Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 193–208 | Cite as

EEG-Driven Photic Stimulation Effect on Plasma Cortisol and β-Endorphin

  • Hiroaki Kumano
  • Harumi Horie
  • Tomifusa Kuboki
  • Hiroyuki Suematsu
  • Hiroshi Sato
  • Mitsuo Yasushi
  • Tsutomu Kamei
  • Sumio Masumura


The effect of EEG-driven photic stimulation on stress-related endocrine function was studied. Subjects were 16 healthy males divided into a photic stimulation group (n=8) and a control group (n=8). Electrodermal and emotional lability measures were assessed by nonspecific skin conductance response and the Maudsley Personality Inventory, respectively. Plasma cortisol and β-endorphin concentrations were measured both before and after EEG-driven photic stimulation as well as the resting condition. Subjects with electrodermal, emotional, or both lability showed comparable decreases of plasma β-endorphin on photic stimulation as did the stable subjects. Under resting control conditions, however, they showed significant increases of β-endorphin compared to both stable subjects as well as the photic stimulation condition. In addition, labile subjects showed significant alpha enhancement on photic stimulation compared to stable subjects and to the resting control condition. The data suggest that increases of plasma β-endorphin in labile control subjects may denote a stress response to the conditions of these experiments, and that any decrease by EEG-driven photic stimulation may indicate a reduction of responsiveness to an acute stress.

EEG-driven photic stimulation alpha rhythm cortisol β-endorphin stress 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Burdick, J. A. (1965). Autonomic lability and neuroticism. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 9, 339–342.Google Scholar
  2. Chattopadhyay, P. K., Bond, A. J., & Lader, M. H. (1975). Characteristics of galvanic skin response in anxiety states. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 265–270.Google Scholar
  3. Dawson, M. E., Schell, A. M., & Filion, D. L. (1990). The electrodermal system. In J. T. Cacioppo & L. G. Tassinary (Eds.), Principles of Psychophysiology: Physical, Social, and Inferential Elements (pp. 295–324). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dent, R. R. M., Guilleminault, C., Albert, L. H., Posner, B. I., Cox, B. M., & Goldstein A. (1981). Diurnal rhythm of plasma immunoreactive β-endorphin and its relationship to sleep stages and plasma rhythms of cortisol and prolactin. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 52, 942–947.Google Scholar
  5. Eysenck, H. J. (1965). Extraversion and the acquisition of eyeblink and GSR conditioned responses. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 258–270.Google Scholar
  6. Gallagher, T. F., Yoshida, K., Roffwarg, H. D., Fukushima, D. K., Weitzman, E. D., & Hellman, L. (1973). ACTH and cortisol secretory patterns in man. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 36, 1058–1068.Google Scholar
  7. Garcia-Austt, E., Bogacz, J., & Vanzulli, A. (1963). Effects of attention and inattention upon visual evoked response. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 17, 136–143.Google Scholar
  8. Guillemin, R., Vargo, T., Rossier, J., Minick, S., Ling, N., Rivier, C., Vale, W., & Bloom, F. (1977). β-endorphin and adrenocorticotropin are secreted concomitantly by the pituitary gland. Science, 197, 1367–1369.Google Scholar
  9. Hardt, J. V., & Kamiya, J. (1978). Anxiety change through electroencephalographic alpha feedback seen only in high anxiety subjects. Science, 201(7), 79–81.Google Scholar
  10. Hare, J. F., Timmons, B. H., Roberts, J. R., & Burman, A. S. (1982). EEG alpha-biofeedback training: an experimental technique for the management of anxiety. Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology, 6, 19–24.Google Scholar
  11. Hart, J. D. (1974). Physiological responses of anxious and normal subjects to simple signal and non-signal auditory stimuli. Psychophysiology, 11, 443–451.Google Scholar
  12. Jevning, R. Wilson, A. F., & Davidson, J. M. (1978). Adrenocortical activity during meditation. Hormones and Behavior, 10, 54–60.Google Scholar
  13. Kalin, N. H., & Loevinger, B. L. (1983). The central and peripheral opioid peptides. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 6, 415–428.Google Scholar
  14. Kamei, T., Yasushi, M., Kumano, H., Suematsu, H., & Masumura, S. (1993, August). Mental relaxation induced by photic feedback system. Paper presented at the 1993 World Congress of World Federation for Mental Health, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  15. Kumano, H., Horie, H., Shidara, T., Kuboki, T., Suematsu, H., and Yasushi, M. (1996). Treatment of a depressive disorder patient with EEG-driven photic stimulation. Biofeedback and Self-regulation, 21, 323–334.Google Scholar
  16. Lader, M. H. (1967). Palmar skin conductance measures in anxiety and phobic states. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 271–281.Google Scholar
  17. Lehmann, D. (1971). Multichannel topography of human alpha EEG fields. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 31, 439–449.Google Scholar
  18. Luthe, W. (1970). Research and theory. In W. Luthe (Ed.), Autogenic Therapy. New York/London: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  19. MaCann, B. S., Carter, J., Vaughan, M., Raskind, M., Wilkinson, C. W., & Veith, R. C. (1993). Cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to extended laboratory challenge. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 497–504.Google Scholar
  20. Malarkey, W. B., Pearl, D. K., Demers, L. M., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (1995). Influence of academic stress and season on 24-hour mean concentrations of ACTH, cortisol, and β-endorphin. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 20, 499–508.Google Scholar
  21. Michaels, R. R., Parra, J., McCann, D. S., & Vander, A. J. (1979). Renin, cortisol, and aldosterone during transcendental meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 41, 50–54.Google Scholar
  22. Miyawaki, H., Nakamura, M., Iida, H., Sato, Y., Ishida, N., & Takahashi, S. (1984). Photic driving response and arousal level: its relationship to the SCL biofeedback control. Rinsho-Noha, 26, 172–177.Google Scholar
  23. Papp, N., & Ktonas, P. (1977). Critical evaluation of complex demodulation techniques for the quantification of bioelectrical activity. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 13, 135–143.Google Scholar
  24. Purohit, A. P. (1966). Personality variables, sex-difference, G.S.R. responsiveness and G.S.R. conditioning. Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 1, 166–173.Google Scholar
  25. Schulz, P., & Kaspar, C. H. (1994). Neuroendocrine and psychological effects of restricted environmental stimulation technique in a flotation tank. Biological Psychology, 37, 161–175.Google Scholar
  26. Shagass, C. (1955). Differentiation between anxiety and depression by the photically activated electroencephalogram. American Journal of Psychiatry, 112, 41–46.Google Scholar
  27. Sasaki, T., Ideshita, H., Yamanaka, Y., Oda, T., Shigekawa, R., Kikumoto, O., & Shiwa, S. (1988). A study on the clinical effects of biofeedback therapy. Shinshin-Igaku, 28, 609–616.Google Scholar
  28. Sugiyama, Y. (1967). The clinical application of Maudsley Personality Inventory on patients in the field of internal medicine. Rinsho-Shinrigaku-Kenkyu, 6, 67–72.Google Scholar
  29. Tyson, P. D. (1987). Task-related stress and EEG alpha biofeedback. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 12, 105–119.Google Scholar
  30. Tyson, P. D., & Sobschak, K. B. (1994). Perceptual responses to infant crying after EEG biofeedback assisted stress management training: implications for physical child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 18, 933–943.Google Scholar
  31. VanderArk, S. D., & Ely, D. (1992). Biochemical and galvanic skin responses to music stimuli by college students in biology and music. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 74, 1079–1090.Google Scholar
  32. Walter,D.O.(1968).The method of complex demodulation.Electmencephalography and ClinicalNeurophysiology,Suppl.27,53-57.Google Scholar
  33. Yasushi,M.,Saito,S.and Chijiiwa,M.(1992).Photic drive response by brain wave feedback.JapaneseJournal of Biofeedback Research,19,41-48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Kumano
    • 1
  • Harumi Horie
    • 2
  • Tomifusa Kuboki
    • 2
  • Hiroyuki Suematsu
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Sato
    • 3
  • Mitsuo Yasushi
    • 3
  • Tsutomu Kamei
    • 4
  • Sumio Masumura
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Human Behavioral Science, School of MedicineTohoku University, Aoba-kuSendaiJapan
  2. 2.University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Pioneer Electric CorporationTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Shimane Institute of Health ScienceShimaneJapan
  5. 5.Shimane Medical UniversityIzumoJapan

Personalised recommendations