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Taking imaging into the therapeutic domain: Self-regulation of brain systems for mental disorders

Coordinator: David LINDEN
Project Number: 602186
EC contribution: 5,998,661.00
Project website: under construction

Our proposal is based on the idea that real-time functional neuroimaging can be used to train patients to regulate their own brain activity via neurofeedback training and thus modulate the brain networks of mental disorder, restore function, improve symptoms and promote resilience.

We have brought together the core groups that have been instrumental in the development of methods for real-time functional imaging and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance)-based neurofeedback and have led the initial clinical applications in neuropsychiatric disorders. Our proposal has three main components, the development and refinement of methods for the real-time analysis and feedback of fMRI data and combination with other imaging modalities (WP2), the adaptation of fMRI mapping techniques to localise disease-relevant networks and development of protocols for their self-regulation through neurofeedback (WP3) and the assessment of feasibility and clinical effects in several mental disorders that are characterised by dysfunctional brain systems for motivation, emotion regulation and social communication and by important therapeutic gaps (autism spectrum disorders, alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood anxiety disorders, binge-eating disorder) (WP4).

We will also explore the potential transfer of (laboratory-based) imaging feedback training into everyday settings through ambulatory and assistive technologies such as electroencephalography (EEG) and gaming (WP5). We will engage with potential users of these technologies (healthcare professionals and providers, medical instrument and software manufacturers, patient and carer associations) through several workshops, liaise with regulatory authorities and disseminate findings to the academic and user communities in WP6.

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