Theta EEG neurofeedback promotes early consolidation of real life-like episodic memory

Roman Rozengurt, Illia Kuznietsov, Tetiana Kachynska, Nataliia Kozachuk, Olha Abramchuk, Oleksandr Zhuravlov, Avi Mendelsohn, Daniel A. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theta oscillations are believed to coordinate neuronal activity related to human cognition, especially for memory functions. Theta power during learning and retrieval has been found to correlate with memory performance success. Additionally, up-regulating theta oscillations during a post-encoding epoch crucial for memory consolidation was previously shown to benefit long-term memory for acquired motor sequences, pictures, and object-location associations. However, it remains to be determined whether such effects would be found for more ecological aspects of long-term episodic memory. Therefore, the current study assessed neurofeedback-based theta upregulation effects on movie memory. After viewing a 15-minute silent, narrative movie, participants engaged in neurofeedback-based theta/beta up-regulation, neurofeedback beta/theta up-regulation as an active control condition, or an unrelated passive control task. Memory was tested three times: once immediately after watching the movie (as baseline); 24 hours thereafter; and once again 1 week later. Memory performance 1 week after encoding was significantly enhanced in the theta/beta up-regulation group compared with the other groups. Additionally, changes in neurofeedback theta/beta ratio from baseline EEG recordings correlated with long-term memory gains in retrieving the movie's content. These findings highlight the relationship between post-learning theta oscillations and the consolidation of episodic memory for a naturalistic event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1481
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Psychonomic Society, Inc.


  • Consolidation
  • Episodic memory
  • Neurofeedback
  • Neuromodulation
  • Theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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