Study Indicates Real-Time Viewing of the Brain May Control Mental Health Disorders

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In a recent study, a team of psychologists of the University of Rochester wanted to determine whether real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback (rtfMRI-NF) could help a person to control neural activity that could further improve psychiatric illness. While in recent times, researchers have started using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for a better perception of the neural bases of psychiatric illness, it is also being used for experimental treatment of depression, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, substance use disorder, and schizophrenia with a technique called real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-NF).

The study included 410 participants and according to the result, when individuals were shown their own brain patterns in real-time, they were able to monitor activity in specific regions of the brain. This training is defined as neurofeedback that contributes an exciting and unique treatment method for psychiatric illness.

However, there were a few loopholes in the study. The data displayed less clear indication that whether voluntary control over the brain areas targeted by neurofeedback improved a person’s symptoms or cognitive impairments. In fact, it was also found out that there was a nearly 60% chance that a randomly selected person, upon receiving rtfMRI-NF, showed signs of improvement in symptoms.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Emily Dudek, David Dodell-Feder. The efficacy of real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback for psychiatric illness: A meta-analysis of the brain and behavioral outcomes. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2021; 121: 291 DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.12.020 1

👇 References:
  1. Dudek, E., & Dodell-Feder, D. (2021). The efficacy of real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback for psychiatric illness: A meta-analysis of brain and behavioral outcomes. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews121, 291-306. []
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