Neurofeedback as a Treatment for ADHD: A Methodological Review with Implications for Future Research
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represents one of the most common psychiatric disorders in childhood,resulting in serious impairment across a variety of domains. Research showing that a high proportion of children with ADHD exhibit a dysfunctional electroencephalogram (EEG), relative to aged-matched peers, provides a rationale for the use of neurofeedback as an intervention. The aim of neurofeedback training is to redress any EEG abnormality, resulting in a concomitant improvement in the behaviour and/or cognitive performance of these children. This review focused on studies using neurofeedback to treat children with ADHD, with particular emphasis on the methodological aspects of neurofeedback training. Specifically, the review examined the modality of feedback provided, the different training parameters and their underlying rationale, and the particular montages used. In addition, the review also focused on the duration, frequency and total number of training sessions required to obtain a positive effect in terms of a change in the individual’s EEG, behaviour and/or cognitive performance. Finally, the long-term effects of neurofeedback and the potential negative side effects were reviewed. Throughout, the review provides a number of directions for future research.