Postersession 2
Poster #: 53
Topic: Error signals
Thursday, Sep 10, 2015
1st floor

Neurofeedback as a training tool for pitch discrimination

Annika Luckmann1, Jacob Jolij2, & Deniz Baskent1

1Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
2Experimental Psychology, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Neurofeedback is an online training method, in which neuronal oscillations, measured with EEG, are used to give real-time feedback to individuals. Through the real-time feedback, individuals can be trained to regulate brain activity to match specific cognitive states. Recently, neurofeedback has been found to induce perceptual learning in both the auditory (Chang et al, 2014) and visual domain (Shibata et al, 2011; Scharnowski et al 2012).

In a pilot study we investigated whether a simple two-tone pitch discrimination paradigm can be used in a neurofeedback training study. Further, we wanted to investigate whether EEG data could predict the conscious perception of the participants in the form of behavioral ratings. We tested 28 normal hearing young adults. Participants rated the perceived difference between a standard (150Hz) and a deviant (either 150,5Hz, 151Hz, 151,5Hz or 152Hz).

Analysis of single trials showed that both acoustic change complex (ACC) and P300 are visible in deviant trials. A regression analysis further indicates that it is possible to predict the participant’s behavioral data from the EEG data.

In the next step, we will implement the neurofeedback into the pilot paradigm, and change the focus to the mismatch negativity instead of the ACC by using a string of nine tones per trial to replicate the effects found in Chang et al. Our hypothesis is that participant’s discrimination thresholds will improve significantly between pre- and post-test, and that the test group will improve significantly compared to a control group.