An Investigation of Awareness and Metacognition in Neurofeedback with the Amygdala Electrical Fingerprint

Madita Stirner, Guy Gurevitch, Nitzan Lubianiker, Talma Hendler, Christian Schmahl, Christian Paret*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Awareness theory posits that individuals connected to a brain-computer interface can learn to estimate and discriminate their brain states. We used the amygdala Electrical Fingerprint (amyg-EFP) - a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging-inspired Electroencephalogram surrogate of deep brain activation - to investigate whether participants could accurately estimate their own brain activation. Ten participants completed up to 20 neurofeedback runs and estimated their amygdala-EFP activation (depicted as a thermometer) and confidence in this rating during each trial. We analysed data using multilevel models, predicting the real thermometer position with participant rated position and adjusted for activation during the previous trial. Hypotheses on learning regulation and improvement of estimation were not confirmed. However, participant ratings were significantly associated with the amyg-EFP signal. Higher rating accuracy also predicted higher subjective confidence in the rating. This proof-of-concept study introduces an approach to study awareness with fMRI-informed neurofeedback and provides initial evidence for metacognition in neurofeedback.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103264
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
StatePublished - Feb 2022


FundersFunder number
Askleipios Clinic
German Society for Research and Therapy in Personality Disorders


    • Amygdala
    • Awareness
    • Confidence
    • Metacognition
    • Neurofeedback
    • Self-regulation


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