Portable wireless neurofeedback system of EEG alpha rhythm enhances memory

Ting Ying Wei, Da Wei Chang, You De Liu, Chen Wei Liu, Chung Ping Young, Sheng Fu Liang, Fu Zen Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Effect of neurofeedback training (NFT) on enhancement of cognitive function or amelioration of clinical symptoms is inconclusive. The trainability of brain rhythm using a neurofeedback system is uncertainty because various experimental designs are used in previous studies. The current study aimed to develop a portable wireless NFT system for alpha rhythm and to validate effect of the NFT system on memory with a sham-controlled group. Methods: The proposed system contained an EEG signal analysis device and a smartphone with wireless Bluetooth low-energy technology. Instantaneous 1-s EEG power and contiguous 5-min EEG power throughout the training were developed as feedback information. The training performance and its progression were kept to boost usability of our device. Participants were blinded and randomly assigned into either the control group receiving random 4-Hz power or Alpha group receiving 8-12-Hz power. Working memory and episodic memory were assessed by the backward digital span task and word-pair task, respectively. Results: The portable neurofeedback system had advantages of a tiny size and long-term recording and demonstrated trainability of alpha rhythm in terms of significant increase of power and duration of 8-12 Hz. Moreover, accuracies of the backward digital span task and word-pair task showed significant enhancement in the Alpha group after training compared to the control group. Conclusions: Our tiny portable device demonstrated success trainability of alpha rhythm and enhanced two kinds of memories. The present study suggest that the portable neurofeedback system provides an alternative intervention for memory enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalBiomedical engineering online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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