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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2018, Article ID 2464310, 15 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/2464310
Clinical Study

Mixed-Effects Modeling of Neurofeedback Self-Regulation Performance: Moderators for Learning in Children with ADHD

1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
2Neuroscience Center Zurich, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
4Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence should be addressed to Renate Drechsler; hc.hzu.dpjk@relshcerd.etaner

Received 11 May 2017; Revised 21 October 2017; Accepted 28 November 2017; Published 22 March 2018

Academic Editor: J. Michael Wyss

Copyright © 2018 Agnieszka Zuberer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Neurofeedback (NF) has gained increasing popularity as a training method for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it is unclear to what extent children learn to regulate their brain activity and in what way NF learning may be affected by subject- and treatment-related factors. Methods. In total, 48 subjects with ADHD (age 8.5–16.5 years; 16 subjects on methylphenidate (MPH)) underwent 15 double training sessions of NF in either a clinical or a school setting. Four mixed-effects models were employed to analyze learning: training within-sessions, across-sessions, with continuous feedback, and with transfer in which performance feedback is delayed. Results. Age and MPH affected the NF performance in all models. Cross-session learning in the feedback condition was mainly moderated by age and MPH, whereas NF learning in the transfer condition was mainly boosted by MPH. Apart from IQ and task types, other subject-related or treatment-related effects were unrelated to NF learning. Conclusion. This first study analyzing moderators of NF learning in ADHD with a mixed-effects modeling approach shows that NF performance is moderated differentially by effects of age and MPH depending on the training task and time window. Future studies may benefit from using this approach to analyze NF learning and NF specificity. The trial name Neurofeedback and Computerized Cognitive Training in Different Settings for Children and Adolescents With ADHD is registered with NCT02358941.