Predicting Successful Learning of SMR Neurofeedback in Healthy Participants: Methodological Considerations
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- Weber, E., Köberl, A., Frank, S. et al. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback (2011) 36: 37. doi:10.1007/s10484-010-9142-x
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Neurofeedback (NF) is a tool that has proven helpful in the treatment of various disorders such as epilepsy or attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Depending on the respective application, a high number of training sessions might be necessary before participants can voluntarily modulate the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms as instructed. In addition, many individuals never learn to do so despite numerous training sessions. Thus, we are interested in determining whether or not performance during the early training sessions can be used to predict if a participant will learn to regulate the EEG rhythms. Here, we propose an easy to use, but accurate method for predicting the performance of individual participants. We used a sample set of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR 12–15 Hz) NF training sessions (experiment 1) to predict the performance of the participants of another study (experiment 2). We then used the data obtained in experiment 2 to predict the performance of participants in experiment 1. We correctly predicted the performance of 12 out of 13 participants in the first group and all 14 participants in the second group; however, we were not able to make these predictions before the end of the eleventh training session.