Human EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) started in the 1940s using 1 EEG recording channel, then to 4 channels in the 1990s. New advancements in electrical neuroimaging expanded EEG biofeedback to 19 channels using Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) three-dimensional current sources of the EEG. In 2004–2006 the concept of a “real-time” comparison of the EEG to a healthy reference database was developed and tested using surface EEG z-score neurofeedback based on a statistical bell curve called “real-time” z-scores. The “real-time” or “live” normative reference database comparison was developed to help reduce the uncertainty of what threshold to select to activate a feedback signal and to unify all EEG measures to a single value, i.e., the distance from the mean of an age matched reference sample. In 2009 LORETA z-score neurofeedback further increased the specificity by targeting brain network hubs referred to as Brodmann areas. A symptom check list program to help link symptoms to dysregulation of brain networks based on fMRI and PET and neurology was created in 2009. The symptom checklist and NIH based networks linking symptoms to brain networks grew out of the human brain mapping program starting in 1990 which is continuing today. A goal is to increase specificity of EEG biofeedback by targeting brain network hubs and connections between hubs likely linked to the patient’s symptoms. New advancements in electrical neuroimaging introduced in 2017 provide increased resolution of three-dimensional source localization with 12,700 voxels using swLORETA with the capacity to conduct cerebellar neurofeedback and neurofeedback of subcortical brain hubs such as the thalamus, amygdala and habenula. Future applications of swLORETA z-score neurofeedback represents another example of the transfer of knowledge gained by the human brain mapping initiatives to further aid in helping people with cognition problems as well as balance problems and parkinsonism. A brief review of the past, present and future predictions of z-score neurofeedback are discussed with special emphasis on new developments that point toward a bright and enlightened future in the field of EEG biofeedback.
Part of the book: Smart Biofeedback