Friday, September 23rd
Neurofeedback as a Tool to Understand and Manage Pain
EEG-based Neurofeedback is a well-established neuromodulatory approach which is increasingly used to identify causal relationships between oscillatory brain activity and behavior and perception. Moreover, it has been proposed to support the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders including pain. Neurofeedback is, however, associated with significant methodological challenges including blinding and the use of appropriate control conditions. Most likely, these challenges have contributed to the large variability in previous findings and could partially explain why a consensus regarding the efficacy of neurofeedback for pain management is still lacking. To address these shortcomings, an interdisciplinary board of leading scientists recently published guidelines on the conduct and reporting of neurofeedback studies (CredNF checklist). In combination with other open science practices, these can aid the development of robust experimental designs and help to further explore the potential of neurofeedback as a tool to understand and manage pain. In my talk, I will provide an overview of previous pain-related neurofeedback studies and introduce the CredNF checklist. Building on these insights, I will present first data from a current study conducted at the PainLabMunich, which exemplifies how open science practices can improve the study of pain using neurofeedback.