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Learning DisorderLearning Disorder

Electroencephalogram Biofeedback for Reading Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury by Thornton KE Ph.D. and Carmody DP Ph.D.

Reading disabilities present major challenges to the educational system. The estimated prevalence rate for learning disabilities is 15% of the student population [1], with 6.5 million children requiring special education in 2002 [2]. Approximately 63% of these special education children have specific learning disabilities or speech and language problems without a concomitant physical disability. Between 28% and 43% of inmates in adult correctional facilities require special education (versus 5% in normal population), and 82% of prison inmates in the United States are school dropouts [3].

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Research Papers


Post WISC-R and TOVA improvement with QEEG guided neurofeedback training in mentally retarded: a clinical case series of behavioral problems (abstract) by Surmeli T, Ertem A.

According to the DSM-IV, Mental Retardation is significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety. In pilot work, we have seen positive clinical effects of Neurofeedback (NF) applied to children with Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and other forms of mental retardation. Given that many clinicians use NF in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Generalized Learning Disability cases, we studied the outcomes of a clinical case series using Quantitative EEG (QEEG) guided NF in the treatment of mental retardation. All 23 subjects received NF training. The QEEG data for most subjects had increased theta, alpha, and coherence abnormalities.

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Effect of SMR-Beta Training on Neurocognitive Performance by Kaiser D Ph.D.

One-hundred and two school-aged children (28 female, 74 male) with attentional problems (impulsive, inattentive, and/or hyperactive) participated in this study. Thirty-two were clearly diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. Mean age was 9.7 y, with a range from 6 to 14 years of age. Characteristically, the intake criteria were generous. Nearly half of the children exhibited learning disabilities, Conduct Disorder, or ODD comorbid conditions.

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Neurofeedback for Elementary Students with Identified Learning Problems (abs. pg.4) by Orlando PC Ph.D. and Rivera RO B.S.

The goal of this research was to ascertain whether basic reading, reading comprehension, the reading composite, and IQ scores could be improved using neurofeedback. Pre-test and post-test reading and cognitive assessments were administered to sixth, seventh and eighth graders identified as having learning problems. Control and experimental groups were chosen at random.

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EEG and Behavioral Changes Following Neurofeedback Treatment in Learning Disabled Children (abs.) by Fernández T, Herrera W, Harmony T, Díaz-Comas L, Santiago E, Sánchez L, Bosch J, Fernández-Bouzas A, Otero G, Ricardo-Garcell J, Barraza C, Aubert E, Galán L, Valdés R

Neurofeedback (NFB) is an operant conditioning procedure, by which the subject learns to control his/her EEG activity. On one hand, Learning Disabled (LD) children have higher values of theta EEG absolute and relative power than normal children, and on the other hand, it has been shown that minimum alpha absolute power is necessary for adequate performance.

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Facilitation of Performance on an Arithmetic Task as a Result of the Application of a Biofeedback Procedure to Suppress Alpha Wave Activity (abs.) by Jackson GM and Eberly DA

An electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback procedure was used in a pilot study to decrease the percent of time in alpha wave activity with five mentally retarded adults while engaged in an arithmetic test

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Operant Conditioning of Left-Hemispheric Slow Cortical Potentials and Its Effect on Word Processing (abs.) by Pulvermüller F, Mohr B, Schleichert H, Veit R

This study investigated whether language-related cognitive processes can be modified by learned modulation of cortical activity. Study participants received feedback of slow cortical potentials (SCPs) recorded above left-hemispheric language cortices and were reinforced for producing negative and positive shifts upon two different discriminative stimuli. In all subjects who achieved reliable control of left-hemispheric brain responses, substantial modification of word processing was observed.

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EEG Sensorimotor Rhythm Biofeedback Training: Some Effects on the Neurologic Precursors of Learning Disabilities (abs.) by Tansey MA

This study presents a clinical treatment regime for pathological interhemispheric dysfunction with respect to a population of learning disabled boys. The results obtained replicate and extend earlier findings with respect to operantly conditioned increases in amplitude of sensorimotor transactions and its positive effect on learning disability.

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EMG and EEG Biofeedback Training in the Treatment of a 10-year-old Hyperactive Boy with a Developmental Reading Disorder (abs.) by Tansey MA and Bruner RL

The serial application of electromyographic (EMG) and sensorimotor (SMR) biofeedback training was attempted with a 10-year-old boy presenting a triad of symptoms: an attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, developmental reading disorder, and ocular instability. Symptom elimination was achieved, for all three aspects of the triad, following the procedure of first conditioning a decrease in EMG-monitored muscle tension and then conditioning increases in the amplitude of sensorimotor rhythm over the Rolandic cortex.

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The Effect of Training Distinct Neurofeedback Protocols on Aspects of Cognitive Performance (abs.) by Vernon D, Egner T, Cooper N, Compton T, Neilands C, Sheri A, Gruzelier J

The use of neurofeedback as an operant conditioning paradigm has disclosed that participants are able to gain some control over particular aspects of their electroencephalogram (EEG). Based on the association between theta activity (4-7 Hz) and working memory performance, and sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) activity (12-15 Hz) and attentional processing, we investigated the possibility that training healthy individuals to enhance either of these frequencies would specifically influence a particular aspect of cognitive performance, relative to a non-neurofeedback control-group.

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