ADHD research

The following recent article extracts (presented in date order from 2009-2000) are all from peer-reviewed scientific research journals:



Arns et al (2009): “Efficacy of Neurofeedback Treatment in ADHD: the Effects of Inattention, Impulsivity and Hyperactivity: a Meta-Analysis”.

The authors collected research on neurofeedback treatment for ADHD and performed a meta-analysis. The authors conclude that neurofeedback treatment for ADHD can be considered “efficacious and specific” with a large effect size for inattention and impulsivity and medium effect size for hyperactivity.



Gevensleben et al. (2009a): “Is neurofeedback an efficacious treatment for ADHD? A randomised controlled clinical trial”.

The authors report the clinical efficacy of neurofeedback in children with ADHD; neurofeedback training was found to be superior to a computerised attention skills training concerning the reduction of ADHD symptomatology.



Gevensleben et al. (2009b): “Distinct EEG effects related to neurofeedback training in children with adhd: A randomized controlled trial”.

The authors report that differential EEG patterns for neurofeedback training provide further evidence that distinct neuronal mechanisms may contribute to similar behavioral improvements in children with ADHD.



Cannon et al (2009): “Differentiating a network of executive attention: LORETA neurofeedback in anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices”. 

It was found that LORETA neurofeedback appeared to enhance the functioning and strengthening of networks of cortical units physiologically related to each region of training.



Holnthaner (2008): “Neurofeedback in ADHD/ADD treatment” [Slovene].

The author reviews research that shows that during the procedure subjects improve the core symptoms of ADHD such as the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.



Leins et al (2006): “Neurofeedback for children with ADHD: A comparison of SCP- and Theta/Beta-Protocols” [German].

The authors found that neurofeedback groups were able to voluntarily regulate cortical activity, with the extent of learned self-regulation depending on task and condition. Neurofeedback groups improved in attention and IQ. Parents and teachers reported significant behavioral and cognitive improvements. Clinical effects for the neurofeedback groups remained stable six months after training.



Beauregard & Levesque (2006): “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Investigation of the Effects of Neurofeedback Training on the Neural Bases of Selective Attention and Response Inhibition in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder”.

The results suggest that neurofeedback training has the capacity to functionally normalize the brain systems mediating selective attention and response inhibition in AD/HD children.



Jacobs (2005): “Neurofeedback treatment of two children with learning, attention, mood, social, and developmental deficits”.

Neurofeedback was a successful treatment for two multi-symptomatic and diagnosed boys, whose improvements surpassed the gains made with previous therapies. The advantages of neurofeedback include the relative absence of observable adverse effects, the lack of reliance on medication with its possible side effects and noncompliance, and the possibility of long-term gains without continued intervention.



Li & Yu-Feng (2005): “EEG Biofeedback treatment on ADHD Children with comorbid tic disorder” [Chinese].

EEG feedback treatment was found to be effective in children with ADHD and comorbid tic disorder.


Fox et al (2005): “Neurofeedback: An alternative and efficacious treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”.

The article illustrates current treatment modalities, compares them to neurofeedback, and presents the benefits of utilizing neurofeedback treatment to control and potentially alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.



Foks (2005): “Neurofeedback training as an educational intervention in a school setting: How the regulation of arousal states can lead to improved attention and behaviour in children with special needs”.

Results indicate that neurofeedback may make an important impact on emotions and affect of the special educational needs individual, leading to improved behaviour and improved attentional capability; quality time spent on a no-failure task of any kind on a one-to-one basis may be beneficial to children with special educational needs, affecting their personal belief system and behaviour.



Butnik (2005): “Neurofeedback in Adolescents and Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”.

Individuals who complete a course of training sessions often show reduced primary ADHD symptoms. Research has shown that neurofeedback outcomes compare favorably to those of stimulant medication.



Holtmann et al (2004): “Neurofeedback for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood and adolescence” [German].

In three controlled studies short-term effects of feedback matched those of stimulant treatment. Neurofeedback lead to significant improvement of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, without adversive side effects. Additionally, there was a persistent amelioration of EEG parameters, while stimulants did not lead to a comparable normalization.



Egner & Gruzelier (2004): “EEG Biofeedback of low beta band components: Frequency-specific effects on variables of attention and event-related brain potentials”.

Neurofeedback training of SMR and beta1 band components led to significant and protocol-specific effects in healthy subjects. The data can be interpreted as indicating a general attention-enhancing effect of SMR training, and an arousal-enhancing effect of beta1 training.



Fuchs et al (2003): “Neurofeedback treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: A comparison with methylphenidate”.

Findings suggest that neurofeedback was efficient in improving some of the behavioral concomitants of ADHD in children whose parents favored a nonpharmacological treatment.



Monastra et al (2002): “The effects of stimulant therapy, EEG biofeedback, and parenting style on the primary symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder”.

Only participants who had received EEG biofeedback sustained the significant improvements made on the Test of Variables of Attention and the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale when tested without Ritalin. The results of a Quantitative Electroencephalographic Scanning Process revealed significant reduction in cortical slowing only in patients who had received EEG biofeedback. Behavioral measures indicated that parenting style exerted a significant moderating effect on the expression of behavioral symptoms at home but not at school.



Jiang et al (2002): “EEG biofeedback on cognitive function of children with ADHD” [Chinese].

The results show that after the biofeedback treatment, the ADHD children improved in short-term memory, concentration, category performance, information processing speed, and reduced impulsiveness. The study concludes that EEG feedback can improve cognitive function of children with ADHD.



Keller (2001): “Neurofeedback Therapy of Attention Deficits in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury”.

Patients with traumatic brain injuries who received Neurofeedback Therapy improved significantly more in the attention tests than control patients.



Tinius & Tinius (2000): “Changes after EEG biofeedback and cognitive retraining in adults with mild traumatic brain injury and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”.

The results found significant improvement on full scale attention and full scale response accuracy of a continuous performance task in the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and ADHD groups compared to the control group. A self report showed a significant decline in symptoms in the mTBI and ADHD groups compared to the control group. The treatment model used in this study showed significant improvement in the sustained attention of individuals diagnosed with mTBI and ADHD after twenty treatment sessions.



Kaiser & Othmer (2000): “Effect of neurofeedback on variables of attention in a large multi-center trial”.

Results indicated that neurofeedback training produced significant improvement in attentiveness, impulse control, and response variability. Significant clinical improvement in one or more measures was seen in 85% of those subjects with moderate pre-training deficits. It is concluded that neurofeedback training is effective in remediating attentional dysfunction.




Further Reading


Kirk (2007): “Neurofeedback protocols for subtypes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder”. In Evans (Ed). (2007) Handbook of neurofeedback: Dynamics and clinical applications. Binghamton, NY, US: The Haworth Medical Press/The Haworth Press.

This chapter will review attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), touching on its historical definitions and treatments; differential diagnoses and comorbidities; current interventions and treatments for ADHD; populations for whom neurofeedback is appropriate; the historical development of neurofeedback protocols for ADHD; the "basic three" neurofeedback protocols that are supported by published controlled, group studies; neurofeedback protocol modifications developed from the "basic three"; the use of quantitative EEG (QEEG); the ADHD subtypes identified by neuroimaging; and some clinical issues related to the frequency and length of neurofeedback training for ADHD.


Thompson (2003): “Complementary Therapeutic Interventions: Neurofeedback, Metacognition, and Nutrition for Long-Term Improvement in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. In Fine & Kotkin (Eds) Therapist's guide to learning and attention disorder. San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press.

What parents want for their children, and what adults with attentional problems want for themselves, is the ability to manage their symptoms in a positive way for long-term success. This chapter introduces three interventions: neurofeedback, cognitive strategies, and nutritional considerations, which have the potential for making a difference, not just for 4 to 8 hours, but for a lifetime. All three approaches are without negative side effects and are based on learning.


Lubar (2003): “Neurofeedback for the management of attention deficit disorders”. In Schwartz & Andrasik (Eds) Biofeedback: A practitioner's guide (3rd ed.). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press. 

In this chapter, the author describes an adjunctive procedure for treatment and long-term management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder called neurofeedback. The author discusses the rationale for neurofeedback, including the criteria for an effective intervention with specific individuals. The author also describes the results from his clinic, his university-based research, and those of others.


Lubar & Lubar (1999): “Neurofeedback assessment and treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders”. In

Evans & Abarbanel (Eds) Introduction to quantitative EEG and neurofeedback. San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press.

This chapter considers the use of neurofeedback in the assessment and treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADD/ADHD). The authors discuss quantitative EEG and topographic brain mapping and SPECT findings that indicate that ADD/ADHD involves hypoactivation of the prefrontal lobes and medial central cortex, particularly during an intellectual or academic stress task. They suggest that, if different subtypes of ADD/ADHD can also be characterized as neurologically distinct, it is important to tailor neurofeedback treatment for the neurology presented by the subtype.


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