User Manual Privacy Policy Disclaimer Contact us
  Advanced SearchBrowse


  Real-time fMRI neurofeedback training to improve eating behavior by self-regulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: A randomized controlled trial in overweight and obese subjects

Kohl, S., Veit, R., Spetter, M., Günther, A., Rina, A., Lührs, M., et al. (2019). Real-time fMRI neurofeedback training to improve eating behavior by self-regulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: A randomized controlled trial in overweight and obese subjects. NeuroImage, 191, 596-609. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.033.

Item is


show hide
Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-0EBD-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-3528-5
Genre: Journal Article


show Files




Kohl, SH, Author
Veit, R1, 2, Author              
Spetter, MS, Author
Günther, A, Author
Rina, A, Author
Lührs, M, Author
Birbaumer, N, Author
Preissl, H, Author
Hallschmid, M, Author
1Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497796              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              


Free keywords: -
 Abstract: Obesity is associated with altered responses to food stimuli in prefrontal brain networks that mediate inhibitory control of ingestive behavior. In particular, activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is reduced in obese compared to normal-weight subjects and has been linked to the success of weight-loss dietary interventions. In a randomized controlled trial in overweight/obese subjects, we investigated the effect on eating behavior of volitional up-regulation of dlPFC activity via real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback training. Thirty-eight overweight or obese subjects (BMI 25–40 kg/m2) took part in fMRI neurofeedback training with the aim of increasing activity of the left dlPFC (dlPFC group; n = 17) or of the visual cortex (VC/control group; n = 21). Participants were blinded to group assignment. The training session took place on a single day and included three training runs of six trials of up-regulation and passive viewing. Food appraisal and snack intake were assessed at screening, after training, and in a follow-up session four weeks later. Participants of both groups succeeded in up-regulating activity of the targeted brain area. However, participants of the control group also showed increased left dlPFC activity during up-regulation. Functional connectivity between dlPFC and ventromedial PFC, an area that processes food value, was generally increased during up-regulation compared to passive viewing. At follow-up compared to baseline, both groups rated pictures of high-, but not low-calorie foods as less palatable and chose them less frequently. Actual snack intake remained unchanged but palatability and choice ratings for chocolate cookies decreased after training. We demonstrate that one session of fMRI neurofeedback training enables individuals with increased body weight to up-regulate activity of the left dlPFC. Behavioral effects were observed in both groups, which might have been due to dlPFC co-activation in the control group and, in addition, unspecific training effects. Improved dlPFC-vmPFC functional connectivity furthermore suggested enhanced food intake-related control mechanisms. Neurofeedback training might support therapeutic strategies aiming at improved self-control in obesity, although the respective contribution of area-specific mechanisms and general regulation effects is in need of further investigation.


 Dates: 2019-022019-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.033
 Degree: -



Legal Case


Project information


Source 1

Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 191 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 596 - 609 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166