From the Press Release:
A breakthrough study conducted in Canada has found that training of
the well-known brainwave in humans, the alpha rhythm, enhances a brain
network responsible for cognitive-control. The training technique,
termed neurofeedback, is being considered as a promising new method for
restoring brain function in mental disorders. Using several neuroimaging
methods, a team of researchers at the Western University and the Lawson
Health Research Institute have now uncovered that functional changes
within a key brain network occur directly after a 30-minute session of
noninvasive, neural-based training. Dysfunction of this
cognitive-control network has previously been implicated in a range of
brain disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,
schizophrenia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
During neurofeedback, users learn to control their own brain
activity with the help of a brain-computer interface. In the simplest
case, this consists of a computer that records brainwaves through
surface sensors on the scalp, known as an EEG (electroencephalogram).
The system is then able to process and simultaneously represent a user's
real-time brain activity, displayed from moment-to-moment during a
training game on a computer. This setup is known as a neurofeedback
loop, because information of brain activity is continually fed-back to a
user reflecting their level of control. Such real-time feedback allows
users to reproduce distinct brain states under physiologically-normal
conditions, promising to be an innovative way to foster brain changes
without adverse effects. This is possible because of neuroplasticity, a
natural property of the brain that enables it to reorganise after
continual training, resulting from adjustments to its own activity.
The research study, Mind over chatter: Plastic up-regulation of the fMRI salience network directly after EEG neurofeedback, has been published in the online issue of Neuroimage and is freely available through open access.