Effectiveness of Electroencephalogram Biofeedback Training for Disorders of Arousal in a Clinical Setting as Measured by Changes in T.O.V.A. Scores, Mood and Symptom Ratings

Stokes, D. A. (2003).

Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 63 (7-B), 3508. The effects of electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback were examined with 10 participants presenting with a variety of psychological and neurological diagnoses related to their level of arousal. These conditions included anxiety, depression, and attentional disorders. Prior to treatment, participants were given the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.), a continuous performance test, a Symptom Checklist, and, if they were depressed or anxious, the Beck Depression Inventory or the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. After 20 sessions of neurofeedback participants took the T.O.V.A. again and completed a post-treatment Symptom Checklist and, when appropriate, the depression and anxiety inventories. The 20 neurofeedback sessions involved providing clients with feedback on their brainwave patterns, and through this feedback, training them to increase activity in some frequency bands and decrease activity in other frequency bands. The theory is that this type of training improves cognitive functioning and mood states by facilitating the brain’s ability to regulate its own arousal levels. Nonparametric statistical analyses showed statistically significant improvements in TOVA response time variability, the leading indicator of ADD. There were also improvements on the depression and anxiety inventories, although the number of subjects completing these instruments was too small to warrant statistical analyses. The study adds to the small but growing body of research suggesting the effectiveness of neurofeedback for a variety of neurologically based disorders related to arousal level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)