We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Real-time fMRI brain-computer interface : development of a "motivational feedback" subsystem for the regulation of visual cue reactivity.

Sokunbi, M.O. and Linden, D.E.J. and Habes, I. and Johnston, S. and Ihssen, N. (2014) 'Real-time fMRI brain-computer interface : development of a "motivational feedback" subsystem for the regulation of visual cue reactivity.', Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience., 8 . p. 392.


Here we present a novel neurofeedback subsystem for the presentation of motivationally relevant visual feedback during the self-regulation of functional brain activation. Our “motivational neurofeedback” approach uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals elicited by visual cues (pictures) and related to motivational processes such as craving or hunger. The visual feedback subsystem provides simultaneous feedback through these images as their size corresponds to the magnitude of fMRI signal change from a target brain area. During self-regulation of cue-evoked brain responses, decreases and increases in picture size thus provide real motivational consequences in terms of cue approach vs. cue avoidance, which increases face validity of the approach in applied settings. Further, the outlined approach comprises of neurofeedback (regulation) and “mirror” runs that allow to control for non-specific and task-unrelated effects, such as habituation or neural adaptation. The approach was implemented in the Python programming language. Pilot data from 10 volunteers showed that participants were able to successfully down-regulate individually defined target areas, demonstrating feasibility of the approach. The newly developed visual feedback subsystem can be integrated into protocols for imaging-based brain-computer interfaces (BCI) and may facilitate neurofeedback research and applications into healthy and dysfunctional motivational processes, such as food craving or addiction.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Brain-computer interface (BCI), Hunger, Visual cue reactivity, Food craving, Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Neurofeedback, Self-regulation.
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2014 Sokunbi, Linden, Habes, Johnston and Ihssen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution and reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date accepted:20 October 2014
Date deposited:12 February 2016
Date of first online publication:25 November 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar