Motivation, Novelty, and Effective Neurofeedback

8 Apr

In neurofeedback and biofeedback, it is always a challenge to keep clients engaged. You need to have their interest and attention for the training to work, but what are the scientific reasons to choose one type of feedback or the other. Bar graphs, games, videos, and other displays are all “out there” to choose from. The choice can be based on experience and fact. The keys to effective operant training such as in biofeedback and neurofeedback are these three: It must be “fast, correct, and interesting” according to experts. Another research put it “rapid, accurate, and aesthetic,” Of these, “fast and correct” or “rapid and accurate” are technical goals that can be met with good equipment and software. However, what is “interesting” or “aesthetic” to the client, what does that mean? The feedback needs to be engaging, but should not be over stimulating or unnecessarily elaborate. In one recent study, researchers and clinicians in Spain and Romania set out to discover whether neurofeedback using movies and a “dimmer” gave better results than a preselected game. Their results showed the following important points: If the trainee can select a video that is controlled by the feedback, and finds the video interesting, then a statistically significant rise in SMR could be achieved in one session. With a simple game, there was a small but not significant change in SMR in one session. This study also showed that autothresholding could be used effectively, in a controlled setting. These are important findings, because many practitioners opt for videos and multimedia “dimmer” feedback, and feel that they are superior, and there are always questions about authothresholding. This study shows that, in fact, across a multicenter study, a more engaging feedback does increase motivation and the difference shows up in the EEG itself.

Here is a link to the original article online:

 View Original Peer-Reviewed Publication (unabridged)

Enhancing the Effects of Neurofeedback Training: The Motivational Value of the Reinforcers

R. Perez-Elvira et. al. Brain Sciences 2021, 11, 457

Disclosure: Thomas Collura is Founder and President of BrainMaster Technologies, Inc.

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