Neural network dynamics during biofeedback

Kozlova L.I.
FIC FTM 630060, Timakov St., 2, Novosibirsk, Russia,

    To date, the medicine development requires deep understanding of physiological processes underlining this or that medical technology. Using FMRI in neurology and psychiatry allowed to look in a new way on treatment methods that has been long and successfully applied. We have conducted an FMRI study of the EEG biofeedback using neural networks constructing (ICA analysis) and assessing the dynamics of their change.
    29 healthy men (20-35 years old) who completed 20 sessions of EEG biofeedback training course outside of MR scanner participated in the experiment. The main group (20 persons) received feedback aimed to increase their alpha rhythm power, and the control group (9 persons) was instructed to increase their beta rhythm power. The instructions and electrodes placement in both groups corresponded to the protocol of alpha training. In the feedback contour in MR scanner three records were obtained: at the beginning, in the middle, and after course completion. Analyzed were data from the "successful” (increase in power at two stages) and "good" (increase in power at least at the first stage) groups, and general changes of interrelations between their components were studied.
    When comparing the first and the second alpha training registrations, a decrease in connectivity of visuospatial network (VSN) with cerebellum network (Cerebellum) and with right executive control network (RECN), as well as of cuneus network (Cuneus) with RECN, was revealed.
    From the second to the third stage of alpha training the increase of coherence in the pairs VSN - language network (LN) and Precuneus - anterior salience network (ASN) was found to be common.
    In general, from the first to the third stage of alpha training the connectivity of Cerebellum with VSN and with high level visual network (HVN), and of Cuneus with RECN; the increase of connectivity was common for interactions of HVN with Precuneus, Cuneus, VSN, Precuneus with ASN, Cuneus with VSN.
    For beta training the common changes of network interrelations was observed only when comparing the first and the third stages, in the form of decreased connectivity between Cuneus and primary visual network (PVN).
    The main result is that we succeeded to show the differences in the structure and interactions of the neural networks involved into the organization and functioning of alpha- and the beta- generating systems, which inevitably has to be considered in the organization of medical technologies that are based on EEG biofeedback.
    We consider as promising further possible applications of different types of biofeedback (FMRI, EEG patterns of neural networks activation) organized by networks obtained in the experiment, to impact on certain symptoms, for example, ASN for anxiety, RECN for the conditions accompanied by feelings of tension.
    This study was supported by Russian Science Foundation (RSF grant N 16-15-00183).