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Neuroimage. 2018 Nov 1;181:807-813. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 May 2.

Time course of clinical change following neurofeedback.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
2
Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, United States.
4
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
5
Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, United States; Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
6
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, United States. Electronic address: michelle.hampson@yale.edu.

Abstract

Neurofeedback - learning to modulate brain function through real-time monitoring of current brain state - is both a powerful method to perturb and probe brain function and an exciting potential clinical tool. For neurofeedback effects to be useful clinically, they must persist. Here we examine the time course of symptom change following neurofeedback in two clinical populations, combining data from two ongoing neurofeedback studies. This analysis reveals a shared pattern of symptom change, in which symptoms continue to improve for weeks after neurofeedback. This time course has several implications for future neurofeedback studies. Most neurofeedback studies are not designed to test an intervention with this temporal pattern of response. We recommend that new studies incorporate regular follow-up of subjects for weeks or months after the intervention to ensure that the time point of greatest effect is sampled. Furthermore, this time course of continuing clinical change has implications for crossover designs, which may attribute long-term, ongoing effects of real neurofeedback to the control intervention that follows. Finally, interleaving neurofeedback sessions with assessments and examining when clinical improvement peaks may not be an appropriate approach to determine the optimal number of sessions for an application.

PMID:
29729393
PMCID:
PMC6454268
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.05.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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