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Elife. 2017 Sep 16;6. pii: e28974. doi: 10.7554/eLife.28974.

Direct modulation of aberrant brain network connectivity through real-time NeuroFeedback.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States.
2
Functional MRI Facility, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States.

Abstract

The existence of abnormal connectivity patterns between resting state networks in neuropsychiatric disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has been well established. Traditional treatment methods in ASD are limited, and do not address the aberrant network structure. Using real-time fMRI neurofeedback, we directly trained three brain nodes in participants with ASD, in which the aberrant connectivity has been shown to correlate with symptom severity. Desired network connectivity patterns were reinforced in real-time, without participants' awareness of the training taking place. This training regimen produced large, significant long-term changes in correlations at the network level, and whole brain analysis revealed that the greatest changes were focused on the areas being trained. These changes were not found in the control group. Moreover, changes in ASD resting state connectivity following the training were correlated to changes in behavior, suggesting that neurofeedback can be used to directly alter complex, clinically relevant network connectivity patterns.

KEYWORDS:

ASD; human; neurofeedback; neuroscience; real-time fMRI

PMID:
28917059
PMCID:
PMC5626477
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.28974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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