top of page
memory problems.jpg

Neurofeedback for memory

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that helps regulate brain activity, and has shown promise in helping mitigate memory issues. Numerous studies and many personal accounts have suggested that neurofeedback can help with recall and other memory-related issues. The focus often lies in training individuals to increase specific frequency bands, such as theta waves linked to memory consolidation and alpha waves associated with a relaxed but alert state conducive to learning. Research suggests that neurofeedback interventions may lead to improvements in various aspects of memory, including working memory and episodic memory. The underlying mechanism involves reinforcing desirable brainwave patterns through operant conditioning. Neurofeedback holds much promise as a non-invasive approach to optimizing cognitive abilities related to memory.

"Being a survivor of encephalitis and living with brain damage and cognitive cloudiness...I've noticed with my own neurofeedback training ... is my intentional capacity has changed immensely and I can create without being exhausted - which is such a gift!" - Dr. Kate Truitt, clinical psychologist and neuroscientist


Several recent studies have reported better memory performance in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) following neurofeedback. Lavy and colleagues (Lavy Y et al., 2019) found improved verbal memory after ten 30-minute sessions in which MCI participants enhanced individual central-parietal upper-alpha; improvement was maintained at 30-day follow-up. Jirayucharoensak and colleagues (Jirayucharoensak et al., 2019) used alpha- and beta-enhancement neurofeedback (twenty 30-minute sessions) as an add-on to usual care in healthy or in MCI women and found improved rapid visual processing and spatial working memory. Studies using individualized neurofeedback protocols have reported improved cognitive screener performance (Surmeli et al., 2015) and memory/executive function as compared with wait-list control (Berman et al., 2015).

A word about expectations and outcomes with NFB

Neurofeedback can be a promising avenue for mitigating memory issues, but it's important to approach it with realistic expectations and dedication. Here's what you should keep in mind:

  • Realistic Expectations: Understand that neurofeedback is not a magic solution. Set achievable goals and be patient with the process.

  • Active Participation: Success in neurofeedback depends on your active involvement. It's not a passive treatment. You must engage in the training process, stay committed, and work closely with your healthcare provider.

  • Consistency Is Key: Consistent training is essential for seeing results. Make a schedule and stick to it. Regular and ongoing sessions are more likely to lead to positive outcomes.

  • Communication: Maintain open communication with your healthcare provider. Share your progress, concerns, and any changes in your symptoms. This feedback will help tailor the neurofeedback protocol to your specific needs.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Neurofeedback is most effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can complement the benefits of neurofeedback.

  • Complementary Strategies: Consider combining neurofeedback with other evidence-based treatments, such as behavioral therapy or medication, as recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • Individual Variability: Remember that responses to neurofeedback vary from person to person. What works for one individual may not work the same way for another. Be open to adjusting the training based on your unique needs.

  • Long-Term Commitment: Think of neurofeedback as a long-term commitment. Positive changes may take time, and maintenance sessions might be necessary to sustain the benefits. A typical course of neurofeedback for addiction issues is 20-40 sessions. 

  • Final Outcomes: No treatment option is 100% guaranteed. Though neurofeedback has shown efficacy in treatment, it should not be expected to completely eliminate symptoms or be a replacement for medication.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

bottom of page