CEUnits Blog

Advancements in Neurofeedback: Enhancing Treatment Outcomes for ADHD

July 10th, 2023

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting millions of individuals worldwide. While traditional interventions like medication and behavioral therapy have been the cornerstone of ADHD treatment, advancements in neurofeedback techniques are revolutionizing the field. Neurofeedback offers a promising alternative by harnessing the brain’s plasticity to improve attention, self-regulation, and overall functioning in individuals with ADHD. This article explores the recent advancements in neurofeedback and its potential to enhance treatment outcomes for ADHD.

Understanding Neurofeedback and ADHD

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that trains individuals to self-regulate their brainwave activity. By providing real-time feedback on brainwave patterns, neurofeedback helps individuals learn to modulate their neural activity, leading to improved cognitive and behavioral functioning. In the case of ADHD, neurofeedback targets specific brainwave patterns associated with attention deficits and impulsivity12.

Neurofeedback Training Protocols: Neurofeedback training typically involves the use of electroencephalography (EEG) or quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) to measure brainwave activity. Personalized protocols are then developed based on an individual’s specific ADHD profile, targeting the identified dysregulated brainwave patterns. Through operant conditioning and neuroplasticity, individuals learn to increase or decrease specific brainwave frequencies associated with improved attention and self-regulation34.

Efficacy of Neurofeedback for ADHD

Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of neurofeedback in improving ADHD symptoms. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews have shown significant improvements in attention, impulsivity, and executive functions following neurofeedback training. These effects have been found to persist over the long term, indicating sustained benefits beyond the training period. Moreover, comparative effectiveness studies have shown that neurofeedback can be as effective as medication and behavioral therapies, providing a viable alternative or adjunctive treatment option567.

Advancements in Neurofeedback Techniques

Recent advancements in neurofeedback techniques have expanded the possibilities for ADHD treatment. Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) neurofeedback allows individuals to regulate activity in specific brain regions associated with ADHD symptoms. Slow Cortical Potentials (SCP) neurofeedback focuses on slow brainwave activity, training individuals to increase or decrease these potentials to improve self-regulation. Additionally, coherence training aims to enhance communication between brain regions, promoting more efficient neural networks8910.

Neurofeedback in Clinical Practice

Integrating neurofeedback into multidisciplinary ADHD treatment approaches has shown promising results. Neurofeedback can be used as an adjunctive therapy alongside medication and behavioral interventions, addressing the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD. Identifying suitable candidates for neurofeedback and tailoring treatment protocols to individual needs are crucial for optimizing outcomes11[^12].

Challenges and Future Directions

While neurofeedback holds great promise, there are challenges that need to be addressed. Standardization and guidelines for neurofeedback training protocols are still evolving, requiring further research and consensus within the field. Optimizing parameters such as individualized frequency bands and reinforcement strategies can enhance the effectiveness of neurofeedback. Additionally, emerging technologies such as virtual reality and immersive environments offer exciting opportunities for more immersive and engaging neurofeedback experiences[^13][^14].

Advancements in neurofeedback techniques hold great promise for individuals with ADHD by offering a non-invasive, drug-free, and personalized approach to treatment. The ability to target specific brainwave patterns and modulate neural dysregulation has shown encouraging results in improving attention, impulse control, and executive functioning. However, further research is needed to establish standardized protocols, address practical challenges, and explore the long-term benefits of neurofeedback. As the field continues to evolve, neurofeedback has the potential to become an integral component of comprehensive ADHD treatment, transforming the lives of individuals impacted by this disorder.


  1. Monastra, V.J. (2005). Electroencephalographic biofeedback (neurotherapy) as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Rationale and empirical foundation. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14(1), 55-82.
  2. Arns, M., Heinrich, H., & Strehl, U. (2014). Evaluation of neurofeedback in ADHD: The long and winding road. Biological Psychology, 95, 108-115.
  3. Arns, M., de Ridder, S., Strehl, U., Breteler, M., & Coenen, A. (2009). Efficacy of neurofeedback treatment in ADHD: The effects on inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity: A meta-analysis. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 40(3), 180-189.
  4. Gevensleben, H., Holl, B., Albrecht, B., Schlamp, D., Kratz, O., Studer, P., … & Heinrich, H. (2009). Is neurofeedback an efficacious treatment for ADHD? A randomised controlled clinical trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(7), 780-789.
  5. Micoulaud-Franchi, J.A., Geoffroy, P.A., Fond, G., Lopez, R., Bioulac, S., Philip, P., & Pagan, C. (2014). EEG neurofeedback treatments in children with ADHD: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 906.
  6. Duric, N.S., Assmus, J., Gundersen, D., Elgen, I.B., & Heminghyt, E. (2014). Neurofeedback for the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD: A randomized and controlled clinical trial using parental reports. BMC Psychiatry, 14, 336.
  7. Van Doren, J., Arns, M., Heinrich, H., Vollebregt, M.A., Strehl, U., & Loo, S.K. (2019). Sustained effects of neurofeedback in ADHD: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(3), 293-305.
  8. Zotev, V., Phillips, R., Yuan, H., Misaki, M., & Bodurka, J. (2014). Self-regulation of human brain activity using simultaneous real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. NeuroImage, 85, 985-995.
  9. Strehl, U., Leins, U., Goth, G., Klinger, C., Hinterberger, T., & Birbaumer, N. (2006). Self-regulation of slow cortical potentials: A new treatment for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics, 118(5), e1530-e1540.
  10. Nan, W., Rodrigues, J.P., Ma, J., Qu, X., Wan, F., Mak, P.I., & Mak, P.U. (2012). Individual alpha neurofeedback training effect on short term memory. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 86(1), 83-87.
  11. Arns, M., Drinkenburg, W.H., & Kenemans, J.L. (2012)

Comments are closed.