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Alpha/Theta Ratio Neurofeedback Training for Attention Enhancement in Normal Developing Children: A Brief Report

Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Attention plays an important role in children’s development and learning, and neurofeedback training (NFT) has been proposed as a promising method to improve attention, mainly in population with attention problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, whether this approach has a positive effect on attention in normal developing children has been rarely investigated. This pilot study conducted ten sessions of alpha/theta ratio (ATR) NFT on eight primary students in school environment, with two to three sessions per week. The results showed inter-individual difference in NFT learning efficacy that was assessed by the slope of ATR over training sessions. In addition, the attention performance was significantly improved after NFT. Importantly, the improvement of attention performance was positively correlated with the NFT learning efficacy. It thus highlighted the need for optimizing ATR NFT protocol for the benefits on attention at the individual level. Future work can employ a double-blind placebo-controlled design with larger sample size to validate the benefits of ATR NFT for attention in normal developing children.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant Numbers 81901830, 31600906], the Humanities and Social Science Fund of Ministry of Education of China [Grant Number 19YJC190018], the General Project of Education Science by Shanghai Philosophy and Social Sciences [Grant Number A2021002], Shuguang Program supported by Shanghai Education Development Foundation, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission [Grant Number 20SG45], the Science and Technology Development Fund, Macau SAR (Grant Numbers 055/2015/A2 and 0045/2019/AFJ) and the University of Macau Research Committee (MYRG projects 2016-00240-FST and 2017-00207-FST). The authors thank the great support of this research from the teachers and students of Quyang No.4 Primary School in Hongkou District of Shanghai.

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Correspondence to Dan Cai.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in the current study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Nan, W., Wan, M., Jiang, Y. et al. Alpha/Theta Ratio Neurofeedback Training for Attention Enhancement in Normal Developing Children: A Brief Report. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 47, 223–229 (2022).

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