Alpha Neurofeedback Training for Performance Enhancement: Reviewing the Methodology


  • D. Vernon
  • T. Dempster
  • O. Bazanova
  • N. Rutterford
  • M. Pasqualini
  • S. Andersen



Introduction. Considerable interest has been, and still is, generated by the potential performance enhancing benefits of alpha neurofeedback training (NFT) for healthy participants. A plausible rationale for such training, with an aim to improve mood and/or enhance cognition, can be made based upon what is already known of the links between alpha EEG activity and behavior. However, designing an optimal NFT paradigm remains difficult because a number of methodological factors that may influence the outcome of such training remain largely unexplored. Method. This article focuses on these methodological factors in an attempt to highlight some of the unanswered questions and stimulate future research. Results. Specifically, this article examines the NFT training schedule; the variety, basis, and setting of reward thresholds; the nature and modality of the feedback signal provided; unidirectional as compared to bidirectional NFT; the establishment of a target frequency range for alpha; whether NFT should be conducted with eyes open or closed; and the identification of a clear index of learning. Conclusions. Throughout, the article provides a number of suggestions and possible directions for future research.