Better than sleep: Theta neurofeedback training accelerates memory consolidation

Miriam Reiner, Roman Rozengurt, Anat Barnea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consistent empirical results showed that both night and day sleep enhanced memory consolidation. In this study we explore processes of consolidation of memory during awake hours. Since theta oscillations have been shown to play a central role in exchange of information, we hypothesized that elevated theta during awake hours will enhance memory consolidation. We used a neurofeedback protocol, to enhance the relative power of theta or beta oscillations. Participants trained on a tapping task, were divided into three groups: neurofeedback theta; neurofeedback beta; control. We found a significant improvement in performance in the theta group, relative to the beta and control groups, immediately after neurofeedback. Performance was further improved after night sleep in all groups, with a significant advantage favoring the theta group. Theta power during training was correlated with the level of improvement, indicating a clear relationship between memory consolidation, and theta neurofeedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Beta rhythms
  • Brain oscillations
  • Motor memory consolidation
  • Motor performance
  • Neurofeedback training
  • Theta rhythms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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