Neurofeedback Against Binge Eating: A Randomized Controlled Trial in a Female Subclinical Threshold Sample

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2016 Sep;24(5):406-16. doi: 10.1002/erv.2453. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Brain-directed treatment techniques, such as neurofeedback, have recently been proposed as adjuncts in the treatment of eating disorders to improve therapeutic outcomes. In line with this recommendation, a cue exposure EEG-neurofeedback protocol was developed. The present study aimed at the evaluation of the specific efficacy of neurofeedback to reduce subjective binge eating in a female subthreshold sample. A total of 75 subjects were randomized to EEG-neurofeedback, mental imagery with a comparable treatment set-up or a waitlist group. At post-treatment, only EEG-neurofeedback led to a reduced frequency of binge eating (p = .015, g = 0.65). The effects remained stable to a 3-month follow-up. EEG-neurofeedback further showed particular beneficial effects on perceived stress and dietary self-efficacy. Differences in outcomes did not arise from divergent treatment expectations. Because EEG-neurofeedback showed a specific efficacy, it may be a promising brain-directed approach that should be tested as a treatment adjunct in clinical groups with binge eating. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

Keywords: binge eating; food craving; neurofeedback; overeating; randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / therapy*
  • Brain
  • Bulimia / therapy
  • Electroencephalography
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Self Efficacy