Article

The effect of neurofeedback training for sport performance in athletes: A meta-analysis

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Abstract

Objectives This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials aimed to assess the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT) on sport performance and electroencephalography (EEG) power in athletes. Method A computerized search of Web of Science, PsycINFO and PubMed was performed to identify relevant studies, published 1990 through February 1, 2017. The outcome measures were sport performance and EEG power. Two review authors identified eligible studies and extracted data independently. The quality of the included studies was assessed with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Standard mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and pooled using a random effects model. Results A total of 10 randomized controlled trials (229 athletes) met the inclusion criteria. Significant effects of NFT were found for sport performance (SMD = 0.65, 95%CI = 0.28 to 1.03, p = .0006) and EEG power (SMD = 0.45, 95%CI = 0.09 to 0.80, p = .01). However, the NFT's effect for sport performance was not significantly different when compared to well-controlled trials with active/placebo control (SMD = 0.51, 95% CI = −0.27 to 1.30, p = .20). Conclusions NFT could make athletes change in EEG power and effectively improve sport performance. Effect of NFT for sport performance was moderated by control group design, that is, when analyses were restricted to active/placebo controls, the efficacy NFT applied in sport performance might be rather weak. Future efforts should focus on standard NFT protocols and better-organized trials.

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... Consequently, understanding whether laboratory RT can be improved by suitable training and intervention techniques is of practical importance. Neurofeedback training (NFT) has been shown to improve attention and RT in clinical and general populations, but evidence is inconclusive regarding different training protocols (Cortese et al. 2016;Mirifar et al. 2017;Xiang et al. 2018). The present study directly compares the effects of two different protocols to improve RT in the laboratory to help clarify the picture and aims to provide foundation for applications in sport by examining athletes. ...
... NFT has also been applied in healthy persons toward increasing performance, commonly called Boptimal^or Bpeak performance,^and the effectiveness of NFT in the domains of cognitive and music performance is well established . A recent systematic review for the domain of sport performance shows, however, that the application of NFT is still in its infancy and its effectiveness toward enhancing athletes' performance is not well established (Mirifar et al. 2017); this issue was also demonstrated by a recently implemented meta-analysis in the field (Xiang et al. 2018). These reviews also point out that many of the protocols used for NFT to enhance sport performance lack evidence or a clear rationale. ...
... This may reflect the lack of a principled approach for selecting a specific NFT protocol or the lack of neurophysiological evidence for specific mechanisms mediating behavioral outcomes. This conclusion was also confirmed by the current meta-analytic review that showed that the effectiveness of NFT on sport performance was moderated by control group design (Xiang et al. 2018). Regarding improving speeded responses through NFT, two different protocols have been discussed in the past. ...
Article
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Many performance situations, whether in everyday life or, e.g., in sports, require speeded responses. Reaction time (RT) in laboratory tasks—as an index of processing speed—can be improved through neurofeedback training (NFT). Learning to enhance the power of a high EEG frequency (> 10 Hz; e.g. beta band), suppressing a low frequency (< 10 Hz; e.g., theta band), or reducing the ratio between low- and high-frequency powers by means of NFT has been found to improve performance in attention and RT tasks. We aimed to test the frequency specificity of these effects on different aspects of attention and RT performance, and to explore the application of the protocols in athletes. NFT aiming to reduce the power ratio between theta (4–7 Hz) and mid-beta (15–18 Hz) ranges was compared with NFT enhancing power in the low-beta range (sensory motor rhythm [SMR] 12–15 Hz). Following two baseline measurements, participating soccer players (N = 38) were randomly assigned to train for 10 sessions with one of theta/beta ratio (TBR), SMR, or one session with a sham protocol. Training effects were measured by d2, simple, and choice RT tasks and by power of trained frequencies in the EEG. NFT did not lead to modifications in the trained frequency bands and was not able to improve attention or RT performance. The findings of this well-controlled study strongly indicate that the effects of NFT are smaller than what can be inferred from published studies. Clearly, more research is needed in order to establish the effect of NFT on optimizing performance.
... EEG NFT encourages individuals to learn self-regulation at the level of brain activity (Cooke et al., 2018), which has been associated with the optimal psychological state for sports performance (Vernon, 2005). Despite efforts to apply NFT to elevate performance in precision sports (Arns et al., 2008;Berka et al., 2010;Cheng et al., 2015;Kao et al., 2014;Landers et al., 1991;Ring et al., 2015;Rostami et al., 2012;Sherlin et al., 2015), a recent meta-analysis has shown that existing evidence supporting the effectiveness of EEG NFT protocols in changing the EEG and improving sports performance is inconsistent (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... Fourth, some unexpected changes in other EEG frequency bands have been observed (Landers et al., 1991). However, these potential problems may stem from methodological limitations rather than from NFT efficacy (Vernon, 2005;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... 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
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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.
... In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the research potential of the application of electroencephalography (EEG) to the analysis of cortical activity in the most relevant phases of action in various sports: preparation and execution (Vernon, 2005;Perry et al., 2011;Park et al., 2015;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
... There is a relevant corpus of works where these findings are explained (Xiang et al., 2018): ...
... NFT could be based on different frequencies, coming from different cortical areas (Fajardo and Guzmán, 2016;Xiang et al., 2018). Different cortical areas of the brain produce different rhythms: ...
... Thus far, most research based on the expert-novice paradigm has shown that, when performing at an optimal level, experts exhibit more functional psycho-bio-social states than when performing poorly and in comparison to novices (Ericsson 2007;Ruiz et al. 2017;Tenenbaum et al. 2013). Key characteristics of optimal performance include a focus on the present, physical and psychological relaxation (i.e., absence of somatic and cognitive anxiety), high levels of confidence, and effortless "automatic" movement (Williams and Krane 2020). Relevant to the present study, these characteristics of optimal Communicated by Bill J Yates. ...
... Second, EEG is one of the most commonly used brain-imaging methods in sports because of its portability and high ecological validity (Holmes and Wright 2017;Yarrow et al. 2009). Third, EEG power frequency spectrum analysis is very relevant to inform applied neurofeedback interventions aiming to increase the probability of optimal performance experiences (Pacheco 2016;Strack et al. 2011;Xiang et al. 2018). To this extent, there is consensus that optimal performance experiences in sports are a multidimensional phenomenon indexed in the brain by different brain rhythms, particularly alpha (relaxation), beta (sensory-motor integration) and theta (focused attention) waves (Cheron et al. 2016;Pacheco 2016). ...
... Thus, the notions of neural proficiency and transient hypofrontality might not be at odds with one another. In theory, athletes need to engage and disengage different areas of their brains to perform at optimal levels (i.e., brain proficiency); however, their frontal lobe is working at the lowest rate possible (i.e., transient hypofrontality) and that is likely why athletes' report feelings of automaticity, control, confidence, and relaxation when performing at optimal levels (Csikszentmihalyi and Jackson 1999;Williams and Krane 2020). ...
Article
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We examined changes in brain rhythms in relation to optimal performance in self-paced sports. Eight studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria, representing 153 participants and eight different sports. We found that (a) optimal performance is characterised by increased alpha (g = .62, p = .02) and theta (g = .74, p = .002) across the cortex; (b) during optimal performance the frontal lobe is more relaxed (higher alpha; g = 1.06, p = .18) and less busy (lower theta; g = .38, p = .08), in comparison to the other brain lobes; (c) for the same given task, experts’ brains are more relaxed (higher alpha, g = .89, p = .34) and less busy (lower theta, g = .91, p = .54) than novices’ brains. Theoretically, our findings suggest that neural efficiency, neural proficiency, and transient hypofrontality are likely complementary neural mechanisms that underpin optimal performance. In practice, neurofeedback training should teach athletes how to amplify and suppress their alpha and theta activity across the brain during all movement stages.
... 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. ...
... However, existing research remains limited and has several methodological limitations. A meta-analysis conducted by Xiang et al. (2018) yielded only 10 randomized control trials, and when controlling for the moderator of control group design, it was suggested, "the evidence for specific EEG protocols' effectiveness in improving sport performance was rather weak" (p. 120). ...
... 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. ...
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.
... 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). However, because few research samples have met strict standards, the reliability of the results might be in question. ...
... 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). However, because few research samples have met strict standards, the reliability of the results might be in question. ...
... Previous SP-NFT studies are usually classified by experimental paradigm, such as theta rhythm training, alpha rhythm training, SMR training, or other combination of multiple rhythms (Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). This classification method is convenient for researchers to quickly understand the experimental paradigm of feedback training and can facilitate communication between scholars. ...
Article
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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.
... Although the application of neuro-feedback training in sports dates back to 1991, being first applied in archery, reviews of neuro-feedback application in sports had been absent (Mirifar et al. 2017). Recently, however, neuro-feedback has rapidly gained popularity in exercise and sports science research with the publication of numerous systematic reviews and meta-analysis in the last three years (Colzato et al. 2017;Mirifar et al. 2017;Xiang et al. 2018). Literature suggests that the use of neurofeedback training can help athletes in learning to regulate their brain activity (Ring et al. 2015), and can be applied in sports to enhance both physical and mental performance, either in separate sessions or during athletic training (Colzato et al. 2017). ...
... It is found to be advantageous in terms of motor learning, motion perception, learning rate, muscle strength and fatigue (Colzato et al. 2017). However, its effect on sports performance is found to be weak (Xiang et al. 2018). ...
... Moreover, in a systematic review published in 2018 by Xiang et al. (2018), it was concluded that following neuro-feedback training, athletes can learn to regulate their brain activity and in effect improve sports performance. However, when analyses were restricted to active/placebo controls, the effectiveness of neuro-feedback training was found to be weak which was similar to the current study, whereby the average bowling scores of EEG-MUSE neuro-feedback training group were, in fact, higher than the control but the difference was not statistically significant. ...
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.
... 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
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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.
... 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
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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.
... The use of these profiles led to better putting performance than under the control condition. These results suggest that the effectiveness of NFT is enhanced when linked to individual EEG reading (Xiang, Hou, Liao, Liao, & Hu, 2018). ...
... This cortical specialization has been demonstrated by various non-invasive neurocognitive indicators such as EEG and fMRI. However, relatively little work has been done on understanding how to integrate the results of these various neuroimaging tools and how these combined inputs could be used in NFT studies (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
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.
... Of the 30 included meta-analyses, the majority (n = 18) were published since 2010. The decadal breakdown of meta-analyses was 1980-1989 (n = 1 [14]), 1990-1999 (n = 6 [29][30][31][32][33][34]), 2000-2009 (n = 5 [23,25,26,35,36]), 2010-2019 (n = 12 [18,19,22,27,[37][38][39][40][41][42][43]48]), and 2020-2021 (n = 6 [21,28,[44][45][46][47]). ...
... As for the constructs covered, we categorized the 30 meta-analyses into the following areas: mental practice/imagery [14,29,30,42,46,47], anxiety [26,31,32,35], confidence [26,35,36], cohesion [18,19,23], goal orientation [22,44,48], mood [21,25,34], emotional intelligence [40], goal setting [33], interventions [37], mindfulness [27], music [28], neurofeedback training [43], perfectionism [39], pressure training [45], quiet eye training [41], and self-talk [38]. Multiple effects were generated from meta-analyses that included more than one construct (e.g., tension, depression, etc. [21]; anxiety and confidence [26]). ...
Article
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Sport psychology as an academic pursuit is nearly two centuries old. An enduring goal since inception has been to understand how psychological techniques can improve athletic performance. Although much evidence exists in the form of meta-analytic reviews related to sport psychology and performance, a systematic review of these meta-analyses is absent from the literature. We aimed to synthesize the extant literature to gain insights into the overall impact of sport psychology on athletic performance. Guided by the PRISMA statement for systematic reviews, we reviewed relevant articles identified via the EBSCOhost interface. Thirty meta-analyses published between 1983 and 2021 met the inclusion criteria, covering 16 distinct sport psychology constructs. Overall, sport psychology interventions/variables hypothesized to enhance performance (e.g., cohesion, confidence, mindfulness) were shown to have a moderate beneficial effect (d = 0.51), whereas variables hypothesized to be detrimental to performance (e.g., cognitive anxiety, depression, ego climate) had a small negative effect (d =-0.21). The quality rating of meta-analyses did not significantly moderate the magnitude of observed effects, nor did the research design (i.e., intervention vs. correlation) of the primary studies included in the meta-analyses. Our review strengthens the evidence base for sport psychology techniques and may be of great practical value to practitioners. We provide recommendations for future research in the area.
... The use of these profiles led to better putting performance than under the control condition. These results suggest that the effectiveness of NFT is enhanced when linked to individual EEG reading (Xiang, Hou, Liao, Liao, & Hu, 2018). ...
... This cortical specialization has been demonstrated by various non-invasive neurocognitive indicators such as EEG and fMRI. However, relatively little work has been done on understanding how to integrate the results of these various neuroimaging tools and how these combined inputs could be used in NFT studies (Xiang et al., 2018). ...
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.
... 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
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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.
... Despite the encouraging research results, a recent metaanalysis showed that the beneficial effects of NFT applied in sport performance are rather weak, and future efforts should focus on the application of standard NFT protocols and the adoption of better organized trials to determine the long-term effects of neurofeedback training in practice and competition (Xiang, Hou, Liao, Liao, & Hu, 2018). ...
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.
... 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
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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.
... A control group was used to ensure that learning depended on NFT and not on other factors. The individualized NFT and the control group are two factors of robustness (Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang, Hou, Liao, Liao, & Hu, 2018). ...
Article
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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.
... Previous studies on SP-NFT have not specifically focused on the changes in resting EEG caused by NFT. Therefore, they could not fully demonstrate whether NFT really changed brain activity or whether the observed effect was simply a placebo effect of neurofeedback (Schönenberg et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
Article
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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.
... 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. This meta-analysis indeed revealed a significant effect of NF on both athletes' sport performance and EEG self-regulation abilities. ...
Article
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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.
... 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
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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.
... The rationale of the EEG training target should be theoretically and empirically connected to a task-relevant behaviors (Hammond, 2011;Hung & Cheng, 2018;Mirifar et al., 2017;Xiang et al., 2018). In this sense, a pre-post test comparison regarding the changes on EEG activity, behavioral outcomes, and subjective mental states are recommended to be reported in the NFT study in sports performance (Hung & Cheng, 2018;Orndorff-Plunkett, Singh, Aragón, & Pineda, 2017). ...
Thesis
The brain and the behavior are interconnected. To study the superior performance, a fundamental approach is to get the insight into what happens in the brain during the performance. In this dissertation, the focus is to investigate the missing link between the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis and the electroencephalography (EEG) activity. Psychomotor efficiency hypothesis denotes that the adaptive cortical processes, developed by the expertise, leads to superior performance. The primary goal of this dissertation is to find out the specific EEG index, which reflects the crucial cortical processing in the psychomotor performance, to provide the evidence on establishing an ideal neurofeedback training for sports performance enhancement. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the theoretical backgrounds regarding the relationship between cortical activities and superior sports performance. An introduction of the relevant theories is given to address the unresolved questions between the cortical activities and psychomotor efficiency hypothesis in the superior performance. Then, further missing links are pointed out to explain the rationale of the following studies, especially the candidate EEG index, the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), and the expected outcomes when applying the SMR for the neurofeedback training. Chapter 2 explores the first evidence on the missing link between the sensorimotor rhythm and superior performance in sports. An overall introduction and discussion on a cross-sectional study between expert dart-throwers and novices on dart-throwing performance are provided. The expert dart-throwers demonstrated a higher activity on the SMR power before releasing the dart when compared to the novices. This main result shed light on the connection of SMR and the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis in precision sports performance. Chapter 3 provides further insights into the detailed accounts of the intra-individual difference in SMR power in air-pistol shooting performance. A study was conducted to investigate the SMR power between the personal best and worst air-pistol shooting performance during the preparation period in pre-elite shooters. The results exhibited that the best shooting performance was related to significant higher SMR power compared to the worst shooting performance during the preparation period. Also, the connectivity of the cortical information processing was reduced during the preparation period of the best shooting performance compared to the worst shooting performance. This study suggests that the activity of the SMR is sensitive on psychomotor performance. Hence, the SMR may serve as the training target for the EEG neurofeedback training on sports performance enhancement. Chapter 4 further investigated the potential application of the EEG neurofeedback training on golf putting performance. An EEG neurofeedback intervention with pre-elite golfers was carried out to investigate the beneficial effects of the augmentation on SMR power. The pre-elite golfers received eight sessions of training, and they demonstrated an improved putting performance after the neurofeedback training. In contrast, the pre-elite golfers in the control group did not show the improvement after a pseudo neurofeedback training. The results indicate the positive effects of augmented SMR neurofeedback training on precision sports performance. Chapter 5 summarizes the key findings of the studies and several recommendations for future studies are provided. In particular, the suggestions for establishing a general EEG neurofeedback training protocol in sports performance enhancement are provided. In sum, the theoretical contributions of the present work elaborated the link between the signature cortical activities and its indication to the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis. From an applied perspective, the current work calls for establishing an ideal protocol for future EEG neurofeedback training research in sports performance enhancement.
... Mirifar et al. stress the fact that the studies' quality was non-optimal. A similar conclusion was drawn by Xiang et al. [110] following their metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials aimed at assessing the efficiency of neurofeedback procedures to improve sport performance. This meta-analysis, which included 10 studies of which, 6 focuses on low beta SMR (12-15 Hz), revealed a significant effect of neurofeedback on both athletes' sport performance and EEG self-regulation abilities. ...
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 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.
... Although some evidence supports the effectiveness of BFT/NFT in improving sport performance, the evidence is generally inconsistent and of mixed quality (Xiang, Hou, Liao, Liao, & Hu, 2018). These inconsistencies may be attributed to the high variability in BFT/NFT protocols, skill levels of participants, and rationales for selecting target modalities. ...
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.
... In addition, one meta-analysis examined the effects of neurofeedback on epilepsy (Tan et al. 2009). Other reviews have examined the effects of this technique on ASD (García-Berjillos et al. 2015), stroke (Renton et al. 2017), eating disorders (Imperatori et al. 2018), and athletes' sports performance (Xiang et al. 2018). ...
Article
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For more than a decade, neurofeedback interventions have been applied with the goal of improving cognitive functions in older adults. Some of these studies have been reviewed, but only in combination with experiments conducted in young adults or with studies seeking to modify functions not related to cognition. The purpose of the present review is to assess whether neurofeedback interventions benefit cognition in elderly adults. We included all neurofeedback studies conducted in older adults, whether healthy or affected by a clinical condition, that attempted to ameliorate any domain of cognition, with no restrictions by publication date. Fourteen studies were eligible for this review. Neurofeedback improved memory in healthy and unhealthy participants mainly when the theta and sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) frequencies were trained. In addition, other cognitive domains benefited from this intervention. Conversely, neurofeedback had no effect on attention processes. Although different studies used markedly different methods, almost all of them reported positive effects of neurofeedback in at least one cognitive domain. New interventions under consideration should be tested using placebo-controlled, double-blind experimental designs with follow-up evaluations.
... However, in front of the number of protocols tested, many debates exist. Fortunately, a recent meta-analysis (Xiang et al., 2018) reported improvement in performance with neurofeedback training that has to be moderated by a group control design. Virtual reality is another way to improve performance. ...
Chapter
Understanding the interactions between brain activity and behavior comprehensively in achieving optimal exercise performance in sports is still lacking. The existent research in this area has been limited by the constraints of sports environments and the robustness of the most suitable non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods (electroencephalography, EEG and functional near-infrared spectroscopy, fNIRS) to motion artifacts and noise. However, recent advances in brain mapping technology should improve the capabilities of the future brain imaging devices to assess and monitor the level of adaptive cognitive-motor performance during exercise in sports environments. The purpose of this position manuscript is to discuss the contributions and issues in behavioral neuroscience related to brain activity measured during exercise and in various sports. A first part aims to give an overview of EEG and fNIRS neuroimaging methods assessing electrophysiological activity and hemodynamic responses of the acute and chronic relation of physical exercise on the human brain. Then, methodological issues, such as the reliability of brain data during physical exertion, key limitations and possible prospects of fNIRS and EEG methods are provided. While the use of such methods in sports environments remains scarce and limited to controlled cycling task, new generation of wearable, whole-scalp EEG and fNIRS technologies could open up a range of new applications in sports sciences for providing neuroimaging-based biomarkers (hemodynamic and/or neural electrical signals) to various types of exercise and innovative training.
... Mirifar et al. stress the fact that the studies' quality was non-optimal. A similar conclusion was drawn by Xiang et al. [110] following their metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials aimed at assessing the efficiency of neurofeedback procedures to improve sport performance. This meta-analysis, which included 10 studies of which, 6 focuses on low beta SMR (12-15 Hz), revealed a significant effect of neurofeedback on both athletes' sport performance and EEG self-regulation abilities. ...
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.
... 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
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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.
... One category of literature reviews embraces studies with interventions that require the use of technology and are related to different measurements of sport performance. As a good example could serve a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials aimed at assessing the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT) on sport performance and EEG power (Xiang et al., 2018). Participants represented different skill levels and sport domains. ...
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.
... One category of literature reviews embraces studies with interventions that require the use of technology and are related to different measurements of sport performance. As a good example could serve a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials aimed at assessing the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT) on sport performance and EEG power (Xiang et al., 2018). Participants represented different skill levels and sport domains. ...
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.
... Objective psychophysiological data monitoring is particularly relevant to the design and implementation of biofeedback interventions to improve performance and well-being in sport settings (Filho, 2015). In this regard, extant previous research has suggested that biofeedback and neurofeedback interventions targeting different body channels (e.g., brain waves, heart rate [HR] variability) are effective for performance enhancement in sports (for reviews see Morgan & Mora, 2017;Pacheco, 2016;Xiang et al., 2018). ...
Article
Putting is paramount to performance in golf and differentiates low and high achievers in the sport. In the present study, we compared the heart rate, respiration rate, and galvanic skin response for missed and holed putts performed by 13 skilled male golfers from a 12-ft (3.65-m) distance. Contrary to our expectations, no significant effects were observed for heart rate and respiration rate, likely because skilled athletes (a) engage in preperformance routines and are able to control their breathing rhythms, which in turn influence their heart rate; and (b) physiological responses are idiosyncratic, akin to the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning framework. Congruent with our expectations, we observed a significant effect for galvanic skin response, with higher values observed for missed putts. This effect was robust to individual differences and suggests that biofeedback interventions aimed at enhancing awareness of autonomous physiological responses can be beneficial for performance enhancement in golf putting.
... Activation is then preprocessed in real-time and fed back to the user [15]. Modulating brain activation patterns in a desired direction using NF is used to improve cognitive or motoric performances in the context of neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological training [17], sports [33], acting performance [6], or improving sleeping quality [23]. ...
Chapter
In brain-computer interface applications such as neurofeedback (NF), traditional 2D visual feedback has been replaced frequently by more sophisticated 3D virtual reality (VR) scenarios. VR is considered to be more motivating and to increase NF training success. However, hard evidence on user experience in set-ups combining VR-EEG NF has been scarcely reported. Hence, we evaluated user experience on cybersickness, discomfort/pain, technology acceptance and motivational factors and compared them between a 3D and a 2D VR scenario. Additionally, we focused on possible sex differences. 68 subjects received one VR-neurofeedback session with either a 3D or 2D VR paradigm. Statistical analyses showed that sickness was higher after the VR-NF training than before, and women experienced higher sickness values than men. Further, women reported more subjective pressure sensations on the head, eye burning and headache, as well as higher technology anxiety, less perceived usefulness of the used technology and less perceived technology accessibility. No dimensionality or sex differences regarding subjective feeling of flow and presence were found. Moreover, no differences between the 3D and 2D VR scenarios were observed. Our results indicate sex differences in user experience in VR-based NF paradigms, which should be considered when using VR as feedback modality in future NF applications. In contrast, 3D or 2D presentation of the VR scenario did not affect user experience, indicating that more immersive 3D VR scenarios do not cause more negative side effects than the less immersive 2D VR scenario.
... These results reflect successful NFT based on the relative SMR feedback value in the neurofeedback group (Gruzelier et al. 2006;Kerstin et al. 2008;Schabus et al. 2014;Vernon et al. 2003). Accordingly, our subjects were able to learn how to adapt and generalize mental alertness, physical relaxation, which corresponded to increasing SMR activity (Marzbani et al. 2016;Xiang et al. 2018). ...
Article
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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.
... 52,53 A meta-analysis on existing neurofeedback studies indicated a significant effect of improving sport performance. 54 Another application of the neural findings is to scout young athletes with talents. 1 Traditional talent identification is primarily based on physiological measures and performance displayed at a specific time point. However, current research has shown limitations of the traditional approach, given the fact that an athlete's career success cannot be predicted by early performance. ...
Article
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Background/objective Investigating the neural mechanisms underlying sport performance has been a research focus in the field of sport science. The current review aims to identify distinct characteristics between athletes and non-athletes at behavioral and neural levels. Further analysis was conducted as to potential reasons that contributed to the differences. Methods Literature was searched through PubMed, ScienceDirect, Cochrane, EBSCO, and Web of Science for EEG studies that compared athletes with non-athletes or novices in behavioral performance and brain function. Results The process of literature search and selection identified 16 studies that satisfied the predetermined inclusion criteria. Theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands were employed as the primary EEG measures of cortical activities in the included studies. Athletes indicated significant advantages over controls in behavioral performance, Hedges′g=0.42,p=0.02, and brain function, Hedges′g=0.49,p=0.03. Moderator analysis on behavioral performance indicated a large effect size in sport-related performance, Hedges′g=0.90,p=0.01, but a small, non-significant effect size in general tasks, Hedges′g=0.14,p=0.44. Conclusions Superior performance in sport-related tasks mostly contributed to athletes’ significant advantage in behavioral performance. Additionally, favorable profiles of brain function associated with athletes included neural efficiency, increased cortical asymmetry, greater cognitive flexibility, and precise timing of cortical activation. Applying EEG technique to sport has shown promising directions in performance improvement and talent identification for young athletes.
... Neurofeedback is a neuromodulation technique that aims to self-regulate brain activity patterns to improve specific functions (Ehlis et al., 2018;Xiang et al., 2018;Jeunet et al., 2019). In healthy individuals, theta electroencephalography (EEG) power increases during neurofeedback training have been shown to assist in improving motor sequential learning (Rozengurt et al., 2016), and high sensorimotor rhythm power has been associated with better motor performance in a sporting task (Cheng et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Neurofeedback is a neuromodulation technique used to improve brain function by self-regulating brain activity. However, the efficacy of neurofeedback training varies widely between individuals, and some participants fail to self-regulate brain activity. To overcome intersubject variation in neurofeedback training efficacy, it is critical to identify the factors that influence this type of neuromodulation. In this study, we considered that individual differences in cognitive ability may influence neurofeedback training efficacy and aimed to clarify the effect of individual working memory (WM) abilities, as characterized by sensory modality dominance, on neurofeedback training efficacy in healthy young adults. In particular, we focused on the abilities of individuals to retain internal (tactile or somatosensory) or external (visual) body information in their WM. Forty participants performed functional near-infrared spectroscopy-based neurofeedback training aimed at producing efficient and lower-level activity in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar cortex. We carried out a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind study that compared WM ability before and after neurofeedback training. Individual WM ability was quantified using a target searching task that required the participants to retain spatial information presented as vibrotactile or visual stimuli. Participants who received feedback information based on their own prefrontal activity showed gradually decreasing activity in the right prefrontal area during the neurofeedback training and demonstrated superior WM ability during the target searching task with vibrotactile stimuli compared with the participants who performed dummy neurofeedback training. In comparison, left prefrontal activity was not influenced by the neurofeedback training. Furthermore, the efficacy of neurofeedback training (i.e., lower right prefrontal activity and better searching task performance) was higher in participants who exhibited tactile dominance rather than visual dominance in their WM. These findings indicate that sensory modality dominance in WM may be an influential neurophysiological factor in determining the efficacy of neurofeedback training. These results may be useful in the development of neurofeedback training protocols tailored to individual needs.
... 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). ...
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Neurofeedback training (NFT) refers to a training where the participants voluntarily aim to manipulate their own brain activity using the sensory feedback abstracted from their brain activity. NFT has attracted attention in the field of motor learning for its potential to become an alternative or additional training method for general physical training. In this study, a systematic review of NFT studies for motor performance improvements in healthy adults and a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of NFT were conducted. To identify relevant studies published between January 1st, 1990 to August 3rd, 2021, a computerized search was performed using the databases, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, JDreamIII, and Ichushi-Web. Thirty-two studies were identified for the qualitative synthesis and 13 randomized controlled trials (286 subjects) for the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis revealed significant effects of NFT for motor performance improvement examined at the timing after the last NFT session (standardized mean difference = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.40–1.53), but with the existence of publication biases and substantial heterogeneity among the trials. Subsequent subgroup meta-analysis demonstrated reliable benefits when the NFT is performed longer than 1 week. The effectiveness of NFT for each motor performance measurement (e.g., speed, accuracy, and hand dexterity) remains unclear because of high heterogeneity or due to small sample size. Further accumulation of empirical NFT studies for motor performance improvement will be necessary to provide reliable evidence about the NFT effects on specific motor skills and to safely incorporate NFT into real-world scenarios.
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There is a well-established link between experiencing traumatic events in childhood such as witnessing violence and later perpetration of domestic violence. Within the United States, literature in the area of domestic violence has largely neglected the link between the neuroscience of trauma exposure in childhood and later instances of perpetration. Few research studies have explored the neurological impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult offending behavior. Additionally, the most common treatment models for these offenders do not focus on addressing prior trauma that may be related to offending behavior. Through the development of two theoretical models, this paper explores the relationship between childhood trauma and later perpetration of domestic violence. This paper argues that ACTV (Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior), a relatively new treatment model that incorporates elements of mindfulness, interoception, and experiential avoidance may be an effective treatment intervention for domestic violence offenders with a history of trauma.
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An increasingly common dialogue among mental health professionals revolves around adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and developmental trauma. ACEs can occur in a number of ways with a myriad of potential outcomes, often making treatment choices difficult. During critical stages of neurodevelopmental growth, trauma makes a mark on the brain and body at a physiological level. Although the National Institute of Mental Health's Research Domain Criteria have been used to address this brain–body impact, the far-reaching scope of implications needs grounding in a theoretical framework. The current paper discusses developmental trauma and proposes a new reciprocally determinant model that advocates for neuroscience-informed counseling interventions such as neurofeedback therapy. Clinical implications and considerations for counselors are discussed.
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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.
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Social neuroscience benefits from the experimental manipulation of neuronal activity. One possible manipulation, neurofeedback, is an operant conditioning-based technique in which individuals sense, interact with, and manage their own physiological and mental states. Neurofeedback has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric illnesses, as well as to treat sub-clinical symptoms, and even to enhance performance in healthy populations. Despite growing interest, there persists a level of distrust and/or bias in the medical and research communities in the USA toward neurofeedback and other functional interventions. As a result, neurofeedback has been largely ignored, or disregarded within social neuroscience. We propose a systematic, empirically-based approach for assessing the effectiveness, and utility of neurofeedback. To that end, we use the term perturbative physiologic plasticity to suggest that biological systems function as an integrated whole that can be perturbed and guided, either directly or indirectly, into different physiological states. When the intention is to normalize the system, e.g., via neurofeedback, we describe it as self-directed neuroplasticity, whose outcome is persistent functional, structural, and behavioral changes. We argue that changes in physiological, neuropsychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and societal functioning following neurofeedback can serve as objective indices and as the metrics necessary for assessing levels of efficacy. In this chapter, we examine the effects of neurofeedback on functional connectivity in a few clinical disorders as case studies for this approach. We believe this broader perspective will open new avenues of investigation, especially within social neuroscience, to further elucidate the mechanisms and effectiveness of these types of interventions, and their relevance to basic research.
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Multimodal neurofeedback estimates brain activity using information acquired with more than one neurosignal measurement technology. In this paper we describe how to set up and use a hybrid platform based on simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), then we illustrate how to use it for conducting bimodal neurofeedback experiments. The paper is intended for those willing to build a multimodal neurofeedback system, to guide them through the different steps of the design, setup, and experimental applications, and help them choose a suitable hardware and software configuration. Furthermore, it reports practical information from bimodal neurofeedback experiments conducted in our lab. The platform presented here has a modular parallel processing architecture that promotes real-time signal processing performance and simple future addition and/or replacement of processing modules. Various unimodal and bimodal neurofeedback experiments conducted in our lab showed high performance and accuracy. Currently, the platform is able to provide neurofeedback based on electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, but the architecture and the working principles described here are valid for any other combination of two or more real-time brain activity measurement technologies.
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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.
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Practice of a motor skill results in improved performance and decreased movement awareness. The psychomotor efficiency hypothesis proposes that the development of motor expertise through practice is accompanied by physiological refinements whereby irrelevant processes are suppressed and relevant processes are enhanced. The present study employed a test–retest design to evaluate the presence of greater neurophysiological efficiency with practice and mediation analyses to identify the factors accounting for performance improvements, in a golf putting task. Putting performance, movement-specific conscious processing, electroencephalographic alpha power and alpha connectivity were measured from 12 right-handed recreational golfers (age: M = 21 years; handicap: M = 23) before and after 3 practice sessions. As expected, performance improved and conscious processing decreased with training. Mediation analyses revealed that improvements in performance were partly attributable to increased regional gating of alpha power and reduced cross-regional alpha connectivity. However, changes in conscious processing were not associated with performance improvements. Increased efficiency was manifested at the neurophysiological level as selective inhibition and functional isolation of task-irrelevant cortical regions (temporal regions) and concomitant functional activation of task-relevant regions (central regions). These findings provide preliminary evidence for the development of greater psychomotor efficiency with practice in a precision aiming task.
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In recent years, EEG-neurofeedback training (EEG-NFB) has been increasingly used to optimize various brain functions. Better performance in various activities was also reported after relaxation trainings, another popular method in therapeutic practice. Both these methods are used as a part of professional coaching in sports training centers. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of such holistic training on physiological (EEG) and behavioral measures on semi-professional athletes. EEG-NFB paradigm was intended for amplification of the amplitudes of SMR (12-15 Hz) and beta1 (13-20 Hz) bands and simultaneous reduction of the amplitude of theta (4-7.5 Hz) and beta2 (20-30 Hz). Participation in NFB sessions was accompanied with self-administration of relaxing, audio-visual stimulation after each daily athletic training session. The training program resulted in the increase of alpha and beta1 power of trained participants when assessed in rest with eyes-closed. In eyes - open state, participants of the trained group maintained the same level in all frequency bands, in opposite to the control subjects, whose power decreased in the second measurement in beta1 band when compared to the first one. The trained group exhibited greater reduction of reaction times in a test of visual attention than the control group and showed improvement in several performance measures of Kraepelin’s work-curve, used to evaluate speed, effectiveness and work accuracy. Together, these results present initial support for the use of holistic, neurophysiological training in sports workout.
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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.
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Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.
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Objective: We undertook a meta-analysis of published Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) with semi-active control and sham-NF groups to determine whether Electroencephalogram-neurofeedback (EEG-NF) significantly improves the overall symptoms, inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity dimensions for probably unblinded assessment (parent assessment) and probably blinded assessment (teacher assessment) in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Data sources: A systematic review identified independent studies that were eligible for inclusion in a random effects meta-analysis. Data extraction: Effect sizes for ADHD symptoms were expressed as standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Five identified studies met eligibility criteria, 263 patients with ADHD were included, 146 patients were trained with EEG-NF. On parent assessment (probably unblinded assessment), the overall ADHD score (SMD = −0.49 [−0.74, −0.24]), the inattention score (SMD = −0.46 [−0.76, −0.15]) and the hyperactivity/impulsivity score (SMD = −0.34 [−0.59, −0.09]) were significantly improved in patients receiving EEG-NF compared to controls. On teacher assessment (probably blinded assessment), only the inattention score was significantly improved in patients receiving EEG-NF compared to controls (SMD = −0.30 [−0.58, −0.03]). Conclusions: This meta-analysis of EEG-NF in children with ADHD highlights improvement in the inattention dimension of ADHD symptoms. Future investigations should pay greater attention to adequately blinded studies and EEG-NF protocols that carefully control the implementation and embedding of training.
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Strizhkova O,Cherapkina L, Strizhkova T. Neurofeedback course applying of high skilled gymnasts in competitive period. J. Hum. Sport Exerc. Vol. 7, No. Proc1, pp. S185-S193, 2012. Carried out researches with 28 high skilled gymnasts (15 – main group, 13 – control group) allowed to define the neurofeedback influence on functional condition of the sportswomen in competitive period. Neurofeedback course promotes improvement of rapidity of complex coordinating movements' memorization, vestibular stability and self-estimation of functional condition. Also it conducts to alpha-rhythm power increasing at left hemisphere. Neurofeedback course efficiency is defined by index of change of course average alpha-rhythm power with 100% prognostic accuracy. Attention switching, attention stability and self-estimation of sleep and memory are predictors of neurofeedback course successfulness.
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Knowledge of the psychophysiological responses that characterize optimal motor performance is required to inform biofeedback interventions. This experiment compared cortical, cardiac, muscular, and kinematic activity in 10 experts and 10 novices as they performed golf putts in low- and high-pressure conditions. Results revealed that in the final seconds preceding movement, experts displayed a greater reduction in heart rate and EEG theta, high-alpha, and beta power, when compared to novices. EEG high-alpha power also predicted success, with participants producing less high-alpha power in the seconds preceding putts that were holed compared to those that were missed. Increased pressure had little impact on psychophysiological activity. It was concluded that greater reductions in EEG high-alpha power during preparation for action reflect more resources being devoted to response programming, and could underlie successful accuracy-based performance.
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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.
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Although many psychological disorders have significant basis in neurobiological dysfunction, most treatment approaches either neglect biological aspects of the problem, or approach dysfunction through pharmacological treatment alone, which may expose individuals to negative side effects. In recent decades, neurofeedback has been promoted as an alternative approach to treating neurobiological dysfunction. Neurofeedback helps individuals gain control over subtle brain activity fluctuations through real-time rewards for pre-established target brainwave frequencies at specific cortical locations. This paper reviews the effectiveness of neurofeedback in a range of conditions, including ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, substance use, PTSD, and learning difficulties. Neurofeedback has emerged as superior or equivalent to either alternative or no treatment in many of the examined studies, suggesting it produces some effects worthy of further examination. In light of its potential to address neurobiological dysfunction directly, future research is suggested in order to refine protocols, as well as to establish effectiveness and efficacy. Potential mechanisms of neurofeedback are discussed, including global connectivity, neuroplasticity, and reinforcement of the default mode network, central executive network, and salience network.
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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.
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Objective: Nonpharmacological treatments are available for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although their efficacy remains uncertain. The authors undertook meta-analyses of the efficacy of dietary (restricted elimination diets, artificial food color exclusions, and free fatty acid supplementation) and psychological (cognitive training, neurofeedback, and behavioral interventions) ADHD treatments. Method: Using a common systematic search and a rigorous coding and data extraction strategy across domains, the authors searched electronic databases to identify published randomized controlled trials that involved individuals who were diagnosed with ADHD (or who met a validated cutoff on a recognized rating scale) and that included an ADHD outcome. Results: Fifty-four of the 2,904 nonduplicate screened records were included in the analyses. Two different analyses were performed. When the outcome measure was based on ADHD assessments by raters closest to the therapeutic setting, all dietary (standardized mean differences=0.21-0.48) and psychological (standardized mean differences=0.40-0.64) treatments produced statistically significant effects. However, when the best probably blinded assessment was employed, effects remained significant for free fatty acid supplementation (standardized mean difference=0.16) and artificial food color exclusion (standardized mean difference=0.42) but were substantially attenuated to nonsignificant levels for other treatments. Conclusions: Free fatty acid supplementation produced small but significant reductions in ADHD symptoms even with probably blinded assessments, although the clinical significance of these effects remains to be determined. Artificial food color exclusion produced larger effects but often in individuals selected for food sensitivities. Better evidence for efficacy from blinded assessments is required for behavioral interventions, neurofeedback, cognitive training, and restricted elimination diets before they can be supported as treatments for core ADHD symptoms.
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Alpha-band oscillations are the dominant oscillations in the human brain and recent evidence suggests that they have an inhibitory function. Nonetheless, there is little doubt that alpha-band oscillations also play an active role in information processing. In this article, I suggest that alpha-band oscillations have two roles (inhibition and timing) that are closely linked to two fundamental functions of attention (suppression and selection), which enable controlled knowledge access and semantic orientation (the ability to be consciously oriented in time, space, and context). As such, alpha-band oscillations reflect one of the most basic cognitive processes and can also be shown to play a key role in the coalescence of brain activity in different frequencies.
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Explored whether hemispheric asymmetry and heart rate (HR) deceleration occur as a result of learning. Continuous EEG and HR activity of 11 right-handed adult archers enrolled in a 15-wk beginning archery class were monitored while they shot 16 arrows at a target 10 m away. Results show that at Week 2 (pretest), there were no significant hemispheric differences nor deceleration of HR. At Week 14 (posttest), when archers had improved their performance 62%, significant HR deceleration and EEG asymmetries were found; at 0.5 sec prior to arrow release, significant differences were observed between best and worst shots at 12 Hz in the left hemisphere and 4 Hz in the right hemisphere. Results at 12 Hz were the same as those found for elite archers where a greater increase in left hemisphere alpha activity was associated with worst shots. (French, German, Spanish & Italian abstracts) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Research conclusions in the social sciences are increasingly based on meta-analysis, making questions of the accuracy of meta-analysis critical to the integrity of the base of cumulative knowledge. Both fixed effects (FE) and random effects (RE) meta-analysis models have been used widely in published meta-analyses. This article shows that FE models typically manifest a substantial Type I bias in significance tests for mean effect sizes and for moderator variables (interactions), while RE models do not. Likewise, FE models, but not RE models, yield confidence intervals for mean effect sizes that are narrower than their nominal width, thereby overstating the degree of precision in meta-analysis findings. This article demonstrates analytically that these biases in FE procedures are large enough to create serious distortions in conclusions about cumulative knowledge in the research literature. We therefore recommend that RE methods routinely be employed in meta-analysis in preference to FE methods.
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Objectives A multi-action plan (MAP) intervention model has been applied to the Italian shooting team in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics to help athletes improve, stabilise, and optimise their performances during practice and competition. Design A longitudinal design was adopted to assess the intervention effects over two years. Methods Fifteen participants, two female and three male carbine shooters, and five female and five male pistol shooters, took part in the study. First, shooters were requested to accurately and extensively describe their usually optimal sequence of actions for the execution of a single shot from start to follow-through. Second, shooters were asked to identify a small number of the most important core components (three or four) deemed fundamental to optimal performance. Third, performers were engaged in several shooting sessions and asked to assess themselves by rating the quality of each core component. Finally, the most influential core components were further assessed under conditions of increased distress and simulated competition. Results Core component ratings were linked to shooting scores classified as optimal or suboptimal. The probability levels of optimal/suboptimal performance associated with the core component ratings were derived using logistical ordinal regression analysis. The full links among core component scores and the full range of shooting scores were also examined through path analysis. Conclusions Findings highlighted the benefits of using the MAP intervention model in the preparation of elite level shooters.
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The aim of this paper was to review all randomized published trials and unpublished conference presentations on the neurofeedback (NF) treatment of pediatric ADHD, and their relevance, strengths, and limitations. Via PsychInfo and Medline searches and contacts with NF researchers 14 studies were identified and reviewed. The majority were conducted from 1994 to 2010, with 5- to 15-year-olds, usually male and White with the combined type of ADHD. Most studies used theta/beta NF with a unipolar-electrode placement at Cz and demonstrated, where reported, an overall ADHD mean effect size of d = 0.69, a medium effect. Main study strengths, within some studies, include use of randomization, treatment control conditions, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, evidence-based assessment of ADHD, standard treatment outcome measures, multidomain assessment, and, for some studies, moderate sample size, some type of blind and the identification of medication as a concomitant treatment. Main study limitations (and directions for future research) include the lack of adequate blinding of participants, raters and NF trainers, a sham-NF/blinded control treatment condition, posttreatment follow-up, generalizability, specific details about delivery of NF, identification and control of comorbidity, and the identification, measurement, and control of concomitant treatments and potential side effects. Based on the results and methodologies of published studies, this review concludes that NF for pediatric ADHD can be currently considered as "probably efficacious."
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Since the first reports of neurofeedback treatment in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 1976, many studies have investigated the effects of neurofeedback on different symptoms of ADHD such as inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. This technique is also used by many practitioners, but the question as to the evidence-based level of this treatment is still unclear. In this study selected research on neurofeedback treatment for ADHD was collected and a meta-analysis was performed. Both prospective controlled studies and studies employing a pre-and post-design found large effect sizes (ES) for neurofeedback on impulsivity and inattention and a medium ES for hyperactivity. Randomized studies demonstrated a lower ES for hyperactivity suggesting that hyperactivity is probably most sensitive to nonspecific treatment factors. Due to the inclusion of some very recent and sound methodological studies in this meta-analysis, potential confounding factors such as small studies, lack of randomization in previous studies and a lack of adequate control groups have been addressed, and the clinical effects of neurofeedback in the treatment of ADHD can be regarded as clinically meaningful. Three randomized studies have employed a semi-active control group which can be regarded as a credible sham control providing an equal level of cognitive training and client-therapist interaction. Therefore, in line with the AAPB and ISNR guidelines for rating clinical efficacy, we conclude that neurofeedback treatment for ADHD can be considered “Efficacious and Specific” (Level 5) with a large ES for inattention and impulsivity and a medium ES for hyperactivity.
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Previous sport research on elite athletes has shown systematic changes in psychophysiological measures, such as heart rate (HR) deceleration and hemispheric asymmetries in EEG activity, in the few seconds prior to executing a motor response. These changes are believed to be due to a more focused attention on the external environment. Using archery (an attentive state), this investigation was designed to examine: (a) whether hemispheric asymmetry and HR deceleration would occur during the aiming period, and (b) if they did, whether this would affect performance. HR and left and right temporal EEG were recorded from 28 right-handed elite archers for 16 shots. The results indicated that (a) there was no HR deceleration; (b) during the aiming period, EEG alpha activity formed the dominant frequency and this was significantly greater in the left than in the right hemisphere; (c) there were no significant right hemisphere EEG changes in spectral power from 3 s before the shot to arrow release, but there were significant left hemisphere increases at 10, 12, and 24 Hz; and (d) at 1 s prior to the shot, there were no significant right hemisphere spectral power differences between best and worst shots, but there were significant left hemisphere differences at 6, 12, and 28 Hz. The relationships among hemispheric asymmetry, HR deceleration, attentional processes, and shooting performance are discussed.
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Cochrane Reviews have recently started including the quantity I 2 to help readers assess the consistency of the results of studies in meta-analyses. What does this new quantity mean, and why is assessment of heterogeneity so important to clinical practice? Systematic reviews and meta-analyses can provide convincing and reliable evidence relevant to many aspects of medicine and health care.1 Their value is especially clear when the results of the studies they include show clinically important effects of similar magnitude. However, the conclusions are less clear when the included studies have differing results. In an attempt to establish whether studies are consistent, reports of meta-analyses commonly present a statistical test of heterogeneity. The test seeks to determine whether there are genuine differences underlying the results of the studies (heterogeneity), or whether the variation in findings is compatible with chance alone (homogeneity). However, the test is susceptible to the number of trials included in the meta-analysis. We have developed a new quantity, I 2, which we believe gives a better measure of the consistency between trials in a meta-analysis. Assessment of the consistency of effects across studies is an essential part of meta-analysis. Unless we know how consistent the results of studies are, we cannot determine the generalisability of the findings of the meta-analysis. Indeed, several hierarchical systems for grading evidence state that the results of studies must be consistent or homogeneous to obtain the highest grading.2–4 Tests for heterogeneity are commonly used to decide on methods for combining studies and for concluding consistency or inconsistency of findings.5 6 But what does the test achieve in practice, and how should the resulting P values be interpreted? A test for heterogeneity examines the null hypothesis that all studies are evaluating the same effect. The usual test statistic …
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Alpha-theta neurofeedback has been shown to produce professionally significant performance improvements in music students. The present study aimed to extend this work to a different performing art and compare alpha-theta neurofeedback with another form of biofeedback: heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback. Twenty-four ballroom and Latin dancers were randomly allocated to three groups, one receiving neurofeedback, one HRV biofeedback and one no intervention. Dance was assessed before and after training. Performance improvements were found in the biofeedback groups but not in the control group. Neurofeedback and HRV biofeedback benefited performance in different ways. A replication with larger sample sizes is required.
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Psychomotor efficiency has been linked with processing efficiency during sport performance. Reduced cortical activity in the sensorimotor area has been related to less variability in the movement preparation that is conducive to skilled motor performance. This study proposes sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), 12–15 Hz of the electroencephalogram (EEG) in the sensorimotor area, may be used to investigate psychomotor efficiency in sports performance. Twenty-four skilled air pistol shooters were recruited to fire 40 shots while EEG and shooting accuracy were recorded. The data show that improved performance of skilled shooters is associated with higher SMR power during the last second and lower coherence on high alpha power at Fz-T3 before action initiation. A negative relationship is also exhibited between the SMR power and the shooting performance during the aiming. This finding suggests that reduced interference from sensorimotor processing, as reflected by elevated SMR power, may be related to improved processing efficiency during the aiming period. We conclude that SMR may be used to understand psychomotor efficiency underlying air-pistol shooting performance.
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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.
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Objective: We performed meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials to examine the effects of neurofeedback on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and neuropsychological deficits in children and adolescents with ADHD. Method: We searched PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, ERIC, and CINAHAL through August 30, 2015. Random-effects models were employed. Studies were evaluated with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Results: We included 13 trials (520 participants with ADHD). Significant effects were found on ADHD symptoms rated by assessors most proximal to the treatment setting, that is, the least blinded outcome measure (standardized mean difference [SMD]: ADHD total symptoms = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.11-0.59; inattention = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.09-0.63; hyperactivity/impulsivity = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.08-0.43). Effects were not significant when probably blinded ratings were the outcome or in trials with active/sham controls. Results were similar when only frequency band training trials, the most common neurofeedback approach, were analyzed separately. Effects on laboratory measures of inhibition (SMD = 0.30, 95% CI = -0.10 to 0.70) and attention (SMD = 0.13, 95% CI = -0.09 to 0.36) were not significant. Only 4 studies directly assessed whether learning occurred after neurofeedback training. The risk of bias was unclear for many Cochrane Risk of Bias domains in most studies. Conclusion: Evidence from well-controlled trials with probably blinded outcomes currently fails to support neurofeedback as an effective treatment for ADHD. Future efforts should focus on implementing standard neurofeedback protocols, ensuring learning, and optimizing clinically relevant transfer.
Article
Previous evidence suggests that augmented sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) activity is related to the superior regulation of processing cognitive-motor information in motor performance. However, no published studies have examined the relationship between SMR and performance in precision sports; thus, this study examined the relationship between SMR activity and the level of skilled performance in tasks requiring high levels of attention (e.g., dart throwing). We hypothesized that skilled performance would be associated with higher SMR activity. Fourteen dart-throwing experts and eleven novices were recruited. Participants were requested to perform 60 dart throws while EEG was recorded. The 2 (Group: Expert, Novice) x 2 (Time window: –2000 ms to –1000 ms, –1000 ms to 0 ms) ANOVA showed that the dart-throwing experts maintained a relatively higher SMR power than the novices before dart release. These results suggest that SMR might reflect the adaptive regulation of cognitive-motor processing during the preparatory period.