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Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2019 Mar;44(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s10484-018-9420-6.

19 Channel Z-Score and LORETA Neurofeedback: Does the Evidence Support the Hype?

Author information

1
Integrated Neuroscience Services, 92 W. Sunbridge Drive, Fayetteville, AR, 72701, USA.
2
University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
3
Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. martijn@brainclinics.com.
4
Research Institute Brainclinics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. martijn@brainclinics.com.
5
neuroCare Group, Munich, Germany. martijn@brainclinics.com.

Abstract

Neurofeedback is a well-investigated treatment for ADHD and epilepsy, especially when restricted to standard protocols such as theta/beta, slow cortical potentials and sensori-motor rhythm neurofeedback. Advances in any field are welcome and other techniques are being pursued. Manufacturers and clinicians are marketing 'superior' neurofeedback approaches including 19 channel Z-score neurofeedback (ZNFB) and 3-D LORETA neurofeedback (with or without Z-scores; LNFB). We conducted a review of the empirical literature to determine if such claims were warranted. This review included the above search terms in Pubmed, Google scholar and any references that met our criteria from the ZNFB publication list and was restricted to group based studies examining improvement in a clinical population that underwent peer review (book chapters, magazine articles or conference presentations are not included since these are not peer reviewed). Fifteen relevant studies emerged with only six meeting our criterion. Based on review of these studies it was concluded that empirical validation of these approaches is sorely lacking. There is no empirical data that supports the notion that 19-channel z-score neurofeedback is effective or superior. The quality of studies for LNFB was better compared to ZNFB and some suggestion for efficacy was demonstrated for ADHD and Tinnitus distress. However, these findings need to be replicated, extended to other populations and have yet to show any "superiority." Our conclusions continue to emphasize the pervasive lack of evidence supporting these approaches to neurofeedback and the implications of this are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

LORETA neurofeedback; Multichannel neurofeedback; Review; Z-Score neurofeedback

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