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Title: Real-time fMRI-based neurofeedback in depression
Author: Habes, Isabelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 0568
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Currently available treatment methods are not always effective in improving depression. There is thus a pressing need for the development of novel treatment methods. Neurofeedback training can potentially alleviate symptoms of depression. By providing depressed patients with feedback about the ongoing processes in their brain via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), patients can be trained to increase the activation in positive emotion processing areas by engaging in positive imagery. The advantages of this method are that it is non-invasive, offers an individually tailored approach without any side-effects and has the capability to target the neurobiological and cognitive pathways putatively mediating depression. The main aim of this thesis was to elaborate on pilot findings that fMRI-neurofeedback has potential as an add-on treatment tool for depression (Linden et al., 2012). In doing so, this thesis does not focus on confirming that fMRI-neurofeedback can improve symptoms of depression as the dataset employed here is part of a larger dataset of a currently still running clinical trial. Instead this work investigated the feasibility of a control group receiving feedback from a scene processing area and assessed whether fMRI-neurofeedback can indeed affect emotion processing areas that function abnormally in depression and enhance perceived self-efficacy. Sixteen moderately to severely depressed patients took part in a course of five neurofeedback training sessions in which all patients learned to up-regulate the activation in their individually localised target areas. The patients that had received feedback from a positive emotion area influenced the activity in a wider emotion regulation network than just their target area. Additionally, the acquisition of self-regulation skills significantly improved scores on a self-efficacy scale. These findings confirmed the ability of neurofeedback to target biological and cognitive pathways putatively mediating depression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology