
Article
Full-text available
Many college students experience stress-related illness, and in one study, 82% of students reported significant improvement in health when they participated in a semester-long stress management program. The factors that contribute to symptom reduction are illustrated by the case report of a 23-year-old male student who had been suffering from psoriasis for the past 5 years, which was not alleviated with medication and traditional medical treatment. He participated in an integrated self-regulation program consisting of daily self-healing home practice for 3 weeks, a desensitization strategy, autogenic training, and biofeedback training, coupled with pre-and posttreatment biofeedback assessments. Results showed a significant improvement in the clearing of the skin, more positive self-talk, and improved posture. The benefits have been maintained at the 4-month follow-up. Discussed are the training components and procedures along with factors that contributed to the clinical success and that can be applied to numerous other stress-related disorders.
Article
Full-text available
Excessive stress and tension are major threats to optimal athletic performance. The goal of this project was to help the athletes optimize the management of their stress response through self-awareness and self-regulation of the activation levels of their autonomic and central nervous systems. Fifteen elite athletes preparing for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics underwent an EEG and psychophysiological stress assessment, as well as a bio–neurofeedback (BNFK) training intervention. Both athletes and coaches reported that the bio–neurofeedback intervention helped the athletes in managing the stress of training and competition and was a factor in producing better performances.
Article
Full-text available
There has been a recent interest in the use of neurofeedback to enhance sports performance. Our goal is to report the effects of performance brain training (a specific neurofeedback training paradigm with protocols based on the NeuroPerformance Assessment) on specific measures of golf performance in a group of Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) golfers. Participants included 16 golfers. Baseline performance data was collected prior to grouping athletes (Time Point 1). Initially, both groups continued as normal with team practice, tournament play, and sport-related coaching, while only Group 1 completed performance brain training (Time Point 2) due to limited athlete availability. Subsequently, only Group 2 completed while both groups maintained normal team activities (time point 3). Performance data was collected at each time point. Paired t-test analyses were completed for five performance variables from Time Point 1 to Time Point 2 and from Time Point 2 to Time Point 3 for each g...
Article
Full-text available
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) activity has been related to automaticity during skilled action execution. However, few studies have bridged the causal link between SMR activity and sports performance. This study investigated the effect of SMR neurofeedback training (SMR NFT) on golf putting performance. We hypothesized that pre-elite golfers would exhibit enhanced putting performance after SMR NFT. Sixteen pre-elite golfers were recruited and randomly assigned into either an SMR or a control group. Participants were asked to perform putting while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded, both before and after intervention. Our results showed that the SMR group performed more accurately when putting and exhibited greater SMR power than the control group after 8 intervention sessions. This study concludes that SMR NFT is effective for increasing SMR during action preparation and for enhancing golf putting performance. Moreover, greater SMR activity might be an EEG signature of improved attention processing, which induces superior putting performance.
Article
Full-text available
immediate feedback concerning brain activity on autotelic engagement attention and the performance of athletes’ minds. Material and methods: the experimental group (25 subjects) underwent twenty neurofeedback-EEG training sessions (in the relaxation armchair) and athletic training for four months (every 7 days). The control group (25 subjects) underwent athletic training sessions. Before and after the four months of neurofeedback-EEG training sessions, the athletes were evaluated using an involvement questionnaire and Kraepelin’s work curve test. Results: the results of the analysis showed that changes in autotelic engagement were observed with an improvement in the performance of the mind (p < 0.01), which points to increased speed and mental work speed and efficiency. Among three measures of performance, we observed a significant correlation between the total number of addition operations in the test with autotelic experience (r = 0.769). Conclusions: neurofeedback-EEG training opens up new opportunities for improvement in the performance of athletes’ minds.
Article
Full-text available
The difference between success and failure in 200-m canoe and kayak events is measured in milliseconds. The gold medal for the 200-m kayak in the Summer 2012 Olympic Games in London was won by a margin of 294 milliseconds, and the difference between winning a bronze medal and not reaching the podium was merely 31 milliseconds. In addition to physical fitness, strength, and technique, the ability to focus effectively and manage arousal is crucial to the ability to react quickly off the start. Conversely, the inability to manage arousal and focus has been shown to reduce reaction time (RT) and, in extreme cases, lead to ''choking.'' Research in sport psychology and psychophysiology has identified multiple psychological, physiological, and neurological characteristics that underlie peak performance. Although many of the skills and characteristics identified in the research are common to most peak performers, it is also well known that each athlete's optimal performance zone for competition is unique. For athletes, identifying these individual zones of optimal physical, psychological, physiological, and neuro-logical functioning can be elusive and difficult to quantify. Existing technology in bio-and neurofeedback presents a unique opportunity for athletes and researchers to explore what individual peak performance looks like both physiologically and neurologically. Thus, the purpose of this case analysis was to explore the psychophysiological differences of a 200-m canoe athlete between his best and worst reaction times.
Article
Full-text available
PARK, J.L., M.M. Fairweather and D.I. Donaldson. Making the case for mobile cognition: EEG and sports performance. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV XX(X) XXX-XXX, 2015 - In the high stakes world of International sport even the smallest change in performance can make the difference between success and failure, leading sports professionals to become increasingly interested in the potential benefits of neuroimaging. Here we describe evidence from EEG studies that either identify neural signals associated with expertise in sport, or employ neurofeedback to improve performance. Evidence for the validity of neurofeedback as a technique for enhancing sports performance remains limited. By contrast, progress in characterizing the neural correlates of sporting behaviour is clear: frequency domain studies link expert performance to changes in alpha rhythms, whilst time-domain studies link expertise in response evaluation and motor output with modulations of P300 effects and readiness potentials. Despite early promise, however, findings have had relatively little impact for sports professionals, at least in part because there has been a mismatch between lab tasks and real sporting activity. After selectively reviewing existing findings and outlining limitations, we highlight developments in mobile EEG technology that offer new opportunities for sports neuroscience. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Article
Full-text available
A single-subject design was used to examine the influence of one session of neurofeedback training (NFT) on reducing frontal midline theta (Fm theta) amplitude and enhancing golf putting performance. Posttraining, three highly skilled golfers improved in putting score or score stability. Although the Fm theta amplitude during the pre-putt period inconsistently decreased across participants, all golfers exhibited lower Fm theta amplitude during the resting condition following NFT, suggesting that the tonic reduction of Fm theta may play a role in subsequent performance improvement. Overall, these results indicate that a short session of NFT may be an effective method of performance enhancement in some sports.
Article
Full-text available
How the brain takes in information, makes a decision, and acts on this decision is strongly influenced by the ongoing and constant fluctuations of state. Understanding the nature of these brain states and how they are controlled is critical to making sense of how the nervous system operates, both normally and abnormally. While broadly projecting neuromodulatory systems acting through metabotropic pathways have long been appreciated to be critical for determining brain state, more recent investigations have revealed a prominent role for fast acting neurotransmitter pathways for temporally and spatially precise control of neural processing. Corticocortical and thalamocortical glutamatergic projections can rapidly and precisely control brain state by changing both the nature of ongoing activity and by controlling the gain and precision of neural responses.
Article
Full-text available
The goal of our research was to describe the neurophysio-logical and neuropsychological parameters of the control of aggressive behaviors in an athlete of world rank, a javelin thrower, who underwent neurotherapy. The patient described here was an Olympic athlete who placed much lower than expected in the games. His mental state was measured in three respects: neuronal (using event-related potentials), social, and cognitive (using standardized tests). He then went through a program of neurotherapy; HRV biofeedback was used for ten minutes over two days, along with EEG feedback (neurofeedback) for 20 minutes. Before neurotherapy, the amplitudes of the ERPs under a NOGO stimulus (motor inhibition) were in the normal range. A high score for the control of aggression was accompanied by auto-aggression, which corresponds to cortical inhibition, and can cause negative emotions towards others to be sup-pressed and directed towards oneself, and thus may contri-bution to the creation of contusions, along with low scores for external and general aggression. After Alpha Training, the subject was quicker in reaction than the norm. The differ-ences in the ERPs for NOGO conditions were statistically significant. These results may be an essential indicator of a high level of behavior control (not intention), including ag-gressive behaviors. Introduction:
Article
Full-text available
Cortical oscillations have been shown to represent fundamental functions of a working brain, e.g., communication, stimulus binding, error monitoring, and inhibition, and are directly linked to behavior. Recent studies intervening with these oscillations have demonstrated effective modulation of both the oscillations and behavior. In this review, we collect evidence in favor of how hypothesis-driven methods can be used to augment cognition by optimizing cortical oscillations. We elaborate their potential usefulness for three target groups: healthy elderly, patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and healthy young adults. We discuss the relevance of neuronal oscillations in each group and show how each of them can benefit from the manipulation of functionally-related oscillations. Further, we describe methods for manipulation of neuronal oscillations including direct brain stimulation as well as indirect task alterations. We also discuss practical considerations about the proposed techniques. In conclusion, we propose that insights from neuroscience should guide techniques to augment human cognition, which in turn can provide a better understanding of how the human brain works.
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This study focuses on a novel, easy to use and instruction-less method for mental training in athletes. Previous findings suggest that particular mental capacities are needed for achieving peak performance; including attentional control, focus, relaxation and positive affect. Electroencephalography (EEG) alpha brain activity has been associated with neural inhibition during processes of selective attention, for improving efficiency in information processing. Here we hypothesised that eyes open alpha power training by music teaches athletes to (1) learn to self-regulate their brain activity, and (2) learn to increase their baseline alpha power, herewith improving mental capacities such as focusing the allocation of attention. The study was double-blind and placebo-controlled. Twelve elite gymnasts were either given eyes open alpha power training or random beta power training (controls). Results indicate small improvements in sleep quality, mental and physical shape. In our first attempt at getting a grip on mental capacities in athletes, we think this novel training method can be promising. Because gymnastics is one of the most mentally demanding sports, we value even small benefits for the athlete and consider them indicative for future research.
Article
Full-text available
Members of the Italian soccer team that recently won the World Cup utilized a number of biofeedback and neurofeedback techniques labeled “the Mind Room.” The integration of biofeedback and neurofeedback into the common practices of sport psychology assesses and teaches the athlete to maintain appropriate breathing, relaxed muscles, coherent heart rhythms and dominant alpha brain states. Details on the “Mind Room” protocol are closely guarded, but the present authors detail four components well documented in sports psychophysiology. In order to score game winning penalty kicks, the athlete needs to remain calm, but alert and focused on the goal while pandemonium is occurring around.
Article
Full-text available
As a continuation of a review of evidence of the validity of cognitive/affective gains following neurofeedback in healthy participants, including correlations in support of the gains being mediated by feedback learning (Gruzelier, 2013a), the focus here is on the impact on creativity, especially in the performing arts including music, dance and acting. The majority of research involves alpha/theta (A/T), sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) and heart rate variability (HRV) protocols. There is evidence of reliable benefits from A/T training with advanced musicians especially on creative performance, and reliable benefits from both A/T and SMR training for novice music performance in adults and in a school study with children with impact on creativity, communication/presentation and technique. Making the SMR ratio training context ecologically relevant for actors enhanced creativity in stage performance, with added benefits from the more immersive training context. A/T and HRV training have benefitted dancers. The neurofeedback evidence adds to the rapidly accumulating validation of neurofeedback, while performing arts studies offer an opportunity for ecological validity in creastivity research for both creative process and product.
Article
Full-text available
A re-emergence of research on EEG-neurofeedback followed controlled evidence of clinical benefits and validation of cognitive/affective gains in healthy participants including correlations in support of feedback learning mediating outcome. Controlled studies with healthy and elderly participants, which have increased exponentially, are reviewed including protocols from the clinic: sensory-motor rhythm, beta1 and alpha/theta ratio, down-training theta maxima, and from neuroscience: upper-alpha, theta, gamma, alpha desynchronisation. Outcome gains include sustained attention, orienting and executive attention, the P300b, memory, spatial rotation, RT, complex psychomotor skills, implicit procedural memory, recognition memory, perceptual binding, intelligence, mood and well-being. Twenty-three of the controlled studies report neurofeedback learning indices along with beneficial outcomes, of which eight report correlations in support of a meditation link, results which will be supplemented by further creativity and the performing arts evidence in Part II. Validity evidence from optimal performance studies represents an advance for the neurofeedback field demonstrating that cross fertilisation between clinical and optimal performance domains will be fruitful. Theoretical and methodological issues are outlined further in Part III.
Article
Full-text available
Written to educate both professionals and the general public, this article provides an update and overview of the field of neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback). The process of assessment and neurofeedback training is explained. Then, areas in which neurofeedback is being used as a treatment are identified and a survey of research findings is presented. Potential risks, side effects, and adverse reactions are cited and guidelines provided for selecting a legitimately qualified practitioner.
Article
Full-text available
Negative effects associated with psychotherapy have been documented for more than 40 years. In the field of electroencephalography biofeedback, controlled research has likewise demonstrated that negative effects can occur from inappropriate neurofeedback training. New evidence is presented from acknowledgments by practitioners of both transient side effects and more serious adverse reactions that have occurred in response to neurofeedback training. Issues of consumer protection and the future of the profession are discussed. It is imperative that professionals and professional societies emphasize standards of practice and that individuals not use neurofeedback to work with conditions for which they are not trained and licensed to work.
Article
Full-text available
Neurofeedback is a machine-mediated noninvasive treatment modality based on the analysis and "feeding back" of electroencephalogram brainwaves, which has shown efficacy with a variety of central nervous system-based problems. It has special application where patients have adverse reaction to psychopharmacologic treatments and psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy have proved ineffective. Treatment modalities include active forms based on operant conditioning, involving a subject's response to stimuli. Neurofeedback is strong in clinical confirmations of efficacy (case studies) and has thus far limited controlled studies in the peer-reviewed journals.
Article
Full-text available
The main objective of this structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study was to investigate, using diffusion tensor imaging, whether a neurofeedback training (NFT) protocol designed to improve sustained attention might induce structural changes in white matter (WM) pathways, purportedly implicated in this cognitive ability. Another goal was to examine whether gray matter (GM) volume (GMV) might be altered following NFT in frontal and parietal cortical areas connected by these WM fiber pathways. Healthy university students were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EXP), a sham group, or a control group. Participants in the EXP group were trained to enhance the amplitude of their β1 waves at F4 and P4. Measures of attentional performance and MRI data were acquired one week before (Time 1) and one week after (Time 2) NFT. Higher scores on visual and auditory sustained attention were noted in the EXP group at Time 2 (relative to Time 1). As for structural MRI data, increased fractional anisotropy was measured in WM pathways implicated in sustained attention, and GMV increases were detected in cerebral structures involved in this type of attention. After 50 years of research in the field of neurofeedback, our study constitutes the first empirical demonstration that NFT can lead to microstructural changes in white and gray matter.
Article
Full-text available
A study of three dancers was conducted to assess the results of neurofeedback on performance anxiety. Prior to undergoing neurofeedback, each subject completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Test (STAI) in order to ascertain whether they had a reportable level of anxiety. The STAI clearly differentiates between the temporary condition of state anxiety and the more general and long-standing quality of trait anxiety. The STAI was also administered prior to the start of each neurofeedback session and before each significant dance performance or audition. During the course of the study the subjects also underwent 20 neurofeedback treatment sessions of 30 minutes each. Two of the three subjects completed the study and for each the results indicated a reduction in anxiety levels over the course of treatment.