Optimising Perceptuo-motor Performance and Learning with EEG Neurofeedback

Ros, Tomas. 2010. Optimising Perceptuo-motor Performance and Learning with EEG Neurofeedback. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The neurobiological functions of an organism serve to assist its adaptation to behaviourally challenging environments, which commonly involves the learning and refinement of perceptuo-motor skills. The intensity and time scale at which this occurs is critical towards survival. Previous work has observed that the neurochemical and neuroelectric (EEG) operation of specific functional systems is upregulated during so-called ‘activated’ states of behaviour. Thus it has recently been shown that artificial (i.e. exogenous) stimulation of such systems via pharmacological or electrical means can successfully modulate as well as enhance learning and associated behavioural performance. We hypothesized that neurofeedback, which is implemented through non-invasive volitional control of electrocortical rhythms (EEG), offers an alternate and natural (i.e. endogenous) way to modulate and thereby stimulate analogous systems.

Study 1 shows that neurofeedback is a viable and beneficial method for improving the acquisition and performance of perceptuo-motor skills in trainee microsurgeons, when compared to a wait-list control group. With the aid of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), Study 2 demonstrates for the first time that 30 minutes of a single neurofeedback session directly leads to a robust and correlated change in corticomotor plasticity which is usually associated with learning or observed after exogenous stimulation. Lastly, Study 3 investigates the short-term modulation of one session of‘excitatory’ neurofeedback on the subsequent performance of a serial reaction-time task (SRTT), an experimental paradigm widely used as a model for procedural perceptuo-motor learning.

In conclusion, this thesis contributes original evidence of direct as well as long-term functional enhancements following EEG neurofeedback, and supports its use as a safe, non-invasive and natural method for improving human perceptuo-motor performance and learning.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



December 2010

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Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2012 17:44

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:23



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