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Title: Amygdala Modulation During Emotion Regulation Training With fMRI-Based Neurofeedback
Authors: Barreiros, Ana Rita
Almeida, Inês 
Correia Baía, Bárbara
Castelo-Branco, Miguel 
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2019
Project: FCT UID/NEU/04539/2013 (Compete: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007440) 
FLAD Life Sciences Ed 2 2016, 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers In Human Neuroscience
Abstract: Available evidence suggests that individuals can enhance their ability to modulate brain activity in target regions, within the Emotion Regulation network, using fMRI-based neurofeedback. However, there is no systematic review that investigates the effectiveness of this method on amygdala modulation, a core region within this network. The major goal of this study was to systematically review and analyze the effects of real-time fMRI-Neurofeedback concerning the neuromodulation of the amygdala during Emotion Regulation training. A search was performed in PubMed, Science Direct, and Web of Science with the following key terms: ≪(“neurofeedback” or “neuro feedback” or “neuro-feedback”) and (“emotion regulation”) and (fMRI OR “functional magnetic resonance”),≫ and afterwards two additional searches were performed, replacing the term “emotion regulation” for “amygdala” and “neurofeedback” for “feedback.” Of the 531 identified articles, only 19 articles reported results of amygdala modulation during Emotional Regulation training through rtfMRI-NF, using healthy participants or patients, in original research articles. The results, systematically reviewed here, provide evidence for amygdala's modulation during rtfMRI-NF training, although studies' heterogeneity precluded a quantitative meta-analysis—the included studies relied on different outcome measures to infer the success of neurofeedback intervention. Thus, a qualitative analysis was done instead. We identified critical features influencing inference on the quality of the intervention as: the inclusion of a Practice Run, a Transfer Run and a Control Group in the protocol, and to choose adequate Emotion Regulation strategies—in particular, the effective recall of autobiographic memories. Surprisingly, the Regulated vs. Control Condition was lacking in most of the studies, precluding valid inference of amygdala neuromodulation within Session. The best controlled studies nevertheless showed positive effects. The type of stimulus/interface did not seem critical for amygdala modulation. We also identified potential effects of lateralization of amygdala responses following Up- or Down-Regulation, and the impact of fMRI parameters for data acquisition and analysis. Despite qualitative evidence for amygdala modulation during rtfMRI-NF, there are still important limitations in the design of a clear conceptual framework of NF-training research. Future studies should focus on more homogeneous guidelines concerning design, protocol structure and, particularly, harmonized outcome measures to provide quantitative estimates of neuromodulatory effects in the amygdala.
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00089
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FMUC Medicina - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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