Using real-time fMRI neurofeedback to restore right occipital cortex activity in patients with left visuo-spatial neglect: proof-of-principle and preliminary results

Hemineglect is common after right parietal stroke, characterised by impaired awareness for stimuli in left visual space, with suppressed neural activity in the right visual cortex due to losses in top-down attention signals. Here we sought to assess whether hemineglect patients are able to up-regulate their right visual cortex activity using auditory real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) neurofeedback. We also examined any effect of this training procedure on neglect severity. Two different neurofeedback methods were used. A first group of six patients was trained to up-regulate their right visual cortex activity and a second group of three patients was trained to control interhemispheric balance between their right and left visual cortices. Over three sessions, we found that the first group successfully learned to control visual cortex activity and showed mild reduction in neglect severity, whereas the second group failed to control the feedback and showed no benefit. Whole brain analysis further indicated that successful up-regulation was associated with a recruitment of bilateral fronto-parietal areas. These findings provide a proof of concept that rt-fMRI neurofeedback may offer a new approach to the rehabilitation of hemineglect symptoms, but further studies are needed to identify effective regulation protocols and determine any reliable impact on clinical symptoms.


Published in:
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 29, 3, 339-360
Year:
Mar 16 2019
Publisher:
Abingdon, ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
ISSN:
0960-2011
1464-0694
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-01-25, last modified 2019-06-19


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