fNIRS neurofeedback: regional-specific modulation

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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy-informed neurofeedback: regional-specific modulation of lateral orbitofrontal activation and cognitive flexibility.

Neurophotonics. 2019 Apr;6(2):025011

Authors: Li K, Jiang Y, Gong Y, Zhao W, Zhao Z, Liu X, Kendrick KM, Zhu C, Becker B

Abstract
Cognitive flexibility and reward processing critically rely on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Dysregulations in these domains and orbitofrontal activation have been reported in major psychiatric disorders. Hemodynamic brain imaging-informed neurofeedback allows regional-specific control over brain activation and thus may represent an innovative intervention to regulate orbitofrontal dysfunctions. Against this background the present proof-of-concept study evaluates the feasibility and behavioral relevance of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-assisted neurofeedback training of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC). In a randomized sham-controlled between-subject design, 60 healthy participants have undergone four subsequent runs of training to enhance the lOFC activation. Training-induced changes in the lOFC, attentional set-shifting performance, and reward experience have served as primary outcomes. Feedback from the target channel significantly increases the regional-specific lOFC activation over the four training runs in comparison with sham neurofeedback. The real-time OFC neurofeedback group demonstrates a trend for faster responses during the set-shifting relative to the sham neurofeedback group. Within the real-time OFC neurofeedback group, stronger training-induced lOFC increases are associated with higher reward experience. The present results demonstrate that fNIRS-informed neurofeedback allows regional-specific regulation of lOFC activation and may have the potential to modulate the associated behavioral domains. As such fNIRS-informed neurofeedback may represent a promising strategy to regulate OFC dysfunctions in psychiatric disorders.

PMID: 31930153 [PubMed]

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