Monitoring and control of amygdala neurofeedback involves distributed information processing in the human brain

Christian Paret*, Jenny Zähringer, Matthias Ruf, Martin Fungisai Gerchen, Stephanie Mall, Talma Hendler, Christian Schmahl, Gabriele Ende

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Brain–computer interfaces provide conscious access to neural activity by means of brain-derived feedback (“neurofeedback”). An individual's abilities to monitor and control feedback are two necessary processes for effective neurofeedback therapy, yet their underlying functional neuroanatomy is still being debated. In this study, healthy subjects received visual feedback from their amygdala response to negative pictures. Activation and functional connectivity were analyzed to disentangle the role of brain regions in different processes. Feedback monitoring was mapped to the thalamus, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ventral striatum (VS), and rostral PFC. The VS responded to feedback corresponding to instructions while rPFC activity differentiated between conditions and predicted amygdala regulation. Control involved the lateral PFC, anterior cingulate, and insula. Monitoring and control activity overlapped in the VS and thalamus. Extending current neural models of neurofeedback, this study introduces monitoring and control of feedback as anatomically dissociated processes, and suggests their important role in voluntary neuromodulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3018-3031
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


FundersFunder number
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftEN 361/13-2, KFO 256


    • amygdala
    • emotion regulation
    • neurofeedback
    • prefrontal cortex
    • real-time fMRI


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