Key Points

  • Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback in which neural activity is measured and presented through one or more sensory channels to the participant in real time to facilitate self-regulation of the putative neural substrates that underlie a particular behaviour or pathology
  • Animal and human brain self-regulation has been demonstrated using various invasive and non-invasive recording methods and with different features of the brain signals, such as frequency spectra, functional connectivity or spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity
  • Neurofeedback provides the possibility of endogenously manipulating brain activity as an independent variable, making it a powerful neuroscientific tool
  • Neurofeedback training results in specific neural changes relevant to the trained brain circuit and the associated behavioural changes. These changes have been shown to last anywhere from hours to months after training and to correlate with changes in grey and white matter structure
  • The underlying neural circuitry relating to the process of brain self-regulation is becoming clearer. Accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of the thalamus and the dorsolateral prefrontal, posterior parietal and occipital cortices in neurofeedback control, and the dorsal and ventral striatum, anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula in neurofeedback reward processing

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