G. LECOMTE ET AL.
on 4 or 5 NFB sessions, studies in this research area are often
based on approximately ten training sessions (Egner, & Gruze-
lier, 2004; Vernon et al., 2003) and the most compelling effects
of NFB on cognitive performance were observed when partici-
pants were subjected to an even greater number of training
sessions (Angelakis et al., 2007). The relative small size of the
sample also limits the significance of the results by reducing
statistical power and thereby increasing the probability of fail-
ing to highlight a statistically significant difference, despite the
fact that such a difference did in fact exist. Another limitation
of this research is related to the good overall level and relative
homogeneity of memory performance displayed by participants,
one potential effect of which is a decrease of the chances of
observing an improvement of memory performance. Finally,
the type of task used in this research to assess memory per-
formance may have been insufficiently matched with the cogni-
tive processes associated with the frequency of wave ranges
targeted by NFB training.
NFB training provides a field of inquiry and potential appli-
cations that we are only just beginning to explore in the case of
elderly subjects. The present study illustrates this by showing
that it is possible to train an elderly subject to modify the am-
plitude of certain wave ranges according to the optimal model
of regulation of EEG activity using an original NFB protocol
targeting several wave ranges. Currently, we know that the
relations between specific patterns of EEG activity and levels
of cognitive performance also require considering NFB as a
training technique aimed at encouraging an elderly individual to
produce specific patterns of cortical activity in connection with
an improved level of cognitive performance. This research
avenue, which few have so far ventured down, has tended to
generate conflicting results (Bauer, 1976; Angelakis et al.,
2997). Our own observations do not corroborate the hypothesis
of the effect of NFB training of different frequency ranges (in
particular a stimulation of alpha waves) on memory perform-
ance in elderly subjects. A more rigorous and more systematic
assessment of the effects of NFB training on cognitive per-
formance in elderly subjects is therefore required to improve
our understanding of the conditions of application of the dif-
ferent NFB protocols that are applicable to this particular group,
to specify the possible indication and to better specify the ef-
fects on memory performance.
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