Biofeedback and Self-regulation

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 193–209 | Cite as

A double-blind investigation of the relationship between seizure activity and the sleep EEG following EEG biofeedback training

  • S. F. Whitsett
  • J. F. Lubar
  • G. S. Holder
  • W. E. Pamplin
  • H. S. Shabsin


The sleep EEGs of eight medically refractory epileptic patients were examined as part of a double-blind, ABA crossover study designed to determine the effectiveness of EEG biofeedback for the control of seizures. The patients were initially reinforced for one of three EEG criteria recorded from electrodes placed over sensorimotor cortex: (a) suppression of 3- to 7-Hz activity, (b) enhancement of 12- to 15-Hz activity, or (c) simultaneous suppression of 3- to 7-Hz and enhancement of 11- to 19-Hz activity. Reinforcement contingencies were reversed during the second or B phase, and then reinstated in their original form during the final A′ phase. All-night polysomnographic recordings were obtained at the end of each conditioning phase and were subjected to both visual and computer-based power spectral analyses. Four of the patients showed changes in their nocturnal paroxysmal activity that were either partially or totally consistent with the ABA′ contingencies of the study. The spectral data proved difficult to interpret, though two trends emerged from the analyses. Decreases in nocturnal 4- to 7-Hz activity were correlated with decreases in seizure activity, and increases in 8- to 11-Hz activity were correlated with decreases in seizure activity. These findings were shown to strengthen the hypothesis that EEG biofeedback may produce changes in the sleep EEG that are related to seizure incidence.


Original Form Seizure Activity Sensorimotor Cortex Epileptic Patient Reinforcement Contingency 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. F. Whitsett
    • 1
  • J. F. Lubar
    • 1
  • G. S. Holder
    • 1
  • W. E. Pamplin
    • 1
  • H. S. Shabsin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TennesseeUSA

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