THE REAL TIME FMRI NEUROFEEDBACK

THE REAL TIME FMRI NEUROFEEDBACK: ACHIEVEMENTS, POSSIBILITIES, PERSPECTIVES, AND THE LAST YEARS TENDENCIES

Melnikov M.Ye.

Federal Research Center of Fundamental and Translational Medicine, Research Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, mikhail-melnikov@mail.ru

Biofeedback is a research and clinical method aimed to teach a subject or a patient to voluntarily change values of a certain biological variable, i.e. for achieving a clinical effect. With the possibility of comparatively rapid fMRI acquisition this signal became available for a biofeedback.
According to fMRI possibilities the target of such a biofeedback may be any cortical (occipital, central, temporal, prefrontal, or insular) or subcortical (amygdala, substantia nigra, or striatum) area activity or intensity of region to region connectivity. Target also may be defined with a functional probe or as a pattern of voxels’ co-activation.
An experience of method application demonstrates its efficacy in correction of dysfunctional eating behavior and changing visual perception in healthy volunteers. Some results were also published concerning fMRI neurofeedback impact on symptoms of schizophrenia, post-stroke states, Parkinson disease, alcohol and smoking addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, tinnitus and so on. However, transfer of the technology to the status of clinical intervention seems to be premature.
The contemporary tendencies of the field development include the growth of interest to bimodal integration such as fMRI-EEG and fMRI-MEG. Another trend is a moving from pilot studies to randomized ones, search for a possibilities of double blind design implementation, placebo control, and protocols of unconscious biofeedback, grown attention to technical sides of fMRI acquisition. The novel targets are becoming available such as global networks and geometrical patterns of voxels (a decoded biofeedback).
The study is supported by Russian Science Foundation grant No 16-15-00183.
 

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