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Acting performance and flow state enhanced with sensory-motor rhythm neurofeedback comparing ecologically valid immersive VR and training screen scenarios

Gruzelier, J; Inoue, A; Smart, R; Steed, A; Steffert, T; (2010) Acting performance and flow state enhanced with sensory-motor rhythm neurofeedback comparing ecologically valid immersive VR and training screen scenarios. NEUROSCI LETT , 480 (2) 112 - 116. 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.06.019.

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Abstract

Actors were trained in sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback interfaced with a computer rendition of a theatre auditorium. Enhancement of SMR led to changes in the lighting while inhibition of theta and high beta led to a reduction in intrusive audience noise. Participants were randomised to a virtual reality (VR) representation in a ReaCTor, with surrounding image projection seen through glasses, or to a 2D computer screen, which is the conventional neurofeedback medium. In addition there was a no-training comparison group. Acting performance was evaluated by three experts from both filmed, studio monologues and Hamlet excerpts on the stage of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Neurofeedback learning reached an asymptote earlier as did identification of the required mental state following training in the ReaCTor training compared with the computer screen, though groups reached the same asymptote. These advantages were paralleled by higher ratings of acting performance overall, well-rounded performance, and especially the creativity subscale including imaginative expression, conviction and characterisation. On the Flow State scales both neurofeedback groups scored higher than the no-training controls on self-ratings of sense of control, confidence and feeling at-one. This is the first demonstration of enhancement of artistic performance with eyes-open neurofeedback training, previously demonstrated only with eyes-closed slow-wave training. Efficacy is attributed to psychological engagement through the ecologically relevant learning context of the acting-space, putatively allowing transfer to the real world otherwise achieved with slow-wave training through imaginative visualisation. The immersive VR technology was more successful than a 2D rendition. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Acting performance and flow state enhanced with sensory-motor rhythm neurofeedback comparing ecologically valid immersive VR and training screen scenarios
DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2010.06.019
Keywords:Neurofeedback, Acting performance, Virtual reality, Flow state, BIOFEEDBACK
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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