IMR Press / JIN / Volume 23 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2303067
Open Access Original Research
Self-Modulation of Gamma-Band Synchronization through EEG-Neurofeedback Training in the Elderly
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1 Institute of Memory and Alzheimer's Disease (IM2A), Department of Neurology, AP-HP, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, 75013 Paris, France
2 Brain Plasticity Unit, CNRS, ESPCI Paris, PSL University, 75005 Paris, France
3 SAMOVAR, Télécom SudParis, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 91120 Palaiseau, France
4 Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
*Correspondence: (Katia Andrade)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2024, 23(3), 67;
Submitted: 24 September 2023 | Revised: 2 December 2023 | Accepted: 11 December 2023 | Published: 21 March 2024
Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Electroencephalography (EEG) stands as a pivotal non-invasive tool, capturing brain signals with millisecond precision and enabling real-time monitoring of individuals’ mental states. Using appropriate biomarkers extracted from these EEG signals and presenting them back in a neurofeedback loop offers a unique avenue for promoting neural compensation mechanisms. This approach empowers individuals to skillfully modulate their brain activity. Recent years have witnessed the identification of neural biomarkers associated with aging, underscoring the potential of neuromodulation to regulate brain activity in the elderly. Methods and Objectives: Within the framework of an EEG-based brain-computer interface, this study focused on three neural biomarkers that may be disturbed in the aging brain: Peak Alpha Frequency, Gamma-band synchronization, and Theta/Beta ratio. The primary objectives were twofold: (1) to investigate whether elderly individuals with subjective memory complaints can learn to modulate their brain activity, through EEG-neurofeedback training, in a rigorously designed double-blind, placebo-controlled study; and (2) to explore potential cognitive enhancements resulting from this neuromodulation. Results: A significant self-modulation of the Gamma-band synchronization biomarker, critical for numerous higher cognitive functions and known to decline with age, and even more in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), was exclusively observed in the group undergoing EEG-neurofeedback training. This effect starkly contrasted with subjects receiving sham feedback. While this neuromodulation did not directly impact cognitive abilities, as assessed by pre- versus post-training neuropsychological tests, the high baseline cognitive performance of all subjects at study entry likely contributed to this result. Conclusion: The findings of this double-blind study align with a key criterion for successful neuromodulation, highlighting the significant potential of Gamma-band synchronization in such a process. This important outcome encourages further exploration of EEG-neurofeedback on this specific neural biomarker as a promising intervention to counter the cognitive decline that often accompanies brain aging and, eventually, to modify the progression of AD.

gamma-band synchronization
healthy aging
Alzheimer's disease
double-blind study
Fig. 1.
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