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Maintenance of voluntary self-regulation learned through real-time fMRI neurofeedback


Robineau, Fabien; Meskaldji, Djalel E; Koush, Yury; Rieger, Sebastian W; Mermoud, Christophe; Morgenthaler, Stephan; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Scharnowski, Frank (2017). Maintenance of voluntary self-regulation learned through real-time fMRI neurofeedback. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11:131.

Abstract

Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is an emerging technique that allows for learning voluntary control over brain activity. Such brain training has been shown to cause specific behavioral or cognitive enhancements, and even therapeutic effects in neurological and psychiatric patient populations. However, for clinical applications it is important to know if learned self-regulation can be maintained over longer periods of time and whether it transfers to situations without neurofeedback. Here, we present preliminary results from five healthy participants who successfully learned to control their visual cortex activity and who we re-scanned 6 and 14 months after the initial neurofeedback training to perform learned self-regulation. We found that participants achieved levels of self-regulation that were similar to those achieved at the end of the successful initial training, and this without further neurofeedback information. Our results demonstrate that learned self-regulation can be maintained over longer periods of time and causes lasting transfer effects. They thus support the notion that neurofeedback is a promising therapeutic approach whose effects can last far beyond the actual training period.

Abstract

Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is an emerging technique that allows for learning voluntary control over brain activity. Such brain training has been shown to cause specific behavioral or cognitive enhancements, and even therapeutic effects in neurological and psychiatric patient populations. However, for clinical applications it is important to know if learned self-regulation can be maintained over longer periods of time and whether it transfers to situations without neurofeedback. Here, we present preliminary results from five healthy participants who successfully learned to control their visual cortex activity and who we re-scanned 6 and 14 months after the initial neurofeedback training to perform learned self-regulation. We found that participants achieved levels of self-regulation that were similar to those achieved at the end of the successful initial training, and this without further neurofeedback information. Our results demonstrate that learned self-regulation can be maintained over longer periods of time and causes lasting transfer effects. They thus support the notion that neurofeedback is a promising therapeutic approach whose effects can last far beyond the actual training period.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:brain training; maintenance; neurofeedback; real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); self-regulation; visual attention; visual imagery
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:26 Sep 2017 13:48
Last Modified:26 Sep 2017 13:48
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5161
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2017.00131
PubMed ID:28386224

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