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Thursday, 24 November 2005 10:29

2003 E-iSNR Inaugural Meeting Abstracts

The Addition of Sensory Evoked Potentials to qEEG Data to Improve Clinical Outcomes

Donald H. Bars, PhD

Research Consultant, University of Basel, Medical School, Psychiatric and Neurological clinics

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The use of sensory evoked responses, evoked potentials (EP), can improve the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. Evoked potential information is different than the data from other imaging techniques in that it registers responses that occur within the first 3 to 4 tenths of a second, post stimuli, most of which is an obligatory response to sensory reception. This decreases effects of other electrophysiological variables entering the results as more cognitive networks and environmental factors become involved in processing the presented stimuli.
This presentation will address several clinical research studies as the basis for gaining a beginning understanding of relationships between specific visual and auditory EP's and behaviors. A basics Background will allow an understanding of what an EP is, how an EP is created, and important considerations for clinical use. Several different paradigms will be presented and discussed, including how the created waveforms have been associated with a variety of brain functioning. Research will be presented concerning separation of explosive, out-of-control behaviors into several different physiological groups, a physiologically type of ruminating behavior and when combined with qEEG results can separate affective disorders and disorders of attention.

Electromagnetic Tomographic Neurofeedback: a Pilot Study

Marco Congedo, MA (1,2), David Joffe, BA (3) & Joel Lubar, PhD (1)

(1) Brain Research and Neurophysiology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (2) Nova Tech EEG, Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee, (3) Lexicor Medical Technology, Inc. Boulder, Colorado

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A major limitation of current neurofeedback paradigma is the limited information provided by a single or a small number of electrodes placed on the scalp. A considerable improvement of the neurofeedback efficacy and specificity could be obtained feeding back brain activity of delimited structures. While traditional EEG information reflects the superposition of the electrical activity of a large number of neurons, by means of inverse solutions such as the Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) spatially delimited brain activity can be evaluated in neocortical tissue.

Three individuals were trained to improve brain activation (suppress low alpha (8-10 Hz) and enhance Beta (16-20 Hz) current density) in the anterior cingulate gyrus cognitive division (ACcd). Participants took part of six experimental sessions, each lasting approximately 30 minutes. Six EEG baselines were recorded for each subject before the training started. Permutation test are conducted on baselines recordings before and after the beginning of the training. In addition a randomized trial was performed at the end of the treatment. During eight two-minutes periods (trials) participants were asked to try to obtain as many rewards as they could (4 "plus" trials) or as few rewards as they could (4 "minus" trials). The order of trials was decided at random. The hypothesis under testing was that participants acquired volitional control over their brain activity so to be able to obtain more rewards during the plus condition as compared to the minus condition.

An exact test of the randomized trials showed evidence of volitional control for two subjects (p=0.043 and p=0.1) and no evidence of volitional control for one of them (p=0.271). The combination of the three p-values provided an overall probability value for this experiment of 0.012 with the additive method and 0.035 with the multiplicative method. These results support the hypothesis of volitional control across the experimental group. Pre-post treatment brain changes are currently under analysis.

With as few as six training sessions, typically insufficient to produce any form of learning with scalp neurofeedback, the experiment showed overall signs of volitional control of the electrical activity of the ACcd. While the pilot study intended to test technical issues, we are now carrying out a larger study to test the ability to change intracranial electrical activity. Tomographic neurofeedback has never been done before. Possible applications of the technique are important and include the treatment of epileptic foci, the treatment of specific brain regions damaged as a consequence of traumatic brain injury, and in general of any specific cortical electrical activity.

The effects of neurofeedback training on spectral topography of the healthy electroencephalogram

Tobias Egner, PhD (1), Thomas F. Zech, PhD (2), & John H. Gruzelier, PhD (1)

(1) Department of Cognitive Neuroscience & Behaviour, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, (2) Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany

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Although important strides have been made towards establishing the clinical efficacy of neurofeedback of frequency components, a precise understanding of the impact of neurofeedback training on post-training spectral EEG topography, which is presumed to mediate any cognitive-behavioural effects, remains elusive. In order to elucidate the influence of commonly applied neurofeedback protocols on spectral EEG composition, two studies involving healthy participants were carried out.

In experiment 1, 22 subjects were trained on SMR, beta1, and alpha/theta protocols, with resting and on-task spectral EEG measures assessed before and after training. The specific associations between learning indices of each individual training protocol and changes in delta, theta, alpha, SMR, beta1, and beta2 absolute and relative activity levels in 11 scalp regions were assessed by means of partial correlation analyses. The results of experiment 1 served to generate hypotheses for experiment 2, where 26 subjects were randomly allocated to independent groups of SMR, beta1, and alpha/theta training. Spectral resting and on-task EEG measures again were recorded prior and subsequent to training, and analysed for significant changes within each group.

Only few associations between particular protocols and spectral EEG changes were found to be consistent across the 2 studies, and these did not correspond to expectations based on the operant contingencies trained. SMR training was found to be associated with reduced SMR levels in the relative resting EEG, while alpha/theta training was reliably associated with increased general slow wave (delta/theta) and reduced frontal beta band (beta1/beta2) activity in the relative resting EEG.

The results document that neurofeedback of frequency components does affect spectral EEG topography in healthy subjects, but that these effects do not necessarily correspond to either the frequencies or the scalp locations addressed by the training protocols, underline the complexity of the neural dynamics involved. The association between alpha/theta training and replicable reductions in frontal beta activity can be interpreted as empirical neurophysiological evidence supporting the conceptualisation of this training regime as reducing agitation and anxiety.

Fear and FPO2: The Implications of a New Protocol

Sebern Fischer, MA

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Many problematic behaviors are driven by fear, though there is no direct mention of fear in the DSM-IV. Fear or fear-based memory is a common element in a number of psychopathological conditions, including: Asperger's Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and many addictive disorders. The amygdala is responsible for generating fear. LeDoux (1996) and others postulate that the amygdala plays a central role in fear-based memory.

According to LeDoux, the low road from the amygdala leads directly to the orbitofrontal area of the brain. This relationship suggests the hypothesis that employing neurofeedback to train the amygdala may provide a mechanism for addressing fear-associated disorders.

A site, located below FP2 on the 10/20 system, was chosen to allow optimal access to the orbital frontal afferent pathway to the amygdala. This site has been designated as FPO2. Twenty-six individuals have been trained at this site in a clinical setting. The detail of session data will be discussed. Subjective reports were obtained following each session and logged in session notes.

Patients subjective reports included a reduction in fear, as well as a sense of calm and well-being, after training at FPO2. This change in affect appears to persist after the neurofeedback session.

In addition to the 26 patients treated by the author at the FPO2 site, a substantial body of anecdotal experience provided by other practitioners appears to confirm the efficacy of the protocol. Neurofeedback training at the FPO2 site provides a new protocol for clinically reducing fear level, as well as reducing the negative affect associated with fear-based memories.

LeDoux, J. (1996). The Emotional Brain. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Effect of Relative Beta Training on Parameters of Attention and Event-Related Potentials

Vera Grin-Iatsenko, PhD

Institute of the Human Brain, Russian Academy of Sciences

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The effect of a EEG Biofeedback procedure consisting of rewarding enhanced EEG amplitudes of the sensorimotor (12-15 Hz) and beta 1 (15-18 Hz) rhythms on the physiological and electrophysiological parameters of attention was studied using the methods of scalp recording of evoked potentials in the bistimulus paradigm Go/NoGo and a physiological attention test (Test of Variables of Attention, TOVA). Eighty-five children with Attention Deficit Disorder were included in the study. EEG Biofeedback sessions significantly improved the attention parameters, behavior and school results in 71 (82,5%) children. In these cases a significant decrease in the amplitude of the N2 (after first and second stimuli) and increase in the amplitude of the P3 (after second stimuli) components in the frontal and central sites and improvement of the TOVA parameters were found.

Investigating the use of EEG biofeedback in the enhancement of music performance

John Gruzelier, PhD & Tobias Egner, PhD

Department of Cognitive Neuroscience & Behaviour, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

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Biofeedback-assisted modulation of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity (neurofeedback), has recently been shown to improve cognitive performance and affect event-related brain potentials in healthy humans (Egner & Gruzelier, 2001, NeuroReport, 12, 4155-4160). These data encouraged a series of investigations into the potential of neurofeedback for enhancing normal function on a non-laboratory measure: music performance in conservatoire students.

In one study, participants were randomly allocated to either training on various neurofeedback protocols only, neurofeedback training plus physical and cognitive exercises, or a no-training control group. Music performances were video-recorded prior and subsequent to training, randomised, and evaluated by blind expert judges. Trends for improvement in musical performance were exclusive to the group that received neurofeedback training only, and improvements were highly correlated with learning to progressively raise theta (5-8 Hz) over alpha (8-11 Hz) band amplitudes (alpha/theta protocol). In a replication study, participants were randomly allocated to groups of alpha/theta neurofeedback, SMR neurofeedback, beta1 neurofeedback, physical exercise, cognitive exercise, or Alexander technique training. The results replicated those of the first study, as only the alpha/theta training group displayed significant music performance improvement.

These data demonstrate the potential for slow wave neurofeedback to improve a complex set of skills in a real-life context.

Bipolar Disorder and Head Injury

Jay Gunkelman, QEEGT, QEEGD

Q-Metrx, Inc.

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The ability to identify comorbidity in the qEEG requires knowledge of the presentation of the individual features, as well as the methods of display that demonstrate these features. This paper will attempt to use a case study to help identify comorbid features in head injury and bipolar disorder. A 45 year old female with a well documented history of bipolar disorder and addiction presented to us with a complaint of recent mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). The left frontal trauma occurred when she had a motor vehicle accident, hitting a bridge abutment and being struck with the airbag, as well as a secondary crash into the guard rail on the other side of the highway, with a blackened eye and severe bruising on the left forehead.
She had a negative CT-Scan (normal). Her cognitive complaints were slowing and slurring of speech, word retrieval and vocabulary problems, and an inability to comprehend and attend while reading. Methods A clinical EEG and medically interpreted qEEG were performed. The qEEG database used was the Nx-Link database (E. Roy John), and there were additional processing done using the QND software to provide remontaging to a Laplacian montage, as well as to provide single Hz frequency resolution and spectral plots. The artifacted data was also processed using NovaTech's processing software and the LORETA algorithm developed by Roberto Pascal-Marqui (Key Institute, University of Zurich). Results The database showed elevated beta values (Z > 2.0), which is reported in bipolar disorder (L. S. Prichep, et al., 1990; L. S. Prichep and E. R. John, 1992), and the LORETA database showed excess beta (P>0.05), as a red coloration, with the exception of the left frontal area, which showed a statistical decrease from the mean, as a blue coloration, in contrast to the rest of the brain. The linked ear database showed no such left frontal beta deficit, though the remontaged Laplacian mapping of the spectral data did show the beta deficit.

NF and EEG/qEEG in mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) have a dramatically increased literature (R.W. Thatcher, et al., 1997) with increasing attention to the application to bipolar disorder (S. Othmer, 2001), and an increasing literature in the neurophysiology of bipolar disorder (J. Hughes and E.R. John, 1999) also noted. This case illustrates both bipolar depression and MTBI, including an analysis with LORETA. Bipolar disorder's frontal beta excess is clearly contrasted with a decreased beta due to the head injury. A clear differentiation between white matter damage, which increases delta, and gray matter damage, which decrease both alpha (which recovers in time) and beta, which remains decreased, is discussed. The relative strengths and weaknesses of various qEEG measures for identification of these subtle differential findings will be discussed, including remontaging, absolute-versus relative power, coherence, discriminant analysis, and the use of LORETA.

Memory, Cognitive Performance and EEG Frequencies in the Theta and Alpha Range

Wolfgang Klimesch, PhD

Department of Physiological Psychology
University of Salzburg, Austria

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Experiments from our laboratory suggest that event-related desynchronization (ERD) in the upper alpha band - a frequency band of 2 Hz width lying above individual alpha frequency (IAF) - reflects semantic long term memory processes, whereas event-related synchronization (ERS) in the theta band - a frequency band of 2 Hz width lying about 4 Hz below IAF reflects working memory processes. Recent findings supporting the suggested hypothesis will be reviewed briefly. In addition data will be presented showing that memory performance - and cognitive performance in general - does not only depend on the magnitude of ERD/ERS but on (tonic) resting or reference power as well. We found that good performance is related to two types of EEG phenomena (i) a tonic increase in alpha but a decrease in theta power, and (ii) a large phasic (event-related) decrease in alpha but increase in theta, depending on the type of memory demands. Based on these findings we recently performed a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) study (in collaboration with Ch. Gerloff, University of Tübingen). The aim was to improve cognitive performance by applying rTMS at IAF during a reference interval before the performance of a mental rotation task on a trial per trial basis. We predicted that rTMs at IAF would increase tonic and decrease phasic alpha power, thus leading to increased performance. Control conditions were rTMS at lower IAF (IAF - 3 HZ) and at 20 Hz. The results indicate that rTMS only at a frequency of IAF improved task performance and, concomitantly, increased tonic and decreased phasic alpha power. These findings indicate that the relationship between alpha oscillations and cognitive performance is causal rather than correlative in nature. Implications for biofeedback training will be discussed.

A new method for the computation of cortical connectivity with sLORETA (standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography)

Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui, PhD, Michaela Esslen, PhD & Dietrich Lehmann, MD

The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland

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A complex object such as the human brain is composed of a very large number of neurons, with a very large number of connections between neurons. Classical functional imaging (PET and fMRI) has emphasized the localization of function, but has practically neglected the role played by functional connections. Oscillations and synchronization, which emerge because of cortical interconnections, have been hypothesized to play an essential role in cognition and consciousness. This work presents some novel methods for the computation and imaging of cortical connectivity.

3D functional imaging of electric neuronal generators is performed with standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA). This new method is uniquely capable of exact localization. In addition, it has the lowest spatial dispersion as compared to other published 3D linear, discrete, distributed EEG/MEG tomographies. Technical details and proof of properties for sLORETA are specified in (Pascual-Marqui RD, Method Find Exp Clin 2002, 24D:5-12). sLORETA provides high time resolution signals of "virtually implanted electrodes" throughout the cortex. Within any given time window, cortical connectivity is modeled in the following way: throughout the cortex, neuronal ensembles have the same dynamics of activation, except for location-specific scale factors and for location-specific latency shifts.

In visual event related potentials to stimulation with pictures of human faces, time lagged connections between primary/secondary visual cortices and the fusiform gyrus ("the face area") are demonstrated.

Validation has been presented for methods that solve an important problem in the neurosciences: the imaging of specialized brain areas and their interconnections

On EEG biofeedback efficiency in treating cognitive disorders

Jordan Pop-Jordanov, Prof. Dr. (1), Nada Pop-Jordanova, MD (2) & Natasa Markovska (2)

(1) Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts, (2) Department of Psychophysiology, Pediatric Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, Skopje, Macedonia

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EEG biofeedback is ultimately based on mental-neural information flow, but all standard attempts to explain the mechanism of the subtle two-way interaction between non-material mental agencies and neural events were confronted with violation of the energy-matter conservation laws of physics. In this paper, the consecutive steps of biofeedback signal flow are investigated, considering the fundamental hypothesis of Eccles (Nobelist for Physiology and Medicine), which presumes that mental events cause neural events analogously to the probability fields of quantum mechanics. Applying an advanced quantum mechanical modeling, we calculated the probabilities for quantum transitions within neural molecules in cortical electric field. The results indicated the brain-wave frequency adjustment as an observable information-bearing physical mechanism. Therefrom, some basic rationales for biofeedback efficiency in treating neurological disorders are deduced. In particular, the procedure for attention deficit mitigation through brain wave frequency adjustment i.e. synchronization is studied. As an example the EEG biofeedback technique is applied to a group of ADD children resulting in an improvement of beta-theta ratio, as well as of the intelligence test scores and school grades.

QEEG analysis of visual dyslexics with coloured glasses under various lighting conditions

Beverly Steffert, PhD

Birkbeck College, University London

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Dyslexia has generally been regarded as a linguistic deficit involving the segmentation of words into phonemes (speech sounds) despite early research identifying abnormal eye movements in 75% of Dyslexics. However no investigation of visual acuity had ever identified any cause until the concept of scotopic sensitivity became known in the 80' s which identified cortical level deficits in the visual pathways. This paralleled known auditory sound discrimination deficits and causes difficulty in segmenting words at the visual level; the print appearing to move and blur, letters can "jump" out of sequence and reading is effortful, slow and tiring. Coloured (spectrum-specific) lenses have previously benefited visual dyslexics. The present research has been funded by an optometric lenses manufacturer to assess objectively any benefits to account for the subjective experience of benefit previously reported by coloured lenses wearers.

43 Subjects (7 to 13 years old) were recruited from an advertisement detailing symptoms of Visual Dyslexia and screened by an optician. Subjects were given coloured lenses (without any optical correction) according to their improvement in pattern perception under a spectrum of coloured light conditions. These measurements were independent of optically corrected lenses.

QEEGs were recorded under 5 conditions (eyes closed, eyes open, reading in daylight, reading in daylight with their coloured lenses, reading in mixed fluorescent and daylight with their coloured lenses). A range of psychometric and balance/co-ordination tests were also given with and without coloured lenses. QEEG data, reading test and balance measures were additionally collected from an control group of 12 normally progressing children with no reading problems.

The psychometric measures showed significant group differences (T-Tests) in "with coloured lenses" and "without coloured lenses" condition at the .01 level or better, for all children.
All children improved in one or other of the measures (working memory, speed of processing or literacy) either in terms of accuracy or of speed, but some showed greater overall improvement. This correlated with the optometric measures of visual improvement in the "with coloured lenses" condition as opposed to the "without coloured lenses" condition. QEEG data showed the visual Dyslexics had an abnormally high Alpha Peak in the without coloured lenses that attenuated when they were wearing their lenses. In other words the "reading without coloured lenses" condition was significantly different to the "reading with coloured lenses" condition in the 9 - 11 Hertz band over O1, O2, T5, T6, P3, P4, for these visual Dyslexics.

These results suggest that prior to wearing coloured lenses their occipital-parietal-temporal areas were not active enough for adequate reading since their "without coloured lenses" measures resembled a normal eyes closed alpha peak. Coloured lenses appear to enhance these reading. Children who suffer from visually related perceptual problems (rather than auditory/phonological deficits) that inhibit reading, are likely to benefit from coloured lenses. This is especially the case under fluorescent lighting. The implications for neurofeedback are discussed in terms of simultaneous activation of the occipital-parietal-temporal cortices.

Evaluating the Music of the Brain: Effects of Morphologic and Functional Pathologies

M. Barry Sterman, PhD

School of Medicine, UCLA

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The new Quantitative EEG metric termed "Comodulation" is based on the correlation of trends in spectral magnitudes across time between electrode pairs in relevant frequency bands and functional states. As such it discloses the orchestration of neuronal regulation by revealing the underlying regional integration of neural networks. It has been shown that disturbances of Comodulation in the unique dominant frequency of a given brain during the eyes-closed state can detect the frontal dysfunction of depression that has been documented by other brain imaging methods, as well as disturbed interactions between functional systems along the rostra-caudal axis of the cortex that are associated with somatic and behavioral issues. Further, this measure discloses disturbances in hemispheric interactions related to closed head injury. Focal lesions which corrupt local electrical activity are also identified with this metric. Further, its use clarifies some technical issues associated with EEG recording. The methodology, principles, and findings related to this new dimension of QEEG analysis will be reviewed.

EEG-Biofeedback Treatment of Patients with Down Syndrome

Tanju Surmeli, MD

Living Health Center for Research and Education, Gayrettepe, Istanbul, Turkey

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The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether QEEG guided bipolar Neurofeedback training is effective in developing speech, improve attention and concentration, improve learning, decrease behavioral problems or impulsivity, and balance problems of Down Syndrome kids.

Neurofeedback therapy designed to normalize abnormal QEEG scores was provided to determine the effectiveness of this approach.

Significant improvement (>50%) was noted in seven of the subjects. One subject dropped the study after eight sessions. On average, 40 sessions were required. All of the subjects were not able to have T.O.V.A test. All subjects parents reported that their kids were able to speak 4 or 5 meaningful words in a sentence following the treatment, have a meaningful conversation with their parents and the others, their attention and concentration improved dramatically, their behavior became more mature and controllable, no impulsivity seen, long and short term memory improved, and their balance problems improved. Now, they have a thinking brain and they can learn better and faster than before. Most of them have started going to normal school and their teacher reported that " their attention and memory better than their normal peers."

In this uncontrolled open trial of QEEG guided bipolar NF training, the majority of subjects with Down syndrome experienced substantial and rapid symptomatic improvement. Further study with controls and additional outcome measures is warranted. Changes in the approach to people with Down syndrome in the latter part of this century have resulted in a threefold increase in their life expectancy. The average age of death for a person with Down syndrome is in the mid-fifties. Changes with NF may increase in their life expectancy. Anecdotal reports indicate that NF can improve the symptoms of ADHD/ADD/GLDO in a rapid and cost effective way. We may apply this to some of Down syndrome kids who have ADHD/ADD or GLDO. Brain maps collected before, during, and at the conclusion of treatment would enhance our understanding of treatment effects of various Neurofeedback protocols, lead to more focused and productive research, and ultimately facilitate the development of more efficient treatment paradigms.

Neurofeedback Treatment for Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Michael Thompson, MD & Lynda Thompson, PhD

Biofeedback Institute of Toronto

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Autistic spectrum disorder clients have primary deficits in their ability to interpret social communications (innuendo, abstract meaning), appropriately initiate and maintain social interactions, handle anxiety, shift mental set, and sustain external attention span and response control. These deficiencies correspond to patterns observed on the EEG that can include slowing at Pz, P4, T6, F4 and PF1 and differences in coherence and comodulation from normal data bases. High theta activity at Cz is also observed in association with the problems with attention span. This presentation will list symptoms of PDD (Autism) and Asperger's syndrome; describe typical cases; outline assessment and intervention; and give an overview of results of neurofeedback training with >60 cases, ages 5-51 including some with long-term follow-up.

The effect of distinct neurofeedback training protocols on working memory, mental rotation and attention performance

David Vernon, PhD, Tobias Egner, PhD, Nick Cooper, MSc, Theresa Compton, BSc, Claire Neilands, BSc, Amna Sheri, BSc & John Gruzelier, PhD

Department of Cognitive Neuroscience & Behaviour, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, London

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Based on research showing an association between theta (4-7Hz) and working memory, alpha (8-12Hz) and conceptual processing, and the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) (12-15Hz) and attention, we examined whether training individuals to enhance one of these frequency components would differentially influence their cognitive performance on a range of tasks.

Forty individuals were randomly allocated to one of four groups. Three completed a course of neurofeedback training enhancing a particular component of their EEG (e.g., theta, alpha or SMR) whilst the fourth acted as a non-neurofeedback control group. The training consisted of 8 sessions of neurofeedback over four weeks. Pre and post training all groups completed a range of tasks measuring working memory, image rotation and attention.

Only those training the SMR rhythm exhibited changes in their SMR/theta and SMR/beta EEG ratios. This resulted from a decrease in both theta and beta amplitudes and a concurrent increase in SMR amplitude. This group also showed a significant improvement in working memory performance and limited improvement in attentional performance.

Eight sessions of neurofeedback training is sufficient for healthy individuals to exhibit increased SMR activity. Enhanced SMR activity is associated with improved performance on a semantic working memory task and an attention task. We discuss these results in terms of different frequency components influencing distinct cognitive processes.

Attentional set shifting-related EEG alpha power desynchronization in sleep apnea

Edwin Verstraeten, PhD & Raymond Cluydts, PhD

Dept. of Cognitive & Physiological Psychology
Vrije Universiteit/Free University Brussels, Belgium

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EEG slowing and often a prolonged P300 latency have been demonstrated in sleep apnea. These results were mostly interpreted as evidence of cerebral damage due to intermittent hypoxemia. However, as reduced alertness also produces EEG slowing or longer P300 latencies, it seems that alertness and cognitive processes were significantly confounded.

Alpha power desynchronization was used because of its differential responsivity of 8-10 Hz and 10-12 Hz to non-specific alertness and task-related attention, respectively (see e.g., Klimesch's and Sterman's work). Recently, we have shown that desynchronization of 8-10 Hz seemed to be related to phasic alertness, whereas 10-12 Hz synchronization was associated with inaccurate attentional switching (Verstraeten & Cluydts, 2002, NeuroReport, 13, 681-684). Twenty sleep apnea patients and 24 age- and education-matched controls took part in this study. The EEG was recorded from AF3 during resting baseline and during attentional switching.

Control subjects showed a decreasing trend in 8-10 Hz power during attentional switching, which was significantly different from patients who did not show any task-related alpha reactivity response.

Sleep apnea patients demonstrate a blunted phasic prefrontal activation during attentional switching. It is assumed that dampening of the diffuse thalamocortical projection system has caused a reduced level of phasic alertness that can explain the attenuation of prefrontal activation ¾ without the need to presume brain damage.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 04:02

Welcome to the Society of Applied Neuroscience

The Society of Applied Neuroscience (SAN) is a nonprofit membership organization devoted to advancing neuroscientific knowledge and its innovative applications by empowering both scientists and practitioners in serving the public by optimising self-regulatory brain function.

Its membership is open to scientists and practitioners interested in an integrated approach with involves the neural, cognitive and behavioural levels of analysis.

SAN originated as a chapter of the International Society for Neuronal Regulation, an U.S. based organization, grew in numbers and turned into the Society of Applied Neuroscience through a membership referendum which also enlarged its scope. SAN is based in Europe and open to international membership.

SAN is registered in the Norwegian Register Brønnøysundregistrene as Organization Number 984-637-94.

SAN Aims

  • Advancing integrative neuroscience, including novel applications such as neurofeedback (EEG, fMRI, NIRS), autonomic nervous system biofeedback, neuro-rehabilitation, brain-computer interface (BCI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), virtual reality feedback, vagus nerve stimulation, electro-cranial stimulaton, audio-visual stimulation, etc.
  • Fostering education in applied neuroscientific techniques
  • Enhancing integrative practice in clinical treatment, education and optimal performance
  • Promoting evidence-based practice to optimise functions in both health and disease
  • Increasing public knowledge of neuroscientific applications

SAN Functions

  • Organising an annual conference
  • Providing university accredited training courses on clinical, educational and optimal performance training
  • Developing European standards of practice
  • Supporting scientific research in applied neuroscience
  • Seeking affiliation and membership concessions with like-minded societies
  • Facilitating communication among scientists and practitioners
  • Publishing an international scientific journal.
Thursday, 24 November 2005 04:46


Journal of Applied Neuroscience

The Society proposes to establish a journal entitled the "Journal of Applied Neuroscience" (JAN).

This will serve the burgeoning field of applied neuroscience by providing necessary focus and at the same time avoiding boundaries in journal titles that impede integration of approaches set up by restrictive labels such as 'biofeedback', 'brain mapping', etc.

Leading scientists have expressed interest in serving on the Editorial Board.

Initial discussions are underway about setting up the publication of the JAN.


Special scientific journal issues are in preparation following SAN2011

Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:44

Dubrovnik Conference Newsletter

Newsletter 2009

April 2009 heralded the joint SAN/COST B27 training school on Neurofeedback and ADHD together with MIND AND BRAIN VI: Neuroplasticity of Brain and Behaviour. And what better venue for such a jewel of an event than Dubrovnik, known as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’. This event took place just short of 30 years after the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (in 1979).


SAN offers now a mailing list for SAN members only. New members, please subscribe to the SAN List.

To subscribe, please log in and then click on "Subscribe SAN List" on the User Menu (available to registered members only).

All members are welcome to actively contribute to the SAN Mailing List.

Monday, 04 August 2008 17:56

Join SAN now

Benefits of membership include:

  • Continuing Education: Gain in-depth exposure to issues in applied neurocience by attending the annual conference, our associated workshops, and other SAN sponsored symposia and conferences at discounted rates.

  • Clinical-Academic Mentoring Scheme: Help formulate clinical material into useable scientific protocols to provide publishable clinical surveys and build up the scientific basis of the field.

  • Professional Growth: Enhance your professional growth by serving on a committee or presenting a paper or poster at the annual conference.

  • Peer Network: Increase your peer network by attending SAN's Annual Conference, as well as working group meetings.

  • Members Area: Publish meetings and jobs to the SAN website; download members-only materials.

  • Professional News and Information: Obtain updates on training opportunities, conferences, workshops, and the latest professional news.



Please complete the following questionnaire to express your interest in
Goldsmiths, University of London neurofeedback courses.


The questionnaire can be found here




Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:51

sLORETA Neurofeedback Symposium

Saturday and Sunday, 2nd - 3rd December 2006
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Announcement and Call for Participation

We are pleased to announce a two-day Symposium on the standardized Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography Neurofeedback technique.

Participants will be introduced to the basic principles and be taught how to apply and integrate sLORETA into their clinical work.

Faculty and Programme

Professor L. Jäncke, Institute of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich

sLORETA based on the BCI techniques as a new way of treating and rehabilitating psychiatric and neuropsychological diseases.

Roberto D. Pascual-Marqui, Key Institute, University of Zurich

There is a widely acknowledged need in neuroimaging science to depart from pure phrenology (location of function), and to focus on the connectivity of the brain. Recently, the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) technique has been used to provide essential three-dimensional (3D) information on axonal fiber projections (tractography). However, this information is anatomical and static, not precisely dynamic. The importance of dynamic connectivity can be illustrated with the example of synchronization and binding, which can only emerge in a system where each element is connected to every other one, but for a given task to be performed in a finite amount of time, only some connections (of all possible connections) are used. Two methods will be evaluated about the estimation of causal (directional) cortical neuronal interactions. The methods are illustrated with visual event related potential data, and with spontaneous EEG data.

Marco Congedo, PhD, NovaTech EEG, Grenoble, France

Existing literature on Tomographic Neurofeedback based on LORETA/sLORETA methods will be reviewed. The problem of real-time extraction of intra-cerebral source activity in any given region oft interest is formulated in terms of reduction of noise and interference generated by non-interesting sources and artefacts. A filtering method to be applied to sLORETA Neurofeedback addressing this problem will be described.

Professor J. Kropotov, Institute of the Human Brain, St. Petersburg, Russia

QEEG and sLORETA-based Neurofeedback: an advanced course


  • Localizing generators by means of sLORETA;
  • Designing protocols for sLORETA Neurofeedback. Normative data bases (NovaTech sLORETA database);
  • Demonstration of the sLORETA application, protocol design and its implementation on a subject followed by hands-on training.


Registration Fee: 200 EUR

Student Support: A limited number of registration fee waivers will be awarded to students who wish to attend the workshop. Proof of full-time student status required to apply.
To register, please send contact details to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


For more information, please contact  Marietta Chatzigeorgiou, Tel. +41 78 645 28 54 or +41 44 311 63 43.


Further information concerning accommodation and details on the symposium will follow.

We look forward to meeting you in Zurich!


The Symposium Organizers 

Nature Neuroscience presents a special focus in October 2006 on childhood developmental disorders. This focus presents recent research on disorders such as dyslexia, specific language impairment and autism. The aim of this focus is to understand the genetic, behavioral and neural deficits in these disorders, and the implications for the treatment of affected children and for normal development. The content for this focus is freely accessible online.
Oxford Journals has announced the launch of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN). The journal will provide a vehicle for research in the increasingly overlapping fields of social psychology and the neurosciences.

All SCAN articles can be freely accessed during 2006 via the URL - http://www.scan.oxfordjournals.org. You can also find information for online manuscript submission, advance article access and free alerting services.


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The Society of Applied Neurosciences in cooperation with the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Department of Neurology of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, have the great pleasure to welcome you to the SAN2016 meeting, which will be held in Corfu Island, Greece.


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