Neurofeedback in children with ADHD: validation and challenges

Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 Apr;12(4):447-60. doi: 10.1586/ern.12.22.


Neurofeedback (NF), a type of neurobehavioral training, has gained increasing attention in recent years, especially concerning the treatment of children with ADHD. Promising results have emerged from recent randomized controlled studies, and thus, NF is on its way to becoming a valuable addition to the multimodal treatment of ADHD. In this review, we summarize the randomized controlled trials in children with ADHD that have been published within the last 5 years and discuss issues such as the efficacy and specificity of effects, treatment fidelity and problems inherent in placebo-controlled trials of NF. Directions for future NF research are outlined, which should further address specificity and help to determine moderators and mediators to optimize and individualize NF training. Furthermore, we describe methodological (tomographic NF) and technical ('tele-NF') developments that may also contribute to further improvements in treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome