A psychoengineering paradigm for the neurocognitive mechanisms of biofeedback and neurofeedback

Gaume A., Vialatte A., Mora-Sánchez A., Ramdani C., Vialatte F.B.

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (2016) 68:891-910.


We believe that the missing keystone to design effective and efficient biofeedback and neurofeedback protocols is a comprehensive model of the mechanisms of feedback learning. In this manuscript we review the learning models in behavioral, developmental and cognitive psychology, and derive a synthetic model of the psychological perspective on biofeedback. We afterwards review the neural correlates of feedback learning mechanisms, and present a general neuroscience model of biofeedback. We subsequently show how biomedical engineering principles can be applied to design efficient feedback protocols. We finally present an integrative psychoengineering model of the feedback learning processes, and provide new guidelines for the efficient design of biofeedback and neurofeedback protocols. We identify five key properties, (1) perceptibility=can the subject perceive the biosignal ?, (2) autonomy=can the subject regulate by himself ?, (3) mastery=degree of control over the biosignal, (4) motivation=rewards system of the biofeedback, and (5) learnability=possibility of learning. We conclude with guidelines for the investigation and promotion of these properties in biofeedback protocols.

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