Researchers from the University of Göttingen in
Germany sought to validate claims from small, insufficiently controlled
studies that neurofeedback (NF) reduces inattention, impulsivity and
hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
In a multi-site, randomized, controlled study using a computerized
attention skills training protocol for the control condition, 102
children with ADHD, aged 8 to 12 years, were included in the study.
Children were randomized to the intervention - 36 sessions of NF
training - or the control condition – 36 sessions of computerized
attention skills training - within two blocks of about four weeks each.
The combined NF treatment consisted of one block of theta/beta training
and one block of slow cortical potential (SCP) training. Pre-training,
intermediate and post-training assessment included several behavior
rating scales (e.g., the German ADHD rating scale, FBB-HKS) completed by
parents and teachers. Evaluation ('placebo') scales were applied to
the control condition to equalize parental expectations and assess their
satisfaction with the treatment.
For parent and teacher ratings, improvements in the NF group were
superior to those of the control group. For the parent-rated FBB-HKS
total score (primary outcome measure), the effect size was .60.
Comparable effects were obtained for the two NF protocols (theta/beta
training, SCP training). Parental attitude towards the treatment did not
differ between the NF and the control group.