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Investigation of the neurofeedback technique using MRI

Grant number: 17/10341-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics
Principal Investigator:Gabriela Castellano
Grantee:Carlos Alberto Stefano Filho
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID


Neurofeedback (NFB) training has been used as an alternative or complementary treatment for various types of mental illnesses or neurological conditions, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, control of drug addiction, epilepsy and depression. The method consists of individual training of a person, such that they learn how to modulate their cerebral response according to a given strategy. However, there are several aspects of the NFB training that are not, yet, fully understood, such as the neural substrates responsible for causing brain changes. Thus, a better understanding of this technique is of major importance from an academic point of view, providing clearance of the NFB mechanism, as well as from a medical point of view, allowing the possibility of applying it to new treatments. The aim of this work is to perform a study of the NFB training technique, in order to allow better understanding of the manner through which it may induce brain changes in a person performing the treatment. To do so, healthy subjects will be asked to participate in the study, and will be assigned to one of three groups: the NFB group, that will perform an electroencephalography (EEG) based NFB training; the sham-NFB group, that will participate in a similar training to the NFB group, but with "noise" instead of actual brain signals; and a control group, that will not perform any type of treatment. All subjects will be evaluated through magnetic resonance (MR) exams to search for possible brain changes due to NFB training. These exams will include structural analyses, such as VBM (voxel based morphometry) and DTI (diffusion tensor imagining), and functional analyses (rfMRI, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging). Also, simultaneous EEG-fMRI acquisitions may be performed, in order to obtain complementary information from the NFB training users' brain, since these two techniques provide signals of distinct natures. This work will be developed within the "Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology" (BRAINN), a FAPESP's RDIC, in the Neurophysics Group of the "Gleb Wataghin" Physics Institute of UNICAMP. This work has already been approved by UNICAMP's ethical committee, on 25/05/2016 (CAAE 53041616.6.0000.5404). (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RODRIGUES, PAULA G.; STEFANO FILHO, CARLOS A.; ATTUX, ROMIS; CASTELLANO, GABRIELA; SORIANO, DIOGO C. Space-time recurrences for functional connectivity evaluation and feature extraction in motor imagery brain-computer interfaces. MEDICAL & BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING & COMPUTING, v. 57, n. 8, p. 1709-1725, AUG 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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