Poster B99, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Boosting the Brain: Frontal-midline Theta Neurofeedback Training and Its Transfer
Kathrin C. J. Eschmann1,2, Regine Bader2, Axel Mecklinger1,2; 1International Research Training Group "Adaptive Minds" (GRK 1457), 2Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany
Enhancement of cognitive abilities is not only a challenge of a gradually aging society but also of a young achievement-oriented generation. Interestingly, cognitive control training studies demonstrate remarkable capacity for brain plasticity. One way of changing neural dynamics underlying successful cognitive performance is neurofeedback. Frontal-midline theta activity (4-8Hz) is proposed to reflect a cognitive control mechanism, which is needed for successful episodic memory retrieval, working memory performance or interference resolution. The present study aimed at investigating (1) whether frontal-midline theta activity can be enhanced by neurofeedback training and (2) whether this training transfers to cognitive and memory control abilities. Therefore, individual frontal-midline theta activity, derived from a pre-training session including an episodic memory task for concrete nouns and other cognitive control tasks, was trained over seven neurofeedback sessions. Preliminary results show that the theta training group exhibited a larger frontal-midline theta increase compared to an active control group who trained randomly chosen frequency bands. Moreover, performance from the pre-training session was compared to two post-training sessions that were conducted one day and thirteen days after the last neurofeedback session, respectively. In the second post-training session relative to the pre-training and the first post-training session the training group showed higher item memory performance compared to the control group, indicating less interference in the training group from material of the episodic memory task learned in previous sessions. The present study indicates a mechanism for cognitive enhancement in young adults with potential relevance for treatment of decline in cognitive control in old age.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic