From the Archives: Neurofeedback

One of our recent news stories discusses the promise of neurofeedback in the form of real time fMRI. A quick search of our files shows that we’ve touted the promise of neurofeedback—in the form of EEG—for at least the past 13 years. Have researchers finally hit pay dirt?

The latest story, “The Promise of Neurofeedback” by Carl Sherman, reports on research suggesting that people in a functional magnetic resonance imager, shown real-time images of their brain’s activity, can alter it, dampening or enhancing a target area. In one study, people with depression who used replays of pleasant memories to bump activity in certain areas also showed improvement on measures of their depressive symptoms. According to one of the researchers, David E. J. Linden of Cardiff University:

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From the Archives: Better Plans for Drug Discovery

In July 2011, Danielle Kerkovich and Amy Drew wrote a Cerebrum essay for us on how to design a plan for discovering drugs that might work in cases of rare disease. Pharmaceutical firms can be unwilling to bet on a drug that might help only a few thousand people because it costs so much to develop a single drug and there’s no guarantee a promising one will actually pan out. Meanwhile, bench scientists who do the basic research aren’t equipped to translate it into a drug.

Kerkovich and Drew argued that researchers in academia and in the drug industry, with support from government and from nonprofits, should work together to promote translational research. The example they used was potential drug development for Batten disease, a rare and fatal disorder that affects young children. They write:

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