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Title: Electrostimulation contingencies and attention, electrocortical activity and neurofeedback
Author: Chen, Jean-Lon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 6295
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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There is a growing body of evidence for diverse ways of modulating neuronal processing to improve cognitive performance. These include brain-based feedback, self-regulation techniques such as EEG-neurofeedback, and stimulation strategies, alone or in combination. The thesis goal was to determine whether a combined strategy would have advantages for normal cognitive function; specifically operant control of EEG activity in combination with transcutaneous electro-acustimulation. In experiment one the association between transcutaneous electroacustimulation (EA) and improved perceptual sensitivity was demonstrated with a visual GO/NOGO attention task (Chen et al, 2011). Furthermore reduced commission errors were related to an electrocortical motor inhibition component during and after alternating high and low frequency EA, whereas habituation in the control group with sham stimulation was related to different independent components. Experiment two applied frequency-domain ICA to detect changes in EEG power spectra from the eyes-closed to the eyes-open state (Chen et al, 2012). A multiple step approach was provided for analysing the spatiotemporal dynamics of default mode and resting state networks of cerebral EEG sources, preferable to conventional scalp EEG data analysis. Five regions were defined, compatible with fMRI studies. In experiment three the EA approach of Exp I was combined with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback. SMR training improved perceptual sensitivity, an effect not found in a noncontingent feedback group. However, non-significant benefits resulted from EA. With ICA spectral power analysis changes in frontal beta power were associated with contingent SMR training. Possible long-term effects on an attention network in the resting EEG were also found after SMR training, compared with mock SMR training. In conclusion, this thesis has supplied novel evidence for significant cognitive and electrocortical effects of neurofeedback training and transcutaneous electro-acustimulation in healthy humans. Possible implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral