At the beginning of its development, Infraslow Bipolar neurofeedback (ISF) was implemented as a one channel intervention that required three electrodes. Over the last fifteen years ISF has blossomed to include a 19 Channel sLORETA version and garnered several publications including a recent randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study published in the Journal Nature. This study, produced by Dr. Dirk De Ridder’s neuromodulation lab at the University of Otago, has led to the study of ISF neurofeedack’s application in chronic pain and affective disorders. Both studies have published preliminary articles related to their forthcoming results in our Journal, NeuroRegulation, in the last year. Palva (2012), referred to the Infraslow frequencies as the “superstructure” of the brain interacting with and regulating both the integration within and decoupling between concurrently active neuronal networks. The burgeoning research combined with clinical outcomes has challenged our traditional understanding of the mechanisms of psychopathology. We have begun to recognize the large contribution of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) generally to psychopathology and the efficacy of directing Infraslow neurofeedback at the cortical hubs of sympathetic and parasympathetic response. In a recent publication ISF Bipolar training impacted measurements of autonomic response while SMR training did not (Balt 2020). Balt’s results are a confirmation of the association of infraslow frequencies with parasympathetic response first demonstrateded by Aladjalova (1959). The application of Infraslow sLORETA training to autonomic targets has proved clinically useful with addictions, pain, affective disorders, and Tinnitus. In all of the preceding disorders, ISF sLORETA protocols target the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (dACC) or the Posterior Cingulate Gyrus (PCC) singularly or within a behavioral network.
The goal is to reduce sympathoexcitatory drive or increase parasympathetic response or vice versa, restoring autonomic regulation. Within this ANS centric rubric, the Triple Network Theory plays a leading role. Effective self-regulation occurs through the identification of salient stimuli and the smooth recruitment of the appropriate behavioral network to process it. If the shift from one large behavioral network to another is not achieved within a well-regulated ANS and behavior is chronically driven by mismatched autonomic response then psychopathology is the likely result.
Presented by: Mark Smith