The effectiveness of EEG-feedback on attention, impulsivity and EEG: A sham feedback controlled study

Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.03). 07/2010; 479(1):49-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.05.026
Source: PubMed


EEG-feedback, also called neurofeedback, is a training procedure aimed at altering brain activity, and is used as a treatment for disorders like Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies have reported positive effects of neurofeedback on attention and other dependent variables. However, double-blind studies including a sham neurofeedback control group are lacking. The inclusion of such group is crucial to control for unspecific effects. The current work presents a sham-controlled, double-blind evaluation. The hypothesis was that neurofeedback enhances attention and decreases impulsive behavior. Participants (n=27) were students selected on relatively high scores on impulsivity/inattention questionnaires (Barrat Impulsivity Scale and Broadbent CFQ). They were assigned to a neurofeedback treatment or a sham group. (sham)Neurofeedback training was planned for 15 weeks consisting of a total of 30 sessions, each lasting 22 min. Before and after 16 sessions (i.e., interim analyses), qEEG was recorded and impulsivity and inattention was assessed using a stop signal task and reversed continuous performance task and two questionnaires. Results of the interim analyses showed that participants were blind with respect to group inclusion, but no trend towards an effect of neurofeedback on behavioral measures was observed. Therefore in line with ethical guidelines the experiment was ceased. These results implicate a possible lack of effect of neurofeedback when one accounts for non-specific effects. However, the specific form of feedback and application of the sham-controlled double-blind design may have diminished the effect of neurofeedback.

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    • "More than half-a-century ago neurofeedback came on the scene promoting the main non-invasive technology of the day, EEG, to " image " the living human brain. Although EEG-nf may still hold some appeal as an alternative to conventional medical treatment, mounting evidence refutes the clinical superiority of feedback training over sham treatment (Arnold et al., 2013;Esmail & Linden, 2014;Lansbergen et al., 2011;Lofthouse, Arnold, Hersch, Hurt, & DeBeus, 2012;Logeman, Lansbergen, van Os, Bocker, & Kenemans, 2010;Linck, Lessard, L evesque, &Beauregard, 2010;Sonuga-Barke et al., 2013;Thibault et al., 2015;Van Dongen-Boomsma, Vollebregt, Slaats-Willemse, & Buitelaar, 2013;Vollebregt, van Dongen-Boomsma, Buitelaar, & Slaats-Willemse, 2014;Zuberer, Brandeis, & Drechsler, 2015). Nonetheless, EEG-nf remains a relatively active clinical field boasting international accreditation boards, specialized academic journals, and over a thousand practitioners (Thibault et al., 2015). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofeedback, one of the primary examples of self-regulation, designates a collection of techniques that train the brain and help to improve its function. Since coming on the scene in the 1960s, electroencephalography-neurofeedback has become a treatment vehicle for a host of mental disorders; however, its clinical effectiveness remains controversial. Modern imaging technologies of the living human brain (e.g., real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging) and increasingly rigorous research protocols that utilize such methodologies begin to shed light on the underlying mechanisms that may facilitate more effective clinical applications. In this paper we focus on recent technological advances in the field of human brain imaging and discuss how these modern methods may influence the field of neurofeedback. Toward this end, we outline the state of the evidence and sketch out future directions to further explore the potential merits of this contentious therapeutic prospect.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Cortex
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    • "On the other hand, delta and theta are referred to as slow wave activity associated with states like drowsiness and daydreaming. In previous studies, children diagnosed with ADHD were observed to produce lower beta activity and excess theta activity[27,52,53]. Therefore, these children are neurologically less inclined to focus and concentrate and more inclined to daydream. "
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder, in characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity attention, and impulsivity. It is commonly treated with psychostimulants that typically begins during childhood and lasts for an extended period of time. However, there are concerns regarding the consequences of chronic psychostimulant treatment; thus, there is a growing search for an alternative management for ADHD. One non-pharmacological management that is gaining much interest is environmental enrichment. Here, we investigated the effects of rearing in an enriched environment (EE) on the expression of ADHD-like symptoms in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR), an animal model of ADHD. SHRs were reared in EE or standard environment (SE) from post-natal day (PND) 21 until PND 49. Thereafter, behavioral tests that measure hyperactivity (open field test [OFT]), inattention (Y-maze task), and impulsivity (delay discounting task) were conducted. Additionally, electroencephalography (EEG) was employed to assess the effects of EE on rat's brain activity. Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, the normotensive counterpart of SHRs, were used to determine whether the effects of EE were specific to a particular genetic background. EE improved performance in the OFT and Y-maze task, but not the delay discounting task, in both SHR and WKY. Interestingly, EE induced significant EEG changes in WKY, but not in SHR. These findings show that rearing environment may play a role in the expression of ADHD-like symptoms in SHR and that EE may be considered as a putative complementary approach in managing ADHD symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Physiology & Behavior
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    • "Moreover, questions remain regarding the adaptability of such protocols to the realities of an outpatient clinical practice, in which there is less an emphasis on standardization than on the ability to modify the treatment approach in response to clinical considerations, such as client response. Such tailoring of training protocols has been a recent focus for researchers (Arns, Conners, & Kraemer, 2013; Arns, Heinrich, & Strehl, 2014; Escolano, Navarro-Gil, Garcia-Campayo, Congedo, & Minguez, 2014; Lansbergen, van DongenBoomsma, Buitelaar, & Slaats-Willemse, 2011; Logemann, Lansbergen, Van Os, Böcker, & Kenemans, 2010). Given these considerations, the aim of this paper is to provide additional information regarding how neurofeedback training might be used for treating individuals with chronic pain in the context of an active clinical practice. "

    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · NeuroRegulation
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