There are several different methods of neurofeedback, most of which presume an operant conditioning model whereby the subject learns to control their brain activity in particular regions of the brain and/or at particular brainwave frequencies based on reinforcement. One method, however, called infra-low frequency [ILF] neurofeedback cannot be explained through this paradigm, yet it has profound effects on brain function. Like a conductor of a symphony, recent evidence demonstrates that the primary ILF (typically between 0.01–0.1 Hz), which correlates with the fluctuation of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in the brain, regulates all of the classic brainwave bands (i.e. alpha, theta, delta, beta, gamma). The success of ILF neurofeedback suggests that all forms of neurofeedback may work through a similar mechanism that does not fit the operant conditioning paradigm. This chapter focuses on the possible mechanisms of action for ILF neurofeedback, which may be generalized, based on current evidence.
Part of the book: Brain-Computer Interface