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Design and Evaluation of a Musical Neurofeedback Software in Matlab

Title Design and Evaluation of a Musical Neurofeedback Software in Matlab
Publication Type Master Thesis
Year of Publication 2016
Authors Blanco, A.
Abstract This work wants to draw together two different medical therapies which in the past have shown great potential for treating a wide range of emotional disorders: music therapy and neurofeedback. Numerous studies support music therapy as an effective means to help people with depression, with highly satisfactory results with regard to both elderly people and adolescents. On the other hand, neurofeedback has become a very popular non-invasive technique thanks, in great measure, to the emergence of low and mid cost electroencephalography (EEG) devices in the market. Despite a lack of double-blind randomized studies in the literature, neurofeedback is starting to show effective results dealing with a wide variety of different medical conditions such as depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorder. Musical neurofeedback is a new approach, born from the combination of these two disciplines, which by recent studies seems to have a high potential for helping elderly people with depression. This thesis presentsan open musical neurofeedback system which is both easy to use and configurable for different disorder scenarios. We evaluate the system with a low-cost EEG device and assess experimentally which specific features extracted from the EEG activity contain more valuable information describing the emotional state of the users. Finally, we present the results of a pilot study consisting of seven 20-minutes musical neurofeedback sessions with an adolescent with depression.