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Control freaks: Towards optimal selection of control conditions for fMRI neurofeedback studies


Sorger, Bettina; Scharnowski, Frank; Linden, David E J; Hampson, Michelle; Young, Kymberly D (2019). Control freaks: Towards optimal selection of control conditions for fMRI neurofeedback studies. NeuroImage, 186:256-265.

Abstract

fMRI Neurofeedback research employs many different control conditions. Currently, there is no consensus as to which control condition is best, and the answer depends on what aspects of the neurofeedback-training design one is trying to control for. These aspects can range from determining whether participants can learn to control brain activity via neurofeedback to determining whether there are clinically significant effects of the neurofeedback intervention. Lack of consensus over criteria for control conditions has hampered the design and interpretation of studies employing neurofeedback protocols. This paper presents an overview of the most commonly employed control conditions currently used in neurofeedback studies and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. Control conditions covered include no control, treatment-as-usual, bidirectional-regulation control, feedback of an alternative brain signal, sham feedback, and mental-rehearsal control. We conclude that the selection of the control condition(s) should be determined by the specific research goal of the study and best procedures that effectively control for relevant confounding factors.

Abstract

fMRI Neurofeedback research employs many different control conditions. Currently, there is no consensus as to which control condition is best, and the answer depends on what aspects of the neurofeedback-training design one is trying to control for. These aspects can range from determining whether participants can learn to control brain activity via neurofeedback to determining whether there are clinically significant effects of the neurofeedback intervention. Lack of consensus over criteria for control conditions has hampered the design and interpretation of studies employing neurofeedback protocols. This paper presents an overview of the most commonly employed control conditions currently used in neurofeedback studies and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. Control conditions covered include no control, treatment-as-usual, bidirectional-regulation control, feedback of an alternative brain signal, sham feedback, and mental-rehearsal control. We conclude that the selection of the control condition(s) should be determined by the specific research goal of the study and best procedures that effectively control for relevant confounding factors.

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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 > Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:12 Apr 2022 07:48
Last Modified:23 May 2024 01:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.11.004
PubMed ID:30423429
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)