Evaluation of the Effectiveness of EEG Neurofeedback Training for ADHD

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of EEG
Neurofeedback Training for ADHD in a Clinical Setting
as measured by changes in T.O.V.A. Scores,
Behavioral Ratings, and WISC-R Performance

Joel F. Lubar, Michie Odle Swartwood, Jeffery N. Swartwood and Phyllis H. O'Donnell

Address all correspondence to Joel F. Lubar, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 310 Austin
Peay Building, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0900.

Three individual studies were done to assess the effectiveness of neurofeedback treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The subject pool for these studies consisted of 23 children and adolescents ranging in age from 8 to 19 years with a mean of 11.4 years who participated in a 2 to 3 month summer program of intensive neurofeedback training. Feedback presentations were contingent on the production of 16-20 hz. (beta) activity in the absence of 4-8 hz. (theta) activity. Changes in EEG activity, Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) performance, Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale (ADDES) behavior ratings, and WISC-R performance following neurofeedback training were assessed. Our results were as follows: Study I indicated that subjects who successfully decreased theta activity showed significant improvement in T.O.V.A. performance; Study II revealed significant improvement in parent ratings following neurofeedback training; and Study III indicated significant increases in WISC-R scores following neurofeedback training. These studies are important in that they examine the effects of neurofeedback training on both objective and subjective measures of Neurofeedback Training for ADHD Attention Deficit Disorder under relatively controlled conditions. The results support and extend previous published findings, indicating that neurofeedback training is an appropriate and efficacious adjunctive treatment for ADHD.

Neurofeedback Training Induces Changes in White and Gray Matter

J. Ghaziri1, A. Tucholka2, V. Larue1, M. Blanchette-Sylvestre1,

G. Reyburn1, G. Gilbert2, J. Le´vesque1, and M. Beauregard1,2,3


The main objective of this structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study was to investigate, using diffusion tensor imaging, whether a neurofeedback training (NFT) protocol designed to improve sustained attention might induce structural changes in white matter (WM) pathways, purportedly implicated in this cognitive ability. Another goal was to examine whether gray matter (GM) volume (GMV) might be altered following NFT in frontal and parietal cortical areas connected by theseWMfiber pathways.  Healthy university students were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EXP), a sham group, or a control group.  Participants in the EXP group were trained to enhance the amplitude of their b1 waves at F4 and P4. Measures of attentional performance and MRI data were acquired one week before (Time 1) and one week after (Time 2) NFT. Higher scores on visual and auditory sustained attention were noted in the EXP group at Time 2 (relative to Time 1). As for structural MRI data, increased fractional anisotropy was measured in WM pathways implicated in sustained attention, and GMV increases were detected in cerebral structures involved in this type of attention. After 50 years of research in the field of neurofeedback, our study constitutes the first empirical demonstration that NFT can lead to microstructural changes in white and gray matter.