A controlled study of the effects of EEG biofeedback on cognition and behavior of children with attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities

Biofeedback Self Regul. 1996 Mar;21(1):35-49. doi: 10.1007/BF02214148.

Abstract

Eighteen children with ADD/ADHD, some of whom were also LD, ranging in ages from 5 through 15 were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. The experimental condition consisted of 40 45-minute sessions of training in enhancing beta activity and suppressing theta activity, spaced over 6 months. The control condition, waiting list group, received no EEG biofeedback. No other psychological treatment or medication was administered to any subjects. All subjects were measured at pretreatment and at posttreatment on an IQ test and parent behavior rating scales for inattention, hyperactivity, and aggressive/defiant (oppositional) behaviors. At posttreatment the experimental group demonstrated a significant increase (mean of 9 points) on the K-Bit IQ Composite as compared to the control group (p <.05). The experimental group also significantly reduced inattentive behaviors as rated by parents (p < .05). The significant improvements in intellectual functioning and attentive behaviors might be explained as a result of the attentional enhancement affected by EEG biofeedback training. Further research utilizing improved data collection and analysis, more stringent control groups, and larger sample sizes are needed to support and replicate these findings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Learning Disabilities / complications
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome