Beta Neurofeedback Training Improves Attentional Control in the Elderly

Psychol Rep. 2021 Feb;124(1):54-69. doi: 10.1177/0033294119900348. Epub 2020 Jan 14.


One of the well-documented behavioral changes that occur with advancing age is a decline in executive functioning, for example, attentional control. Age-related executive deficits are said to be associated with a deterioration of the frontal lobes. Neurofeedback is a training method which aims at acquiring self-control over certain brain activity patterns. It is considered as an effective approach to help improve attentional and self-management capabilities. However, studies evaluating the efficacy of neurofeedback training to boost executive functioning in an elderly population are still relatively rare and controversial. The aim of our study was to contribute to the assessment of the efficacy of neurofeedback as a method for enhancing executive functioning in the elderly. We provided a group of seniors with beta up-training (12-22 Hz), consisting of 20 sessions (30 minutes each), on the Cz site and tested its possible beneficiary influence on attentional control assessed by means of the Stroop and Simon tasks. The analysis of the subjects' mean reaction times during consecutive tasks in the test and the retest, after implementation of neurofeedback training, showed a significant improvement. In contrast, the difference in reaction times between the test and the retest in the control group who had not been submitted to neurofeedback training was not significant.

Keywords: Aging; EEG rhythms; attentional control; neurofeedback.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurofeedback*
  • Reaction Time
  • Self-Control*
  • Stroop Test