Stress Coping Via Musical Neurofeedback

Adv Mind Body Med. 2018;32(2):17-20.


Background: Music therapy (MT) and electroencephalogram (EEG)-based neurofeedback (NFB) are frequently used for treating central nervous system dysregulation. The advantages of using music as a signal for NFB have been recently shown. To combine these advantages with extreme personalization of NFB, the original musical NFB method has been developed. Instead of excessively wide-band, traditional EEG rhythms, it uses typical and significant for the individual narrow-band EEG oscillators automatically revealed in real time.

Design: This pilot study aimed to examine the efficiency of music stimulation online controlled by feedback signals from patient's EEG oscillators for the correction of stress-induced functional disturbances.

Methods: Sixteen specialists complaining from stress due to urgent workload voluntarily participated in 2 treatment sessions. In one of them, they simply listened to composition of classical music, whereas in another one, the loudness of the same music varied in strict accordance with the current amplitude of subject's alpha EEG oscillator.

Results: At the end of both treatments, normalization of the EEG, reduction of stress sensations, and positive shifts in mental and emotional status of the patients were observed. However, statistically significant positive changes occurred only in the case of feedback EEG control of music loudness.

Conclusion: After further elaboration, a proposed and tested approach may be used in a wide range of rehabilitation procedures and for stress coping.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Music
  • Music Therapy
  • Neurofeedback*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome