EEG-based upper alpha neurofeedback training improves working memory performance

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:2327-30. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090651.


Neurofeedback (NF) training has revealed its therapeutical effects to treat a variety of neurological and psychological disorders, and has demonstrated its feasibility to improve certain cognitive aptitudes in healthy users. Although promising results of NF training exist in recent literature, the reliability of its effects remains questioned due to a lack of deep studies examining its impact on the human electrophysiology. This paper presents a NF training aimed at improving working memory performance in healthy users by the enhancement of upper alpha band. A user-specific training was used (upper alpha was determined for each user using the individual alpha frequency) to reduce the unspecific factors of training the entire classical alpha band as traditional NF usually does. EEG assessments in active and passive open-eyes state were conducted pre/post the NF training. The EEG analyses reveal the UA enhancement during the active tasks which is independent of other frequency bands. UA was also enhanced in the passive state but independence could not be obtained in lower alpha band. Finally, significant improvement in working memory was obtained with regard to a control group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall
  • Task Performance and Analysis*