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Nov 29, 2006

Relaxation strategies and enhancement of hypnotic susceptibility

Relaxation strategies and enhancement of hypnotic susceptibility: EEG neurofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis.

Brain Res Bull. 2006 Dec 11;71(1-3):83-90

Authors: Batty MJ, Bonnington S, Tang BK, Hawken MB, Gruzelier JH

Hypnosis has been shown to be efficacious in a range of clinical conditions, including the management of chronic pain. However, not all individuals are able to enter a hypnotic state, thereby limiting the clinical utility of this technique. We sought to determine whether hypnotic susceptibility could be increased using three methods thought to facilitate relaxation, with particular interest in an EEG neurofeedback protocol which elevated the theta to alpha ratio. This was compared with progressive muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis. Ten subjects with moderate levels of susceptibility (2-7/12) were randomly assigned to each condition and assessed for hypnotic susceptibility prior to and upon completion of 10 sessions of training. Hypnotic susceptibility increased post-training in all groups, providing further evidence that operant control over the theta/alpha ratio is possible, but contrary to our predictions, elevation of the theta/alpha ratio proved no more successful than the other interventions. Nonetheless, all three techniques successfully enhanced hypnotic susceptibility in over half of the participants (17/30), a similar incidence to that reported using other methods. As previously reported, the majority who were not susceptible to modification were at the lower levels of susceptibility, and the greater increases tended to occur in the more susceptible subjects. However, here enhancement was disclosed in some at low levels, and capability was found of reaching high levels, both features not typically reported. Further research is warranted.

Nov 21, 2006

Self-regulation of slow cortical potentials: a new treatment for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Self-regulation of slow cortical potentials: a new treatment for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Pediatrics. 2006 Nov;118(5):e1530-40

Authors: Strehl U, Leins U, Goth G, Klinger C, Hinterberger T, Birbaumer N

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effects of self-regulation of slow cortical potentials for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Slow cortical potentials are slow event-related direct-current shifts of the electroencephalogram. Slow cortical potential shifts in the electrical negative direction reflect the depolarization of large cortical cell assemblies, reducing their excitation threshold. This training aims at regulation of cortical excitation thresholds considered to be impaired in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Electroencephalographic data from the training and the 6-month follow-up are reported, as are changes in behavior and cognition. METHOD: Twenty-three children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder aged between 8 and 13 years received 30 sessions of self-regulation training of slow cortical potentials in 3 phases of 10 sessions each. Increasing and decreasing slow cortical potentials at central brain regions was fed back visually and auditorily. Transfer trials without feedback were intermixed with feedback trials to allow generalization to everyday-life situations. In addition to the neurofeedback sessions, children exercised during the third training phase to apply the self-regulation strategy while doing their homework. RESULTS: For the first time, electroencephalographic data during the course of slow cortical potential neurofeedback are reported. Measurement before and after the trials showed that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder learn to regulate negative slow cortical potentials. After training, significant improvement in behavior, attention, and IQ score was observed. The behavior ratings included Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, number of problems, and social behavior at school and were conducted by parents and teachers. The cognitive variables were assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and with a computerized test battery that measures several components of attention. All changes proved to be stable at 6 months' follow-up after the end of training. Clinical outcome was predicted by the ability to produce negative potential shifts in transfer sessions without feedback. CONCLUSIONS: According to the guidelines of the efficacy of treatments, the evidence of the efficacy of slow cortical potential feedback found in this study reaches level 2: "possibly efficacious." In the absence of a control group, no causal relationship between observed improvements and the ability to regulate brain activity can be made. However, it could be shown for the first time that good performance in self-regulation predicts clinical outcome. "Good performance" was defined as the ability to produce negative potential shifts in trials without feedback, because it is known that the ability to self-regulate without feedback is impaired in children and adults with attention problems. Additional research should focus on the control of unspecific effects, medication, and subtypes to confirm the assumption that slow cortical potential feedback is a viable treatment option for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Regulation of slow cortical potentials may involve similar neurobiological pathways as medical treatment. It is suggested that regulation of frontocentral negative slow cortical potentials affects the cholinergic-dopaminergic balance and allows children to adapt to task requirements more flexibly.

Nov 07, 2006

Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine

Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: A meta-analysis.

Pain. 2006 Nov 1;

Authors: Nestoriuc Y, Martin A

In this article, we meta-analytically examined the efficacy of biofeedback (BFB) in treating migraine. A computerized literature search of the databases Medline, PsycInfo, Psyndex and the Cochrane library, enhanced by a hand search, identified 86 outcome studies. A total of 55 studies, including randomized controlled trials as well as pre-post trials, met our inclusion criteria and were integrated. A medium effect size (d =0.58, 95% CI=0.52, 0.64) resulted for all BFB interventions and proved stable over an average follow-up phase of 17 months. Also, BFB was more effective than control conditions. Frequency of migraine attacks and perceived self-efficacy demonstrated the strongest improvements. Blood-volume-pulse feedback yielded higher effect sizes than peripheral skin temperature feedback and electromyography feedback. Moderator analyses revealed BFB in combination with home training to be more effective than therapies without home training. The influence of the meta-analytical methods on the effect sizes was systematically explored and the results proved to be robust across different methods of effect size calculation. Furthermore, there was no substantial relation between the validity of the integrated studies and the direct treatment effects. Finally, an intention-to-treat analysis showed that the treatment effects remained stable, even when drop-outs were considered as nonresponders.

Nov 01, 2006

Validating the efficacy of neurofeedback for optimising performance

Validating the efficacy of neurofeedback for optimising performance.

Prog Brain Res. 2006;159:421-31

Authors: Gruzelier J, Egner T, Vernon D

The field of neurofeedback training has largely proceeded without validation. Here we review our studies directed at validating SMR, beta and alpha-theta protocols for improving attention, memory, mood and music and dance performance in healthy participants. Important benefits were demonstrable with cognitive and neurophysiological measures which were predicted on the basis of regression models of learning. These are initial steps in providing a much needed scientific basis to neurofeedback, but much remains to be done.

Oct 31, 2006

Neurofeedback for the treatment of epilepsy

Foundation and practice of neurofeedback for the treatment of epilepsy.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Mar;31(1):21-35

Authors: Sterman MB, Egner T

This review provides an updated overview of the neurophysiological rationale, basic and clinical research literature, and current methods of practice pertaining to clinical neurofeedback. It is based on documented findings, rational theory, and the research and clinical experience of the authors. While considering general issues of physiology, learning principles, and methodology, it focuses on the treatment of epilepsy with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training, arguably the best established clinical application of EEG operant conditioning. The basic research literature provides ample data to support a very detailed model of the neural generation of SMR, as well as the most likely candidate mechanism underlying its efficacy in clinical treatment. Further, while more controlled clinical trials would be desirable, a respectable literature supports the clinical utility of this alternative treatment for epilepsy. However, the skilled practice of clinical neurofeedback requires a solid understanding of the neurophysiology underlying EEG oscillation, operant learning principles and mechanisms, as well as an in-depth appreciation of the ins and outs of the various hardware/software equipment options open to the practitioner. It is suggested that the best clinical practice includes the systematic mapping of quantitative multi-electrode EEG measures against a normative database before and after treatment to guide the choice of treatment strategy and document progress towards EEG normalization. We conclude that the research literature reviewed in this article justifies the assertion that neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy/seizure disorders constitutes a well-founded and viable alternative to anticonvulsant pharmacotherapy.

Sep 30, 2006

Increasing cortical activity in auditory areas through neurofeedback fMRI

Increasing cortical activity in auditory areas through neurofeedback functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Neuroreport. 2006 Aug 21;17(12):1273-8

Authors: Yoo SS, O'Leary HM, Fairneny T, Chen NK, Panych LP, Park H, Jolesz FA

We report a functional magnetic resonance imaging method to deliver task-specific brain activities as biofeedback signals to guide individuals to increase cortical activity in auditory areas during sound stimulation. A total of 11 study participants underwent multiple functional magnetic resonance imaging scan sessions, while the changes in the activated cortical volume within the primary and secondary auditory areas were fed back to them between scan sessions. On the basis of the feedback information, participants attempted to increase the number of significant voxels during the subsequent trial sessions by adjusting their level of attention to the auditory stimuli. Results showed that the group of individuals who received the feedback were able to increase the activation volume and blood oxygenation level-dependent signal to a greater degree than the control group.

Sep 21, 2006

Follow-up study of learning-disabled children treated with neurofeedback or placebo

Follow-up study of learning-disabled children treated with neurofeedback or placebo.

Clin EEG Neurosci. 2006 Jul;37(3):198-203

Authors: Becerra J, Fernández T, Harmony T, Caballero MI, García F, Fernández-Bouzas A, Santiago-Rodríguez E, Prado-Alcalá RA

This report is a 2-year follow-up to a previous study describing positive behavioral changes and a spurt of EEG maturation with theta/alpha neurofeedback (NFB) training in a group of Learning Disabled (LD) children. In a control paired group, treated with placebo, behavioral changes were not observed and the smaller maturational EEG changes observed were easily explained by increased age. Two years later, the EEG maturational lag in Control Group children increased, reaching abnormally high theta Relative Power values; the absence of positive behavioral changes continued and the neurological diagnosis remained LD. In contrast, after 2 years EEG maturation did continue in children who belonged to the Experimental Group with previous neurofeedback training; this was accompanied by positive behavioral changes, which were reflected in remission of LD symptoms.

Sep 06, 2006

Neurofeedback with functional magnetic resonance imaging

Increasing cortical activity in auditory areas through neurofeedback functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Neuroreport. 2006 Aug 21;17(12):1273-1278

Authors: Yoo SS, Oʼleary HM, Fairneny T, Chen NK, Panych LP, Park H, Jolesz FA

We report a functional magnetic resonance imaging method to deliver task-specific brain activities as biofeedback signals to guide individuals to increase cortical activity in auditory areas during sound stimulation. A total of 11 study participants underwent multiple functional magnetic resonance imaging scan sessions, while the changes in the activated cortical volume within the primary and secondary auditory areas were fed back to them between scan sessions. On the basis of the feedback information, participants attempted to increase the number of significant voxels during the subsequent trial sessions by adjusting their level of attention to the auditory stimuli. Results showed that the group of individuals who received the feedback were able to increase the activation volume and blood oxygenation level-dependent signal to a greater degree than the control group.

Aug 04, 2006

Artificial feedback for remotely supervised training of motor skills

Artificial feedback for remotely supervised training of motor skills.

J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12 Suppl 1:50-2

Authors: van Dijk H, Hermens HJ

Electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback can be used to train motor functions at a distance, which makes therapy at home a possibility. To enable patients to train properly without the presence of a therapist, artificial feedback is considered essential. We studied the combined effect of age and timing of artificial feedback on training muscle relaxation in 32 healthy subjects (younger: 20-35 years; older: 55-70 years). All subjects improved their performance significantly (F = 6.1, P<0.001). The effect of different timing of feedback (feedback provided during or after performance) was similar in young and older adults. However, this conclusion should be interpreted with caution owing to the small sample size. It can be argued that the artificial feedback used was too complicated for older adults to interpret. When designing remotely supervised treatment programmes, one should consider carefully the way that artificial feedback is being applied as it may enable (elderly) subjects to train without the presence of a therapist.

Jul 28, 2006

Neurofeedback for children with ADHD: a comparison of SCP- and theta/beta-protocols

Neurofeedback for children with ADHD: a comparison of SCP- and theta/beta-protocols

Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2006;55(5):384-407

Authors: Leins U, Hinterberger T, Kaller S, Schober F, Weber C, Strehl U

Research groups have consistently reported on behavioral and cognitive improvements of children with ADHD after neurofeedback. However, neurofeedback has not been commonly accepted as a treatment for ADHD. This is due, in part, to several methodological limitations. The neurofeedback literature is further complicated by having several different training protocols. Differences between the clinical efficacy of such protocols have not been examined. This study addresses previous methodological shortcomings while comparing the training of theta-beta-frequencies (theta-beta-group) with the training of slow cortical potentials (SCP-group). Each group comprised of 19 children with ADHD that were blind to group assignment. The training procedure consisted of 30 sessions and a six months follow-up training. Pre-/post measures at pretest, the end of the training and the follow-up included tests of attention, intelligence and behavioral variables. After having already reported intermediate data (Strehl et al. 2004), this paper gives account on final results: Both groups are able to voluntarily regulate cortical activity, with the extent of learned self-regulation depending on task and condition. Both groups improve in attention and IQ. Parents and teachers report significant behavioral and cognitive improvements. Clinical effects for both groups remain stable six months after training. Groups do not differ in behavioral or cognitive outcome variables.

Jul 18, 2006

The Significance of Sigma Neurofeedback Training on Sleep Spindles and Aspects of Declarative Memory

The Significance of Sigma Neurofeedback Training on Sleep Spindles and Aspects of Declarative Memory.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Jul 15;

Authors: Berner I, Schabus M, Wienerroither T, Klimesch W

The functional significance of sleep spindles for overnight memory consolidation and general learning aptitude as well as the effect of four 10-minute sessions of spindle frequency (11.6-16 Hz, sigma) neurofeedback-training on subsequent sleep spindle activity and overnight performance change was investigated. Before sleep, subjects were trained on a paired-associate word list task after having received either neurofeedback training (NFT) or pseudofeedback training (PFT).Although NFT had no significant impact on subsequent spindle activity and behavioral outcomes, there was a trend for enhanced sigma band-power during NREM (stage 2 to 4) sleep after NFT as compared to PFT. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation between spindle activity during slow wave sleep (in the first night half) and overall memory performance was revealed. The results support the view that the considerable inter-individual variance in sleep spindle activity can at least be partly explained by differences in the ability to acquire new declarative information.We conclude that the short NFT before sleep was not sufficient to efficiently enhance phasic spindle activity and/or to influence memory processing. NFT was, however, successful in increasing sigma power, presumably because sigma NFT effects become more easily evident in actually trained frequency bands than in associated phasic spindle activity.

Jul 06, 2006

Biofeedback for neuromotor rehabilitation

Recent developments of biofeedback for neuromotor rehabilitation.

J Neuroengineering Rehabil. 2006 Jun 21;3(1):11

Authors: Huang H, Wolf SL, He J

ABSTRACT: The original use of biofeedback to train single muscle activity in static positions or movement unrelated to function did not correlate well to motor function improvements in patients with central nervous system injuries. The concept of task-oriented repetitive training suggests that biofeedback therapy should be delivered during functionally related dynamic movement to optimize motor function improvement. Current, advanced technologies facilitate the design of novel biofeedback systems that possess diverse parameters, advanced cue display, and sophisticated control systems for use in task-oriented biofeedback. In light of these advancements, this article: (1) reviews early biofeedback studies and their conclusions; (2) presents recent developments in biofeedback technologies and their applications to task-oriented biofeedback interventions; and (3) discusses considerations regarding the therapeutic system design and the clinical application of task-oriented biofeedback therapy. This review should provide a framework to further broaden the application of task-oriented biofeedback therapy in neuromotor rehabilitation.

Jun 18, 2006

bio-sensor server

via Information Aesthetic

bodydaemon.jpg

 

bodydaemon is a bio-responsive web server created by media artist Carlo Castellanos, which uses biofeedback sensors to change in realtime its configuration, according to the participant's psychophysiological states

From the project's website:

BodyDaemon is a bio-responsive Internet server. Readings taken from a participant's physical states, as measured by custom biofeedback sensors, are used to power and configure a fully-functional Internet server. For example, more or fewer socket connections are made available based on heart rate, changes in galvanic skin response (GSR) can abruptly close sockets, and muscle movements (EMG) can send data to the client. Other feature's such as logging can be turned on or off depending on a combination of factors. BodyDaemon also includes a client application that makes requests to the BodyDaemon server. The client requests and server responses are sent over a "persistent" or open socket. The client can thus use the data to continuously visualize, sonify or otherwise render the live bio-data. This project is part of larger investigations focusing on the development of protocols for the transfer of live physiological and biological information across the Internet.

BodyDaemon represents the early stages of investigations into the viability of systems that alter their states based off of a person's changing physiological states and intentions - with the ultimate goal of accommodating the development of emergent states of mutual influence between human and machine in a networked ecosystem.
 


diagram

May 21, 2006

Foundation and Practice of Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Foundation and Practice of Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Apr 14;

Authors: Sterman MB, Egner T

This review provides an updated overview of the neurophysiological rationale, basic and clinical research literature, and current methods of practice pertaining to clinical neurofeedback. It is based on documented findings, rational theory, and the research and clinical experience of the authors. While considering general issues of physiology, learning principles, and methodology, it focuses on the treatment of epilepsy with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training, arguably the best established clinical application of EEG operant conditioning. The basic research literature provides ample data to support a very detailed model of the neural generation of SMR, as well as the most likely candidate mechanism underlying its efficacy in clinical treatment. Further, while more controlled clinical trials would be desirable, a respectable literature supports the clinical utility of this alternative treatment for epilepsy. However, the skilled practice of clinical neurofeedback requires a solid understanding of the neurophysiology underlying EEG oscillation, operant learning principles and mechanisms, as well as an in-depth appreciation of the ins and outs of the various hardware/software equipment options open to the practitioner. It is suggested that the best clinical practice includes the systematic mapping of quantitative multi-electrode EEG measures against a normative database before and after treatment to guide the choice of treatment strategy and document progress towards EEG normalization. We conclude that the research literature reviewed in this article justifies the assertion that neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy/seizure disorders constitutes a well-founded and viable alternative to anticonvulsant pharmacotherapy.

Apr 28, 2006

Neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy

Neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy: from basic rationale to practical application.

Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Feb;6(2):247-57

Authors: Egner T, Sterman MB


The treatment of epilepsy through operant conditioning of the sensorimotor rhythm electroencephalogram has a 35-year history. Neurophysiological studies have shown that this phasic oscillation reflects an inhibitory state of the sensorimotor system. Operant learning of sensory motor rhythm production results in an upregulation of excitation thresholds within the thalamocortical sensory and motor circuitry, which in turn is associated with reduced susceptibility to seizures. The clinical benefits derived from this neurofeedback training protocol, particularly in patients that are nonresponsive to pharmacotherapy, have been documented in many independent laboratories. Recent advances in computer technology have resulted in the availability of relatively inexpensive high-quality equipment for the application of neurofeedback therapy, thus presenting a viable and promising treatment alternative to the interested clinician.

Apr 20, 2006

Neurofeedback can alleviate the symptoms of autism

Researcher Jaime Pineda at the University of California, San Diego, has conducted a pilot study to test the efficacy of neurofeedback training in alleviating the symptoms of autism. The work was presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in San Francisco. From New Scientist's report:

The technique involves hooking people up to electrodes and getting them to try and control their brain waves. In people with autism, the "mu" wave is thought to be dysfunctional. Since this wave is associated with "mirror neurons" - the brain cells that underpin empathy and understanding of others - Jaime Pineda at the University of California, San Diego, wondered if controlling it through neurofeedback could exercise faulty mirror neurons and improve their function.

He attached sensors to the necks and heads of eight children with autism and had them watch a video game of a racing car going round a track. For all of the children, sitting still and concentrating kept the car travelling around the track, but five of them were also able to harness their mu waves and use them to adjust the car's speed.

After 30 sessions over 10 weeks, Pineda found that the five children's mu brainwaves had changed and they performed better on tasks involving imitation, typically difficult for people with autism.

Apr 16, 2006

Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Foundation and Practice of Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Epilepsy.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Apr 14;

Authors: Sterman MB, Egner T

This review provides an updated overview of the neurophysiological rationale, basic and clinical research literature, and current methods of practice pertaining to clinical neurofeedback. It is based on documented findings, rational theory, and the research and clinical experience of the authors. While considering general issues of physiology, learning principles, and methodology, it focuses on the treatment of epilepsy with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) training, arguably the best established clinical application of EEG operant conditioning. The basic research literature provides ample data to support a very detailed model of the neural generation of SMR, as well as the most likely candidate mechanism underlying its efficacy in clinical treatment. Further, while more controlled clinical trials would be desirable, a respectable literature supports the clinical utility of this alternative treatment for epilepsy. However, the skilled practice of clinical neurofeedback requires a solid understanding of the neurophysiology underlying EEG oscillation, operant learning principles and mechanisms, as well as an in-depth appreciation of the ins and outs of the various hardware/software equipment options open to the practitioner. It is suggested that the best clinical practice includes the systematic mapping of quantitative multi-electrode EEG measures against a normative database before and after treatment to guide the choice of treatment strategy and document progress towards EEG normalization. We conclude that the research literature reviewed in this article justifies the assertion that neurofeedback treatment of epilepsy/seizure disorders constitutes a well-founded and viable alternative to anticonvulsant pharmacotherapy.

Apr 07, 2006

Fmri investigation of Neurofeedback Training in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigation of the Effects of Neurofeedback Training on the Neural Bases of Selective Attention and Response Inhibition in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Mar 22;

Authors: Beauregard M, Lévesque J

Two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments were undertaken to measure the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT), in AD/HD children, on the neural substrates of selective attention and response inhibition. Twenty unmedicated AD/HD children participated to these experiments. Fifteen children were randomly assigned to the Experimental (EXP) group whereas the other five children were randomly assigned to the Control (CON) group. Only subjects in the EXP group underwent NFT. EXP subjects were trained to enhance the amplitude of the SMR (12-15 Hz) and beta 1 activity (15-18 Hz), and decrease the amplitude of theta activity (4-7 Hz). Subjects from both groups were scanned one week before the beginning of NFT (Time 1) and 1 week after the end of NFT (Time 2), while they performed a "Counting Stroop" task (Experiment 1) and a Go/No-Go task (Experiment 2). At Time 1, in both groups, the Counting Stroop task was associated with significant activation in the left superior parietal lobule. For the Go/No-Go task, no significant activity was detected in the EXP and CON groups. At Time 2, in both groups, the Counting Stroop task was associated with significant activation of the left superior parietal lobule. This time, however, there were significant loci of activation, in the EXP group, in the right ACC, left caudate nucleus, and left substantia nigra. No such activation loci were seen in CON subjects. For the Go/No-Go task, significant loci of activation were noted, in the EXP group, in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, right ACcd, left thalamus, left caudate nucleus, and left substantia nigra. No significant activation of these brain regions was measured in CON subjects. These results suggest that NFT has the capacity to functionally normalize the brain systems mediating selective attention and response inhibition in AD/HD children.

Apr 01, 2006

Effect of neurofeedback training on the neural substrates of selective attention

Effect of neurofeedback training on the neural substrates of selective attention in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

Neurosci Lett. 2006 Feb 20;394(3):216-21

Authors: Lévesque J, Beauregard M, Mensour B

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder mainly characterized by impairments in cognitive functions. Functional neuroimaging studies carried out in individuals with AD/HD have shown abnormal functioning of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during tasks involving selective attention. In other respects, there is mounting evidence that neurofeedback training (NFT) can significantly improve cognitive functioning in AD/HD children. In this context, the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to measure the effect of NFT on the neural substrates of selective attention in children with AD/HD. Twenty AD/HD children--not taking any psychostimulant and without co-morbidity-participated to the study. Fifteen children were randomly assigned to the Experimental (EXP) group (NFT), whereas the other five children were assigned to the Control (CON) group (no NFT). Subjects from both groups were scanned 1 week before the beginning of the NFT (Time 1) and 1 week after the end of this training (Time 2), while they performed a Counting Stroop task. At Time 1, for both groups, the Counting Stroop task was associated with significant loci of activation in the left superior parietal lobule. No activation was noted in the ACC. At Time 2, for both groups, the Counting Stroop task was still associated with significant activation of the left superior parietal lobule. This time, however, for the EXP group only there was a significant activation of the right ACC. These results suggest that in AD/HD children, NFT has the capacity to normalize the functioning of the ACC, the key neural substrate of selective attention.

Mar 29, 2006

Biofeedback in hypertension

The Efficacy of Behavioral Treatments for Hypertension.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Mar 25;

Authors: Linden W, Moseley JV

Evidence is reviewed for the efficacy of behavioral treatments for hypertension. The format chosen here is a review of reviews given that numerous consensus committee reports and quantitative reviews on the topic have been published. Extensive evidence from over 100 randomized controlled trials indicates that behavioral treatments reduce blood pressure (BP) to a modest degree, and this change is greater than what is seen in wait-list or other inactive controls. Effect sizes are quite variable. The observed BP reductions are much greater when BP levels were high at pre-test, and behavioral studies tend to underestimate possible benefits because of floor effects in their protocols. Blood pressure measured in the office may be confounded with measurement habituation. Multi-component, individualized psychological treatments lead to greater BP changes than do single-component treatments. Among biofeedback treatments, thermal feedback and electrodermal activity feedback fare better than EMG or direct BP feedback, which tend to produce null effects. There continues to be a scarcity of strong protocols that properly control for floor effects and potential measurement confounds.