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Neurofeedback for Autistic Disorders: Emerging Empirical Evidence

  • Robert Coben
Chapter

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of pervasive developmental disorders impacting communication, social skills, behavioral interests, and daily functioning. With rates rising to as high as 1 in 80 in the Unites States alone, their impact on children, families, and our society is immense. Despite this, treatment for these conditions is poorly understood, and most have limited empirical support. While ASD can be conceptualized as having system-wide effects in the human body, many of the primary symptoms we associate with these children are clearly related to dysfunction of the central nervous system. While certain brain regions have been shown susceptibility, connectivity across regions of the brain appears to be the primary dysfunction leading to symptoms and developmental delays in these children. Any successful treatment should be able to demonstrate the ability to change and improve these primary effects. Neurofeedback is currently being studied as a noninvasive intervention with the potential to do just that. Empirical evidence is emerging, demonstrating this as a potentially effective and safe form of intervention for ASD. There is also preliminary data suggesting that this intervention may facilitate therapeutic enhancements in brain functioning and connectivity and that the results of treatment may endure even after the therapy has ended. Clearly, more research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of this intervention, mechanisms that underlie these changes, and studies looking at the duration of enduring effects.

Keywords

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Cognitive Flexibility Autistic Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurorehabilitation and Neuropsychological ServicesMassapequa ParkUSA

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