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Epilepsy Res. 1996 Nov;25(3):269-76.

Self-regulation of slow cortical potentials in epilepsy: a retrial with analysis of influencing factors.

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Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Twenty sessions of biofeedback training were carried out with 12 drug-resistant patients with focal epilepsy who learned to produce either negative or positive shifts of their slow cortical potentials (SCPs) at vertex. Feedback trials were interspersed with transfer trials in which only a discriminative stimulus (signalizing whether positivity or negativity was required) was presented, without feedback signal. Patients were able to differentiate significantly between the conditions of cortical positivity and cortical negativity, with larger differentiation scores being obtained in feedback trials than in transfer trials. The amplitude of positivity generated in the positivity condition increased linearly across sessions both in feedback and in transfer trials. The largest negativity was produced in the 5th session; after this, more transient negativities were generated, whose amplitude decreased towards the end of trial. The mean severity of seizures, estimated as the frequency of seizures weighted by their subjective 'strength', decreased significantly after training as compared to the pre-training phase. The data suggest that (1) patients could learn to achieve a state of cortical disfacilitation and (2) with progressed learning, they became less motivated for (or afraid of) producing considerable negative shifts, since extensive negativity may reflect cortical over-excitation and therefore be associated with early signs of seizures. The inability of producing cortical negativity is however not necessarily a bad predictor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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