by Siegfried Othmer, PhD
A research group in the Netherlands has recently published two neurofeedback studies that failed to corroborate the claims for EEG-informed “Theta/beta” neurofeedback in application to ADHD. The first one of these of which I became aware had relied on parent and teacher ratings to establish progress (van Dongen-Boomsma et al., 2013). Such a study is easy to critique. After all, we have learned not to rely too much on parental observations on their ADHD children in our work. Is that really the best that can be done in the context of a carefully done study? Why not rely on some hard data from neuropsychological testing, for example? Well, it turns out that that was done also, and that was reported in the second paper (Vollebregt et al., 2013). Therein lay the answer that would be much more definitive. Alas, the outcomes were not favorable either. The experimental group did not distinguish itself from the control group in any meaningful way on any of the chosen tests. The tests had been selected with specific characteristics of ADHD in mind.