Research on neurofeedback training proves to improve attention, working memory performance

The Distinguished Professor Shu-Lan Hsieh's research on neurofeedback training has proven to improve attention and working memory performance, National Cheng Kung University revealed recently.

Hsieh's training method had significantly improved brainwave and brain function and slowed down aging of the brain.

Her research titled "Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance" was published in the June edition of the Clinical Neurophysiology journal.

The neurofeedback training method had been used in research on human health and diseases, particularly on slowing down symptoms of hyperactivity disorder in kids and improving intelligence of kids with learning disorders, Hsieh noted.

She had carried out research on the elderly using neurofeedback training for the first time, focusing training on the theta wave at the frontal midline.

In brainwave activity of a complex human brain, the theta wave is defined as the waveband of brainwaves at a frequency between 4 and 8 Hz, according to Hsieh.

Previous research indicated that the theta wave could be the main reason causing the decline in brain function. Hsieh on the other hand had proven that the neurofeedback training method can effectively slow down aging.

Using a sample of 16 elder people aged between 60 and 70 years old as subjects, Hsieh carried out the training on them for 12 times within a one-month period while successfully enhance the amount of theta wave activity.

The principle behind this training is recording real-time theta wave activity and attempting to adjust brainwave activity through audio and visual feedback in order to achieve the desired target.

After 12-month training, Hsieh found that the subjects' attention and working memory performance had significantly improved, thus implying that subjects had experienced an improvement in brainwave and brain performance.

"Many subjects noted that focusing their own attention or concentrating on thinking about an activity such as mental arithmetic or reciting poems could increase brainwave activity the most," Hsieh revealed.

She also added, "Others also discovered that those receiving such training in a relaxed, meditative state will also experience the good effect of the training."

Source: National Cheng Kung University


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