Improving short –term memory performance using alpha band neurofeedback
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Age-related memory degradation is a serious problem for individuals and there is no known satisfying medical treatment of memory disorders such as Alzheimer. Recent advances in BCI technology enable us to measure brain wave activity of individuals, and neurofeedback is one of the methods that uses BCI technology. Although there are many researches about applications of neurofeedback on psychological disorders, there exist limited research on the application of neurofeedback’s effect on short-term memory performance. This thesis explored the possibility of short-term memory improvement through alphaband neurofeedback training. EEG signals were collected from 11 healthy male participants using a wireless EEG device. The neurofeedback paradigm was used to enhance alpha-band power in real-time. Before and after 5 neurofeedback training sessions, a memorization test using 10 words was applied to all participants in order to evaluate the short-term memory performance improvement due to neurofeedback. The results indicated that 6 out of 11 participants were able to enhance their alpha-band power with respect to other bands in the frequency spectrum during neurofeedback sessions. However, there was no obvious improvement in their short-term memory performance. We may conclude that neurofeedback training was beneficial for the participants to focus their minds consciously. However, it is not easy to mention that neurofeedback training certainly improves or is irrelevant with short-term memory performance.