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EEG and behavioral changes in a hyperkinetic child concurrent with training of the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR)

A preliminary report


Reduced seizure incidence coupled with voluntary motor inhibition accompanied conditioned increases in the sensorimotor rhythm(SMR), a 12–14 Hz rhythm appearing over rolandic cortex. Although SMR biofeedback training has been successfully applied to various forms of epilepsy in humans, its potential use in decreasing hyperactivity has been limited to a few cases in which a seizure history was also a significant feature. The present study represents a first attempt to explore the technique's applicability to the problem of hyperkinesis independent of the epilepsy issue. The results of several months of EEG biofeedback training in a hyperkinetic child tend to corroborate and extend previous findings. Feedback presentations for SMR were contingent on the production of 12–14-Hz activity in the absence of 4–7-Hz slow-wave activity. A substantial increase in SMR occurred with progressive SMR training and was associated with enhanced motor inhibition, as gauged by laboratory measures of muscular tone(chin EMG) and by a global behavioral assessment in the classroom. Opposite trends in motor inhibition occurred when the training procedure was reversed and feedback presentations were contingent on the production of 4–7 Hz in the absence of 12–14-Hz activity. Although the preliminary nature of these results is stressed, the subject population has recently been increased to establish the validity and generality of the findings and will include the use of SMR biofeedback training after medication has been withdrawn.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joel F. Lubar.

Additional information

This research was a segment of the junior author's dissertation research.

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Lubar, J.F., Shouse, M.N. EEG and behavioral changes in a hyperkinetic child concurrent with training of the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR). Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 1, 293–306 (1976).

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  • Biological Psychology
  • Motor Inhibition
  • Biofeedback Training
  • Voluntary Motor
  • Preliminary Nature