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

Elisabeth V C Friedrich, Aparajithan Sivanathan, Theodore Lim, Neil Suttie, Sandy Louchart, Steven Pillen, Jaime A Pineda


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This article is reference for: Autism and Neurofeedback Therapy

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.