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. 2018 Aug 28;9:1607.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01607. eCollection 2018.

Eyes-Closed Resting EEG Predicts the Learning of Alpha Down-Regulation in Neurofeedback Training

Free PMC article

Eyes-Closed Resting EEG Predicts the Learning of Alpha Down-Regulation in Neurofeedback Training

Wenya Nan et al. Front Psychol. .
Free PMC article


Neurofeedback training, which enables the trainee to learn self-control of the EEG activity of interest based on online feedback, has demonstrated benefits on cognitive and behavioral performance. Nevertheless, as a core mechanism of neurofeedback, learning of EEG regulation (i.e., EEG learning) has not been well understood. Moreover, a substantial number of non-learners who fail to achieve successful EEG learning have often been reported. This study investigated the EEG learning in alpha down-regulation neurofeedback, aiming to better understand the alpha learning and to early predict learner/non-learner. Twenty-nine participants received neurofeedback training to down-regulate alpha in two days, while eight of them were identified as non-learners who failed to reduce their alpha within sessions. Through a stepwise linear discriminant analysis, a prediction model was built based on participant's eyes-closed resting EEG activities in broad frequency bands including lower alpha, theta, sigma and beta 1 measured before training, which was validated in predicting learners/non-learners. The findings would assist in the early identification of the individuals who would not likely reduce their alpha during neurofeedback.

Keywords: alpha; down-regulation; learning; neurofeedback; resting baseline.


The mean alpha curves across all periods. S indicates session and B indicates block, e.g., S1B1 indicates the first block in Session 1. Baseline 1 and Baseline 2 represent the eyes-open baseline before and after NF, respectively. The error bars represent the standard error of the mean (SEM).
The participants’ discriminant scores and the prediction results of learners and non-learners. Each dot represents the discriminant score of each participant. Green triangle: learner with correct prediction; Green asterisk: learner with wrong prediction; Red triangle: non-learner with correct prediction; and Red asterisk: non-learner with wrong prediction.

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