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Control freaks: Towards optimal selection of control conditions for fMRI neurofeedback studies

Sorger, Bettina, Scharnowski, Frank, Linden, David E.J., Hampson, Michelle and Young, Kymberly D. 2019. Control freaks: Towards optimal selection of control conditions for fMRI neurofeedback studies. NeuroImage 186 , pp. 256-265. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.11.004

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fMRI Neurofeedback research employs many different control conditions. Currently, there is no consensus as to which control condition is best, and the answer depends on what aspects of the neurofeedback-training design one is trying to control for. These aspects can range from determining whether participants can learn to control brain activity via neurofeedback to determining whether there are clinically significant effects of the neurofeedback intervention. Lack of consensus over criteria for control conditions has hampered the design and interpretation of studies employing neurofeedback protocols. This paper presents an overview of the most commonly employed control conditions currently used in neurofeedback studies and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. Control conditions covered include no control, treatment-as-usual, bidirectional-regulation control, feedback of an alternative brain signal, sham feedback, and mental-rehearsal control. We conclude that the selection of the control condition(s) should be determined by the specific research goal of the study and best procedures that effectively control for relevant confounding factors

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 December 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 November 2018
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 22:50

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