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Biofeedback and Self-regulation

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 131–141 | Cite as

Psychophysics of muscle tension in psychiatric inpatients

  • Paul M. Lehrer
  • Lawrence Goldberg
  • Sergio Levi-Minzi
Articles

Abstract

Twelve psychiatric inpatients and 16 control subjects each took part in a psychophysics experiment in which the method of production was used to study the perception of tension in the frontalis and forearm extensor muscles. Subjects tensed each muscle between 0% and 50% maximum effort, with 25% effort repeated every third trial, and used as a reference stimulus. Patients showed significantly lower correlations between frontalis EMG and percent effort than the control subjects, but no between-groups differences were found for forearm. Correlations were higher for differences between successive trials than for absolute values because of apparent baseline shifts in perception and/or production of muscle tension. The performance among the patients was not correlated with severity of psychiatric symptoms, antipsychotic medication, abnormal movements, or parkinsonian symptoms, although the n was small. Analysis of the regression of EMG on percent effort revealed approximately equal descriptive strength for three functions: a linear relationship, Stevens' power function, and Fechner's law. The implications of these findings for self-regulation therapies are discussed.

Key words

muscle tension electromyogram psychophysics side effects of neuroleptic medication psychiatric inpatients 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. Lehrer
    • 1
  • Lawrence Goldberg
    • 1
  • Sergio Levi-Minzi
    • 1
  1. 1.UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolUSA

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