Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 115, Issue 10, pp 1445–1456 | Cite as

Slow cortical potential neurofeedback in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: is there neurophysiological evidence for specific effects?

  • Mirko Doehnert
  • Daniel Brandeis
  • Marc Straub
  • Hans-Christoph Steinhausen
  • Renate Drechsler
Biological Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Original Article


This study compared changes in quantitative EEG (QEEG) and CNV (contingent negative variation) of children suffering from ADHD treated by SCP (slow cortical potential) neurofeedback (NF) with the effects of group therapy (GT) to separate specific from non-specific neurophysiological effects of NF. Twenty-six children (age: 11.1 ± 1.15 years) diagnosed as having ADHD were assigned to NF (N = 14) or GT (N = 12) training groups. QEEG measures at rest, CNV and behavioral ratings were acquired before and after the trainings and statistically analyzed. For children with ADHD-combined type in the NF group, treatment effects indicated a tendency toward improvement of selected QEEG markers. We could not find the expected improvement of CNV, but CNV reduction was less pronounced in good NF performers. QEEG changes were associated with some behavioral scales. Analyses of subgroups suggested specific influences of SCP training on brain functions. To conclude, SCP neurofeedback improves only selected attentional brain functions as measurable with QEEG at rest or CNV mapping. Effects of neurofeedback including the advantage of NF over GT seem mediated by both specific and non-specific factors.


SCP neurofeedback ADHD QEEG CNV 



The authors thank Dr. H. Heinrich for providing the neurofeedback equipment and additional support as well as G. McLoughlin for her final reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirko Doehnert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Brandeis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marc Straub
    • 1
  • Hans-Christoph Steinhausen
    • 1
  • Renate Drechsler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Center for Integrative Human PhysiologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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