Effect of Neurofeedback on Visual-Spatial Attention in Male Children with Reading Disabilities: An Event-Related Potential Study


Recent studies describe a number of difficulties associated with attention deficit in children with reading disabilities. Information about visual-spatial attention mainly arises from studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) during Posner’s spatial cueing paradigm. This study aims to use neurofeedback with a special protocol for treating children with reading disabilities, and moreo-ver, to evaluate visual-spatial attention ability by means of Posner paradigm task and ERPs. The study was conducted in a single subject design in 20 sessions. Participants were 2 male children, aged between 10 - 12 years old, who completed twelve 30-min neurofeedback sessions. Repeated measurements were performed during the baseline, treatment, and post treatment phases. Results showed some improvement in Posner paradigm parameters (correct response, valid and invalid reaction times). Furthermore, grand average ERPs for both of the participants in each of the four conditions (Valid-right, Invalid-right, Valid-left and Invalid-left) were analyzed. The analysis of P3 component showed a reduction in latency, indicating an improvement in the timing of cognitive processes. In addition, the graphs showed a decrease in amplitude level, which meant easier processing than before.

Share and Cite:

Sadeghi, N. and Nazari, M. (2015) Effect of Neurofeedback on Visual-Spatial Attention in Male Children with Reading Disabilities: An Event-Related Potential Study. Neuroscience and Medicine, 6, 71-79. doi: 10.4236/nm.2015.62013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Sadock, B.J. and Sadock, V.A. (2009) Kaplan and Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia, PA.
[2] Barbiero, C., Lonciari, I., Montico, M., Monasta, L., Penge, R., Vio, C., et al. (2012) The Submerged Dyslexia Iceberg: How Many School Children Are Not Diagnosed? Results from an Italian Study. PLoS ONE, 7, e48082.
[3] Bosse, M.-L., Tainturier, M.J. and Valdois, S. (2007) Developmental Dyslexia: The Visual Attention Span Deficit Hypothesis. Cognition, 104, 198-230.
[4] Bigler, E.D., Lajiness-O’Neill, R. and Howes, N.-L. (1998) Technology in the Assessment of Learning Disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 31, 67-82.
[5] Facoetti, A., Luisa Lorusso, M., Paganoni, P., Umilta, C. and Gastone Mascetti, G. (2003) The Role of Visuospatial Attention in Developmental Dyslexia: Evidence from a Rehabilitation Study. Cognitive Brain Research, 15, 154-164.
[6] Vidyasagar, T.R. and Pammer, K. (2010) Dyslexia: A Deficit in Visuo-Spatial Attention, Not in Phonological Processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14, 57-63.
[7] Vidyasagar, T.R. (2012) Aetiology of Dyslexia: A Visual Perspective on a Phonological Marker. In: Stein, J. and Kapoula, Z., Eds., Visual Aspects of Dyslexia, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 151.
[8] Vidyasagar, T.R. (2004) Neural Underpinnings of Dyslexia as a Disorder of Visuo-Spatial Attention. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 87, 4-10.
[9] Sanei, S. and Chambers, J.A. (2008) EEG Signal Processing. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Hoboken.
[10] Perchet, C., Revol, O., Fourneret, P., Mauguière, F. and Garcia-Larrea, L. (2001) Attention Shifts and Anticipatory Mechanisms in Hyperactive Children: An ERP Study Using the Posner Paradigm. Biological Psychiatry, 50, 44-57.
[11] Posner, M.I. (1980) Orienting of Attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 32, 3-25.
[12] Allanson, J. and Fairclough, S.H. (2004) A Research Agenda for Physiological Computing. Interacting with Computers, 16, 857-878.
[13] Othmer, S., Othmer, S.F. and Marks, C.S. (1991) EEG Biofeedback Training for Attention Deficit Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Associated Conduct Problems. EEG Spectrum.
[14] Kim, J.I., Yoon, S., Oh, H.K. and Lee, S.-H. (2015) Clinical Significance for Neurofeedback Training of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 54, 62-68.
[15] van Schie, H.T., Gerrits, B.J., Buitelaar, J.K. and Kouijzer, M.E.J. (2014) EEG Biofeedback for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Reply to a Commentary by Coben and Ricca (2014). Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 40, 57-60.
[16] Nazari, M.A., Mosanezhad, E., Hashemi, T. and Jahan, A. (2012) The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Training on EEG Coherence and Neuropsychological Functions in Children with Reading Disability. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 43, 315-322. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1550059412451880
[17] Butnik, S.M. (2005) Neurofeedback in Adolescents and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 621-625.
[18] Hammond, D.C. (2005) Neurofeedback to Improve Physical Balance, Incontinence, and Swallowing. Journal of Neurotherapy, 9, 27-36.
[19] Becker, L.A. (2006) Effect Size (ES).
[20] Walker, J.E. and Norman, C.A. (2006) The Neurophysiology of Dyslexia: A Selective Review with Implications for Neurofeedback Remediation and Results of Treatment in Twelve Consecutive Patients. Journal of Neurotherapy, 10, 45-55.
[21] Breteler, M.H.M., Arns, M., Peters, S., Giepmans, I. and Verhoeven, L. (2010) Improvements in Spelling after QEEG-Based Neurofeedback in Dyslexia: A Randomized Controlled Treatment Study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 35, 5-11.
[22] Robaey, P., Cansino, S., Dugas, M. and Renault, B. (1995) A Comparative Study of ERP Correlates of Psychometric and Piagetian Intelligence Measures in Normal and Hyperactive Children. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/Evoked Potentials Section, 96, 56-75.
[23] Polich, J. (2007) Updating P300: An Integrative Theory of P3a and P3b. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118, 2128-2148.
[24] Palmer, S.E. (1999) Vision Science: Photons to Phenomenology. MIT Press, Cambridge.
[25] Galaburda, A. and Livingstone, M. (1993) Evidence for a Magnocellular Defect in Developmental Dyslexia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 682, 70-82.
[26] Stein, J. (1997) To See but Not to Read; The Magnocellular Theory of Dyslexia. Trends in Neurosciences, 20, 147-152.
[27] Stein, J. (2001) The Sensory Basis of Reading Problems. Developmental Neuropsychology, 20, 509-534.
[28] Stein, J. (2001) The Magnocellular Theory of Developmental Dyslexia. Dyslexia, 7, 12-36.
[29] Boden, C. and Giaschi, D. (2007) M-Stream Deficits and Reading-Related Visual Processes in Developmental Dyslexia. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 346-366.
[30] Kinsey, K., Rose, M., Hansen, P., Richardson, A. and Stein, J. (2004) Magnocellular Mediated Visual-Spatial Attention and Reading Ability. NeuroReport, 15, 2215-2218.
[31] Posner, M.I. and Cohen, Y. (1984) Components of Visual Orienting. In: Bouma, H. and Bouwhuis, D.G., Eds., Attention and Performance X: Control of Language Processes, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, 531-556.
[32] Molinari, M., Leggio, M.G., Solida, A., Ciorra, R., Misciagna, S., Silveri, M.C. and Petrosini, L. (1997) Cerebellum and Procedural Learning: Evidence from Focal Cerebellar Lesions. Brain, 120, 1753-1762.
[33] Nicolson, R.I., Fawcett, A.J. and Dean, P. (2001) Developmental Dyslexia: The Cerebellar Deficit Hypothesis. Trends in Neurosciences, 24, 508-511.
[34] Nicolson, R.I. and Fawcett, A.J. (1999) Developmental Dyslexia: The Role of the Cerebellum. Dyslexia, 5, 155-177.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.