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Brain and Mental Performance

Neurofeedback May Boost Memory

15 years, 4 months ago

517  0
Posted on Feb 02, 2003, 4 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists in the UK say that a technique called "neurofeedback" could help people to boost their memory. Neurofeedback works by training people to alter their brain activity by enhancing certain frequencies and dampening others. In order to do this brain signals are picked up by an EEG (electroencephalogram) and fed back to the trainee in the form of a video game displayed on a computer screen.

Scientists in the UK say that a technique called "neurofeedback" could help people to boost their memory. Neurofeedback works by training people to alter their brain activity by enhancing certain frequencies and dampening others. In order to do this brain signals are picked up by an EEG (electroencephalogram) and fed back to the trainee in the form of a video game displayed on a computer screen. The trainee then learns to control the game by altering his/her brain activity accordingly. Dr David Vernon and colleagues from Imperial College London tested the effect that neurofeedback had on the working memory of 40 medical students. Results showed that after found just two 15-minute neurofeedback sessions a week for four weeks, some of the students were able to boost a type of brain wave activity called "sensorimotor rhythm" (SMR). Furthermore, these students also scored significantly higher on word recall tests - from an average of 71% before the neurofeedback training to 82% afterwards. While more research needs to be done, the results suggest that neurofeedback could help to treat people with cognitive problems. Research in the US has shown that neurofeedback can help children suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and people with epilepsy. There is even some evidence to suggest that it may be beneficial for people with substance abuse problems, such as alcoholism.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: International Journal of Psychophysiology 2003; 47:75-85

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