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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy-informed neurofeedback: regional-specific modulation of lateral orbitofrontal activation and cognitive flexibility.

Research paper by Keshuang K Li, Yihan Y Jiang, Yilong Y Gong, Weihua W Zhao, Zhiying Z Zhao, Xiaolong X Liu, Keith M KM Kendrick, Chaozhe C Zhu, Benjamin B Becker

Indexed on: 15 Jan '20Published on: 14 Jan '20Published in: Neurophotonics



Abstract

Cognitive flexibility and reward processing critically rely on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Dysregulations in these domains and orbitofrontal activation have been reported in major psychiatric disorders. Hemodynamic brain imaging-informed neurofeedback allows regional-specific control over brain activation and thus may represent an innovative intervention to regulate orbitofrontal dysfunctions. Against this background the present proof-of-concept study evaluates the feasibility and behavioral relevance of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-assisted neurofeedback training of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC). In a randomized sham-controlled between-subject design, 60 healthy participants have undergone four subsequent runs of training to enhance the lOFC activation. Training-induced changes in the lOFC, attentional set-shifting performance, and reward experience have served as primary outcomes. Feedback from the target channel significantly increases the regional-specific lOFC activation over the four training runs in comparison with sham neurofeedback. The real-time OFC neurofeedback group demonstrates a trend for faster responses during the set-shifting relative to the sham neurofeedback group. Within the real-time OFC neurofeedback group, stronger training-induced lOFC increases are associated with higher reward experience. The present results demonstrate that fNIRS-informed neurofeedback allows regional-specific regulation of lOFC activation and may have the potential to modulate the associated behavioral domains. As such fNIRS-informed neurofeedback may represent a promising strategy to regulate OFC dysfunctions in psychiatric disorders. © The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.