Promoting Research in Neurofeedback

by Marvin Berman | August 31st, 2006

The Quietmind Foundation Institutional Review Board There’s been a great deal of discussion taking place of late among practitioners at all levels in the field seeking clarity on the basic science behind various models of neurofeedback training. Within this discussion there are many calls for ‘where’s the data?’ The most notable critiques of neurofeedback refer to the paucity of class 1 research that involves randomized double-blind designs with substantive sample sizes conducted by non-practitioners. Many views are being promoting about the underlying mechanisms of action that determine the functional and behavioral changes we see every day in our consulting rooms, agencies, schools and homes where neurofeedback is employed. These unanswered questions reverberate in the critiques from other disciplines that expect to see peer-reviewed studies involving large samples with randomized controlled designs as convincing evidence of clinical efficacy.

The Quietmind Foundation has chosen to respond to this situation by creating a specialized Institutional Review Board (QMFIRB) to support relevant, safe and ethical independent research efforts within the field by neurofeedback professionals who are not affiliated with a university or agency with its own IRB. All major journals especially in the health and neurosciences require IRB approval before they will consider a study for publication. This lack of IRB approval may have prevented important information about the efficacy of neurofeedback from reaching the broader professional community.

The QMFIRB will also offer individualized research consultation to people seeking coaching around study design, data analysis, reporting and technical matters. Such consultation services will be provided by IRB panelists who will not be on the study’s review panel. We hope that by offering both levels of service we can help researchers generate higher caliber research designs and have their studies reviewed for publication in the major journals in the neurosciences, education, psychiatry and psychology.

QMFIRB panels will be comprised of content experts related to the area of study, e.g., LENS, HEG, QEEG, NCP, ROSHI, AVE, SCP etc. and professionals from research-relevant disciplines including research design, statistical analysis, electronic and mechanical engineering, law, government, business and lay members of the community with an interest in the field. The IRB is now accepting proposals from researchers and clinicians seeking to conduct clinical research, please visit us at ISNR where we have a poster up that describes the IRB process.

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