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Electrical fingerprint of the amygdala guides neurofeedback training for stress resilience

Electrical fingerprint of the amygdala guides neurofeedback training for stress resilience

Keynan, Jackob N., Cohen, Avihay, Jackont, Gilan, Green, Nili, Goldway, Noam, Davidov, Alexander, Meir-Hasson, Yehudit, Raz, Gal, Intrator, Nathan, Fruchter, Eyal, Ginat, Keren, Laska, Eugene, Cavazza, Marc ORCID: 0000-0001-6113-9696 and Hendler, Talma (2018) Electrical fingerprint of the amygdala guides neurofeedback training for stress resilience. Nature Human Behaviour, 3. pp. 63-73. ISSN 2397-3374 (Online) (doi:

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Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) has revived the translational perspective of neurofeedback (NF)1. Particularly for stress management, targeting deeply located limbic areas involved in stress processing2 has paved new paths for brain-guided interventions. However, the high cost and immobility of fMRI constitute a challenging drawback for the scalability (accessibility and cost-effectiveness) of the approach, particularly for clinical purposes3. The current study aimed to overcome the limited applicability of rt-fMRI by using an electroencephalography (EEG) model endowed with improved spatial resolution, derived from simultaneous EEG–fMRI, to target amygdala activity (termed amygdala electrical fingerprint (Amyg-EFP))4,5,6. Healthy individuals (n = 180) undergoing a stressful military training programme were randomly assigned to six Amyg-EFP-NF sessions or one of two controls (control-EEG-NF or NoNF), taking place at the military training base. The results demonstrated specificity of NF learning to the targeted Amyg-EFP signal, which led to reduced alexithymia and faster emotional Stroop, indicating better stress coping following Amyg-EFP-NF relative to controls. Neural target engagement was demonstrated in a follow-up fMRI-NF, showing greater amygdala blood-oxygen-level-dependent downregulation and amygdala–ventromedial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity following Amyg-EFP-NF relative to NoNF. Together, these results demonstrate limbic specificity and efficacy of Amyg-EFP-NF during a stressful period, pointing to a scalable non-pharmacological yet neuroscience-based training to prevent stress-induced psychopathology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive neuroscience; Emotion; Neuroscience; Stress and resilience
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:06

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