Improvement of Working Memory Performance by Parietal Upper Alpha Neurofeedback Training

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Biomedical Engineering Department, Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran,

2 Electrical Engineering Department, Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran,

3 Department of Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Working memory (WM) is a part of human memory, the ability to maintain and manipulate information. WM performance is impaired in some neurological and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and ADHD. Neurofeedback training is a self-regulation method which can be used to improve WM performance by changing related EEG parameters. In this paper we used neurofeedback training to improve WM performance in eight healthy individuals. The protocol was consisted of individual upper alpha up-training in parietal brain lobe of participants which is a part of fronto-parietal network and related to central executive functions of WM. Power of individual upper alpha band in channels P3 and P4 was used for neurofeedback training in five sessions. 2-back working memory test was used to measure WM performance before and after the course. Results indicated success of subjects in neurofeedback training and enhancement of individual upper alpha power in both channels (P3 and P4). Results of 2-back test indicated that improvement in response accuracy and response time of test was significant. Also the correlation between the change in power of individual upper alpha band in channel P3 and change in response time of 2-back test was significant approximately (r= -0.571 and P=0.076). In conclusion it seems that individual upper alpha neurofeedback up-training in parietal lobe is an appropriate method to improve WM performance.

Keywords