Multimodal Neuroimaging Predictors of Learning Performance of Sensorimotor Rhythm Up-Regulation Neurofeedback


Electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback (NFB) is a popular neuromodulation method to help one selectively enhance or inhibit his/her brain activities by means of real-time visual or auditory feedback of EEG signals. Sensory motor rhythm (SMR) NFB protocol has been applied to improve cognitive performance, but a large proportion of participants failed to self-regulate their brain activities and could not benefit from NFB training. Therefore, it is important to identify the neural predictors of SMR up-regulation NFB training performance for a better understanding the mechanisms of individual difference in SMR NFB. Twenty-seven healthy participants (12 males, age: 23.1 ± 2.36) were enrolled to complete three sessions of SMR up-regulation NFB training and collection of multimodal neuroimaging data [resting-state EEG, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and resting-state functional MRI (fMRI)]. Correlation analyses were performed between within-session NFB learning index and anatomical and functional brain features extracted from multimodal neuroimaging data, in order to identify the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological predictors for NFB learning performance. Lastly, machine learning models were trained to predict NFB learning performance using features from each modality as well as multimodal features. According to our results, most participants were able to successfully increase the SMR power and the NFB learning performance was significantly correlated with a set of neuroimaging features, including resting-state EEG powers, gray/white matter volumes from MRI, regional and functional connectivity (FC) of resting-state fMRI. Importantly, results of prediction analysis indicate that NFB learning index can be better predicted using multimodal features compared with features of single modality. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of multimodal neuroimaging technique as a tool to explain the individual difference in within-session NFB learning performance, and could provide a theoretical framework for early identification of individuals who cannot benefit from NFB training.

Frontiers in Neuroscience
Gan Huang
Gan Huang

My research interests include Neural Modulation, Brain Computer Interface and Neural Prosthetics.