Neurofeedback: Retrain the Brain

Neurofeedback: Retrain the Brain

Meena Gupta (North-Eastern Hill University Shillong, India) and Dinesh Bhatia (North-Eastern Hill University Shillong, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8567-1.ch002


Neurofeedback (NF) is a type of brain wave training based on operant learning. NF has been employed in research and clinical settings for the investigation and treatment of a growing number of psychological illnesses. This technique involves detection of electroencephalographic (EEG) information from the surface of the scalp of a subject by separating its frequency decomposition into its component waveform (alpha, beta, theta, gamma, and delta) and making these components visible usually as polygraphic traces on a computer screen. Neurofeedback is being considered as a promising new method for restoring brain function in a large number of mental disorder cases. NF takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as the brain activity of the concerned individual. About 25 years ago, NF was employed for clinical and research purposes in psychological illness. These psychological illnesses include attention deficit disorder, addiction to drug, depression, stress, and eating disorders.
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Literature Review

In their review article, Grefkes and Fink (2011) suggested that balance within the motor network may be critically disturbed after stroke when the lesion either directly affects any of the brain areas or damages related white matter. A growing body of evidence suggests that abnormal interactions among cortical region remote from the ischemic lesion might also contribute to the motor impairment after stroke. They suggested that pathological intra and inter hemisphere among key motor regions of the brain constitute an important pathophysiological aspect of motor impairment after subcortical stroke. They demonstrated therapeutic interventions such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which aims to interfere with abnormal cortical activity that may correct pathological connectivity not only at the stimulation site but also distant brain regions (Grefkes & Fink, 2011).

In their paper, Escolano, Aguilar, and Minguez (2011) have revealed therapeutic effect of Neurofeedback to treat a variety of neurological and psychological disorders and have demonstrated its feasibility to improve certain aptitudes in healthy users. Their aim was to improve working memory performance in healthy users by the enhancement of upper alpha band. In their study EEG assessment in active and passive eyes open state were conducted pre and post neurofeedback training. It showed significance improvement in working memory of the healthy users (Escolano, Aguilar, & Minguez 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

CZ: Central zone.

CL: Classical learning.

ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactive disorder.

NFB: Neurofeedback.

SMR: Sensory motor rhythm.

QEEG: Qualitative electroencephalogram.

OC: Operant conditioning.

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