, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 219-228
Date: 23 Apr 2010

Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Feedback in a Stressed Population Exposed to a Brief Stressor Demonstrated by Quantitative EEG and sLORETA

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Previous investigations of electroencephalograms during relaxation have identified increases in slow wave band power, correlations between increased levels of alpha activity with lower levels of anxiety, and autonomic changes characterized by otherwise documented decreased sympathetic activity. This study was carried out to determine the overall changes in quantitative electroencephalographic activity and the current source as a result of an acute session of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) biofeedback in a population of subjects experiencing stress. This study’s findings provide physiological evidence of RSA feedback effect and suggest that RSA training may decrease arousal by promoting an increase of alpha band frequencies and decrease in beta frequencies overall and in areas critical to the regulation of stress. It was of interest that novices could achieve these objective alterations in EEG activity after minimal training and intervention periods considering that the previous literature on EEG and meditative states involve experienced meditators or participants who had been given extensive training. Additionally, these effects were present immediately following the training suggesting that the intervention may have effects beyond the actual practice.