Comparing tomographic EEG neurofeedback and EMG biofeedback in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Biol Psychol. 2014 Jan;95:31-44. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Nov 6.


Two types of biofeedback (BF), tomographic electroencephalogram (EEG) neurofeedback (NF) and electromyographic biofeedback (EMG-BF), both with phasic and tonic protocols, were compared for treatment effects and specificity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Thirteen children with ADHD trained their brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and twelve trained activity of arm muscles involved in fine motor skills. In each training session, resting state 24-channel EEG and training performances were recorded. Both groups showed similar behavioral improvements and artifact reduction in selected conditions, with no significant advantages despite medium effect sizes on primary outcomes for NF. Only the EMG-BF group, however, showed clear improvement in training regulation performance, and specific motor coordination effects. The NF group tended to present individual normalization of trained frequency bands in the ACC during rest across training. The results provide evidence for some specific effects in our small sample, albeit only to a small extent.

Keywords: Anterior cingulate cortex; Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); Controlled clinical study; EMG biofeedback; Neurofeedback training; Specific treatment effects; Standardized low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome