NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED558298
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 267
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-4524-4
Teaching with Acoustic Guidance the Operant Conditioning of EEG in Children with Autism: A Feasibility Case Series
LaMarca, Kristen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Alliant International University
Dysfunction in the mirror neuron system has been proposed to underlie sociocognitive deficits of autism--such as imitation, empathy, and Theory of Mind, and has been linked with a deficient level of mu (8-13 Hz) suppression over the sensorimotor cortex during observed but not executed actions. Previous research has found that Neurofeedback Training (NFT) of mu rhythms resulted in improved behavior and normalization of mu suppression in children with higher functioning autism, but has not included more highly impaired children who are typically excluded from research due to their difficulty complying with study requirements. TAGteach, a behavioral intervention that uses conditioned auditory reinforcers to shape complex behaviors has accelerated learning in cases with autism who have shown difficulty learning through traditional approaches. The present case series sought to determine if TAGteach methodology could behaviorally prepare children with autism to participate in NFT and tasks of an electroencephalographic (EEG) outcome measure. Additionally, changes in behavior and mu suppression following NFT were examined. Participants were six males and one female (ages 6-8) with Autistic Disorder. Following TAGteach training, six participants demonstrated all behavioral criteria identified as required of NFT and EEG outcome tasks, and one demonstrated 92% of criteria. Four participants immediately engaged in NFT upon treatment introduction, and three were facilitated to engage in NFT through additional TAGteach training. Though participants demonstrated prerequisite skills, their performance during outcome tasks varied. Following NFT, participants more associated with behavioral improvements were more likely to suggest a short-term increase in mu suppression and that they learned to control mu rhythms during NFT than participants less associated with behavioral improvements. Results suggest that TAGteach is a feasible method of assisting more highly impaired children with autism to participate in NFT and outcome-related EEG imaging tasks. NFT of mu rhythms appears worthy of further investigation to determine if it can improve mu suppression and behavior in children with autism and a higher degree of impairments. Recommendations to improve generalization of acquired skills to outcome task performance are provided. Additionally, directions for incorporating means of compensating for group-specific artifact into TAGteach training are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A