Combining frontal gamma asymmetry neurofeedback with virtual reality: A proof of concept case study
AbstractThe current proof of concept case study was designed to determine if a consumer-grade neurofeedback system (Muse) could be used in conjunction with specially designed VR environments (Positivity by Healium) to impact gamma frontal asymmetry as well as create positive changes in mood states. Four firefighters served as subjects and completed pre-post mood rating scales as well as 19-channel EEG recordings. An examination of sLORETA frontal lobe ROI’s demonstrated a post-intervention gamma asymmetry shift to the left in 3 of the 4 subjects. In addition, subjects generally reported changes in mood consistent with the frontal asymmetry changes. Overall, these results provide initial support for the idea that a consumer grade BCI/VR intervention can potentially have therapeutic utility and deserve further study.
Baehr, E., & Baehr, R. (1997). The use of brainwave biofeedback as an adjunctive therapeutic treatment for depression: Three case studies. Biofeedback, 25(1), 10–11.
Baehr, F., Rosenfeld, J. P., Baehr, R., & Earnest, C. (1999). Clinical use of an alpha asymmetry protocol in treatment of mood disorders. In J.R. Evans & A. Abarbanel (Eds.), Introduction to quantitativeEEG and neurofeedback (pp. 181–201). New York: Academic Press.
Barnhofer, T., & Chittka, T. (2010). State effects of two forms of meditation on prefrontal EEG asymmetry in previously depressed individuals. Mindfulness, 1:21-27.
Bhayee, S., Tomaszewski, P., Lee, D.H., Moffat, G., Pino, L., Moreno, S., & Farb, N.A.S. (2016). Attentional and affective consequences of technology supported mindfulness training: A randomized, active control, efficacy trial. BMC Psychology, 4, 60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40359-016-0168-6
Bonnstetter, R.J., Hebets, D., & Wigton, N.L. (2015). Frontal gamma asymmetry in response to soft skills stimuli: A pilot study. NeuroRegulation, 2 (2), 70-85. http://dx.doi.org/10.15540/nr.2.2.70
Cho, B., Kim, S., Shin, D.I., Lee, J.H., Lee, S.M., Kim, I.Y., & Kim, S.I. (2004). Neurofeedback training with virtual reality for inattention and impulsivity. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7(5), 519-526. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2004.7.519
Davidson, R.J. (2004). What does the prefrontal cortex “do” in affect: Perspectives on frontal EEG asymmetry research. Biological Psychology, 67(1-2), 219-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2004.03.008
Deldin, P. J., & Chiu, P. (2005). Cognitive restructuring and EEG in major depression. Biological Psychology, 70(3), 41-151.
Engstrom, M., & Soderfeldt, B. (2010). Brain activation compassion meditation: A case study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(5), 597-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/acm.2009.0309
Hammond, D. C. (2000). Neurofeedback treatment of depression with the Roshi. Journal of Neurotherapy, 4(2), 45-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J184v04n02_06
Hammond, D. C. (2005a). Neurofeedback treatment of depression and anxiety. Journal of Adult Development, 12(2), 131-137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10804-005-7029-5
Hammond, D. C. (2005b). Neurofeedback with anxiety and affective disorders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14, 105-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chc.2004.07.008
Jackson, D. C., Mueller, C. J., Dolski, I., Dalton, K. M., Nitschke, J. B., Urry, H. L., . . . Davidson, R. J. (2003). Now you feel it, now you don’t: Frontal brain electrical asymmetry and individual differences in emotion regulation. Psychological Science, 14, 612-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0956-7976.2003.psci_1473.x
Kovacevic, N., Ritter, P., Tays, W., Moreno, S., & McIntosh, A.R. (2015). ‘My virtual dream’: Collective neurofeedback in a immersive art environment. PLOS One. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130129
Lamson, R.J. (1994). Virtual therapy of anxiety disorders. Cyberedge Journal, 4 (1), 6-8.
Lutz, A., Greischar, L. L., Rawlings, N. B., Ricard, M., & Davidson, R.J. (2004). Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(46), 16369-16373. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0407401101
Mennella, R., Patron, E., & Palomba, D. (2017) Frontal alpha asymmetry neurofeedback for the reduction of negative affect and anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 92(5), 32-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2017.02.002
Maples-Keller, J., Bunnell, B., Kim, S., & Rothbaum, B. (2017). The use of virtual reality technology in the treatment of anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 25(3), 103-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000138
Moscovitch, D.A., Santesso, D.L., Miskovic, V., McCabe, R.E., Antony, M.M., & Schmidt, L.A. (2011). Frontal EEG asymmetry and symptom response to cognitive behavioral therapy in patients with social anxiety disorder. Biological Psychology, 87, 379-85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.04.009
Oakes, T. R., Pizzagalli, D. A., Hendrick, A. M., Horras, K. A., Larson, C. L., & Abercrombie, H.C., . . . Davidson, R.J. (2004). Functional coupling of simultaneous electrical and metabolic activity in the human brain. Human Brain Mapping, 21(4), 257-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20004.
Peining, P., Tan, G., & Phyo Wai, AA. (2017, August). Evaluation of Consumer-Grade EEG Headsets for BCI Drone Control. Presented at IRC Conference on Science, Engineering, and Technology. Retrieved from http://oar.a-star.edu.sg:80/jspui/handle/123456789/2149
Papousek, I., Reiser, E.M., Weber, B., Freudenthaler, H.H., & Schulter, G. (2012). Frontal brain asymmetry and affective flexibility in an emotional contagion paradigm. Psychophysiology, 49, 489-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01324.x
Quaedflieg, C. W. E. M., Smulders, F. T. Y, Meyer, T., Peeters, F., Merckelbach, H., & Smeets, T. (2016). The validity of individual frontal alpha asymmetry EEG neurofeedback. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 33-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsv090.
Ramsoy, T. Z., Skov, M., Chrisensen, M. K., & Stahlhut, C. (2018). Frontal Brain Asymmetry and Willingness to Pay. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 138. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00138
Rizzo, A., & Koenig, S. (2017). Is clinical virtual reality ready for primetime? Neuropsychology, 1 (8), 877-899. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000405
Rothbaum, B. O., Hodges, L. F., Kooper, R., Opdyke, D., Williford, J. S., North, M. (1995). Effectiveness of computer-generated (virtual reality) graded exposure in the treatment of acrophobia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152: 626-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/ajp.152.4.626
Ruch, W. & Köhler, G. (1999). The measurement of state and trait cheerfulness. In: I. Mervielde, I. Deary, F. De Fruyt and F. Ostendorf (Eds.), Personality Psychology in Europe (Vol 7), Tilburg University Press, 67-83. https://www.uzh.ch/cmsssl/psychologie/dam/jcr:00000000-38b5-2dd4-ffff-ffffe7a43322/63_m_1999_Ruch_Koehler.pdf
Sutton, S.K., & Davidson, R.J. (1997). Prefrontal brain asymmetry: A biological substrate of the behavioral approach and inhibition systems. Biological Psychological Science, 8(3), 204-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00413.x
Tarrant, J. (2017). Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain: Integrating Neuroscience Strategies for ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing & Media.
Thibodeau, R., Jorgensen, R.S., & Kim, S. (2006). Depression, anxiety, and resting frontal EEG asymmetry: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 715-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.115.4.715
Tomarken, A.J., Davidson, R.J., Wheeler, R.E., & Doss, R.C. (1992). Individual differences in anterior brain asymmetry and fundamental dimensions of emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 676-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.526
Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Psychology, 54(6), 1063-1070. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2063
Copyright (c) 2018 Jeff Tarrant, Hannah Cope
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).