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Clinical Efficacy of a New Automated Hemoencefalographic Neurofeedback Protocol

  • Álvaro Machado Dias (a1), Adrian Machado Van Deusen (a2), Eduardo Oda (a3) and Mariana Rodrigues Bonfim (a4)

Among the ongoing attempts to enhance cognitive performance, an emergent and yet underrepresented venue is brought by hemoencefalographic neurofeedback (HEG). This paper presents three related advances in HEG neurofeedback for cognitive enhancement: a) a new HEG protocol for cognitive enhancement, as well as b) the results of independent measures of biological efficacy (EEG brain maps) extracted in three phases, during a one year follow up case study; c) the results of the first controlled clinical trial of HEG, designed to assess the efficacy of the technique for cognitive enhancement of an adult and neurologically intact population. The new protocol was developed in the environment of a software that organizes digital signal algorithms in a flowchart format. Brain maps were produced through 10 brain recordings. The clinical trial used a working memory test as its independent measure of achievement. The main conclusion of this study is that the technique appears to be clinically promising. Approaches to cognitive performance from a metabolic viewpoint should be explored further. However, it is particularly important to note that, to our knowledge, this is the world's first controlled clinical study on the matter and it is still early for an ultimate evaluation of the technique.

Entre los intentos en curso para mejorar el rendimiento cognitivo, uno emergente y todavía insuficientemente representado es el neurofeedback hemoencefalográphico (HEG). Este trabajo presenta tres avances relacionados con HEG neurofeedback para la mejora cognitiva: a) un nuevo protocolo HEG para la mejora cognitiva, así como b) los resultados de las medidas independientes de la eficacia biológica (mapas cerebrales EEG) extraídos en tres fases durante un año estudio de seguimiento de casos; c) los resultados del primer ensayo clínico controlado de HEG, diseñado para evaluar la eficacia de la técnica para la mejora cognitiva de población adulta y neurológicamente sana. El nuevo protocolo fue desarrollado en el marco de un software que organiza algoritmos de señales digitales en un formato de diagrama de flujo. Los mapas de cerebro fueron producidos a través de 10 registros cerebrales. El ensayo clínico utilizó un test de memoria de trabajo como medida independiente de sus logros. La principal conclusión de este estudio es que la técnica parece ser clínicamente prometedora. Los enfoques para el rendimiento cognitivo desde un punto de vista metabólico deben investigarse más a fondo. Sin embargo, es particularmente importante tener en cuenta que, a nuestro entender, este es el primer estudio clínico controlado sobre el tema en el mundo, y aún es pronto para una evaluación final de la técnica.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Alvaro Machado Dias. Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo Medical School. Rua Dr. Ovídio Pires Campos s/n, São Paulo (Brazil). Email:
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
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