Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 2090–2100 | Cite as

Facilitating Neurofeedback in Children with Autism and Intellectual Impairments Using TAGteach

  • Kristen LaMarcaEmail author
  • Richard Gevirtz
  • Alan J. Lincoln
  • Jaime A. Pineda
Original Paper


Individuals with autism and intellectual impairments tend to be excluded from research due to their difficulties with methodological compliance. This study focuses on using Teaching with Acoustic Guidance—TAGteach—to behaviorally prepare children with autism and a IQ ≤ 80 to participate in a study on neurofeedback training (NFT). Seven children (ages 6–8) learned the prerequisite skills identified in a task analysis in an average of 5 h of TAGteach training, indicating that this is a feasible method of preparing intellectually-impaired children with autism to participate in NFT and task-dependent electroencephalography measures. TAGteach may thus have the potential to augment this population’s ability to participate in less accessible treatments and behavioral neuroscientific studies.


Autism Low-functioning Intellectual impairment TAGteach Conditioned reinforcement Auditory secondary reinforcement Mirror neurons Mu rhythms Neurofeedback 



Thanks to Yvonne Searcy and Theresa McKeon for their assistance in training the instructors to implement TAGteach.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the research design, data analyses and interpretation, and writing and preparing of the manuscript. KL conducted the diagnostic assessments, TAGteach training, and data collection. AL supervised the diagnostic testing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen LaMarca
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Richard Gevirtz
    • 1
  • Alan J. Lincoln
    • 1
  • Jaime A. Pineda
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cognitive NeuroscienceUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.VistaUSA

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