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Effectiveness of Neuro-feedback on Mathematics Disorder

Peyman Hashemian and Pezhman Hashemian

Background and Purpose: Because of the importance of treatment of learning disorders, this study was conducted to evaluate the treatment of mathematics disorder as one of the learning disabilities by using neurofeedback.

Method: In this study, 28 third grade-primary school children were selected by psychiatric interview, academic records and third grade mathematic test result. One group (N=14) received neurofeedback treatment and on the other group (N=14) non-real neurofeedback treatment (sham or placebo) was conducted. Neurofeedback treatment was performed based on enhancement of beta/theta ratio in CZ region. Each child received 20 sessions of neurofeedback therapy for 10-12 weeks. Each session lasted 30 minutes. The mathematics test was done three times: before neurofeedback treatment, after the 20th session, and after a year as a follow up.

Results: The two groups were matched for age, education, sex and degree of intelligence and severity of mathematics disorder. The comparison between real and sham groups showed that the effect of real neurofeedback therapy was significant versus sham group (P<0.05). A significant increase was seen in consecutive math results in experimental group compared with sham group (P<0.01). The difference trend was linear (P<0.05). The difference between pre-test and post-test was significant only in males and not significant in females.

Conclusion: In group with real neurofeedback therapy, mathematics performance was improved significantly. This neurofeedback effect was also seen after a one-year follow up (P<0.01). In separate evaluation between boys and girls, the significant effect was only seen in boys.