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Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Jun;31(2):97-114. Epub 2006 Jul 15.

The significance of sigma neurofeedback training on sleep spindles and aspects of declarative memory.

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1
University of Salzburg, Division of Physiological Psychology, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. iris.berner@gmx.net

Abstract

The functional significance of sleep spindles for overnight memory consolidation and general learning aptitude as well as the effect of four 10-minute sessions of spindle frequency (11.6-16 Hz, sigma) neurofeedback-training on subsequent sleep spindle activity and overnight performance change was investigated. Before sleep, subjects were trained on a paired-associate word list task after having received either neurofeedback training (NFT) or pseudofeedback training (PFT). Although NFT had no significant impact on subsequent spindle activity and behavioral outcomes, there was a trend for enhanced sigma band-power during NREM (stage 2 to 4) sleep after NFT as compared to PFT. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation between spindle activity during slow wave sleep (in the first night half) and overall memory performance was revealed. The results support the view that the considerable inter-individual variance in sleep spindle activity can at least be partly explained by differences in the ability to acquire new declarative information. We conclude that the short NFT before sleep was not sufficient to efficiently enhance phasic spindle activity and/or to influence memory processing. NFT was, however, successful in increasing sigma power, presumably because sigma NFT effects become more easily evident in actually trained frequency bands than in associated phasic spindle activity.

PMID:
16845599
PMCID:
PMC3000596
DOI:
10.1007/s10484-006-9013-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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