Neurofeedback training improves episodic and semantic long-term memory performance

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 26;11(1):17274. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96726-5.


Understanding and improving memory are vital to enhance human life. Theta rhythm is associated with memory consolidation and coding, but the trainability and effects on long-term memory of theta rhythm are unknown. This study investigated the ability to improve long-term memory using a neurofeedback (NFB) technique reflecting the theta/low-beta power ratio on an electroencephalogram (EEG). Our study consisted of three stages. First, the long-term memory of participants was measured. In the second stage, the participants in the NFB group received 3 days of theta/low-beta NFB training. In the third stage, the long-term memory was measured again. The NFB group had better episodic and semantic long-term memory than the control group and significant differences in brain activity between episodic and semantic memory during the recall tests were revealed. These findings suggest that it is possible to improve episodic and semantic long-term memory abilities through theta/low-beta NFB training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Beta Rhythm / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Semantics*
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology*
  • Young Adult