Real time fMRI neurofeedback targeting superior temporal gyrus and default mode network reduces reduces auditory hallucinations

In the STG-focused NFB experiment, subjects were trained to upregulate the STG activity while listening to their own voice recording and downregulate it while ignoring a stranger’s voice recording in the course of 21 min NFB session.

The DMN-CEN focused NFB experiment was conducted about 1 month later to minimize the carry over effects from the STG-focused NFB and was designed to help SZ patients modulate their DMN and CEN networks. DMN and CEN networks were defined individually for each subject. The goal of the task was to increase CEN-DMN anti-correlations. To achieve that patients were provided with meditation strategies to guide their performance.

In the STG-focused NFB task, significant STG activation reduction was found in the comparison of pre- relative to post-NFB in the condition of ignoring another person’s voice (p<0.05), FWE-TFCE corrected. AH were also significantly reduced (p<0.01). Importantly, significant correlation was found between reductions in the STG activation and AH reductions (r=.83).

In the DMN-CEN focused NFB task … AH were significantly reduced in post- relative to pre-NFB comparison (p<0.02). Finally, there was a significant correlation between individual scores in mPFC-STG connectivity and AH reductions.

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