Real-time fMRI-based self-regulation of brain activation across different visual feedback presentations

Florian Krause*, Caroline Benjamins, Michael Luhrs, Judith Eck, Quentin Noirhomme, Mona Rosenke, Sascha Brunheim, Bettina Sorger, Rainer Goebel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The current study is a first exploration of real-time self-regulation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation based on several different visual neurofeedback presentations. Six healthy participants were engaged in self-regulation of regional fMRI activation in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), by performing a mental calculation task. In different MR sessions, feedback was presented in the form of either a thermometer display (in vertical orientation), a circle display (increasing or decreasing in physical size), or a numbers display (Arabic digits). While self-regulation levels did differ between individuals, all six participants were able to significantly up-regulate their PPC activation with all three neurofeedback presentations. In addition to a successful general up-regulation, five out of six participants were furthermore capable of gradual self-regulation to multiple intensity levels. Taken together, the current study is a proof-of-concept demonstration of the feasibility of using multiple visual feedback presentations during gradual self-regulation of regional fMRI activation. Implications for future neurofeedback research and applications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-101
JournalBrain-computer interfaces
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Neurofeedback
  • fMRI
  • real-time fMRI
  • self-regulation
  • mental calculation

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