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How Strong is the Research Support for Neurofeedback in Attention Deficits?

Posted Jan 25 2008 12:00am

Neurofeedback is one of the technologies that people often ask us about.  It is a promising intervention in a variety of areas, and has got significant traction in helping kids with ADD/ ADHD. Now, given the significant cost it poses for parents, we need to ask the question: “How Strong is the Research Support for Neurofeedback Treatment of Children with ADHD”?

We are honored to present the thoughts of Duke University’s Dr. David Rabiner, a leading authority on the field, on that important issue. As a bonus, you will enjoy his detailed description and suggestions of how to design a high-quality scientific study. Without further ado, let’s hear Dr. Rabiner speak.

- Alvaro

(Update as of March 2009: Dr. David Rabiner has written an update to the article below based on a newer study. You can read it clicking on link: )

How Strong is the Research Support for Neurofeedback Treatment of Children with ADHD? 

Neither of the two prominent approaches to treating ADHD – medication treatment and behavior therapy – are expected to effect long term changes in the child. Medication treatment induces short-term changes in brain activity that is associated with a reduction in symptoms for many individuals. Behavior therapy attempts to create a set of environmental contingencies that promote desired behavior in the child, but which is unlikely to endure when those contingencies are removed.

In recent years, researchers have begun devoting greater attention to the possibility that children – and adults – may be provided with particular kinds of experiences that may induce alterations in brain functioning that are associated with more enduring changes, i.e., they do not dissipate as soon as treatment ends.

Neurofeedback – also known as EEG Biofeedback – is reflective of this approach and has a history that goes back

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