Multimodal and hemispheric graph-theoretical brain network predictors of learning efficacy for frontal alpha asymmetry neurofeedback


EEG neurofeedback using frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) has been widely used for emotion regulation, but its effectiveness is controversial. Studies indicated that individual differences in neurofeedback training can be traced to neuroanatomical and neurofunctional features. However, they only focused on regional brain structure or function and overlooked possible neural correlates of the brain network. Besides, no neuroimaging predictors for FAA neurofeedback protocol have been reported so far. We designed a single-blind pseudo-controlled FAA neurofeedback experiment and collected multimodal neuroimaging data from healthy participants before training. We assessed the learning performance for evoked EEG modulations during training (L1) and at rest (L2), and investigated performance-related predictors based on a combined analysis of multimodal brain networks and graph-theoretical features. The main findings of this study are described below. First, both real and sham groups could increase their FAA during training, but only the real group showed a significant increase in FAA at rest. Second, the predictors during training blocks and at rests were different L1 was correlated with the graph-theoretical metrics (clustering coefficient and local efficiency) of the right hemispheric gray matter and functional networks, while L2 was correlated with the graph-theoretical metrics (local and global efficiency) of the whole-brain and left the hemispheric functional network. Therefore, the individual differences in FAA neurofeedback learning could be explained by individual variations in structural/functional architecture, and the correlated graph-theoretical metrics of learning performance indices showed different laterality of hemispheric networks. These results provided insight into the neural correlates of inter-individual differences in neurofeedback learning.

Cognitive Neurodynamics
Gan Huang
Gan Huang

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