Modulation of subgenual anterior cingulate cortex activity with real-time neurofeedback. Hum Brain Mapp

Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
Human Brain Mapping (Impact Factor: 5.97). 01/2011; 32(1):22-31. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20997
Source: PubMed


The advent of real-time neurofeedback techniques has allowed us to begin to map the controllability of sensory and cognitive and, more recently, affective centers in the brain. The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) is thought to be involved in generation of affective states and has been implicated in psychopathology. In this study, we examined whether individuals could use real-time fMRI neurofeedback to modulate sACC activity. Following a localizer task used to identify an sACC region of interest, an experimental group of eight women participated in four scans: (1) a pretraining scan in which they were asked to decrease activity in the sACC without neurofeedback; (2) two training scans in which sACC neurofeedback was presented along with instructions to decrease sACC activity; and (3) a neurofeedback-free post-training scan. An additional nine women in a yoked feedback control group saw sACC activity from the participants in the experimental group. Activity in the sACC was significantly reduced during neurofeedback training in the experimental group, but not in the control group. This training effect in the experimental group, however, did not generalize to the neurofeedback-free post-training scan. A psychophysiological interaction analysis showed decreased correlation in the experimental group relative to the sham control group between activity in the sACC and the posterior cingulate cortex during neurofeedback training relative to neurofeedback-free scans. The finding that individuals can down-modulate the sACC shows that a primary emotion center in which functional abnormality has been strongly implicated in affective disorders can be controlled with the aid of neurofeedback.

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Available from: Ian H Gotlib
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    • "As it turns out, few studies examine sustainability in neurofeedback (Thibault et al., 2015). Whereas some experiments demonstrate that participants retain control over target brain regions (Caria et al., 2007;Mathiak et al., 2015;Robineau et al., 2014;Scharnowski et al., 2015;Zotev, Phillips, Young, et al., 2013;Zotev, Phillips, Yuan, Misaki, & Bodurka, 2013;Zotev et al., 2011), other studies report no such retention (Berman, Horovitz, & Hallett, 2013;Greer et al., 2014;Hamilton et al., 2011;Ruiz et al., 2013;Sulzer, Sitaram, et al., 2013). Thus, the conundrums of mental strategy and sustainability still beg resolution. "
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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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    • "The localization criterion for the region serving as region-of-interest (ROI) for neurofeedback has been widely variable. Some studies focused on specific anatomically defined regions such as the somatomotor cortex (deCharms et al 2004), anterior cingulate cortex (Weiskopf et al 2003), amygdala (Posse et al 2003) and the insula (Posse et al 2003, Weiskopf et al 2003, deCharms et al 2004, 2005, Caria et al 2007, Hamilton et al 2011, Subramanian et al 2011, Ruiz et al 2013). Others preferred to use functionally defined ROIs as target for neuromodulation (deCharms et al 2005, Hamilton et al 2011, Subramanian et al 2011, Ruiz et al 2013, Greer et al 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Current approaches in neurofeedback/brain-computer interface research often focus on identifying, on a subject-by-subject basis, the neural regions that are best suited for self-driven modulation. It is known that the hMT+/V5 complex, an early visual cortical region, is recruited during explicit and implicit motion imagery, in addition to real motion perception. This study tests the feasibility of training healthy volunteers to regulate the level of activation in their hMT+/V5 complex using real-time fMRI neurofeedback and visual motion imagery strategies. Approach: We functionally localized the hMT+/V5 complex to further use as a target region for neurofeedback. An uniform strategy based on motion imagery was used to guide subjects to neuromodulate hMT+/V5. Main results: We found that 15/20 participants achieved successful neurofeedback. This modulation led to the recruitment of a specific network as further assessed by psychophysiological interaction analysis. This specific circuit, including hMT+/V5, putative V6 and medial cerebellum was activated for successful neurofeedback runs. The putamen and anterior insula were recruited for both successful and non-successful runs. Significance: Our findings indicate that hMT+/V5 is a region that can be modulated by focused imagery and that a specific cortico-cerebellar circuit is recruited during visual motion imagery leading to successful neurofeedback. These findings contribute to the debate on the relative potential of extrinsic (sensory) versus intrinsic (default-mode) brain regions in the clinical application of neurofeedback paradigms. This novel circuit might be a good target for future neurofeedback approaches that aim, for example, the training of focused attention in disorders such as ADHD.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Neural Engineering
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    • "Providing pseudo-feedback for example, with the control group receiving feedback of the experimental group's neural activity rather than their own (e.g. Hamilton et al., 2011), or their own feedback from an unrelated brain region (Zotev et al., 2011), may be more appropriate than simply including a group that do not receive any feedback, as providing pseudo-feedback will generate an environment and elicit cognitions or emotions that more closely resemble those in the experimental condition. "

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