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Modulation of the Anterior Insula Using Real-time fMRI Neural Feedback
Lawrence, E.J., SU, L., Giampietro, V., Barker, G, Medford, N., Dalton, J, Birbaumer, N., Veit, R., Sitaram, R. and David, A.S.
16th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping
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Recent developments in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational methods allow very rapid data transfer and analysis within a few seconds of data collection. Such “real time” fMRI (rt-fMRI) provides a novel brain-computer interface (BCI) which can be used for neurofeedback, and has already been shown to have clinical promise[1]. Studies from healthy controls suggest the right anterior insula (RAI) is amenable to regulation,[2] a region implicated in affective processing, and hypo-active in psychiatric conditions involving attenuated affect i.e. depersonalisation disorder (DPD).[3] We predicted that using RAI activation levels as neural feedback, participants would learn to control this region, in contrast to participants in a ‘sham’ condition shown feedback from the parahippocampal place area (PPA). This study is a first step towards using rt-fMRI neurofeedback as a psychiatric intervention for attenuated affect.