Emotion self-regulation training in major depressive disorder using simultaneous real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback

Research paper by Vadim Zotev, Ahmad Mayeli, Masaya Misaki, Jerzy Bodurka

Indexed on: 13 Sep '19Published on: 12 Sep '19Published in: arXiv - Quantitative Biology - Neurons and Cognition


Simultaneous real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback (rtfMRI-EEG-nf) is an emerging neuromodulation approach, that enables simultaneous volitional regulation of both hemodynamic (BOLD fMRI) and electrophysiological (EEG) regional brain activities. Here we report the first application of rtfMRI-EEG-nf for emotion self-regulation training in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). In this proof-of-concept study, MDD patients in the experimental group (n=16) used rtfMRI-EEG-nf during a happy emotion induction task to simultaneously upregulate four brain activity measures relevant to MDD. The target measures included BOLD activities of the left amygdala (LA) and left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), and frontal EEG asymmetries in the alpha band (FAA, [7.5-12.5] Hz) and high-beta band (FBA, [21-30] Hz). MDD patients in the control group (n=8) were provided with sham feedback signals. The experimental group participants achieved significant increases in the LA BOLD activity, FAA, and FBA during the rtfMRI-EEG-nf task, as well as significant enhancement in fMRI connectivity between the LA and left rACC. Temporal correlations between the FAA and FBA time courses and the LA BOLD activity were significantly enhanced during the rtfMRI-EEG-nf task. The experimental group participants reported significant mood improvements after the training. Our results demonstrate potential of the rtfMRI-EEG-nf for treatment of MDD.