Alpha neurofeedback training for performance enhancement: Reviewing the methodology

D Vernon, T Dempster, O Bazanova, N Rutterford, M Pasqualini, S Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Considerable interest has been, and still is, generated by the potential performance enhancing benefits of alpha neurofeedback training (NFT) for healthy participants. A plausible rationale for such training, with an aim to improve mood and/or enhance cognition, can be made based upon what is already known of the links between alpha EEG activity and behavior. However, designing an optimal NFT paradigm remains difficult because a number of methodological factors that may influence the outcome of such training remain largely unexplored.

Method: This article focuses on these methodological factors in an attempt to highlight some of the unanswered questions and stimulate future research.

Results: Specifically, this article examines the NFT training schedule; the variety, basis, and setting of reward thresholds; the nature and modality of the feedback signal provided; unidirectional as compared to bidirectional NFT; the establishment of a target frequency range for alpha; whether NFT should be conducted with eyes open or closed; and the identification of a clear index of learning.

Conclusions: Throughout, the article provides a number of suggestions and possible directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-227
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurotherapy
Issue number4
Early online date30 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Alpha
  • EEG
  • methodology
  • neurofeedback
  • peak performance

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