Investigating the effect of Neurofeedback Training on the accuracy and Concentration of professional chess players

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Ahar Branch, Ahar

2 MA in Clinical Psychology, Islamic Azad University of Ahar, Ahar, Iran


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of neurofeedback training on the accuracy and concentration of professional chess players. The present study was a semi-experimental study with a pre-test-post-test design and a control group. The statistical population of the research included all male and female chess athletes in Tabriz city in 2016 (N =120). From this population, a sample of 36 people was selected through the available sampling method and randomly assigned to three groups of 12 people (experimental, dummy, and control groups). Experimental intervention in the form of alpha enhancement protocol was implemented during 12 15-minute sessions three times a week, meanwhile, the research data were collected in two phases, pre-test and post-test, using the standard Stroop task (checking accuracy and concentration). Data analysis was done using MANCOVA in the SPSS program. The analysis of data showed that there was a significant difference between the mean of the experimental, dummy, and control groups in the post-test of the reaction time subscales (f = 17/437, p = 0.0001) and the error rate (f = 29/863, p = 0.0001). According to the results, participants in the experimental group have a lower reaction time and error rate (better performance) than the participants of the dummy and control groups.


  1. Mahjoor S. Psychology of the game. Tehran: Virayesh Publishing. 2013. [Persian]
  2. Karimian Pour Gh. Chess, A Method for Teaching Thinking (The Effect of Chess Education on the Development of Problem Solving Skills in Children 5-7 Years Old in Tehran in 2009-2010). Growth and Preschool Education. 2010; 2 (2): 37-34. [Persian]
  3. Bilalic M, Gobet F, Mcleod P. Does chess need intelligence? A study with young chess players. Jornal of intelligence. 2007; 35 (5): 457-470.
  4. Rezvani MA, Fadaee MR, Gooya Z. Using chess as a tool for promoting 5th grade students’ mathematics problem solving abilities. Quarterly journal of educational innovations. 2015; 14 (15): 131-159. [Persian]
  5. Sigirtmac AD. An investigation on the effectiveness of chess training on creativity and theory of mind development at early childhood. Educational Research and Reviews. 2016; 11 (11): 1056-1063.
  6. Kazemi F, Yektayar M, & Mohammadi Bolban A. Investigation the impact of chess play ondeveloping meta-cognitive ability and math problem-solving power of students at different levels of education.Procedia -Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012; 32: 372- 379.
  7. Karimi LS, Zare H. The Effect of Music on the Sustainability of Children with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. Quarterly Journal of Education and Learning. 2013; 1 (2): 34-26. [Persian]
  8. Arjmandnia AK, Afroz GHA, Taziki T, Ghasemzadeh S. Review the Effectiveness of working in the Dark Room to Increase the Attention Span of Mentally Retarded Students. Journal of Psychological Models and Methods. 2015; 6 (19): 47-60. [Persian]
  9. Rapcsak SZ, Beeson PM, Henry ML, Leyden A, Kim E, Rising K, Andersen S, … Cho H. Phonological dyslexia and dysgraphia: cognitive mechanisms and neural substrates. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior. 2008; 45(5): 575-591.
  10. Penolozzi B, Spirnoelli CH, Angrilli A. Delta EEG activity as a marker of dysfunctional linguistic processing in developmental dyslexia. Psychophysiology. 2008; 45: 10-25.
  11. Emadi Far F, Gorji Y. Effectiveness of Attention Training on Attention Control, Focused Attention and Dispersed Attention in Girl Students with Test Anxiety. Quarterly Journal of Child Mental Health. 2017; 4 (1): 67-77. [Persian]
  12. Khalife N, Kantomaa M, Glover V, Tammelin T, Laitinen J, Ebeling H, et al. Childhood attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms are risk factors for obesity and physical in activity in adolescence. J Am Acad Child Adolescent Psychiat. 2014; 53: 425-36.
  13. Wang S, Yang Y, Xing W, Chen J, Liu C, Luo X. Altered neural circuits related to sustained attention and executive control in children with ADHD: An event-related fMRI study. Clini Neurophy. 2013; 124(11): 2181-90.
  14. Seefeldt WL, Kramer M, Tuschen-Caffier B, & Heinrichs N. Hypervigilance and avoidance in visual attention in children with social phobia. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2014; 45(1): 105-112.
  15. Richards HJ, Benson V, Donnelly N, and Hadwin JA. Exploring the function of selective attention and hypervigilance for threat in anxiety. Clin Psychol Rev. 2014; 34: 1–13.
  16. Tucha O, Walitza S, Mechlinger L, Sontag TA, Kubber S, Linder M, Lange KW. Attentional Functioning in children with ADHD-predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type and children with ADHD-combind type. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2006; 113: 1943-1953.
  17. Mowzooni H, Nilipour R, Ghoreishi Zs, Dolatshahi B, Rivandi A. Evaluating sustained attention and response inhibition in children with specific language impairment in comparison with age-matched controls. Journal of exceptional children, 2016; 16 (1): 21-32. [Persian]
  18. Nourizade N, Mikeeli manee F, Rostami R, Sadeghi V. The effectiveness of neurofeedback training on comorbid LD and ADHD. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2013; 2 (2): 123-158. [Persian]
  19. Zoefel B,  Huster  RJ,  Herrmann  Neurofeedback  Training  Of  The  Upper  Alpha Frequency  Band  In  EEG  Improves  Cognitive Performance. Neuroimage. 2011; 54(2): 1427-31.
  20. Azam Rajabian A. Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Treatment on ADHD Children. Exceptional Education. 2016; 8 (136): 50-56. [Persian]
  21. Vernon DJ. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2015; 30 (4): 347-364.
  22. Steinberg M, Othmer S. The 20 hour solution: Training minds to concentrate and self-regulate naturally without medication. USA: Robert Reed. 212; 48-92.
  23. Narimani M, Rajabi S, Delavar S. Effects of Neurofeedback Training on Female Students with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. J Arak Uni Med Sci. 2013; 16 (2): 91-103. [Persian]
  24. Niv S. Clinical efficacy and potential mechanisms of neurofeedback. Personality and Individual Differences. 2013; 54: 676–686.
  25. Geppert SE, Huster RJ, & Herrmann CS. Boosting brain functions: Improving executive functions with behavioral training, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 2013; 16: 1–16.
  26. Drechsler R,  Struanb  M,  Doehnert  M, Heinrich H,  Steinhausen H  & Brandeis    I Controlled Evaluation Of Neurofeedback Training Of Slow Cortical Potentials In Children With  ADHD.  Behavioral  And  Brain Function. 2007; 3: 35.
  27. Leins U, Hinterberger T, Kaller S, Schober F,  Weber  C,  Strehl  Neurofeedback  Der  Langsamen  Kortikalen  Potenziale  Und  Der  Theta/Beta-Aktivität  Für  Kinder  Mit  Einer  ADHS: Ein Kontrollierter Vergleich. Praxis Der  Kinderpsychologie  Und  Kinderpsychiatrie. 2006; 55(5): 384-407.
  28. Kim S-K, Yoo E-Y, Lee J-S, Jung M-E, Park S-H, Park J-H. The Effects of Neurofeedback Training on Concentration in Children with Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder. International Journal of Bio-Science. 2014; 6 (4): 13-24.
  29. Rastegar N, Dolatshahi B, & Rezaei Dogahe E. The effect of neurofeedback training on increasing sustained attention in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Practice in Clinical Psychology. 2016; 4(2): 97-104.
  30. San Luis C, López de la Llave A, Pérez-Llantada MC. Training to improve selective attention in children using neurofeedback through play. Revista de Psicopatología y Psicología Clínica. 2013; 18 (3): 209-216.
  31. Kawatake Sh, Torii I, Ishii N. Increasing Concentration with Neurofeedback. 4th Intl. Conf. on Applied Computing and Information Technology (ACIT), 3rd Intl. Conf. on Computational Science/Intelligence and Applied Informatics (CSII), and 1st Intl. Conf. on Big Data, Cloud Computing, Data Science & Engineering (BCD). 2016; 247-252.
  32. Aliño Costa M, Gadea M, Hidalgo V, Pérez V, & Sanjuán J. An effective Neurofeedback training, with cortisol correlates, in a clinical case of anxiety. Universitas Psychologica. 2016; 15(5): 1-10.
  33. Jordanova NP, Demerdziera A. Biofeedback training for peak performance in sport- case study. Macedonian journal of medical sciences. 2010; 3(2):113-18.
  34. Bakhshayesh Biofeedback (General concepts, principles, methods and application). Yazd: Yazd University. 2010; 15-70. [Persian]
  35. Gall D M, Borg R W, Gall P J. Educational research: an introduction (8th edition), translated by ahmadreza nasr and et al. Tehran: samt publications; 2012. [Persian]
  36. Narimani M, Pouresmali A, Andalib Kouraeim M, Aghajanei S. A comparison of Stroop performance in students with learning disorder and normal students. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2012; 2(1): 138-158. [Persian]
  37. Makvand Hosseini S, Rashedi M. Comparing the Stroop Effect in Schizophrenic and Major Depression Patients with Normal Individual. Achievements of Clinical Psychology. 2016; 1(4): 31-46. [Persian]
  38. Collura TF. Technical Foundations Of New York: Brainmaster Technologies Inc; 2004, 77-82.
  39. Azizi A, Drikvand FM, & Sepahvandi M Comparison of the Effect of Cognitive Rehabilitation and Neurofeedback on Sustained Attention Among Elementary School Students with Specific Learning Disorder: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2018; 43 (4): 301-307.
  40. Wang JR, & Hsieh S. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance. Clinical Neurophysiology. 2013; 124(12): 2406-2420.
  41. Oftadehal M, Movahedi Y, Sepahvand R. The Effectiveness of Neurofeedback Training on Improving Reaction time Performance in Football Athletes. Community Health Journal. 2017; 11(2): 1-9. [Persian]
  42. Hillard B, El-Baz AS, Sears L, Tasman A, & Sokhadze E Neurofeedback training aimed to improve focused attention and alertness in children with ADHD: a study of relative power of EEG rhythms using custom-made software application. Clin EEG Neurosci. 2013; 44(3): 193-202.
  43. Habibollahi S, Souri A, Haji Arbabi F, Ashoori J. Effects of neurofeedback training on sustain attention and planning in students with attention deficit disorder. koomesh. 2016; 17 (2): 447-454. [Persian]
  44. Ghaziri J, Tucholka A, Larue V, Blanchette-Sylvestre M, Reyburn G, Gilbert G, … Beauregard M. Neurofeedback Training Induces Changes in White and Gray Matter. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience. 2013; 44(4): 265–272.
  45. Gruzelier J. A theory of alpha/theta neurofeedback, creative performance enhancement, long distance functional connectivity and psychological integration. Cogn Process. 2009; 10: 101-109.
  46. Lagopoulos J, Xu J, Rasmussen I, Vik A, Malhi GS, Eliassen CF, . . . Ellingsen Increased theta and alpha EEG activity during nondirective meditation. J Altern Complement Med. 2009; 15(11): 1187-1192.
  47. Narimani M, Rajabi S, Abolghasemi A, Nazarei M, & Zahed-Babelan A. determine the efficacy of neurofeedback in correcting the brain’s wave amplitude and the attention of students with dyslexia. Research In Clinical Psychology And Counseling. 2012; 2(1): 5-24. [Persian]
  48. Cannon LR. LORETA Neurofeedback: Odd Reports, Observations, and Findings Associated with Spatial Specific Neurofeedback Training, Journal of Neurotherapy: Investigations in Neuromodulation, Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience. 2012; 16 (2): 164-167.
  49. Amir Ahmadi M, Razaghi N, Aghaei H. Comparison of the effectiveness of neurofeedback training and plan therapy on reducing the symptoms of depression in depressed women in Tehran. Quarterly Journal of Psychology. 2016; 1 (3): 114-97. [Persian]
  50. Rajabi S. Effcacy of neurofeedback in the correct brain’s wave’s amplitude and the visual-motor continuous performance with ADHD. Journal of Psychology. 2015; 19; 53-70. [Persian]
  51. Mahmood Aliloo M, Madani Y, Hosseini hasan abad F. Impact of Neurofeedback Therapy on Symptoms of Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Quarterly Journal of Child Mental Health. 2017; 3 (4): 37-47. [Persian]