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Neurophotonics. 2017 Oct;4(4):045003. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.4.045003. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Neurofeedback-induced facilitation of the supplementary motor area affects postural stability.

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Morinomiya Hospital, Neurorehabilitation Research Institute, Osaka, Osaka, Japan.
Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Suita, Osaka, Japan.
Kawasaki Medical School, Department of Neurology, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan.


Near-infrared spectroscopy-mediated neurofeedback (NIRS-NFB) is a promising therapeutic intervention for patients with neurological diseases. Studies have shown that NIRS-NFB can facilitate task-related cortical activation and induce task-specific behavioral changes. These findings indicate that the effect of neuromodulation depends on local cortical function. However, when the target cortical region has multiple functions, our understanding of the effects is less clear. This is true in the supplementary motor area (SMA), which is involved both in postural control and upper-limb movement. To address this issue, we investigated the facilitatory effect of NIRS SMA neurofeedback on cortical activity and behavior, without any specific task. Twenty healthy individuals participated in real and sham neurofeedback. Balance and hand dexterity were assessed before and after each NIRS-NFB session. We found a significant interaction between assessment periods (pre/post) and condition (real/sham) with respect to balance as assessed by the center of the pressure path length but not for hand dexterity as assessed by the 9-hole peg test. SMA activity only increased during real neurofeedback. Our findings indicate that NIRS-NFB itself has the potential to modulate focal cortical activation, and we suggest that it be considered a therapy to facilitate the SMA for patients with postural impairment.


near-infrared spectroscopy; neurofeedback; postural control; rehabilitation; supplementary motor area

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