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An Effective Neurofeedback Intervention to Improve Social Interactions in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • Author(s): Friedrich, Elisabeth VC
  • Sivanathan, Aparajithan
  • Lim, Theodore
  • Suttie, Neil
  • Louchart, Sandy
  • Pillen, Steven
  • Pineda, Jaime A
  • et al.
Abstract

Neurofeedback training (NFT) approaches were investigated to improve behavior, cognition and emotion regulation in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thirteen children with ASD completed pre-/post-assessments and 16 NFT-sessions. The NFT was based on a game that encouraged social interactions and provided feedback based on imitation and emotional responsiveness. Bidirectional training of EEG mu suppression and enhancement (8-12 Hz over somatosensory cortex) was compared to the standard method of enhancing mu. Children learned to control mu rhythm with both methods and showed improvements in (1) electrophysiology: increased mu suppression, (2) emotional responsiveness: improved emotion recognition and spontaneous imitation, and (3) behavior: significantly better behavior in every-day life. Thus, these NFT paradigms improve aspects of behavior necessary for successful social interactions.

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