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Electroencephalographic biofeedback of SMR and beta for treatment of attention deficit disorders in a clinical setting


Six children were provided with long-term biofeedback and academic treatment for attention deficit disorders. Their symptoms were primarily specific learning disabilities, and, in some cases, there were varying degrees of hyperkinesis. The training consisted of two sessions per week for 10 to 27 months, with a gradual phase-out. Feedback was provided for either increasing 12-to 15-Hz SMR or 16- to 20-Hz beta activity. Inhibit circuits were employed for blocking the SMR or beta when either gross movement, excessive EMG, or theta (4–8 Hz) activity was present. Treatment also consisted of combining the biofeedback with academic training, including reading, arithmetic, and spatial tasks to improve their attention. All children increased SMR or beta and decreased slow EEG and EMG activity. Changes could be seen in their power spectra after training in terms of increased beta and decreased slow activity. All six children demonstrated considerable improvement in their schoolwork in terms of grades or achievement test scores. None of the children are currently on any medications for hyperkinetic behavior. The results indicate that EEG biofeedback training, if applied comprehensively, can be highly effective in helping to remediate children who are experiencing attention deficit disorders.

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The authors would like to thank Mr. Kevin Bianchini for his assistance in this study.

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Lubar, J.O., Lubar, J.F. Electroencephalographic biofeedback of SMR and beta for treatment of attention deficit disorders in a clinical setting. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 9, 1–23 (1984).

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  • Considerable Improvement
  • Achievement Test
  • Spatial Task
  • Beta Activity
  • Biological Psychology