We have conducted eight controlled studies of neurofeedback (NF) for enhancing creativity in the arts. The first studies with conservatoire musicians disclosed that whereas sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) and beta1 benefited anxiety as did other popular diverse interventions without impacting performance ratings of experts, alpha-theta (A/T) training benefited all three music domains – musicality, communication, technique – especially musicality to include interpretative imagination; professionally significant changes  . A/T was historically designed to facilitate creativity through inducing hypnagogia, a borderline waking state associated with creative insights; through putative facilitation of neural connectivity  . Subsequent studies examined novice singing in conservatoire instrumentalists. A/T again benefited instrumental performance, extending to novice singing including creative improvisation. SMR had a suggestive impact on novice singing, subsequently examined with 11 year-old children with benefits on improvisation (creativity, communication); A/T benefited technique in prepared performance, creativity and communication in improvisation. Dance performance was examined contrasting A/T and heart rate variability (HRV) training. Both improved dancing in competitive university ballroom dancers compared with controls. In contemporary dancers A/T increased cognitive creativity, while HRV reduced anxiety. Finally, university actors were examined with SMR with the NF training-display depicting a rendering of an auditorium seen from the stage. The 2D laptop rendition was compared with a 3D VR version. Immersive VR was the more successful in facilitating brain rhythm control and acting. However, both were superior to control in inculcating a flow state in acting. The more successful NF outcome may follow greater immersion in performance during training with SMR via a visual representation or with A/T through imagination. Mechanisms and methods will be discussed along with pedagogical implications for the performing arts and optimal performance  .</P>
Neuroscience Letters – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2011
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