GETTING THE PROPHET TO THE MOUNTAIN – NEUROFEEDBACK-TRAINING MEETS SCHOOL
Frankfurt University (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) combined with Hyperactivity (ADHD) or not are one of the most common Disorders in childhood and adolescence even persisting in adulthood. Despite this fact evidence based trainings improving attention in school settings are rare even though some well known trainings in Germany appear to be adoptable to fit school settings (Walther & Ellinger, 2008). Integrating these trainings in schools should be carefully evaluated because it is not a matter of course that effects known from clinical samples will occur the same way once the setting is changed.
The basic idea of Neurofeedback is to transfer an unconscious process like brainwaves into a conscious process by reporting it to the patient. In most cases this is accomplished by visualizing a quotient of Beta and Theta-brainwaves on a computer screen. The patient immediately sees on the computer screen how he influences his EEG. Whereas faster brainwaves like Alpha (8-13 Hz) or Beta (14-30 Hz) signalize concentration or attention, slower brainwaves like Delta (1-4 Hz) or Theta (4-7 Hz) stand for sleepiness. Children with ADHD show a higher amount of slow brainwaves and a decreased amount of faster brainwaves compared to normal children (Barry et al., 2003). Neurofeedback-Training is working on this deficit by giving the patient control to his EEG. Effect sizes are comparable to medication and even grow after the training whereas the effect of medication stops by the end of the intervention (for a summary see Ellinger et al. 2010).
The project “Brainfeeders” aims to evaluate the chances for integrating Neurofeedback in schools. The primary goal of the study is to replicate effects known from clinical samples without any additional human resources. Compared to other Neurofeedback-studies we changed a) the setting and/or b) the training itself. Whereas normally a therapist guides the patient through the training the children in Brainfeeders work in small teams helping each other doing the training. We would like to evaluate how well a training program like this fits in school settings and if effect sizes are comparable to clinical studys. As we do think that improving attention is not only useful for ADD/ADHD-children we would like to include all children in this training. In a pretest we are doing a Beta/Theta-training in three German schools including 90 children aged 10 to 12, randomized matched to treatment- and control-group. We evaluate cognitive skills by using the Culture Fair Test (CFT-20r) and Attention by using the D2 and the Test of everyday Attention for Children (TeaCH). Furthermore we use some rating forms for the children (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Disyps), the teachers (SDQ, Disyps, DSM-criteria) and the parents (SDQ, Disyps, DSM-criteria). Additionally the Beta/Theta-quotient of the children is recorded over training to determinate improvements. The pretest is going to start in August 2010. We are very interested in discussing our methods.